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White Chocolate Popcorn Balls Recipe

These popcorn balls are simply irresistible. In addition to the basics, I’ve added white chocolate, strawberries, and lemon zest to the mix.

Popcorn balls are fantastic. The sweet, crunchy treats are as tasty as they are cute, and something about them is reminiscent of carnival (or state fair) fun. Traditional versions offer a nice sweet-salty combo, but this version takes it further with white chocolate, crushed freeze-dried strawberries, and a touch of lemon for a fragrant, fruity burst.

Popcorn Balls Recipe

Why You’ll Love These Popcorn Balls

An elevated version of a classic – Traditional popcorn balls are great; however, when it comes down to it, they’re just popcorn, a sticky-sweet substance (marshmallows, syrup, or caramel), some fat, and salt.

Easy to make – Pop the kernels, melt the marshmallows, shape, and finish – it doesn’t get much simpler.

Satisfying texture – Popcorn balls are a cross between kettle corn and puffed rice (Rice Krispy) treats.

One batch goes a long way – Aside from being quite large, popcorn balls are a lot of indulgences rolled into one treat, so you probably don’t want more than one or two, making them perfect for sharing.

Childhood nostalgia – A popcorn ball or two will make you feel like a kid again. Memories of your first carnival or that trip to the state fair will soon be flooding back.

Popcorn Balls Ingredients Notes

To make popcorn balls, you will need the following:

  • Popcorn: Pop the corn kernels using a popcorn popper, stovetop, or microwave.
  • Marshmallows: Melted marshmallows are the glue that holds popcorn balls together. You can use any marshmallows you like (larger ones will work); however, no other size melts quite like minis. Go small for a super smooth result.
  • Butter: A bit of fat helps the marshmallows melt smoothly.
  • Strawberries: Your favorite freeze-dried strawberries will do. Check to ensure they aren’t soggy before use. This tends to happen in packages of freeze-dried fruit that were previously opened. The berries should be light, airy, and crisp. If they’re not, the strawberries are almost impossible to crush.
  • White chocolate: White chocolate drizzles on top of the popcorn balls are not so much decorative but add a layer of milky, buttery sweetness and keep the crushed freeze-dried strawberries and lemon zest in place. Ensure you use a high-quality baking bar.

The complete ingredients list with measurements is in the popcorn balls recipe card below.

Popcorn Balls Ingredients

How To Make Popcorn Balls

  1. Pop the kernels and sort: Pop the corn kernels using your preferred method; the stovetop works best. Then, sort through the popcorn and discard any unpopped kernels, any popcorn that has burned, and those partially popped kernels bound to break a tooth. We don’t want that.
  2. Melt the marshmallows: Melt the butter in a large pot to accommodate the popcorn. Add the marshmallows and continuously stir until the marshmallows melt. Do this over low heat to prevent scorching.
  3. Shape into balls: Add the popcorn to the melted marshmallows and mix well. Once the popcorn is coated, shape the mixture into balls and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  4. Melt the chocolate: Add the finely chopped white chocolate to a microwave-safe bowl. Heat in brief intervals until melted. If you do not have a microwave, this can be done in a double boiler, or you can create a makeshift double boiler with a heat-safe bowl over a saucepan with an inch of water in it.
  5. Add the finishing touches: Start by drizzling white chocolate over each popcorn ball, then immediately go in with the crushed strawberries and lemon zest before the chocolate sets.
Popcorn Balls With White Chocolate And Strawberries

Variations, Substitutions, and Cooking Tips

Make them dairy-free – Replace the butter with coconut oil, ensure the marshmallows you select do not contain dairy, and skip the white chocolate or swap it for melted cacao. Look for the 100% cacao bars at the store. They melt beautifully.

Try orange zest – Or use any citrus zest. Orange, lime, and even grapefruit would work well in this recipe.

Use dark chocolate – A drizzle of dark chocolate with strawberries and lemon will create a richer, more complex flavor profile. Milk chocolate is another option, although it may take the sweetness a bit overboard.

Add nuts – Sliced almonds or chopped pecans would work well in the popcorn balls, as would peanuts, especially if strawberry and lemon aren’t your thing.

The wok is the way – If you have a wok, consider using it to pop the corn kernels. A wok makes a perfect popcorn popper due to its shape and size.

A tip for melting marshmallows – If you’re concerned about scorching them, melt them using a double boiler instead of throwing them into a pot with the butter.

Storage and Freezer Tips

Store popcorn balls in an airtight container at room temperature. They can be kept for up to a week. Refrigeration should be avoided. Popcorn balls do not fare well in the fridge. As for freezing, avoid it as well.

Popcorn Balls Recipe

White Chocolate Popcorn Balls Recipe

Yield: 20 Popcorn Balls
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

These popcorn balls are simply irresistible. In addition to the basics, I’ve added white chocolate, strawberries, and lemon zest to the mix.


  • ½ cup corn kernels (will yield 16 cups of popcorn)
  • 2 ½ ounces unsalted butter (5 tablespoons)
  • 10 ounces marshmallows, preferably mini marshmallows (1 ¼ cup)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ cup freeze-dried strawberries, processed or crushed into a powder
  • 1 ½ ounces premium white chocolate, finely chopped


    1. Pop the kernels.
    2. Sort through the kernels and discard any that have not popped or have partially popped.
    3. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.
    4. Add the butter to a pot large enough to accommodate all the popcorn. Do this over low to medium-low heat.
    5. Add the marshmallows and continuously stir until the marshmallows are fully melted.
    6. Remove the melted marshmallows from the heat. Stir in the vanilla extract, lemon zest, and salt.
    7. Add the popcorn and stir until well-coated. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.
    8. Meanwhile, lightly oil your hands or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
    9. Scoop portions of the popcorn mixture and roll into balls using a ½ cup measuring cup or standard 4-ounce ice cream scoop. Place onto the parchment-lined baking sheet and repeat with the remaining popcorn mixture.
    10. Add the white chocolate to a microwave-safe bowl and heat in 30-second intervals until melted.
    11. Drizzle the melted white chocolate over each popcorn ball and sprinkle some crushed strawberries over the top before it sets.
    12. Refrigerate for 10 minutes to give the popcorn balls and chocolate time to set.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 20 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 88Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 27mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 0gSugar: 10gProtein: 1g

This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix.

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Monique McArthur
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