What’s Cookin’ – Popcorn Cake

My twins needed to bring some treats to school.  Yes, they are high school seniors.

When they were in Kindergarten, I made a unique and fun treat for them to bring to school and share on their birthday.  It was a recipe that I received from one of my twin mom friends, Edith.  I thought it would be fitting to make the same thing for their last year of school that I made for their first year of school.  Mrs. Hollander, their Kindergarten teacher (yes, they were in the same classroom), loved this treat, and you will too!

The recipe that Edith gave to me needed to be updated for all of the changes in packaging that have occurred over the years.  I also added back an ingredient, salted peanuts, that both of us always omitted when making this for our young children.

There are way too many kids with peanut allergies, and this recipe works perfectly without the peanuts so please do NOT use them if you are making this for young kids.  But, for older kids and adults, feel free to add them or change this recipe up a little and get fancy.  Add almonds or some of the fancier M&Ms that are on the market.

This may well be the last time that I make treats for the kids to bring to school.  Sniff sniff (not really).  I have always made stuff for my college kids so I’ll be doing some of this for a few more years.

Popcorn Cake ingredients.

Important note on the popcorn – You will need about 7 cups of freshly popped popcorn.  Do not use the butter flavored popcorn.  It does not work and the result is a greasy mess.  The best popcorn to use is the white unflavored popcorn.  Yellow popcorn doesn’t look as good to eat either.  Trust me on this.

Pop your popcorn.  Remove all unpopped kernels, and set aside.

Important step – Make sure that you remove all unpopped kernels.  You don’t want someone to chip a tooth.  What I do is very carefully pour the popcorn out of the bags into the bowl using my fingers leaving the unpopped kernels (which we used to call old maids) in the bag.

If you are a purist and pop your popcorn “from scratch” meaning in a pot on the stove, you will need about 7 cups of popcorn.  Do not add butter or salt.

In a large microwave safe bowl, melt your marshmallows and butter.

This is what works for me.  Microwave for one minute on high, remove and stir.  Microwave for another 30 seconds, remove and stir vigorously until competely melted and smooth.  You do not want the mixture to be too hot or to burn.  Microwave for additional 15 second intervals only if needed.

Your marshmallow / butter mixture will look like this (only not blurry).

Add the popcorn, M&Ms, and peanuts.

They say colorful food is good for you, and this sure looks colorful to me!

Mix everything together until well combined.

If you have ever made Rice Krispy Treats, you know how sticky this mixture will be.  What works for me is to use a large spatula that has been coated with a little shortening.  Butter or cooking spray would work, too.

Press the mixture into your greased 9 x 13 pan.  I will not tell if you use your fingers (that have been coated with a little shortening).

I did not use a 9 x 13 pan.  I used a 12 x 17 sheet pan.  It makes the cake thinner, but I was also able to get 36 pieces out of one batch.  Enough for one AP English class.  Hurray for me!

Popcorn Cake – a unique and fun treat to share!


Disclaimer: Okay, my baby the band geek, and I had to try a piece so my baby, the runner, only took 34 pieces to school.

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One Response to What’s Cookin’ – Popcorn Cake

  1. Pingback: What’s Cookin’ – Special Requests | Mama's Empty Nest

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