Home » How to Make the Best Popcorn Marshmallow Treats

How to Make the Best Popcorn Marshmallow Treats

by klarsen28@gmail.com
pulling apart popcorn marshmallow treats

I’ve made the original Rice Krispies treats recipe so many times I’ve lost count. They’re so easy to make and perfect to bring to parties, work or even just enjoy them for dessert. Because I’m pretty much obsessed with popcorn, I thought swapping out the Rice Krispies for popcorn would probably be amazing. And guess what? I was right! Popcorn marshmallow treats are delicious!

Popcorn marshmallow treats are super easy to make and taste delicious. You can mold them into squares, balls, hearts, or any other shape you can come up with. Mix candies or food coloring into the treats for extra fun!

cut popcorn marshmallow squares with one on a plate

Tips to Make Popcorn Marshmallow Treats

  1. Use fresh marshmallows!! I can’t emphasize this enough. I’ve tried to make these (two times) using not-so-fresh marshmallows and they turned into a hard, clumpy ball of marshmallow. I had to throw the whole thing away. After doing some research, I found out the importance of using fresh marshmallows.
  2. Cook over medium-low heat. Cooking over too high a heat will cause the marshmallows to become tough and dry, instead of melting into the butter.
  3. Add the popcorn gently. Stirring too hard will crush the popcorn into little bits. Gently fold in the popcorn with a rubber spatula to keep the kernels intact.
  4. Grease the spatula. It makes spreading the mixture much easier and keeps it from sticking to the spatula.
  5. Even better, grease your hands and press popcorn into dish with your hands. I find that to be much easier than using a spatula.
  6. Don’t press hard when adding mixture to the pan. Pressing too hard will crush the popcorn and the squares will be dense and hard. Lightly press the mixture into the pan.
  7. Pull treats apart instead of cutting them. Cutting these treats with a knife works, but I find it much easier to grease my hands and pull them apart. You can also mold them into fun shapes.
  8. If using salted butter, leave out salt.
  9. You can half or double this recipe.

How to Make Popcorn Marshmallow Treats

popcorn marshmallow treats ingredients

Ingredients

These treats are so simple, and it takes only 5 ingredients to make them!

  1. Marshmallows: I like to use mini jet-puffed marshmallows. Make sure they’re fresh and not stale, so they’ll melt into a soft and gooey texture.
  2. Popcorn: You can use air-popped, unflavored microwave popcorn, or stovetop popcorn (see here for how to make perfect stovetop popcorn).
  3. Butter: Unsalted is my favorite kind of butter and that’s all I have in my house, so that’s what I use. If you’re using salted butter, omit the salt from this recipe.
  4. Vanilla extract: This takes the flavor up a notch.
  5. Salt: Salt, in small amounts, enhances the taste and flavor of sweetness.
Melting butter in pot

Step 1: Prepare 10 cups of popcorn.

I like to make stovetop popcorn (see my recipe for perfect stovetop popcorn here), but you can use air-popped or unseasoned microwave popcorn. Use 1/3 cup popcorn kernels to make 10 cups of popcorn.

Make sure to remove all un-popped kernels. Place popcorn in a large bowl and set aside.

Step 2: Line a 13 x 9-inch baking dish with parchment paper.

Or spray with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.

Step 3: In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat.

Melting marshmallows and butter in pot and adding vanilla

Step 4: Add marshmallows and stir.

Stir mixture until the marshmallows are about 75% melted.

Step 5: Remove the marshmallow mixture from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract and salt.

Pouring marshmallow mixture over popcorn and mixing in bowl

Step 6: Slowly pour about a third of the marshmallow mixture over the popcorn and gently fold into the popcorn.

Continue adding marshmallow mixture a little at a time and folding it into popcorn. Completely cover the popcorn with the marshmallow mixture.
Popcorn marshmallow treats in baking dish

Step 7: Pour mixture into prepared baking dish.

Spray spatula with cooking spray. Using the spatula, gently press the mixture into an even layer in the baking dish.

