Gourmet Cinnabon Popcorn Recipe

I teased you all about the naughty popcorn recipe coming  as a result of learning the air-popped popcorn trick…and here it is: a gourmet Cinnabon popcorn recipe.


Okay, so this is serious, have any of you tried Popcornopolis popcorn?  No, this isn’t a sponsored post… but holy heck it is seriously one of the best things I’ve ever had in. my. life… and if you read this blog at all, you may have noticed I am a bit enamored by sugar okay, I just LOVE desserts.  Anyway, my husband and I tried a sample on Cinnamon Bun Popcorn at Costco around Christmas and it was like I had no choice but to buy some, literally I was compelled… my gut just told me I needed to have it… (which is probably why I have a gut!)  But I didn’t see it back at Costco..

Then I found out they have it at my local Blockbuster… which is about 20 minutes closer to my house than Costco, I shouldn’t have such easy sources for naughty things.  The issue is, for just about the size of a bag of microwaved popcorn, it costs about $6.00 bucks… yeah, 6 smackers.  I know it isn’t earth shattering, but it is safely on the ouch side for a calorie laden treat.

Well, then the other day I saw a caramel popcorn recipe on the SNAP blog (p.s. I am going to snap now!!! Yea!  Anyone gonna be there?  I would love to have some friends there)…  Which got me thinking about the Cinnamon Bun Popcorn that I love.

So, I started scouting out a recipe for it, and I am SO pleased to share with you that I have at last created the best and easiest recipe for it based off a few others I found online (namely this one). But I switched it up with a little less sugar (but who’s kidding who? this is SO not healthy, still!)

Here is the recipe…. you can thank me (or for us dieters… curse me later)! This is bound to become your new favorite popcorn.

Microwaved Cinnamon Bun Popcorn

Gourmet Cinnamon Bun Popcorn Recipe

Tips for the Most Irresistible Cinnamon Butter Popcorn

  • Make sure to use real butter for the best flavor.
  • Ensure that the popcorn is in an even, single layer if you choose to bake it.
  • For less mess, use parchment paper on the baking sheet instead of cooking spray.
  • Be sure to heat the brown sugar mixture in intervals to avoid overcooking.
  • While you can use the regular ground cinnamon you likely have in your pantry, to really get the unique Cinnabon-style cinnamon flavor try using Makara cinnamon. It’s the special cinnamon that Cinnabon uses.

Why You’ll Love this Cinnabon Popcorn Recipe

There are so many reasons to love this buttery caramelized popcorn.

  • Easy – It’s super simple to put these ingredients together and heat up the cinnamon caramel sauce in the microwave.
  • Versatile – This tasty treat is great for keeping around the house for a snack, packing in lunch boxes for school or work, snacking on during movie night, or even for serving at special occasions like birthdays and baby showers.
  • More affordable – This is an inexpensive way to make a copycat version of the original.
  • Delicious – This popcorn mixture channels the true taste of a cinnamon bun with all of the crunchy texture of perfectly popped popcorn.

How to Store Cinnamon Roll Popcorn

Store this cinnamon sugar popcorn in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to 1 week.

Variations on Cinnabon Popcorn

This popcorn tastes delicious just as it is, but you can make some swaps to make your own unique version.

  • Oil – Swap some of the butter for a neutral oil like coconut oil, canola oil, avocado oil, or vegetable oil.
  • Butter – If you like a salty and sweet treat you can use salted butter. If not, use unsalted butter instead.
  • Chips – Melt white chocolate chips (or any white confectionery chocolate) instead of using melted almond bark.

Gourmet Cinnamon Bun Popcorn Recipe

Print Recipe
Prep Time:15 minutes


  • 12 cups air popped popcorn if you like every square millimeter covered in caramel make less, like 6 cups
  • 1 cup pecans chopped coarsely (optional)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup corn syrup
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 oz almond bark 2-4 oz depending on your taste


  • To begin prepare your popcorn, you can either make two bags of microwaved popcorn… or to spare the extra fat do the brown bag thing… instructions here.  If you like your popcorn completely covered in caramel, then make just one bag, or about 6 cups of popped popcorn.
  • To be sure there weren’t any kernels, I poured the popped-corn into a bowl and tossed it a bit, to help the kernels to settle on bottom.  Then I removed small handful at a time, and placed the kernel free popcorn into my largest mixing bowl.  Once you get to the bottom of the bowl, just pick out the individual popcorn avoiding the kernels (this only takes about 2 minutes at the most!) Then   I have heard there are other ways of doing this, but the other options I tried didn’t work.  (share with me if you know any easier ideas!)  Add chopped pecans to bowl and set aside.
  • To make the caramel, add the brown sugar and cinnamon in a large microwaveable bowl and mix well to combine. Add butter and corn syrup, don’t worry about combining there, just throw them in the microwave on high for 30 seconds, then stir to combine. Return sauce to microwave and heat for 2 minutes. Remove and stir (the bowl will be getting hot, so be careful!). Microwave for 2 more minutes, remove and whisk in the vanilla and baking soda. Mixture will foam just a little. Pour caramel mixture over popcorn (don’t pour it all over one spot or it is harder to mix up- don’t ask me how I know, it was annoying!) Stir until all pieces are evenly coated.  (if you like your popcorn chewy… dig in!  No need to wait… but if you like it crunchy continue on!)
  • Now to save time in cleanup, be sure to line a rimmed cookie sheet with tin foil and then spray it with nonstick cooking spray. Pour popcorn caramel covered popcorn onto foil. Place in the oven and bake at 250°F for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
  • Remove from oven.  Melt the almond bark according the the package directions, drizzle over the popcorn and wait anxiously while it sets and cools.  Break up any large chunks.  Once the popcorn is completely cool store in an air tight container to avoid it getting stale.
Servings: 10

To begin prepare your popcorn, you can either make two bags of microwaved popcorn… or to spare the extra fat do the brown bag thing… instructions here.  If you like your popcorn completely covered in caramel, then make just one bag, or about  cups of popped popcorn.




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Food memories are a big part of our family. We love having a big family party and making great food, or heading to Disneyland and trying all the things. Why not allow food to be a happy part of your life. That is what this blog is about. I hope you enjoy our recipes.

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  1. I have made this recipe probably 20 or more times since you published it! CinnaBon gourmet popcorn has become my go-to recipe for bringing to get-togethers with friends. They TELL me that I am bringing it! LOL

    While healthy air-popped popcorn is a nice goal, I start mine with kettle corn (made in my Whirley Pop popcorn popper) just because I love the crunchiness and the sweet/salty combo it provides. I also use parchment paper in the bottom of a foil turkey roasting pan for easy tossing for the oven step and easy cleanup. The caramel does not stick to the non-stick parchment.

    Thanks for sharing 🙂