Jello Rainbow Popcorn (with Video)

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A fun party popcorn recipe, this Candied Rainbow Popcorn is super easy to make thanks to our not-so-secret ingredient: Jell-O!

This Rainbow Jello Popcorn is a fun, fruity candied popcorn recipe perfect for parties, bake sales or family movie nights. It's super simple to make and this recipe makes a LOT of popcorn, which you're going to want because this stuff is seriously good.

Rainbow Popcorn Recipe

For the last few years, my daughter’s birthdays have almost always included a movie and a sleepover.

This year, she wanted to serve fancy rainbow popcorn during the movie, like the kind they sell at those gourmet popcorn kiosks at the mall. But the cost of buying enough gourmet popcorn to keep 8 pre-teen girls happy was enough to encourage me to figure out how to make it myself!

This recipe makes approximately 18 cups of rainbow popcorn.

Of course, you can reduce this recipe to suit your needs (and I provide instructions to make a smaller 6 cup batch in the recipe card), but it was the perfect amount for our party. The girls loved it so much that there was less than 2 cups of popcorn left by the end of the night!

Each bite of popcorn has a different flavor thanks to the different flavors of Jell-O that we used to make it. The candy coating is crunchy to bite into but then softens to become chewy as the candy coating melts in your mouth.

We already had white sugar on hand, so the cost of 2 bags of popcorn kernels, corn syrup, the 6 Jell-O packets and 2 sticks of butter came to less than 1/5 of what buying this rainbow popcorn pre-made would have cost.

This rainbow popcorn would also be perfect for a bake sale, to give out as homemade gifts, or pass out as a party favor. 

What flavor is this popcorn? Because we’re using multiple flavors of JellO, this popcorn has a fruity, sweet flavor, with each color of popcorn tasting slightly different. The flavors of the popcorn will correspond to the Jell-O flavors used, so if you use Berry Blue Jell-O powder for the blue popcorn, it will taste like that (etc).

Why is my candied popcorn chewy? This is most likely due to not baking the popcorn for long enough. Pop it back in the oven for a few more minutes and test to see if the candy coating has hardened enough.

How long can candied popcorn be stored? Candied popcorn is best enjoyed within the first 3-5 days of making it. Store in an airtight container at room temperature. If your home is especially hot or humid, you may want to keep it in the fridge and allow to come slightly to room temperature before serving.

Can you freeze homemade rainbow popcorn? Yes! Fill an airtight ziptop bag and freeze your popcorn for up to a year.

What if I don’t have an air-popper? You can use this paper bag microwave popcorn tutorial to make air-popped popcorn without a machine, but I highly recommend grabbing an air-popper if you enjoy popcorn! Ours was only $15 and considering a box of microwave popcorn is about $5 for a package of 6 bags, our air-popper paid for itself within 18 uses (bags of popcorn kernels are suuuuper cheap and last us for months).

More Rainbow Party Recipes

Check out our quick recipe video to see how to make our rainbow popcorn recipe (or even just one flavor of Jell-O popcorn) – and then don’t forget to scroll down to grab your free printable recipe:

 

Jello Popcorn Ingredients

Scroll down to the printable recipe card for full measurements.

Tip: For a smaller batch, combine 1 Tablespoon butter, 1/3 cup sugar, 1/2 Tablespoon white corn syrup and 1-2 Tablespoons of Jell-O powder for each 1 cup of popcorn.

Kitchen Tools You May Find Helpful

  • Popcorn Popper
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Whisk
  • Spatula <– I like these spatulas because they are one solid piece and don’t have removable heads for bacteria to get trapped underneath. Plus they are heat-resistant and have a lifetime warranty
  • Saucepan
  • Cookie Sheets with Parchment Paper or Silicone Baking Mats

How to Make Rainbow Popcorn

Preheat oven to 300ºF.

Line 6 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Spread 3 cups of popcorn out in an even layer on each cookie sheet. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine 3 Tablespoons butter, 1 cup sugar, 1 Tablespoon white corn syrup and one color of the Jell-O powder. Bring to a boil, adding water or food dye, as needed. (Only add the water if the mixture appears too thick.)

Boil for 3-4 minutes then pour the candy mixture over one cookie sheet of popcorn.

Bake popcorn 10 minutes, stirring once halfway through. Let cool before handling.

Repeat with each color of Jell-O.

Note: For a smaller batch, combine 1 Tablespoon butter, 1/3 cup sugar, 1/2 Tablespoon white corn syrup and 1-2 Tablespoons of Jell-O powder for each 1 cup of popcorn.

 

Pin this Candied Jello Popcorn recipe for your next party or family movie night:

How to make rainbow popcorn using Jello! This candied popcorn recipe is colorful, crunchy and has a fun mix of fruity flavors. It's perfect for parties and you can make a giant 18 cup batch or make a smaller, family-sized batch for a family movie night.

Grab your free printable recipe card for our Jell-O Rainbow Popcorn recipe:

Yield: 18 cups popcorn

Jello Rainbow Popcorn

Jello Rainbow Popcorn

How to make rainbow popcorn using Jello! This candied popcorn recipe is colorful, crunchy and has a fun mix of fruity flavors. It's perfect for parties and you can make a giant 18 cup batch or make a smaller, family-sized batch for a family movie night.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 18 cups popcorn, popped
  • 1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 6 cups White Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons each: red Jell-O, orange Jell-O, yellow Jell-O, green Jell-O, purple Jell-O, yellow Jell-O
  • 6 Tablespoons White Corn Syrup
  • 6 tbsp Water, as needed
  • Food Coloring, optional

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 300ºF.
  2. Line 6 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Spread 3 cups of popcorn out in an even layer on each cookie sheet. Set aside.
  3. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine 3 Tablespoons butter, 1 cup sugar, 1 Tablespoon white corn syrup and one color of the Jell-O powder. Bring to a boil, adding water or food dye, as needed. (Only add the water if the mixture appears too thick.)
  4. Boil for 3-4 minutes then pour the candy mixture over one cookie sheet of popcorn.
  5. Bake popcorn 10 minutes, stirring once halfway through. Let cool before handling.
  6. Repeat with each color of Jell-O.

Notes

Note: For a smaller batch, combine 1 Tablespoon butter, 1/3 cup sugar, 1/2 Tablespoon white corn syrup and 1-2 Tablespoons of Jell-O powder for each 1 cup of popcorn.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

54

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 121Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 35mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 0gSugar: 26gProtein: 0g

Sugar, Spice and Glitter uses an auto-generate nutrition calculator. Nutrition information isn’t always accurate unless analyzed in a scientific lab, so these should be considered more of a guideline than medical information.

Pin this Recipe for Later

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

I hope your family and friends love this easy candied popcorn recipe as much as my daughter and her friends did!

For more fun popcorn recipes the whole family will love, check out our Cookies and Cream Popcorn recipe or our Homemade Caramel Popcorn (with video).

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3 Comments

    1. Hi Lila, Thanks for visiting! I have never tried to make candied popcorn without refined sugar, but I do know that some people have made our homemade caramel popcorn with coconut sugar and they’ve reported good results. It may work as a substitute for this recipe but I haven’t tried it myself.

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