Rainbow Popcorn

"Serve immediately, or store in an airtight container for up to 2 days." by Rie McClenny & Marissa Buie


  • 12 tablespoons sugar, divided – red gel food coloring, yellow gel food coloring, orange gel food coloring, green gel food coloring, blue gel food coloring, purple gel food coloring
  • 6 teaspoons coconut oil, divided
  • 12 tablespoons white popcorn kernels, divided, plus 12 kernels
  • 11/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided


  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Divide the sugar evenly between 6 small bowls, 2 tablespoons per bowl.
  3. Dye each bowl of sugar a different color by adding 1–2 drops of red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple food coloring. Stir each bowl with a clean fork until the sugars are sandy in texture. Note: We recommend gel food coloring, as the colors are more stable. Only use 1–2 drops; a little goes a long way.
  4. Add 1 teaspoon of coconut oil and 2 popcorn kernels to a medium nonstick saucepan with a lid. Cover and place over medium-high heat. Once the kernels pop, reduce the heat to medium and add 2 tablespoons of popcorn kernels and 1 bowl of colored sugar. Immediately cover the pan and shake to combine. Cook, shaking the pan constantly to ensure that the sugar doesn’t burn, while the popcorn pops. Once the pops are more than 3 seconds apart, remove the pot from heat. Carefully remove the lid away from your body and pour the popcorn onto the prepared baking sheet.
  5. Evenly sprinkle ¼ teaspoon salt over the hot kettle corn. Let the popcorn cool completely, transfer to a bowl. Repeat with the remaining colors, replacing the parchment paper as needed.
  6. Combine all the popcorn in a large bowl. Toss to distribute the colors evenly. Serve immediately, or store in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

Reprint: This recipe originally appeared on, written by Rie McClenny & Marissa Buie. To read more, click here.