Beautiful, sweet, candy-coated pink popcorn is perfect for Valentine’s Day, movie nights, game nights, birthday parties, bridal showers, and baby showers. This classic crowd-pleasing treat with satisfy any sweet tooth. Pink popcorn brings joy and a fun feeling of nostalgia to any special occasion.
- 14 cups popped popcorn* (I use Mushroom Popcorn Kernels)
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon popcorn salt (the texture is much finer than table salt)
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- Drops of neon pink food coloring ( I use Wilton Neon Gel Food Coloring)
- Optional: soft candy sprinkles (jimmies)
PREPPING PROCEDURES FOR MAKING PINK POPCORN
Pop the popcorn kernels. Line a large cookie sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Take out a medium/small pan, a small whisk, a heat-safe silicone spatula, and a candy thermometer.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR PINK POPCORN
- Add the granulated sugar to the pan. Add the popcorn salt and light corn syrup to the center of the sugar. Slowly and deliberately pour the half-and-half all around the interior edges of the pan to surround the sugar. This process is important as it makes sure any tiny granules of sugar are completely washed off the sides of the pan. If there are any little bits of sugar left on the sides of the pan they will harden and crystalize.
- Place the pan over medium heat. Slowly stir or whisk the sugar mixture until the ingredients are fully combined. Lift the wooden spoon or whisk out of the pan and allow the mixture to come to a boil. DO NOT stir the mixture while it’s boiling or the mixture will crystalize. Use a candy thermometer to track the temperature. Once it reaches the “soft ball stage” of 230 F, remove the pan from heat, add in the vanilla and pink food coloring and stir well.
- Immediately drizzle the mixture over the popcorn. Working quickly, use a silicone spatula to mix and fold the candy-coating evenly throughout the batch of popcorn. Once the candy-coating cools down a bit, you can also use your clean hands to finish the mixing and folding process. Optional: sprinkle the pink popcorn with festive soft candy sprinkles.
- Allow the pink popcorn to finish cooling on the silicone mat for about 20 minutes. Transfer it to a serving bowl and enjoy!
*Although I used 14 cups of popped popcorn for this recipe, you can use just 12 cups if you prefer more heavily candied pink popcorn. If you prefer even lighter candy coverage, use 16 cups of popped popcorn instead.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Category: Snack, Dessert, Potluck, Party
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: candied popcorn, pink popcorn, pink popcorn recipe