Christmas Popcorn


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Nostalgic peppermint popcorn is a classic combination of peppermint and chocolate that will give you all of the holiday feels. Drizzled with chocolate, and topped with a candy cane crunch, this irresistible snack is sweet, salty, and makes a great holiday gift.

popcorn drizzled with chocolate and peppermint in a white bowl

Peppermint popcorn is an effortless Christmas snack that combines popcorn, melted chocolate and minty candy canes for a cozy, crunchy treat that is perfect for holiday parties or at-home snacking. It’s so delicious, yule want to eat this popcorn by the handful!

Homemade popcorn takes minutes to pop on the stove, and can be made in large batches so you can have enough Christmas popcorn for holiday potluck parties or to package in festive tins and gift to friends. Top the popcorn with bright red and white crushed peppermint, or whatever holiday candy you have on hand, and watch it disappear!

Start a new tradition by making a big bowl of this salty and sweet peppermint-chocolate popcorn the next time you watch your favorite Christmas movie, and embrace the spirit of the season.

How to Make It

  1. Make the popcorn. Place the kernels in an oiled pan over medium-high heat, and cover with a lid. Vigorously swirl the pan to coat the kernels with the oil, and continue to shake the pan as they cook. When the popcorn is popped, pour onto the prepared baking sheet.
  2. Melt the chocolate. Melt the chocolate in the microwave, then pour over popcorn.
  3. Add the peppermint. Sprinkle crushed candy cane over the top. Allow to cool and set.
  4. Enjoy or store. Break the popcorn apart and transfer it to an air-tight container.
pouring chocolate over popcorn on a sheet pan


  • Vegetable Oil – A simple, neutral cooking oil like vegetable oil works best with popcorn, especially if you’re topping the popcorn with sweet toppings.
  • Popcorn Kernels – Making popcorn from scratch on the stove is super fun (and super easy!), but if you want to use pre-made popcorn, you definitely can. Just skip ahead in the instructions to melting the chocolate and adding the peppermint.
  • Kosher Salt – A must for this easy treat, because is it really popcorn if there’s no salt? 
  • Bittersweet Chocolate – Use either chips or a roughly chopped chocolate bar. The most important thing here is that the flavor is bittersweet so it complements the crushed candy canes.  
  • Candy Canes – Crushed candy canes add pops of beautiful Christmas color, and their minty fresh crunch is glorious with the chocolate.
pouring popcorn onto a parchment lined sheet pan


  • If using store-bought popcorn, try to avoid buttered popcorn. You will want to use plain, unflavored popcorn so all of those holiday snack flavors shine through.
  • It’s okay if there are a few unpopped kernels; it’s pretty tricky to get them all. You will know most of the popcorn is popped when there is a 2 second break between “pops.”
  • The secret to popping popcorn is knowing when the pan is just the right temperature. To test the heat, add three kernels to an oiled pan over medium-high heat. When the first kernel pops, the pan is ready. 
  • To crush the candy cane, place the candy in a freezer bag, seal the bag, and crush with a meat tenderizer or a rolling pin. You can use this method to crush just about any hard candy.


  • Have fun with mix-ins – The holidays are such a fun time to play with mix-ins. Try mini-marshmallows, Christmas sprinkles, or crushed candy bars in place of the melted chocolate. 
  • Replace the chocolate – Use vanilla candy melts for vanilla peppermint popcorn. Go all in on a winter theme with melted white chocolate chips or white almond bark.  


How long does Christmas popcorn last?

Peppermint popcorn can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days. But, let’s be honest, this popcorn is so addicting, it probably won’t make it that long! 

Storing and gifting

Peppermint popcorn makes a fantastic gift. It’s so easy to make a big batch and break it up into presents for friends, family, and neighbors. If you plan on gifting peppermint popcorn use tins, boxes or gift bags to store it. These three storage containers come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, so you can mix and match, wrap them in bows, and quickly add name tags. 

Dark Chocolate Peppermint Popcorn on a sheet pan

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5 from 1 vote

Christmas Popcorn Recipe

Nostalgic peppermint popcorn is a classic combination of peppermint and chocolate that will give you all of the holiday feels. Drizzled with chocolate, and topped with a candy cane crunch, this irresistible snack is sweet, salty, and makes a great holiday gift.
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Servings: 6


  • Half Sheet Pan
  • Parchment Paper
  • Mixing Bowl
  • Large Pot with lid


  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup popcorn kernels (see note)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate (use chips or roughly chop bar chocolate)
  • 1 cup crushed candy canes


  • Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Pour the oil into a large pot with a tight-fitting lid. Add three popcorn kernels to the oil and place the pan over medium-high heat (do not put the lid on the pot yet). When one kernel pops (the signal that the oil is hot enough), immediately pour the remaining kernels into the pan and put the lid on the pot. Take the pan off the heat for 30 seconds. (Literally, count to 30.)
  • Put the pot back over the heat and sprinkle the kernels with salt. Hold the lid on the pot so that it is slightly ajar (you just want a small space to be open so that steam, but not popcorn can escape). Vigourously swirl the pan so that the oil evenly coats the kernels.
  • With the pot over medium-high heat and the lid held slightly ajar, gently shake the pot every few seconds until nearly all of the kernels have popped and there is a 2 second break between “pops.” Pour the popcorn on the prepared baking sheet.
  • Melt the chocolate in the microwave, stirring every 10 seconds to prevent burning. When the chocolate is melted, pour it evenly over the popcorn. While the chocolate is still hot, scatter the peppermint over the top. Leave the popcorn at room temperature until the chocolate completely cools and hardens, about 1 hour.
  • Break the popcorn apart with your hands and transfer it to an air-tight container. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days (if it lasts that long!).


This recipe includes instructions for popping fresh popcorn on the stovetop, but pre-popped popcorn will work just fine.


Calories: 215kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 101mg | Potassium: 198mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 14IU | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Cost: $3.00
Calories: 215
Keyword: chocolate, Christmas, easy snack, Holiday recipe, homemade gifts, peppermint, popcorn
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About Jess Smith

Jess is the recipe creator and photographer at She spent nearly a decade as the Chief Recipe Developer for the award-winning meal planning app Cook Smarts. Her colorful, healthyish recipes have been featured in popular online publications including Parade, Hallmark, and HuffPost.

5 from 1 vote

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  1. 5 stars
    Hey thanks for sharing this… can i tell you how much i love this? My wife and i tried this and it was the most delicious thing we’ve ever ate

  2. So perfect for Christmas! We’re just trying to figure out what to make for gifts this year and I think this is going to be one of them. 🙂

  3. Your twins are just so adorable and photogenic!
    And this popcorn…the combination sounds so delicious and since my son is crazy for all things chocolate-peppermint, it would be gone very quickly here, too! What a perfect thing to munch on during the holidays. And so glad you are enjoying the holidays. We went to see the tree at Rockefeller center and had brunch on Sunday in NYC. Great time of year!

    1. Oh what a fun NYC style holiday weekend, Monica! I was there one year at Christmas and it was so incredibly festive. Thank you for sharing!

  4. ps supposing you could sub in a good quality popcorn already made bagged in store if you were in a hurry but i know homemade is best…

    1. Maggie – you are so right! Thanks to your note, I just added a recipe note to indicate that a bagged store brand would work perfectly.

  5. never thought of the bittersweet or dark chocolate for this, sounds great, definitely going on the list of things to make or bake or take, as usual those girls just look delightful and full of fun for the coming holidays, they certainly will enjoy this year once they realize presents to rip open no matter whose name may be on them!