Step 8: Let cool completely, about 30 minutes.

cut popcorn marshmallow squares

Step 9: Lightly grease a sharp knife and cut into squares.

Or oil your hands and pull them apart.

Enjoy!

How Long Do They Last?

These popcorn marshmallow treats will last up to 3 days when kept in an airtight container at room temperature (find more tips for storing popcorn here). The popcorn will be a bit chewier the next day because it absorbs the moisture from the marshmallow mixture.

Can You Freeze Them?

Yes, you can freeze these treats. Allow them to cool completely before transferring them to a freezer-safe bag or container. I like to wrap individual treats in plastic wrap and put them into a freezer-safe bag. You can also freeze them in layers by separating each layer of treats with parchment paper. Let the treats stand out at room temperature for about an hour before serving.

Why Are They Hard?

There are a couple of reasons these treats might be hard. First of all, you could be using stale marshmallows. Using fresh, soft marshmallows is crucial in order for the treats to turn out soft and chewy.

Another reason they may be hard is that the treats were packed down into the baking dish instead of gently added in, causing them to become dense and hard.

What Can I Add to Them?

  1. Sprinkles – Add about ¼ cup (or more depending on amount desired) of sprinkles to the melted marshmallow mixture and fold in popcorn.
  2. Extra marshmallows – Add about a cup of mini marshmallows to the marshmallow mixture and fold in popcorn.
  3. m&m’s – Add a cup of m&m’s to the marshmallow mixture. Press a few extra m&m’s into the top of the treat. Try mini m&m’s or even m&m’s in seasonal colors!
  4. Freeze-dried berries – Turn freeze-dried berries into a fine powder using a food processor or high-powered blender. Add the powder to your melted marshmallow mixture. You can use strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, or any other berry of your choosing!
  5. Drizzled chocolate – Melt chocolate chips in the microwave and drizzle over popcorn.

pulling apart popcorn marshmallow treats

Popcorn Marshmallow Treats

Print
Serves: 9 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 86 calories 4 grams fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 2 reviews )

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 8oz (5 cups) mini marshmallows
  • 10 cups popcorn
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Prepare popcorn, put in bowl and set aside (see my recipe for the perfect stovetop popcorn here).
  2. Line a 13 x 9-inch baking dish with parchment paper, or spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
  3. In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat.
  4. Once butter has melted, add in marshmallows. Stir mixture until marshmallows are just about melted, remove from heat and add in vanilla and salt.
  5. Slowly pour about a third of the marshmallow mixture over the popcorn and gently fold into the popcorn. Continue adding marshmallow mixture a little at a time and folding it into popcorn. Completely cover the popcorn with the marshmallow mixture.
  6. Spray spatula with cooking spray. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish. Using the spatula, gently press the mixture into an even layer in the baking dish.
  7. Let cool completely, about 30 minutes.
  8. Lightly grease a sharp knife and cut into squares or grease your hands and pull marshmallow popcorn treats apart.

Notes

Disclaimer: The nutritional information provided for this recipe is only an estimate. The accuracy of the facts listed is not and cannot be guaranteed.

Have you tried this recipe?
If so, tag me! Mention @thepopcornity and tag #popcornity!

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4 comments

Carolyn February 9, 2022 - 7:14 pm

My mouth is watering as I’m looking at your photos. It would be fun to mold these into hearts for Valentine’s day!

Reply
klarsen28@gmail.com February 9, 2022 - 8:18 pm

You read my mind! That’s the next post I’m working on 🙂 Thanks Carolyn!

Reply
Jenny February 10, 2022 - 2:24 pm

This looks like something really fun to surprise the kids with. I’m so glad you emphasized using fresh marshmallows because it’s really easy just to grab a bag and not notice if they are on the stale side. I would probably be heavy handed at first so if I have to try it a few times to get it right, it’s just what has to happen. 🙂

Reply
klarsen28@gmail.com February 10, 2022 - 6:59 pm

I was surprised that stale marshmallows would have such a huge effect on the consistency of the marshmallow mixture. I just figured -they’re marshmallows so of course they’ll melt. So not true! I hope they turn out great for you!

Reply

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