When I was growing up, popcorn balls appeared every year at Halloween and again at Christmas. They’re a fun, albeit a little messy, treat to make, and are relatively simple. Freshly popped popcorn is bound with a sticky sweet syrup that comes together in minutes. Traditional recipes often contain a little butter, but this festive recipe for Cranberry Popcorn Balls is dairy-free, butter-free, and even oil-free. It’s infused with whole cranberry sauce, cranberry juice, and orange zest for delicious seasonal flavor.
This dairy-free cranberry popcorn balls recipe with photo was shared with us by popcorn.org.
Special Diet Notes: Cranberry Popcorn Balls
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, oil-free, vegan, and vegetarian.
- 5 quarts freshly popped, unsalted popped popcorn
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup whole berry cranberry sauce, slightly mashed
- ½ cup cranberry juice
- ½ cup light corn syrup (can sub golden syrup or honey)
- 1 tablespoon grated orange peel
- 1 teaspoon white or apple cider vinegar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Put the popcorn in a large bowl.
- In a heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, cranberry sauce, cranberry juice, corn syrup, grated orange peel, vinegar, and salt.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat, and cook until the temperature reaches 250°F on a candy thermometer.
- Slowly pour the cranberry mixture onto the popcorn and carefully stir until well-coated.
- Let the popcorn stand for 5 minutes, or until the mixture can easily be formed into balls.
- Grease your hands and form the popcorn mixture into 3-inch balls.