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A Pink Popcorn Recipe for Valentine's Day

By JulieVR |

pink popcorn recipeIf you’re looking for gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free treats to send to class parties this Valentine’s Day, try mixing up a big batch of pink popcorn. This is the stuff my sisters and I used to make for special occasions when we were kids, using any number of Jell-O colors, or a whole bunch (in separate batches) to make rainbow popcorn we sometimes sold at our lemonade stands. It’s perfect party fare served in a big bowl or divvied up into small bags, Chinese take-out containers or to-go cups for each child to bring home. Pink popcorn is equally perfect for Easter hunting (fill small plastic eggs or decorated bags) or as a take home treat at birthday parties.

You can use any type of red Jell-O powder for this; I tried cherry and raspberry and liked the flavour of raspberry better, although the cherry was a paler pink.

Pink Popcorn

4 L popped popcorn
2 cups sugar
1/2 small box red Jell-O gelatin powder
1/2 cup water
1 Tbsp. butter (or non-hydrogenated margarine if you want it dairy-free)
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. baking soda

Put the popped popcorn in a large bowl, carefully picking out any unpopped kernels. (I do this by popping into one bowl and shaking the bowl back and forth a bit, then lightly scooping out the popcorn with my hands into another, leaving the unpopped kernels in the bottom.) Preheat the oven to 250°F. Line one or two rimmed baking sheets with foil.

In a medium saucepan (with room for the mixture to at least double in size), bring the sugar, Jell-O, water and butter to a boil. Once fully boiling cook for 4 minutes without stirring, swirling the bowl occasionally. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and soda. Pour over the popcorn and toss with tongs to coat completely.

Spread out onto the baking sheets and bake, stirring once or twice, for an hour. Set aside to cool, then break into chunks. Makes about 16 cups.

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About JulieVR



Julie Van Rosendaal is the author of five best-selling cookbooks, food editor of Parents Canada magazine, a CBC Radio columnist and a freelance writer. Her award-winning blog, Dinner with Julie documents life in her home kitchen in Canada with her husband and 7-year-old son. Read bio and latest posts → Read Julie's latest posts →

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8 thoughts on “A Pink Popcorn Recipe for Valentine's Day

  1. jen says:

    gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free, yes — but definitely not vegetarian b/c of the gelatin.

  2. Erin says:

    Very cute and fun – I’ll try this out on my daughter’s kindergarten class! Thanks for the recipe

  3. Jennifer Jo says:

    Sadly, this did NOT work out. After four minutes of bubbling, the syrup crystallized and gunked up. The popcorn is sugary, and without flavor. (Some salt might fix that.) In the oven, it turned brown, losing much of its pretty pink color (I used strawberry jello). What did I do wrong?

  4. Amanda says:

    I made this just now for my sons pre k valentines party and it turned out awesome!! It looks so festive and it smelled my house up like a candy shop. It taste soo yummy!!! I stirred in the jello, sugar and butter with the water until it mixed up and then left it to boil just picking the pan up and swirling it…make sure you take it off the heat before adding the soda and vanila bevause this did make a difference. I am going to use this recipe for other holidays as it went over very well. Thank you for the great idea!!!

  5. Erica says:

    I love this recipe! Perfect for my sons valentines party and it is so yummy! I had to make a couple of batches to have enough for all the kiddos but I will be making this again…soon:) thanks!

  6. Meagan says:

    Jen- gelatin is not vegan, but it is vegetarian.

  7. talentedmomma says:

    Made this for my son’s birthday party. It turned out pretty good, a little sweet for me but the preschool crowd will love it. Also Berry Blue Jello turns a little green in the oven, but not an unappealing shade.

  8. Liz says:

    Do you know if this can be made a day ahead of time? Or will it get stale?

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