You’re going to love how easy this recipe is, and how many ways there are to mix it up (keep reading)! Really, if you can imagine it, you can do it with this popcorn, but at its base of rich melty chocolate, flaky sea salt, and freshly popped popcorn, it’s a snack you won’t be able to stop.
Ingredients for Chocolate Popcorn
You only need three simple ingredients to make chocolate popcorn (hooray!), and while I highly recommend a fourth, it’s not totally necessary.
- Popcorn Kernels: to make homemade popcorn, you need popcorn kernels. Read more about them in my in-depth recipe post on making the best stovetop popcorn.
- Oil: a little oil for cooking the kernels, and for adding to the chocolate.
- Chocolate: semi-sweet, milk, dark, or white chocolate, it’s truly whatever you enjoy best.
- Flaky Sea Salt: this is the special fourth ingredient, one that you don’t have to have, but that I highly recommend because adding a little flaky salt to the top of the melty drizzled chocolate creates a wonderful sweet and salty combination.
What Kind of Popcorn is Best?
As I mentioned, I highly recommend making your own popcorn. It is truly so easy to do, and you can’t beat the freshness it delivers! Make it on the stovetop or air popper for best results.
Otherwise, you can make this recipe using storebought popcorn if you need to in a pinch. I would recommend grabbing a bag of already popped, lightly salted popcorn in this case (and possibly skipping the flaky sea salt on top, depending on how salty the popcorn already is).
I recommend staying away from buttery microwave popcorn for this recipe.
How to Make Chocolate Drizzled Popcorn
Ok, this is SO easy, you are going to have homemade chocolate-drizzled popcorn in a flash. We’re talking 5 minutes (plus a little drying time if you can wait).
TO START, YOU NEED TO MAKE STOVETOP POPCORN.
Get a heavy-bottomed stockpot or dutch oven and heat the oil, adding three kernels that will signal to you when the oil is hot. Add the remaining kernels, cover, and remove the pan from the heat for about 20 seconds. Place it back on the heat and wait as the kernels all pop.
Be sure to read my full stovetop popcorn post for all the details, tips, and tricks for making the best homemade popcorn!
Transfer to Parchment Paper
Once the kernels have popped, it’s time to transfer them to a parchment or waxed paper-lined baking sheet. I recommend using a large one – maybe even two. The more spread out the popcorn is, the more evenly coated the kernels will be, which means more chocolate on your popcorn. That’s winning.
Melt the Chocolate
When melting chocolate, it works best to chop up a chocolate bar. However, I am going to make the assumption that you are like me, and don’t necessarily have chocolate bars for baking in your pantry, but you do have chocolate chips (you know, for all those cookie cravings).
Chopped chocolate or chips, either one, need to be melted and melted properly.
I recommend adding about a teaspoon of oil – not a lot – to the chocolate to help give it a shine and smooth texture once it’s drizzled. Then, it’s time to make sure it melts without seizing. You can use a double boiler to melt the chocolate, it’s just a little more work than the microwave method, which is what I typically do.
To melt in the microwave, place in a microwave-safe bowl and heat it in 20-second intervals, stirring between each time. To be extra careful, reduce the power on your microwave.
Once the chocolate is mostly melted, keep stirring, and the residual heat will melt the remaining clumps. Do not overheat it, or it will seize. But ok, what the heck does that mean?!
What is seized chocolate?
Have you ever melted chocolate in the microwave, only to find a hot, clumpy mess that has no hope of smoothing out into a wonderfully beautiful smooth drizzle? That, my friend, is seized chocolate. It’s when the chocolate gets too hot and is essentially burned.
At this point, I typically start over. Alice wrote an article at Food52 with some suggestions on saving seized chocolate, but if it happens to you, go ahead and save that chocolate for another use and begin again, this time, with shorter intervals and less power.
Time to drizzle the chocolate!
Now that you have the popcorn spread out on parchment or waxed paper, and your chocolate is perfectly drizzle-able, it’s time to coat the popcorn.
I simply take a spoon and begin to drizzle the chocolate across the popcorn, evenly until it is coated.
Then, it’s time to wait for the chocolate to harden. Depending on the temperature of your home, it should take about 30 minutes. However, if you’d like it to harden faster, simply place it in the fridge.
