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Make Gournet Flavored Popcorn

Virginia has been experimenting in the kitchen for almost 50 years. She loves to share her recipes, cooking tips, and reviews.

Quick and Easy Recipe

Need a quick and easy snack idea for a party? Try my easy gourmet flavored popcorn recipe. You make it with marshmallows and butter, just like you would rice crispy treats, but then you bake it in the oven so it gets crunchy, just like the kind you'd buy at a gourmet popcorn shop. Better yet, I've found you can make this recipe using all kinds of flavoring including:

  1. Jello Popcorn: You can make any fruit flavor popcorn by using jello flavors. You can use regular jello, or sugar-free for a healthier snack that is just 100 calories per cup.
  2. Flavor Creations Popcorn: Looking for more exotic flavors like chocolate mint, coffee, chocolate almond, peppermint, bubble gum, caramel or cotton candy? Try using the new Flavor Creations made by Duncan Hines to add to their canned frosting. These flavor and color packages are very strong and so you only need about 1/4 of a packet, which costs less than a quarter.
  3. Kool-Aid Popcorn: Using Kool-Aid or the generic Flavor-Aid gives you more choices like Watermelon, Tropical Punch, Lemonade, Root Beer, Mango, and Pineapple-Orange.
  4. Extract and Food Coloring: If those aren't enough flavors and colors, you can also use any sort of cooking extract and food coloring to make your custom popcorn, for example, maple, almond, or blue coconut! You can make the popcorn match your favorite team colors, holiday colors or the theme colors of your birthday party.

Colored popcorn makes a great party popcorn treat and is also fun for gifts. My kids love to cook up their own snack in their favorite flavors. Here are some other ideas:

  1. Match popcorn flavors to birthday colors.
  2. Make in team colors for a team snack, end of the year party or sport watching party.
  3. Make in school colors for a bake sale or school event.
  4. Color red and green for Christmas; red, white and pink for Valentines; red, white and blue for 4th of July; or Orange for Halloween.
  5. Make a gift bag for a favorite teacher, neighbor, or coach.

Great Popcorn Snack!

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

10 min

15 min

25 min

8 servings of 1 cup each


  • 8-10 cups popcorn, popped (2 bags microwave popcorn)
  • 1/4 cup margarine, (or butter)
  • 4 cups mini-marshmallows
  • 3 oz. package any flavor jello, (regular or sugar free)
  • or 1/4 packet Frosting Creations or Kool-Aid, and 1/4 cup sugar or sugar substitute
  • or 1 teaspoon any flavor extract, and 1/4 cup sugar or sugar substitute
  • a few drops food coloring, optional


  1. Pop the popcorn (microwave or on the stove. You will need at least 8 cups, but you can probably coat up to 12 cups with one recipe of jello flavoring.
  2. Melt 1/4 cup margarine on the stove (or 30 seconds in the microwave).
  3. Add 4 cups of mini-marshmallows and jello to the pan. Stir on stove at low heat until marshmallows are melted. (Microwave: add marshmallows and heat 1 minute, stir and add jello. If marshmallows are not completely melted, microwave for 15 seconds at a time and then stir until they are).
  4. Add marshmallow jello mixture to popcorn and stir until coated.
  5. Popcorn Balls: To make popcorn balls, grease your hands with margarine and form mixture into 8-10 balls.
  6. Crunchy Popcorn: Spread out popcorn mixture on a baking sheet covered with foil or parchment paper. Bake in 250-degree oven for 15-20 minutes. Take out popcorn. Topping will harden as it cools. Break into pieces. Store in airtight container.

Make Your Own Flavor

Here's one last idea. Host a "Make your own flavor" for your next party. Make a big batch of popcorn, then have each person put:

  • 1 TB butter or margarine.
  • 2 cups of marshmallows

In the microwave for 1 minute. Stir and then add 1/4 cup sugar or sugar substitute and flavorings. Mix with about 3-4 cups of popcorn. You can eat it or put it in the oven for 10 minutes to make it crunchy. Leftovers can be party favors. Easy and fun!


Bailey Payne on January 11, 2017:

Such a fun and creative idea! Will have to try it out soon!

Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on August 28, 2014:

Jonna, That sounds like a great recipe--I absolutely love both marshmallows and brown sugar. I'm going to try that!

Jonna Hardy on August 27, 2014:

I love these ideas! However, when my sweet tooth starts nagging at me, a microwave recipe is quick and easy! My friends and I love making gourmet popcorn using butter, marshmallows, and brown sugar. We started out with a recipe, but of course over time have given up on exact measurements and have began to eyeball the ingredients depending on how sweet we want the popcorn. First we melt the butter in the microwave, then add the sugar and marshmallows and melt those as well. After we pop our popcorn and dump it in a large mixing bowl, we simply pour our sugary mixture over the popcorn and dig in! Next time we will have to sick it in the oven and let it get crunchy!

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Claudia Porter on January 23, 2013:

This is a great idea and we love popcorn at our house. Pinned for future reference. Thanks.

Rose Clearfield from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on January 21, 2013:

What a great idea for an article! I've never thought about this type of flavored popcorn before. Thanks for all of the fun ideas.

Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on January 21, 2013:

Thanks everybody! I was actually very excited to recover this recipe myself. I'd had it given to me by a friend in the 1980s but had lost it in my very large recipe collection. One day, I found it (misfiled of course) when looking for something else. However, when I went to try it, I didn't have regular jello. I thought maybe sugar free was going to be a mess but decided I'd give it a try. I was so surprised that it worked perfectly, and I think the popcorn actually tasted better because it wasn't so sugary. Then I experimented with the other flavorings and wondered why I had ever spent money on flavored popcorn!

Tonette Fornillos from The City of Generals on January 21, 2013:

I love love love love your jello-flavored popcorn and the recipe is I think very easy. I'm excited as I'm sure this is one NEW popcorn treat the kids will very much love - they love marshmallow, its why I know it's gonna be a hit. Thanks for this, VirginiaLynne. -A thousand smiles and blessings :=) Tonette

Melissa Propp from Minnesota on January 20, 2013:

Looks yummy! My kids will definitely like this. We need to try this recipe out. Thanks for sharing this!

Mary from Cronulla NSW on January 20, 2013:

Fantastic hub Virginia, so worthy of possible HOTD...and such great ideas to do for kids parties...

VUUABI & shared...cheers

Celeste Wilson on January 20, 2013:

I love popcorn. This is going to be a weekend attempt instead of baking cookies. Thank you for the inspiration.

Paul Maplesden from Asheville, NC on January 20, 2013:

All I can say is YUM! I really liked the way you mixed all of the media and capsules together - Video, great photos, recipes, lists - It was all well used to add colour and clarity to your article. Excellent work!

P. Thorpe Christiansen from Pacific Northwest, USA on January 19, 2013:

Great ideas. Can't wait to try them out. Wish I has some mini marshmallows on hand.

kikalina from Europe on January 19, 2013:

My kids love popcorn. May give thi a shot.ty

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