Cinnamon Roll Popcorn

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We make Cinnamon Roll Popcorn by taking caramel-coated popcorn and drizzling it in white chocolate and coating it with cinnamon sugar. It’s an explosion of cinnamon roll flavor with a totally addictive, crunchy texture!

Try some of our other favorite popcorn recipes next — this Chocolate Popcorn or Valentine’s Popcorn.

Overhead image of the Cinnamon Roll Popcorn

Cinnamon Roll Popcorn

I recently brought a bag of this popcorn to a quick weekend family reunion and watched as it was demolished in seconds — this Cinnamon Roll Popcorn was wildly popular! It makes a great snack mix to bring to a party.

It’s also a great edible holiday gift that anyone would be thrilled to receive!

Process shots-- images of the butter, sugar, and corn sugar being added to the pot and melted and then salt and cinnamon being mixed in

Cinnamon Roll Popcorn– Tools Needed

  • A medium-sized nonstick pot. This pan is for making the caramel sauce. You’ll want to use one larger than you may think because the mixture “grows” when the baking soda is added in. 
  • A really large bowl or two smaller ones. We toss the popcorn with the brown sugar-caramel mixture. Use the largest bowl you have (or one that can easily accommodate all the ingredients) to allow plenty of room for tossing without spilling. If you don’t have a really large bowl, separate the mixture into two bowls.
  • Use one extra-large (15×21 inch sheet pan) or two smaller ones. There is a lot of popcorn in this recipe, so you’ll need plenty of space for it all to lay in one even layer. If the popcorn is piled up, it won’t bake properly.
  • Bake on a Silpat® liner or parchment paper. For even baking and to ensure this (very) sticky Cinnamon Roll Popcorn doesn’t stick to your pan, line the pan with a good liner.

Process shots of Cinnamon Roll Popcorn-- the baking soda and vanilla being added to the pot and then the cinnamon sugar mixture being poured over the popped popcorn

What Popcorn To Use

  • Store-bought popcorn shortcut. Purchasing already popped popcorn makes this recipe come together a lot quicker and easier, but it’s a bit more spendy. If you’d rather pop your own, here’s what we use. Make sure to let popped corn cool completely before using it in this Cinnamon Roll Popcorn recipe.
  • Use PLAIN popcorn. Whatever popcorn you use, check the ingredient list to make sure the only ingredients being added to the popcorn is oil and salt. Purchasing a flavored or buttered popcorn will make this popcorn taste “off”.
  • Be sure to pick out any unpopped kernels. Whether you use already popped popcorn or opt to pop your own, be sure to remove any stray kernels before tossing with the sugar-caramel mixture. Your dentist will thank you!

QUICK TIP

If you want to buy pre-popped popcorn and don’t see any plain, salt-only popcorn, ask the salesperson. Often it’s kept in the back because it isn’t a high-demand item.

Process shots-- images of the popcorn being spread on a baking sheet to bake, tossing every 15 minutes

Tips for melting chocolate

  • Melt the chocolate slowly and stir it often. To avoid burning the chocolate, don’t rush the melting process. Microwave the chocolate in bursts of time, remembering that the chocolate is still melting even after you take it out of the microwave. Make sure to give the chocolate plenty of time to melt outside of the microwave as you stir.
  • Use high-quality white chocolate for the best results. You’ll get both a better melt and a better flavor. My favorite chocolate for this is Ghirardelli® or Guittard®. Cheaper brands can have a waxier content that is less flavorful which will yield less tasty Cinnamon Roll Popcorn!
  • Don’t allow any liquid near the chocolate. If it gets wet it will seize and harden, and you don’t want that. Here’s why.
  • Microwave the chocolate chips in sturdy, heat-safe bowls instead of using plastic or melamine. 
  • It may seem like a lot of chocolate, but we want the popcorn thoroughly coated!
  • Be sure to add the cinnamon-sugar mixture quickly before the white chocolate begins to harden.

Process shots-- images of the white chocolate being melted and poured into a bag to pipe over the popcorn

QUICK TIP

Cinnamon Roll Popcorn #1 Tip

Prep the ingredients before starting. Gather all the required ingredients to have everything accessible. This recipe moves fast in some parts, so you’ll want to have everything ready to go.

