Popcorn Donuts

Popcorn Donut Holes

Sometimes, Anel and I just want a night in. We travel a lot and are constantly on the go so a movie night at home can often be just what the doctor ordered. I try to up the game and make our nights at home epic by lighting a bunch of candles for a scary flick or making a fun movie-theater inspired snack.

Last week, I wanted to get extra creative and made salted caramel popcorn donuts. “Those don’t look like donuts!” you might be thinking. I’ll get to that… The recipe wasn’t all that healthy, but sometimes that’s ok. We try to live an 80%/20% healthy lifestyle, treating ourselves when we want to. This was one of those times. And my thought is, if you’re making something like this at home, you know exactly what’s going into it… No partially hydrogenated oils, organic ingredients when possible, and only as much sugar as I decide.

I picked up the ingredients at the store that morning with my Blue Cash Everyday American Express card and got 3% cash back on the groceries, as I do every time I shop with it.

I thought it would be easy, but making the donut shape was a bit too difficult, so I opted to make donut “holes” instead. They were SO delicious and I felt pretty proud of myself for getting it done.

Because this was a sponsored post, I wanted it to be perfect, beautiful, and seamless. But although people think bloggers can do anything, I promise you I can’t. I can cook, I can bake, but DIY isn’t my strong suit. The post was supposed to be about how to make the everyday more epic. But an epic day sometimes means trying as hard as you can and being proud of the work you do, even if it’s not perfect.

Watch a video on how to make them here or see below for the full recipe with my notes so that you can do this easily in one fell swoop.

Popcorn Donut Hole Recipe

8 cups salted popcorn (Get the microwavable kind! Do not try to use Skinny Pop or anything like it. It doesn’t hold the sauce at all.)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tspn salt
1 cup cold water
1/3 cup corn syrup (I found an organic brand called Wholesome)
1 tspn distilled white wine vinegar (Don’t use any type of vinegar besides distilled white wine. Trust!)
4 tblspns butter
1/2 tspn vanilla extract
1 bag dark chocolate chips
1 bag white chocolate chips (I also added a third flavor of the “frosting” with peanut butter chips. It ended up being my favorite.)

– Place cooked popcorn in a bowl
– Add sugar, salt, water, and corn syrup to a medium saucepan and stir to combine
– Place over high heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved, about 2 minutes.
– Bring to a boil and cook, adding vinegar until mixture registers 260°F on a candy/fat thermometer, about 5-7 minutes (should be barely tan color). Cooking for the full 5-7 minutes is important, otherwise it’s not thick enough
– Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla until melted and smooth.
– Immediately drizzle mixture over popcorn and stir continuously with a rubber spatula.
– When popcorn and sugar mixture is cool to touch, form individual portions into a donut shape. (Again, I couldn’t get this to work, so just made little balls instead.)
– Dip “donuts” in melted chocolate chips
– Top each one

Thank you to American Express for sponsoring this post.

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  1. I like these as little donut holes anyway! Everything is better bite-sized. They look so good!!

    8.16.16 · Reply
  2. My kids would LOVE these! Perfect for a movie night at home or for a kids’ party!

    Taffeta & Tulips

    8.16.16 · Reply
  3. They look delicious regardless! Gotta make these ASAP.

    xo, Annie

    8.16.16 · Reply
  4. Devea said:

    Those look so good! I would rather have the donut holes that the large donuts!

    8.16.16 · Reply
  5. Oh woow they look delicious!


    8.16.16 · Reply
  6. Maggie said:

    I need this try these like RIGHT NOW. I love this!


    8.16.16 · Reply
  7. Maggie Tate said:

    This may be the best creation ever! Looks so good!!


    8.18.16 · Reply
  8. Katie said:

    These sound so yummy! Sometimes you just gotta cheat and have a spurge haha!


    8.18.16 · Reply
  9. Christine said:

    These look delicious and at least you’re getting whole grains and fiber! Love your strategy to make wholes instead. I would never have the skill or patience to get those perfect donut shapes!

    8.20.16 · Reply