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How to Make Colored Popcorn in a Popcorn Popper

Updated April 17, 2017

Making coloured popcorn is a fun and exciting way to to add a decorative theme to snacks and party tables. It is a sweet treat that can be done quickly and can serve as an elegant eye-catcher when entertaining. Whether you choose to make single coloured or rainbow popcorn the idea is generally the same, and the result: tasty, colourful, enticing popcorn.

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  1. To make single coloured popcorn, pour 1/4 cup of kernels into the popping machine. (Check your manual as capacity and proportions may vary depending on the model). Add one-quarter cup of sugar and one-eighth cup of oil or butter to the popcorn. Place two to three drops of food colouring on top of the popcorn. Put the lid on the machine and start it up.

  2. When the popping is complete remove the coloured popcorn and enjoy.

  3. To make rainbow popcorn you will need to follow the directions for making single coloured popcorn but make several separate batches, depending on the variety of colours you choose. Once you have finished popping all batches pour each batch into a large bowl and gently mix together with your hands or a large wooden spoon.

  4. Allow popcorn to cool for a few moments before serving.

  5. Tip

    Experiment with the depth of colour you desire. If popcorn comes out too light or dark, add more or less food colouring on your next attempt. If you prefer savoury popcorn substitute the sugar with 1 tsp of salt, or more to taste. To prolong the freshness of your popcorn after use, store in large zip-fastening plastic storage bags for up to 24 hours. An alternative method sometimes used is to make a mixture of sugar, food colouring and a little water which is then poured over popped popcorn. Use caution, however, to avoid soggy popcorn.


    Remember to wait until popcorn has cooled before attempting to eat it. Popcorn produces a lot of steam while cooking; both the steam from cooking and direct heat from kernels can result in scalding.

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Things You'll Need

  • Popcorn (kernels, not bagged microwave popcorn)
  • Popcorn popper
  • Food colouring
  • Sugar (or salt to taste)
  • Butter or vegetable oil
  • Large bowl
  • Wooden spoon

About the Author

Jan Williams

Jan Williams, an educational consultant, licensed teacher and Applied Behavior Analyst, has been writing for over 15 years with a novel and published children's book in her repertoire. She has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology, a Master of Arts in education and is in the final stage of her doctorate.

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