How to Make Pink Popcorn

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Bright and colorful pink popcorn adds a POP of fun to any party! This sweet snack is incredibly easy to make in about 20 minutes, and can be customized with any color you like. Kids (including your inner child!) will love the addition of sprinkles for an extra special treat.

pink popcorn recipe with sprinkles

What is Pink Popcorn?

If you grew up in Canada or the Bay area, you probably have fond memories of pink popcorn from childhood. But even if you’ve never experienced as a sweet treat before, everyone will agree there is something terrifically nostalgic about this colorful and whimsical snack.

This easy pink popcorn recipe features fresh, crunchy popcorn coated in a sweet vanilla batter that includes a few drops of food coloring. It often also has sprinkles on top, so each bite tastes like a mouthful of birthday cake.

While pink is the classic color for this recipe, you can easily use any color you like for creating holiday or custom color themes. The end result will still be just as delicious!

Ingredients for Making Colored Popcorn

This no-bake pink popcorn recipe uses only a handful of basic baking staples. But did I mention there’s no actual baking required?

Here’s everything you need to make classic colored popcorn at home:

  • Popcorn kernels – total about 14 cups of popped corn
  • Milk – 2% or whole milk
  • Light corn syrup
  • Salt and sugar
  • Vanilla extract or paste
  • Red food coloring – or any preferred color
  • Sprinkles – optional, but a super fun addition

Vanilla Paste vs. Vanilla Extract… What’s the Difference?

I prefer to use highly-concentrated vanilla paste in most of my dishes, including this pink popcorn recipe. It adds an incredibly strong, rich and almost smoky vanilla flavor that creates a great birthday cake-like taste. I like to recommend Nielson-Massey or Cambie Confections.

But if you want just a hint of vanilla to have more of a sweet and salty balance to your colored popcorn, use classic vanilla extract. A great choice is this Nielson-Massey option.

Equipment Needed for our Pink Popcorn Recipe

how to make pink popcorn

How to Make Pink Popcorn

Step #1: Make the Popcorn

Make the popcorn using an air popper or in a large pop on the stovetop. Place the popped corn into one or two large bowls or roasting pans. You want to have plenty of room in the bowl to stir and combine the popcorn with the coating in a later step.  

Prepare an area to cool your popcorn. Place some large baking pans, silicone mats or sheets of wax paper on your work space.

Step #2: Prepare the Candy Syrup

In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, corn syrup and salt. Add the sugar to the center of the pan and gradually combine into the liquid. Cook over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved.

Stir occasionally and continue with a low boil until the mixture reaches about 230 degrees F (also known as the soft ball stage).

easy pink popcorn recipe for colored popcorn

Step #3: How to Make Colored Popcorn

Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the vanilla and food coloring. Start with just a couple drops of food coloring and add more until you reach your desired color. It’s easy to add more color but you can’t take it away!

Immediately drizzle the sugar mixture over the popcorn. As the sugar cools, it will become sticky. Working quickly, stir until the popcorn is evenly coated with the pink mixture.

Step #4: Add Sprinkles!

Pour the popcorn on large baking sheets, silicone mats or sheets of wax paper to dry. Work quickly, so that the popcorn is still sticky, to top with sprinkles if desired.

Allow the colored popcorn to cool for at least 30 minutes or until the popcorn clusters are easy to break apart. Transfer to an airtight container, and store at room temperature for up to a week.

fun and easy pink popcorn recipe

Other Ideas for Making Colored Popcorn

Our pink popcorn recipe is great for Valentine’s or a baby shower, but you can easily use other food colorings to coincide with other holidays or events.  Combine 2 (or more) colored popcorns like pink and blue for a baby shower, or 2 colors of a favorite sports team, or multiple colors for a rainbow popcorn. Try pastels with fun sprinkles for a unicorn popcorn, or teal/purple/pink for mermaid popcorn. Options are endless!

You can also drizzle colored popcorn with dark chocolate, milk chocolate, or white chocolate that’s been colored as well.

And feel free to mix up the flavor, too. Swap vanilla extract with other flavored extracts, like cotton candy, strawberry, hazelnut, or almond. Check out all of these great options from LorAnn!

how to make colored popcorn

You May Also Enjoy:

Yield: 14 cups

How to Make Pink Popcorn

How to Make Pink Popcorn

Bright and colorful pink popcorn adds a POP of fun to any party! This sweet snack is incredibly easy to make in about 20 minutes, and can be customized with any color you like.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup popcorn kernels (about 14 cups popped)
  • 2/3 cup 2% or whole milk
  • 1 Tbsp light corn syrup
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract or paste
  • 4-8 drops red food coloring (or any other color(s) you like)
  • Sprinkles (optional)

Instructions

    1. Make the popcorn using an air popper or in a large pop on the stovetop. Place the popped corn into one or two large bowls or roasting pans. You want to have plenty of room in the blow to stir and combine the popcorn with the coating in a later step.

    2. Prepare an area to cool your popcorn. Place some large baking pans, silicone mats or sheets of wax paper on your work space.

    3. In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, corn syrup and salt. Add the sugar to the center of the pan and gradually combine into the liquid. Cook over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved.

    4. Stir occasionally and continue with a low boil until the mixture reaches about 230 degrees F (also known as the soft ball stage).

    5. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the vanilla and food coloring. Start with a couple drops of food coloring and add more until you reach your desired color. It’s easy to add more color but you can’t take it away!

    6. Immediately drizzle the sugar mixture over the popcorn. As the sugar cools, it will become sticky. Working quickly, stir until the popcorn is evenly coated with the pink mixture.

    7. Pour the popcorn on large baking sheets, silicone mats or sheets of wax paper to dry. While popcorn is still sticky, top with sprinkles if desired.

    8. Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes or until the popcorn clusters are easy to break apart.

Notes

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.

You can easily use other food colorings to coincide with other holiday or events. Combine 2 (or more) colored popcorns like pink/blue for baby shower or 2 colors of a favorite sports team or multiple colors for a rainbow popcorn. Or pastels with fun sprinkles for a unicorn popcorn, or teal/purple/pink for mermaid popcorn. Options are endless!  Add festive/colorful sprinkles before coating dries. Drizzle with white, dark or colored chocolate. Add other flavors to the coating mixture using extracts like hazelnut or almond.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

14

Serving Size:

1 cup

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 127Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 50mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 0gSugar: 31gProtein: 0g

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