How to make colored popcorn?

Updated February 21, 2017

While there are different coloured popcorn kernels available such as black and purple, you might be dismayed to find that they pop to the same white that ordinary yellow kernels do. So how do you make coloured popcorn? It is simply done by coating the popcorn in a sweet coating made with sugar and food colouring. By changing the food colouring used, you can also change the colour of the popcorn. Experiment with different amounts or combinations of food colouring to darken the resulting shades of popcorn.

Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Place the saucepan on the stove and heat over medium high heat

Place the oil, sugar, food colouring and popcorn into the preheated pan. Cover with the lid, leaving it slightly ajar to release excess steam. This will prevent your popcorn from becoming soggy.

Shake the pan with one hand on the handle and the other keeping the lid in place to allow steam to escape.

Listen for the popcorn to pop. It will take three to five minutes for your popcorn to pop completely, depending upon the heat of your pan when you began. Continue to shake the pan the entire time it is popping.

Remove the lid once the popping stops or slows to several seconds between pops. Turn the popcorn out onto the wax paper. See warnings.

Let the popcorn cool completely on the wax paper before breaking it into clumps and serving. The sugar causes the popcorn to clump together, and each clump will have a sugary, coloured coating depending on your choice of food colouring.


Watch out for escaping steam from the gap in the lid on the pan. There will always be unpopped kernels. Do not worry about getting everything popped. If you leave the pan on the stove too long, the popcorn and sugar will burn.

Things You'll Need

  • 1/3 c. white sugar
  • 1/3 c. popcorn kernels
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil (or any neutral flavoured oil)
  • 7.39ml (1/2 bottle) food colouring (any colour or combination)
  • Large saucepan (at least 4 quarts) with a lid
  • Wooden spoon for stirring
  • Wax paper
  • Baking sheet
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