So, I’m not sure if any of you were watching TV yesterday, but the New York Giants won the Super Bowl! For those of you who don’t know me all that well, I am a huge Giants fan, so for my friends and I, this was more than a get-together to watch commercials. Some might say that the much talked-about Giants defense showed up to snag us the win in the last few minutes of the game, but I have a hunch that this popcorn cake helped too.
I found this recipe on Cookies and Cups, thanks to Pinterest (my latest addiction, I imagine many of you can relate). Think of this as a cake-shaped Rice Krispie Treat that uses popcorn instead of cereal, and has a little sweet and salty thrown in for good measure.
Here’s a confession. I forgot how much I find making these types of things a pain in the butt. There’s no reason this simple, tasty treat should be so aggravating to make, but somehow it is. I couldn’t find a big enough bowl for all the popcorn, so I emptied maybe a third of it into a smaller bowl because otherwise I couldn’t get all the marshmallow evenly distributed. I always start off using a spoon, and eventually give up and use my fingers. There seemed to be waaaay too much popcorn cake for the bundt pan, but eventually I managed to cram it all in. In the end, it was worth it, because the cake was a huge hit!
- 2 bags popped popcorn – can use salty or buttered, whatever you prefer
- 2 cups m&ms
- 1.5 cups broken (but not crushed) mini pretzels
- 1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter
- 1 bag (10 oz) mini marshmallows
Start off by greasing a bundt pan with butter, crisco or cooking spray. I wouldn’t recommend baking spray because I’m pretty sure that has flour in it. (I went with butter.)
Melt your butter over low heat in a medium saucepan. When it’s completely melted, add the entire bag of mini marshmallows. I find they melt the easiest when I toss them in the butter, let them sit for a bit, toss again, etc. Once they’re close to being melted, you’ll notice the butter is separated from the marshmallow. Here’s the time you should stir vigorously to combine them. I just used a plastic (wooden) spoon, but you can also use a silicon spatula if you like.
While the ‘mallows are melting, pop your 2 bags of popcorn and pour them into a ginormous bowl. Make sure to pick out the unpopped kernels so no one breaks a tooth! I found it easiest to pour the popped corn into one bowl, shake it a bit so the kernels settled to the bottom, then scoop out the rest of the popcorn into my giant bowl.
If your bowl isn’t big enough to stir the marshmallow in without everything spilling over the edge, I’d recommend you take some of the popcorn out before adding the M&Ms and pretzels, and add them back in when everything is nice and sticky. (I made this decision too late.)
Pour your M&Ms and pretzel pieces on top. You may have noticed that I only used red and blue M&Ms. I did, actually, take the time to pick them all out of 2 big bags, and it came out to nearly 2 cups. To buy individual color M&Ms was pretty pricey, no matter how much team loyalty I have, so this was a cheaper solution.
Pour your marshmallow on top, and use a spoon, or two, to stir the ingredients together. I’d recommend holding off on using your hands at first because the marshmallow is extremely hot as well as sticky, so not only will it stick to you but it will scald you if you’re not careful.
Once everything’s distributed, pour it into your prepared bundt pan. I had to smush everything down to fit it all in there, but it fit with only about an inch or so of overhang. Cover it with aluminum foil and let it sit and cool completely before taking it out onto a serving platter. I popped mine into the fridge. Then, use an icing spatula (or butter knife) to help pry it out of the bundt pan when it’s ready.
I’d recommend using a serrated bread knife to cut, but surprisingly a carving knife worked well too. These were a huge hit amongst the Giants fans, and I’m sure you’ll win people over with them as well.