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white bowl filled with zebra popcorn drizzled with white chocolate and dark chocolate

Homemade Zebra Popcorn (Gluten-Free)

  • Author: Emily Dixon, Sweets & Thank You
  • Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Yield: 12 cups 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Become the toast of the party with our zebra popcorn recipe! This chocolate drizzled caramel corn is always a hit!



For The Caramel Corn:

  • 3 quarts (12 cups) popped popcorn
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick/4 oz.) butter
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

To Top The Popcorn:

  • 3 oz. dark chocolate melts (a heaping 1/2 cup)
  • 3 oz. white chocolate/vanilla melts (a heaping 1/2 cup)


First, Make The Caramel Corn:

  1. Preheat The Oven & Prep Your Pans. If you’re making crispy caramel popcorn (which we recommend!), preheat the oven to 250 degrees F and lightly grease a cookie sheet with spray oil or a little butter.
  2. Start By Popping Your Popcorn. If you haven’t already, pop the popcorn before you begin. Measure 12 cups (3 quarts) of popped popcorn and place in your a very large bowl, discarding any unpopped kernels. (If you have extra popcorn, keep it close by in case you want to add it in later.)
  3. Then Start The Caramel Sauce. In a medium saucepan, combine butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Melt over medium heat, stirring regularly until the caramel comes to a boil. (Try not to rush this by cranking the heat up, as dissolving the sugar completely gives you the best texture.)
  4. Boil The Caramel Sauce 5 Minutes. Watch the clock and boil the caramel sauce 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
  5. Remove From Heat & Finish. After 5 minutes, quickly remove the caramel sauce from the heat and whisk in vanilla and baking soda. (This will make the caramel sauce bubble and foam.)
  6. Quickly Pour Caramel Over The Popcorn. Pour the caramel sauce mixture over the popcorn and stir to coat. I recommend pouring about half of the caramel sauce over the popcorn, then stirring and adding the rest of the sauce to any “dry” spots as needed. This makes it a bit easier to coat it evenly. Stir until the popcorn is pretty evenly coated in the caramel mixture. Note: the popcorn will not look full-coverage/completely covered in caramel at this point. (There will still be some white spots visible at this point. This will resolve in the oven.) Note: the popcorn will not look full-coverage/completely covered in caramel at this point. (There will still be some white spots visible at this point. This will resolve in the oven.)
  7. Spread The Popcorn Out On Your Prepared Pan. Transfer the caramel corn to the prepared baking sheet and spread out fairly evenly. (Don’t worry about a few clumps here and there!) If desired, sprinkle with a few flakes of flaky sea salt for a salted caramel effect.
  8. Bake The Popcorn. Place the pan of popcorn in the oven and set a timer for 15 minutes. At the 15 minute mark, remove the popcorn from the oven and stir. (The caramel will be more melty and fluid, so the pieces will get more evenly coated with caramel). Return to the oven and bake 15 minute more. Repeat this process two more times, until you’ve baked the caramel popcorn for 60 minutes total.
  9. Spread The Caramel Corn Out Onto Parchment Paper Or Waxed Paper in a single layer to cool completely to room temperature. Wait until the caramel corn is completely cool before drizzling with chocolate.

Then, Work On The Chocolate Drizzle:

  1. Melt Chocolate. Add white chocolate melts to a microwave-safe bowl and dark chocolate melts to a separate bowl. Working one bowl at a time, melt the chocolate in 15-20 second intervals, stirring between each interval until the chocolate is about 80% melted and just a few small pieces of chocolate remain. Stir until the heat from the chocolate melts the remaining smaller pieces of chocolate until the whole mixture is smooth. Repeat with the second bowl of chocolate.
  2. Drizzle The Chocolate. Let the chocolate cool slightly, then transfer the melted white chocolate to a ziploc bag, pressing out any extra air. Add melted chocolate to a second ziploc bag. Test to make sure the chocolate is cool enough to handle. If it’s still too hot for you to comfortably hold the bag, let it cool a bit longer. When it’s cool enough to touch, snip a tiny bit off the corner of each bag to make a small opening. (You want the cut to be VERY small so you can make nice, neat drizzle lines.) Working carefully, drizzle both kinds of chocolate on top of the popcorn.
  3. Let The Chocolate Set. Allow the chocolate to cool until it’s set, about 45-60 minutes. (You can pop it in the fridge to speed things up if you’re in a hurry!)
  4. Serve & Store. Store zebra popcorn in an airtight container at room temperature 3-4 days.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: zebra popcorn, zebra caramel corn, zebra caramel popcorn, zebra popcorn recipe

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