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Caramel Popcorn Balls Dairy-Free

Dairy-free caramel can be so hard to find. 
That’s why these popcorn balls are such a treat!
My kids grin from ear to ear when they see mom making these every fall. 
Here’s the easy recipe!
popcorn balls dairy free

With food allergies,

I’m always trying to come up with safe, fun ways to do Halloween close to home.

So one year I thought it would be fun to try progressive fire pits with a few neighbors.

One house hosted hot dog roasting,

one house had dairy-free smores,

and our house served up hot apple cider and popcorn.

I planned to make simple bags of yummy stove top popcorn,

but somehow ended up with amazing caramel popcorn balls, instead!

And they were a huge hit with the kids and adults alike.

This creation came about when I started playing around with a possible caramel sauce to coat the popcorn in.

Once I tossed the popcorn in the sauce and after a few minutes of cooling,

I realized the consistency was perfect for popcorn balls.

Dairy-free popcorn balls!


“These turned out absolutely scrumptious!! Thanks for perfecting a wonderful, healthy recipe and sharing it with everyone!” Pinterest Reader

4 ingredient popcorn balls

If you don’t want to mess with making popcorn balls,

just leave the popcorn loose and simply toss in the delicious caramel sauce.

This recipe calls for no corn syrup AND no candy thermometer.

Easy peasy and perfect!

See the popcorn ball recipe below. 

allergy friendly popcorn balls


Makes about 6-8 softball size popcorn balls.

1/3 cup popcorn kernels
3 tablespoons coconut oil
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla (affiliate link)

sea salt (don’t forget the salt!)

dairy free popcorn ball


Mix brown sugar and honey in a small sauce pan. Heat over medium heat, stirring often.

While caramel mixture is heating, make a batch of our stove top popcorn.

Once caramel mixture is thin and boils 2-3 minutes, take off heat and add vanilla.

When popcorn is done popping, take off heat.

Move the popped popcorn to a large bowl, leaving out any un-popped kernels.

Pour caramel mixture over the popped popcorn and toss until all popcorn is coated. Be sure to get all the caramel at the bottom of the bowl.

Sprinkle sea salt over caramel popcorn, tossing and salting it all.

If not making popcorn balls, let cool enough to eat.

If making popcorn balls, let cool enough for you to handle.

Work rather quickly as you form the popcorn into balls while still warm.

Use wax paper to pick up a handful of popcorn and form into a ball.  

The popcorn will not stick together as well after it’s cooled so keep moving quickly to form the popcorn balls.

Once cooled, store each popcorn ball in a baggy or wrap in plastic wrap and tie shut with twine.

You may also like our dairy-free caramel dip recipe

Hope you enjoy these dairy-free caramel popcorn balls as much as we do! 

honey popcorn ball

Original Post  10-30-13 

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Diana Overturf

Tuesday 13th of September 2022

Are these chewy or crunchy?

Jamie Kaufmann

Thursday 15th of September 2022

Hi Diana, I actually thinks it's a perfect blend of both. :) Hope you love it!


Friday 19th of August 2022

Do you know how long this stays good for? Going on vacation and looking to make snacks for the trip. Will be using ziploc bags. Thanks for any help!

Jamie Kaufmann

Tuesday 6th of September 2022

Hi Mandi! Probably about 3 days is best. :)


Thursday 9th of December 2021

Do you think I could sub maple syrup for the honey? Thanks!

Jamie Kaufmann

Thursday 9th of December 2021

Hi there! I'm not certain but if you try, please let us know how it works! I love syrup. lol


Friday 27th of October 2017

If using micro wave popcorn how many bags are equivalent to 1/3 cup kernel? Thank you

Jamie Kaufmann

Friday 27th of October 2017

Hmmmm Michele, I'm not sure. It fills a 3 quart dutch oven pot when we are done popping, if that helps?


Tuesday 11th of October 2016

You sound like an amazing friend, Eileen!

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