Easy Gourmet Popcorn Recipe

A couple weeks ago a friend of mine was organizing the decorations and treats for a bridal shower at church.  After detailing all of the adorable decor plans and other delights that were being cooked up, she said, “Would you bring something chocolate to nibble on?  I know you’ll come up with something great.”  Flattering, to be sure, but just a bit of pressure because I knew she wasn’t asking for a simple pan of brownies.  So with a busy week ahead, I did the only thing I could do and headed to Pinterest looking for a quickly thrown together chocolate dessert, but one that didn’t LOOK quick and easy.  The only thing I could come up with was some “easy chocolate truffles”, but since our dear friend Martha was the source of said recipe, I had my doubts about the “easy” part.  I decided to not think about it any more until I absolutely had to, hoping inspiration would strike.

Well, sometimes fortune favors the procrastinator, because come Thursday morning, three days before the shower, a wonderful neighbor of mine brought Cake Batter Popcorn for our playgroup snack that week.  It was cute, it was delicious, and she said it was the simplest thing ever to throw together.  It was like the heavens opened, angels were singing, bells ringing…. and I knew right then and there, I don’t have to try to make Martha Stewart truffles!  Hallelujah!  HALLELUJAH!

Here’s the heaven-sent recipe my friend gave me…


One 11oz bag white chocolate chips
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1 1/2 cups dry white or yellow cake mix (about half a standard boxed mix)
8-10 cups popped popcorn
1/4 cup sprinkles

1. Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave by putting them in for 30 second intervals, stirring between each, until the chocolate is fully melted.

2. Add the vegetable shortening to the melted chocolate, and stir until it is melted together. (You can put it back into the microwave for a few seconds if you need to.  The runnier the mixture is, the better!)

3. Working quickly stir the cake mix into the chocolate mixture.

4. Immediately pour coating over the popcorn and toss together to coat evenly.

5. Spread popcorn out on cookie sheets to cool/harden and immediately sprinkle with your choice of sprinkles.

6.  Wait until hardened and then enjoy or transfer to an airtight container for storage.

It really is as simple as that!

Once I’d successfully accomplished the Cake Batter Delight, I decided to try my hand at altering the recipe to achieve a different flavor.  Here’s what I came up with:


One 11oz bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1 1/2 cups dry brownie mix (about half a standard boxed mix)
8-10 cups popped popcorn
One 5 oz bag dried cherries

Following the same six steps I did for the Cake Batter Delight, I threw together Cherry Brownie Batter Bliss, an equally decadent treat.

After they were both prepared (and had gone through rigorous quality control testing!) I portioned them out into jumbo muffin paper baking cups and took them to the shower.  Yum!

Both treats were delicious, hard to decide which one was better, I was leaning toward the brownie batter, but Peter (who helped with the quality control) was completely in favor of the cake batter variety.  Makes me want to do some more experimenting, because the possible permutations of this recipe are virtually endless.  I haven’t yet tried any other variations, so attempt at your own risk, but I don’t see why you couldn’t build your own recipe like this…


One 11 oz bag candy chips (white, milk, dark chocolate, mint, butterscotch, etc)
1/4 cup semi-solid oil (vegetable shortening, peanut butter or coconut oil)
1 1/2 cups dry cake (chocolate, white, red velvet) or cookie (sugar, snickerdoole) mix
8-10 cups popped popcorn
1/4-1/2 cup candy, nuts, sprinkles or dried fruit pieces

Combine ingredients using the same steps as the above recipes.

I’m thinking dark chocolate chips with coconut oil, chocolate cake mix and flaked coconut for an Almond Joy Popcorn, or milk chocolate chips with peanut butter, brownie mix and chopped up Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups for Chocolate Peanut Butter Explosion.  (Can someone get me a job naming ice cream flavors, please!?!) You might be even be able to do seasonal flavors like for autumn using a spice cake mix and candy corn, or Christmas with some white chocolate chips and peppermint bits.

Okay, so now that you are inspired (and maybe hungry) please leave a comment letting me know what flavor combination YOU would choose!

7 thoughts on “Easy Gourmet Popcorn Recipe

  1. Oh I have to go with mint and chocolate. My two favorite things. Thing again the cherry and chocolate sounds good. And the peanut butter and chocolate…. um is there anything that DOESN’T sound good? Thanks for the great idea! I’m definitely doing a red, white and blue popcorn bit for the 4th. Let’s see the Cake Batter Delight for the white, Red Velvet Delight with cherries for the red and Blue Velvet Delight with blueberries for the blue. Sounds like an excellent plan to me and more portable than a trifle or huge sheet cake like I usually make.

      • Ooooh! You know what you could stack them with different sheets of colored (red, white, and blue) tissue paper between each layer in a square glass dish. That way you have more than enough!

  2. Oh boy Elise, Love, love, love this recipe. So many possibilities. Sweet and savory. Texmex—-chocolate cake or brownie mix a little cayenne in the mix and a little sprinkled over the popcorn.Make the heat to your taste. Thanks to you my recipe collection is growing.

    • Oooo! I hadn’t even thought of blending a little savory in with the sweet. You’re right, that’s another great option! You could probably also do a nice combo of chocolate cake mix with caramel bits and sprinkle it with sea salt.

  3. I found this recipe and I made 4 variations today. Birthday cake, Almond joy, candy cane and peanut butter cup explosion. Soooo good. My team at work is going to be so happy!

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