Or go ahead and just enjoy the warm chocolate…I definitely won’t stop you!
Mix-In Ideas and Variations
There are so many ways to mix up chocolate-drizzled popcorn!
If you are adding additional mix-ins to the popcorn, I recommend sprinkling them on after you drizzle the chocolate on the popcorn while it’s still wet. This way the toppings will stick to the chocolate.
Otherwise, when adding say peanuts and M&Ms, they will individually sink to the bottom of the mixture and remain loose. Topping them on the melted chocolate gives them a better chance of creating one delicious popcorn mix.
Ok, so now that we have technicalities for assembly out of the way, here are some of my favorite mix-ins and variations:
- M&Ms – or chocolate chips
- Peanuts…or any kind of nut – pecans, cashews, almonds!
- Drizzle chocolate over caramel popcorn. Add pecans to this for turtle-like popcorn. YUM!
- Add a white chocolate drizzle – add food coloring to it for special occasions or events like baby showers, holidays, or birthday parties! You could also use candy melts for this, but they tend to be extra sweet.
- Add shredded coconut
- Butterscotch chips or a butterscotch drizzle, playing off of a scotcheroo vibe
- Chocolate peanut butter drizzle – just melt peanut butter in with the chocolate
- Toss the popcorn in melted chocolate instead of drizzling
Tips for Making Chocolate Covered Popcorn
I’ve shared some tips throughout the post, so you get an A+ if you already know them. Either way, I want to be sure to have them all in one place for easy access. Here are the things to keep in mind when making chocolate-covered popcorn:
- Melt the chocolate slowly so that it doesn’t seize. Stir it often, and when there are just a few clumps remaining, keep stirring, and don’t heat it again, to melt the rest of the chocolate.
- Use a little oil to keep the chocolate smooth, and help it remain soft once it hardens.
- Use unbuttered popcorn. This is especially important if you are making stovetop popcorn, you do not need to butter it! The butter will make the popcorn soggy, and it won’t hold up for an extended amount of time.
- Store popcorn (or the leftovers) in an airtight container at room temperature – in a place where it won’t melt.
Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating and review in the form below. I appreciate your feedback, and it helps others, too!
Get the Recipe Chocolate Drizzled Popcorn (plus Mix-In Ideas!)
- Prepare a large baking sheet (or two) with a layer of parchment or waxed paper. You can also spread the paper on a countertop or table – you just want an area for the popcorn to dry.
- In a large heavy-bottomed large stockpot or dutch oven, add the oil and three popcorn kernels, heating over high heat. Cover the pan. These are the "test kernels" and once they pop, it signals that the oil is officially hot enough to pop all the kernels at the same time.
- Meanwhile, measure out the remaining 1/2 cup of popcorn kernels. Once the three test kernels have popped, immediately add the 1/2 cup of popcorn kernels to the pan. Cover and remove from heat, gently swirling from side to side for 20 seconds. Return the pan to the heat, and the popcorn kernels will almost immediately begin popping.
- Once the kernels are about halfway done popping, slightly crack the lid to allow excess steam to escape. Do this when the stockpot is approximately halfway full with popcorn, or about 30 seconds to 1 minute after they've popped – this does not have to be exact.
- If needed, you can gently shake the pan side to side to allow any remaining kernels to make it to the bottom of the pan to pop. Once the popping has slowed or just stopped, pour the popcorn onto the prepared baking sheet or parchment paper.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, add the chocolate an additional 1 teaspoon of oil. Heat in 15-20 second increments, stirring between each time, until the chocolate is almost melted. Then, continue stirring and allow the residual heat to melt the remaining lumps.
- Drizzle the chocolate across the popcorn until evenly coated. Sprinkle flaky salt across as desired and add any additional mix-ins you'd like. Let the chocolate harden, for approximately 30 minutes.
- Store popcorn in an airtight container at room temperature in a cool area. It will last for up to 3-5 days.
- Oil in Chocolate: adding a little oil helps keep the chocolate smooth, shiny, and prevents it from getting too hard once it cools on the popcorn.
- Pre-popped popcorn: if using storebought popcorn, simply proceed to the step of melting the chocolate.