Dark Chocolate Drizzled Popcorn Balls (Gluten & Dairy-Free)

This post is part of our restricted diet series from Beth of Tasty Yummies.

I love the challenge of creating healthier versions of classic recipes. Earlier this week I asked my Facebook readers: what Halloween treat would they like a re-imagined healthier version of? Popcorn balls popped up quite often! Traditional popcorn balls are usually loaded with butter, sugar, corn syrup, marshmallows, etc. I figured the easiest way to hold these together without all the junk was honey! It worked perfectly and it gave the popcorn a nice caramel-like color and flavor, too. The dark chocolate drizzle on top is optional, but I do have to say it really makes these extra special and it shouldn’t be skipped if you can help it. Dark chocolate and salty-sweet is an amazing combo.

I pop my popcorn on the stove top in a few tablespoons of coconut oil — I think it has the best flavor. Feel free to pop yours however you prefer. Additionally I always choose Non-GMO organic popping corn. If you are vegan you can try maple syrup, but I would suggest going with half maple and half agave, coconut nectar, brown rice syrup or another thicker sweetener, as maple syrup is a tad on the thin side. You can have fun with these and mix in nuts or dried fruit or even chocolate chips! Wrap them up in some fun wrapping for a favor at your Halloween shindig. As mentioned in the recipe, you can also add in any spices you’d like — it is optional, but I like a little hint of spice. It complements the sweet, salty and chocolate so nicely.

What are some of your favorite traditional Halloween treats that you’d like a healthier version of?

dark chocolate popcorn balls

Dark Chocolate Drizzled Popcorn Balls – Gluten-free and Dairy-free

makes approximately 12-15 3-inch balls

10 cups stove-top popped popcorn

3/4 cup raw honey (it doesn’t have to be raw, that is just what I keep on hand)

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

a dash or two of cinnamon, cayenne and/or chili powder, optional

3 ounces dark chocolate, melted over a double boiler


Add the popcorn to a very large bowl and set aside.

In a small saucepan over a medium-low heat, heat the honey and salt, adding in any other spices you would like at this time. Heat the honey to just barely simmering, then immediately remove it from the heat. Carefully pour it over the popcorn. Pour a little at a time so you don’t just saturate one area. I pour a little, toss gently to mix, then pour a little more and mix again, until it is all evenly coated.

One the mixture is cool enough to handle, press into 2 or 3-inch balls, with lightly greased or dampened hands. You may have to clean your hands several times throughout — if they are sticky it won’t work.

Cool completely on a parchment paper lined pan. I cool them right in the fridge.

In the meantime, melt the dark chocolate over a double boiler. Once melted drizzle it over the popcorn balls. Add as much as you’d like. Store the popcorn balls in the refrigerator until you are ready to eat — this keeps them nice and firm.

dark chocolate popcorn balls

For more of Beth’s recipes visit her blog Tasty Yummies.

More healthy recipes from the BLDG 25 Blog.

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These look delicious and gorgeous! Perfect halloween snack!


10 years ago

Can’t wait to try!

10 years ago

This absolutely perfect! Definitely going to be making these soon!

xo, Juliette Laura

10 years ago

I am going to make these! They look so yummy. I should add them into a feature on Halloween treats on my blog! http://nycfitfoodfashion.com/

10 years ago

It is very excited news that this chocolates doesn’t have gluten that is it is a gluten free product. Such an interesting news or information. Thank U . And keep posting this types of informations.

10 years ago

Made this tonight. I couldn’t get into a ball but melted honey drizzled on popcorn is amazing. I put 1/2 cup of kernels in a paper bag and microwave for 2 minutes.

10 years ago

I made this and I can’t stop eating it. Someone should help me.
I had the same problem as Beka. But I accidentally solved the not-sticking-together problem. You just have to wait until the honey cools completely. It takes about an hour or more. But then the popcorn sticks together well – not as great as, say, caramel, but it works.

I added a 1/2 tsp pumpkin spice to the honey. It’s divine. Thanks for sharing!

10 years ago

Great post. Love these types of treats.

10 years ago

Tried to make these and could not get them into a ball. Any suggestions?