You know those giant popcorn tins—featuring the three signature flavors: butter, cheddar, and caramel—that you’re bound to receive at least one of every year, but never actually finish? Transform the rest into this fun and easy tricolored “cake.”
3 of 21Photo: Alison Miksch; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller
This classic movie theater treat has taken on a sweetly spiced persona just in time for cozy nights during cool weather. The popcorn is coated in a pumpkin maple sauce that forms a crispy, candy-like crust on the outside of popcorn for a glossy finish. This method includes a tried-and-true method that involves heating the oil prior to adding the popcorn and removing it from the heat for a short break and placing back on the heat. This yields evenly-popped popcorn with no burnt or un-popped kernels.
5 of 21Photo: Jennifer Causey; Styling: Claire Spollen
A slightly thicker caramel and the addition of whole roasted almonds turn traditional caramel popcorn into gift-worthy popcorn mix. We use less sugar in the glaze and cut the sweetness with mild white miso (fermented soybean paste) and tamari (a richer, wheat-free soy sauce) for a salty-savory note that makes the snack incredibly addictive.
9 of 21Photo: Jennifer Causey; Styling: Claire Spollen
Guess what? This is a whole-grain dessert. To keep the stickiness at bay, wear latex gloves coated with cooking spray as you shape the popcorn balls.
11 of 21
Trash Mix Recipe Not just for kids, this fun mix is packed with dried fruit, caramel popcorn, toffee pretzels, candy corn and, yes, chewy worm-shaped candy. It's perfect for evening snacks, but also works well in the car or on day-long trips; simply package in individual zip-top bags and let everyone mine their bags for goodies as they please.
12 of 21Photo: Jason Varney; Styling: Lindsey Lower
Marshmallow Popcorn Treats with Dark Chocolate Drizzle
With the addition coconut flakes and pecans, this is the amped-up version of your traditional caramel popcorn is all kinds of addictive. Once you make a batch, chances are it will disappear before the day is out—so consider doubling the recipe. The combination of caramel and pecans delivers delicious praline vibes, while the coconut’s subtle chew adds a hint of tropical joy. The recipe calls to make the caramel sauce from scratch, but you can substitute with store-bought caramel sauce for ease. Make a large batch and bag this decadent snack up to give as gifts or as party favors at your next holiday gatherings.
This decadent sundae delivers the best of salty, sweet, creamy, and crunchy all in one bowl.
15 of 21Photo: Lee Harrelson; Styling: Jan Gautro
Party With Popcorn!
Popcorn is perfect for snacking, but don’t just drizzle it with butter and call it a day. From popped kernels smothered in melted white chocolate and topped with edible gold dust (yes, really!), to homemade kettle corn and honey popcorn balls, these recipes show what popcorn’s really made of. So pop some, on the stove or in the microwave, and check out one of these delicious, must-try variations on an all-American snack food.
16 of 21Beth Dreilling Hontzas
Gold-Dusted White Chocolate Popcorn
Gold-Dusted White Chocolate Popcorn Recipe Mixed nuts, cranberries, and melted white chocolate morsels dress up plain butter-flavored microwave popcorn, but the real star of this recipe is the edible gold dust that's sprinkled on top. It adds an air of glamour to your regular movie night dessert, and can be found at most cake or party supply stores.
17 of 21William Meppem
Ceiba Caramel Corn
Ceiba Caramel Corn Recipe First made famous at the Washington D.C. Latin-American restaurant Ceiba, this recipe for caramel corn sneaks in a handful of lightly toasted almonds for extra flavor. To make prep time easy, follow one of our online reviewer's advice and set two timers–one every ten minutes to remind you to stir, and one for an hour, so you'll know when the treat is done.
18 of 21Becky Luigart-Stayner
Maple-Chile Popcorn Recipe By the time your favorite microwave popcorn is done, the sweet and spicy drizzle, made from maple syrup and ground red pepper, will be ready. Bake for 15 minutes to set, then serve on a night when you need a little extra heat.
19 of 21
Kettle Corn Recipe Bring back fond memories of childhood and state fairs with this sweet and salty treat. Use a hand-cranked popcorn popper and sprinkle with sugar and a little kosher salt, then serve and watch it disappear.
20 of 21
Caramel Popcorn Recipe This classic caramel popcorn recipe got rave reviews from our online users, who likened it to the gourmet treats they often give or receive during the holidays. Its five-star rating and simple prep will keep this recipe in your weekly family night snack rotation.
21 of 21
Bite-size Honey Popcorn Balls
Bite-size Honey Popcorn Balls Recipe Make popcorn balls easily with a few secrets from our Test Kitchens. Start by whipping up the buttery honey-drizzled popcorn that's flavored with vanilla. Let it cool for a few minutes, then spread a little butter on your hands to keep the popcorn mixture from sticking to your hands while molding into balls. Size them small for bite-size snacks, or large for festive gifts.