Process shots: drizzling the white chocolate over the popcorn. Images of the cinnamon roll popcorn being completed with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top

STORAGE

Cinnamon Roll Popcorn Storage

To store this Cinnamon Roll Popcorn, place it in an airtight container (I like using glass jars or Weck® mold jars). Keep the container in a cool dry place for up to a week. It is best fresh; every day it stands, it loses texture (especially in overly humid climates).

This popcorn isn’t a great candidate for freezing and thawing; the caramel coating softens and the popcorn loses texture.

Up-close overhead image of the Cinnamon Roll Popcorn ready to be eaten

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Cinnamon Roll Popcorn

This Cinnamon Roll Popcorn starts with caramel-coated popcorn that gets drizzled in white chocolate and coated in cinnamon sugar. It's an explosion of cinnamon roll flavor with a totally addictive, crunchy texture!
Print Recipe

Cinnamon Roll Popcorn

This Cinnamon Roll Popcorn starts with caramel-coated popcorn that gets drizzled in white chocolate and coated in cinnamon sugar. It's an explosion of cinnamon roll flavor with a totally addictive, crunchy texture!
Course Dessert, Snack, Vegetarian
Cuisine American
Keyword Cinnamon Roll Popcorn
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Setting Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours 25 minutes
Servings 6 -8 servings
Calories 1500kcal
Cost $6.12

Ingredients

  • 6 cups (50g) plain (or salted) popped popcorn Note 1
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp (85g) light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup (195g) light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt Note 2
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar, optional
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1-1/4 cups (220g) white chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil

Cinnamon-Sugar Topping

  • 3 tablespoons white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Instructions

  • PREP: Assemble all the ingredients. Line one extra-large (15x21-inch) or 2 large cookie sheets with parchment paper or a Silpat liner and set aside. Remove any unpopped kernels. Pour the popcorn in a very large bowl (large enough to toss with other ingredients without spilling-- I use the largest bowl I have!). Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F.
  • CARAMEL SYRUP: In a large pot over medium heat, add the butter, corn syrup, brown sugar, fine sea salt, and cream of tartar (optional but helps to keep popcorn from crystallizing). Stir constantly until the butter is melted and then bring to a boil. Let boil for 5 minutes (still over medium heat) without stirring. Remove from the heat and stir in the baking soda and vanilla extract. Watch out-- the vanilla may sputter a bit and the mixture will foam up a bit! Immediately pour this mixture over the prepared popcorn, working to avoid the edges of the bowl where the caramel will harden on to upon contact. Working as quickly as possible, toss popcorn with a wooden spoon to combine and cover the popcorn in the caramel syrup mixture.
  • BAKE: Spread the coated popcorn on the prepared cookie sheet(s) in one even layer. Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes with a spatula and then spacing the popcorn again in one even layer. Remove the pan(s) and allow to completely cool.
  • CINNAMON-SUGAR: Combine the white sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Stir and set aside.
  • WHITE CHOCOLATE: Melt white chocolate chips and vegetable oil in a microwave-safe bowl in bursts of 30 seconds, stirring in between each burst for 15 seconds until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Transfer melted white chocolate to a plastic bag and seal the bag without air in it. Cut the tip off of the bag and pipe this melted white chocolate over the popcorn. (It may seem like too much, but we want the popcorn well coated!) As soon as the popcorn is covered in white chocolate, sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar mixture evenly over everything.
  • ENJOY: Let the popcorn harden at room temperature, about an hour, and then break up slightly and put in a large bowl. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Popcorn: Purchasing already popped popcorn makes this recipe come together a lot quicker and easier, but is a bit pricier. If you'd rather make your own, here's what we use. Be sure to use PLAIN popcorn. Whatever popcorn you opt to purchase, check the ingredients to make sure the only ingredients being added to the popcorn are oil and salt. Purchasing a flavored or buttered popcorn will make this popcorn taste funny. Before measuring, be sure to pick out any unpopped kernels.
Note 2: Salt: Not all salts are the same. If using table salt you'll want a lot less (pinch or less). If the popcorn you're using is already salted, you may want to slightly reduce the salt addition.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 1500kcal | Carbohydrates: 164g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 85g | Saturated Fat: 44g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g | Monounsaturated Fat: 26g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 22mg | Sodium: 1853mg | Potassium: 1079mg | Fiber: 24g | Sugar: 36g | Vitamin A: 657IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 97mg | Iron: 5mg

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.

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