Rainbow Popcorn Recipe

Rainbow Popcorn

The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 35 mins
Serving: 1 Cup
Yield: 8 Cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
1336 Calories
45g Fat
235g Carbs
5g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 1336
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 45g 57%
Saturated Fat 19g 94%
Cholesterol 61mg 20%
Sodium 498mg 22%
Total Carbohydrate 235g 85%
Dietary Fiber 6g 23%
Total Sugars 200g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 29mg 2%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 166mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Making colored popcorn can be a creative and fun way to celebrate any event, from Pride to Valentine's Day, St. Paddy's Day, Easter, Passover, the Fourth of July, Christmas, your kid's birthday part, or even movie night. The color choices are entirely up to you and the theme you are celebrating. This also makes a fun and easy party favor for guests.


  • 8 cups popped corn, unpopped kernels removed and discarded

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 3/4 cup water

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1/2 teaspoon pure extract vanilla extract

  • 10 to 15 drops food coloring, or 1/8 teaspoon gel food coloring

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Rainbow Popcorn ingredients

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  2. Line a 12 x 17-inch, or another large-sided, pan with aluminum foil. Preheat oven to 300 F.

    aluminum foil on a baking sheet

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  3. Melt the butter with sugar in a medium pot over low heat.

    butter and sugar in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  4. Once melted, add the water and vanilla extract together and stir. Bring mixture to boil over medium heat. Stir continually.

    butter and sugar mixture in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  5. Reduce heat to low and simmer, untouched, until the temperature reaches 238 F with a candy thermometer.

    butter and sugar mixture in a saucepan with a thermometer

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  6. Then add the food coloring of your choice.

    sugar mixture with food coloring

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  7. Quickly add it to the popped popcorn in the bowl and stir into popcorn. Coat as much popcorn as possible.​

    popcorn covered with candy mixture

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  8. Spread the colored popcorn mixture onto the pan. Then, bake in 300 F oven for 10 minutes.

    candied popcorn on a baking sheet

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  9. Remove from oven and allow to completely cool in pan. Repeat if you desire more than one color of popcorn. After colored popcorn is cooled, break into pieces and eat! Whatever leftovers you have, if there are any, store in an airtight container.

    Rainbow Popcorn

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck


  • Most bags of microwave popcorn make about 12 cups of popped popcorn.​