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Gluten-free Goodie of the Week: Cherry-almond popcorn balls

What fun it is to serve — and enjoy — sweet and salty popcorn balls! This version includes a few more goodies in the mix for a twist on a traditional treat.

Cherry-almond popcorn balls

Take traditional popcorn balls to the next level by adding a few additional items to the mix. For a Gluten-free Goodie of the Week, try this recipe for cherry-almond popcorn balls. They’re sweet, a tiny bit salty and definitely crunchy! Serve them in individual cupcake liners for a great treat to enjoy at a picnic, a party or simply while watching a ball game on TV!

Gluten can be found in many different foods and products, from ketchup to soy sauce to candy and seasonings. While tries to ensure these recipes are gluten-free, carefully read the ingredient labels of all food and food products you use for these recipes to ensure they are also gluten-free.

Cherry-almond popcorn balls recipe

Yields 12


  • 6 cups popped popcorn, lightly salted (some full-size microwave popcorn bags equal about 6 cups)
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar, plus 2 tablespoons extra
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped roasted almonds
  • 1/4 cup dried cherries
  • Small bowl of ice water (to dip your hands in)
  • 12 paper cupcake liners


  1. Add the popped popcorn to a large bowl and set it aside.
  2. Place a saucepan over high heat and add the brown sugar and corn syrup. Stir the mixture as it reaches a boil. Make sure the brown sugar dissolves.
  3. Just after it reaches a boil, remove it from the heat and add in the butter and pure vanilla extract. Mix until the butter has melted.
  4. Immediately pour the mixture over the popcorn and add in the dried cherries and almonds. Mix to thoroughly coat all the ingredients.
  5. Dip your hands in the ice water and lightly shake off the excess water. Grab a handful of the popcorn mixture and shape it into a 2-inch ball (approximately). Press and pack the ball tightly so it holds together on its own. Place the popcorn ball on a baking sheet.
  6. Continue the same process with the remaining mixture, and make sure to dip your hands in the ice water after forming each popcorn ball.
  7. Transfer the shaped popcorn balls to individual paper cupcake liners to serve.

Pop up to make this gluten-free treat!

More Gluten-free Goodie of the Week recipes

Creamy peanut butter pudding
Individual mixed berry-pecan crisps
Brownies with caramel, almond and sea salt frosting

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