Green colored popcorn makes a delicious and fun St Patrick’s day treat.  With this easy candied popcorn recipe, you can actually make colored popcorn in a variety of colors, and of course, it tastes great! 

Put some popcorn in a bag as use the St Patty’s Gift tags to wrap it up super cute to let a friend know how special they are.

colored popcorn

Who would think you can make colored popcorn.  The ingredients are simple and you probably have all them all in your pantry right in your pantry. Serve this along with some other fun St Patrick’s day treats for a festive celebration.

What You Need To Make Candy Popcorn

  • popped popcorn
  • sugar
  • light corn syrup
  • butter
  • salt
  • cream of tartar (optional)
  • vanilla
  • baking soda
  • food coloring
  • candy thermometer

What is Candied Popcorn

This candied popcorn is just like making caramel popcorn.  The difference is the type of sugar. Using white sugar, light corn syrup mixture and food coloring allows you to color the popcorn.  Caramel corn uses brown sugar which gives it that light brown color. If you want soft candy coating on your popcorn try this white chocolate popcorn. I promise you won’t be able to stop eating!

candied popcorn

How to make Colored Popcorn

A working candy thermometer is a must for making colored popcorn.  In my experience candy thermometers often don’t last long. In my house it doens’t get used often and maybe being in the drawer knocked around shortens it’s life.

The thermometer is critical because if the candy mixture gets too hot it will easily scorch and turn brown.

While this recipe is simple to make it must be watched closely while cooking to prevent burning. You can make any color you like. We are making green popcorn today and using green food coloring? What color will you make?

grinch popcorn

First, you will need popped popcorn. We have a popcorn popper for this but you could also use microwave popcorn. Cook the sugar mixture in a heavy saucepan.  Place popcorn in a large bowl.  Remove the syrup mixture from the heat and pour over popcorn and stir to coat. Place the pop corn on baking sheets and bake for about an hour making sure to stir every 15 minutes.

This festive colored popcorn can brighten up a birthday party and the green colored popcorn would also make the perfect Grinch popcorn. Just add a few jumbo heart quins to the final stir before the mixture cools.

how to make colored popcorn
5 from 6 votes

Green Colored Popcorn Recipe


  • 4 quarts popped corn
  • 1 1/2 Cups sugar
  • 1/2 Cup light corn syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar optional, does make mixture slightly more creamy
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • green food coloring I used about 1/8 teaspoon  paste/jell  color in Green


  • In heavy saucepan on medium heat melt butter then add sugar, corn syrup, cream of tartar and salt. Increase temperature to medium-high and bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly to dissolve sugar. Once mixture boils, add in food coloring and stop stirring. Boil for 5 minutes (Do not stir). The mixture should be about 250-260 degrees. Remove from heat and carefully stir in vanilla and baking soda. Working quickly and while the mixture is foamy, pour mixture over popped corn and gently stir to coat popcorn. Place popcorn into a large roaster or rimmed baking sheet (lined with parchment paper or sprayed with cooking spray) and bake at 200° F for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Check often to make sure it doesn’t burn. It should not change colors.  It is okay to pull it out early if needed.

More St Patrick’s Day Food Ideas

Easy rainbow cupcakes are perfect if you don’t want to color tons of frosting or cake. Just dip layers of frosting in colored sugar. Genius! Be sure to watch the video. It really is simple

Rainbow cupcakes with a pot of gold. Gum or candy can make the perfect rainbow, while a Rolo candy and gold sugar make a pot of gold.

Pot of gold cupcakes are made from pre-colored fondant and gold pained Oreos

Popcorn Lovers Try These Recipes

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  1. Yummy! this popcorn looks so good. I can’t wait to try it. I love your St. Patty cup cakes also.

  2. Heather, possibly the burner was too hot? It is better to bring the temperature up slowing to not scorch the sugar. Once it gets close to 300 it does goe very quickly. I stand by and watch the entire process. Putting it in the oven helps to coat it evenly and also makes it crunchy and not sticky. If you skip the oven part please let us know how it turns out.

  3. It didn’t take and 5 mins to get to the point it needed when boiling. I listened to that and when I looked at only 3 mins in it had jumped to 300. I’m up late and have to be up early tomorrow so I’m not happy about this. Also is there a reason it needs to go into the oven for an hour?

  4. That is a great idea. It would be like this amazing white chocolate popcorn. We call it crack corn.Believe me you can’t stop eating it!

  5. Lauren I think your sugar got too hot. Toward the end the temperature can rise very quickly. So glad it still tasted okay!

  6. Bethany, check your candy thermometer. The mixture should be soft and pliable while in the oven. The candy coating hardens once cooled and can be broken apart.

  7. Can anyone enlighten me on how this doesn’t become one giant sticky glob? It’s currently in my oven and is all globbed together (like popcorn balls would be… So I am at a loss on how I am supposed to turn it every 15 minutes…. Does it come apart when it cools?

  8. I have made the caramel popcorn several times and it always turned out
    great. I think I will try the green for St. Paddy’s Day! I appreciate all
    the great recipes you have shared through the last couple years. So glad I found your site. Keep up the good work!!!!

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