Easy Kool-Aid Candy Popcorn (Fun To Make With Kids!)

It’s the weekend and in my house, that means family movie night. It also means I get to lighten up on the diet (I have let my dad-bod get away from me). So instead of making regular popcorn, I decided to spice things up a little.

Tonight, we’re going to make some candy-coated popcorn. But for anyone who hasn’t read anything DadStuff yet (you really do need to fix that!), I like to go the extra mile. I can’t just put a candy coating on the popcorn. I need to bring in some flavors from my childhood. This time, I’m going to flavor it with Kool-Aid.

I love working with Kool-Aid because 1. it’s cheap, and 2. there are so many stinking flavors to choose from. There’s something for everyone. And if the kids can’t decide which one to choose (I really believe my kids don’t agree mostly out of spite than from any actual disagreement), just make two batches. Everyone gets what they want, and you get to try two flavors.

This recipe uses a single bag of popcorn. If you think you can finish a single bag (and we did. Easily.), go ahead and make a double batch. This recipe is easily scalable.


  • 1 – 3oz. popped bag of popcorn (you can also use pre-popped popcorn. You need about 6 cups)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup light corn syrup
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 envelope Kool-Aid (any flavor)
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
Ingredients to Make Kool-aid popcorn: corn syrup, butter, popcorn, baking soda, sugar, packet of Koolaid


  1. Preheat the oven to 225°F
  2. Pop the popcorn according to the manufacturer’s directions. Lightly spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Pour the popcorn in the bowl and set aside. 
Bowl of popped popcorn
  1. Combine sugar, corn syrup, and butter in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently. Lower the temperature to medium and continue to boil for 3 minutes
Sugar, Corn syrup, and butter in a sauce pan over high heat
Sugar, corn syrup, and butter
Sugar, Corn syrup, and butter boiling in a sauce pan
Sugar, corn syrup, and butter boiling

Dad Tip: Boiling sugar is like napalm. Be careful not to touch it (or let little hands touch it).

  1. Remove the sugar mixture from the heat and add the Kool-Aid packet and baking soda. Mix well until thoroughly mixed. 
Mixing Koolaid and baking soda into hot sugar mixture
  1. Carefully pour the sugar mixture over the popcorn. Use a spatula or wooden spoon to carefully mix the sugar with the popcorn. Do your best to mix the ingredients together, but don’t fuss if the popcorn isn’t completely coated yet. 
Pouring Koolaid sugar mixture over popcorn

Dad Tip: Spray the spatula with cooking spray before mixing the sugar mixture and popcorn. This will prevent the sugar from sticking to the spatula. 

6. Pour the popcorn mixture onto a large cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a Silpat. Place in the oven for 40 minutes, mixing well every 10 minutes.

Spreading popcorn mixture into a sheet pan

The reason for this step is to help remelt the candy mixture and give you a chance to spread the candy coating more evenly over all the popcorn. 

7. Let the popcorn cool. Break into smaller pieces and enjoy! (Be sure to take some posh photos for Instagram. #dadstuffsite)

Gregory Grabowski

Greg Grabowski is the principal creator of DadStuffSite.com, a website for dads by dads. Inspired by his two boys Ben and Sam and his wife Dianna, Greg loves to make things, learn things, and loves doing fun stuff with his family.

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