Does your child’s school have a no-cupcakes rule like ours does? While I understand not wanting to deal with the sugary mess some mountains of frosting must cause, that rule still irks me every year when the Peanut gets to take a special treat in to mark her birthday.
This year I was overjoyed to find this idea on Pinterest: Party popcorn covered in white chocolate and tossed with sprinkles and M&Ms. There are quite a few versions of it out there, but this one involves actual cake mix melted into the chocolate to make it taste officially like a birthday cake. SOLD!
It doesn’t hurt that the Peanut loves popcorn like crazy. It is one of her absolute favorite treats. Once I bought the ingredients for it, we both had trouble holding off on making it until the day before. It is perhaps the most perfect school snack idea. I made a big double batch and portioned it out in clear plastic drinking cups. Not a single cup came back to us at the end of the day which means even the teachers got involved in the festivities for once.
Birthday Cake Popcorn Treats for school party snacks
Yield: 30 servings
adapted from this recipe by Baker Girl
3 batches of homemade popcorn, popped (each batch is 1/2 cup of unpopped kernels)
1 pound of white chocolate chips, divided in half and melted
8 heaping teaspoons of yellow cake mix (I might even have added a smidge more, but haven’t experimented with it yet), divided in half
M&Ms: I lucked out and used the Easter pastels for our batch
Pop popcorn and remove any kernels or burnt pieces. Working in two batches, place half the popcorn in a very large bowl.
Melt half the white chocolate in a double boiler/mixing bowl over a pot of simmering water until smooth. Stir in half of the cake mix until smooth. Pour the chocolate over half of the popped popcorn. Using a wooden spoon to start and your hands once it has cooled just enough to touch, mix the popcorn and chocolate until completely coated.
Pour out onto wax paper or into a wax-paper lined jelly roll pan and spread into a single layer. Sprinkle half the M&M candies and sprinkles until festive, then let cool and harden.
Note: Don’t add the M&Ms or sprinkles until the chocoate has cooled enough so that they won’t melt. But also don’t wait until the chocoalte is totally cool and hardened or they won’t stick. I gently pressed the candies in a bit to help them along and it worked great.
SUPER IMPORTANT EDIT NOTE: This method works best if you do the melting of the chocolate in 2 stages. Do NOT put the entire pound of chocolate into the double boiler all at once or you will likely have trouble. Melt half of it with 4 tsp of the cake mix and prep half the popcorn batch all the way through to the sprinkles & M&Ms stage. Then go back and melt the 2nd half of the chocolate mix and finish the 2nd half of the popped popcorn. If you melt it all at once it is quite possible your chocolate will seize and you won’t be able to recover it.