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Perfect for parties, this rainbow popcorn recipe is a fun, fruity and colorful treat. Using jello makes it easy to add any variety of colors and flavors, turning simple popcorn into a rainbow that looks good enough to eat.
RAINBOW POPCORN INGREDIENTS
You will need:
- 9 cups popped popcorn
- ½ cup salted butter
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup light corn syrup
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 3-ounce packet of Jell-O or flavored gelatin
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
PRO TIP: ⅓ cup of popcorn kernels yields approximately 10 cups of popped corn.
NOTE: These directions and quantity of ingredients make ONE batch and ONE color of popcorn, repeat for as many colors as you would like to make.
SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS
ADDITIONAL COLORS: The ingredients listed will make one batch of colored popcorn. Make one batch for each different color you want in your rainbow.
POPCORN: Plain air-popped popcorn is the best choice for this fruity popcorn recipe. If plain microwave popcorn is available, pop two standard-size bags of popcorn per batch.
CANDY: You can make little cups of treats by adding your favorite candy in with the popcorn to have a sweet and fun snack.
HOW TO MAKE THIS RAINBOW POPCORN RECIPE
STEP ONE: Pour popcorn into a large baking dish, allowing plenty of room to stir the popcorn.
STEP TWO: Combine butter, sugar, corn syrup, and sea salt in a medium saucepan, then bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently.
STEP THREE: Once the mixture boils, stir in the contents of the jello packet. Return the mixture to a low boil, then let it continue to cook without stirring for 5 minutes. Keep an eye on it while it cooks. It should bubble during the full 5 minutes but not boil over.
STEP FOUR: Turn off the heat and add the baking soda. The mixture will foam up.
STEP FIVE: Pour the Jell-O mixture over the popcorn and stir it immediately to coat the popcorn evenly.
PRO TIP: Once it starts to cool, the candy coating sets fast. Stir it quickly and evenly into the popcorn to completely coat it before the mixture starts to cool.
STEP SIX: Bake at 250°F for 55 to 60 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. After 45 minutes, check to see if the popcorn is ready by removing a small piece and allowing it to cool for a minute or two, then check the texture to see if the coating is dry and crisp. If it is still sticky, continue cooking for 5 to 10 minutes more.
PRO TIP: If you don’t bake your popcorn long enough, it will be chewy. You can pop it back into the oven for a few more minutes if this happens.
STEP SEVEN: When popcorn is ready, remove it from the oven and immediately spread it on parchment paper to cool.
STEP EIGHT: Once it has cooled completely, break into small pieces to serve or store. Repeat the process for additional colors and flavors.
HOW TO SERVE
This sweet popcorn would be such a fun surprise on movie night. Serve up individual bowls of popcorn and a cold drink of iced tea, raspberry iced tea, sweet peach iced tea, or our southern strawberry sweet tea on the side to wash your sweet treat down.
ON THE COUNTER: To prevent the rainbow popcorn from getting sticky, store it in a sealed container as soon as it is cool. It does not need to be refrigerated. It will stay crisp in an airtight container for 5 to 7 days.
IN THE FREEZER: Freezing rainbow popcorn is not recommended.
The candy coating on this colorful popcorn snack is so fun! If you make enough for a whole rainbow of flavors and colors, you can serve this delicious treat at a party and then send some home in individual Ziploc bags as cute, inexpensive party favors. Get the kids involved by letting them stir the popcorn before baking. The foamy reaction of the baking soda adds a fun food science moment to the project.
As a guideline, ¼ cup of popcorn kernels yields approximately 7 cups of popped corn; ⅓ cup of popcorn kernels yields approximately 10 cups of popped popcorn; ½ cup of popcorn kernels yields approximately 15 cups of popped popcorn.
Rainbow popcorn will last stored in an airtight container for up to a week.
Rainbow popcorn should not be stored in the fridge as it will dry the popcorn out. It is best stored in an airtight container on the counter.
MORE RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
- 9 cup popcorn popped
- 1/2 cup salted butter for each color of popcorn you want to make
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar for each color of popcorn you want to make
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup for each color of popcorn you want to make
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt for each color of popcorn you want to make
- 3 ounce Jell-O or flavored gelatin for each color of popcorn you want to make
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda for each color of popcorn you want to make
- Preheat oven to 250°F.
- Spread popcorn in a 3 to 4 quart glass or metal baking dish, at least 9×13 but larger will make it even easier to stir the popcorn.
- In a medium saucepan heat butter, sugar, corn syrup, and sea salt over medium heat until the mixture comes to a boil, stirring frequently.
- Add contents of the jello packet to the saucepan and stir until fully combined.
- Bring the mixture back up to a low boil and leave to simmer undisturbed for a full 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in baking soda, the mixture will foam up a bit.
- Pour jello mixture over the popcorn and stir to coat as evenly as possible.
- Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, stirring thoroughly every 15 minutes. After popcorn has cooked for 45 minutes, remove a piece from the oven and allow it to cool for a couple minutes. Taste to determine if the coating is crisp and dry or if it is sticky. Continue cooking the popcorn 5 to 10 minutes longer until it is no longer sticky when cooled.
- Remove popcorn from the oven and immediately scoop out onto parchment paper. Allow popcorn to cool and break into pieces.
- Repeat for additional colors and flavors.