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Caramel Popcorn Cake

How's that old expression go? "Have your cake and... popcorn too?"


Servings: 30


  • Caramel popcorn
  • 10 Cups of Popped Popcorn
  • 1 cup Butter (Sweet Cream Salted)
  • 1 cup Brown Sugar
  • ½ tsp. Bicarb Soda
  • Cake
  • 429g all-purpose flour
  • 265g caster (superfine) sugar
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 125g unsalted butter, softened
  • 375ml of milk
  • 125ml vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp Greek yogurt (can substitute with sour cream)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups crushed caramel popcorn
  • 1 cup dulce de leche
  • salted caramel sauce to drizzle
  • Frosting
  • 2 batches Swiss meringue buttercream frosting
  • 1 cup dulce de leche
  • dark caramel frosting – 4 drops brown food gel + 3 drops orange food gel
  • dark caramel frosting – 2 drops brown food gel + 1 drops orange food gel
  • dark caramel frosting – 1 drops brown food gel + 1 drops orange food gel

Let's get Cooking...

  1. Frosting
  2. Add the dulce de leche to the frosting and mix until well combined. You’ll use it to crumb coat the cake first and then you’ll want to split the remaining frosting into three bowls. Colour each one using the colour formulas in the ingredients list. Mix using a stand mixer or hand mixer until evenly coloured. Set aside.
  3. Caramel popcorn
  4. Add butter and brown sugar into a large saucepan. Stir until melted and it comes to a gentle boil. Take off the heat and add bicarb soda. Mix until it froths and expands then pour over popcorn and mix until well coated.
  5. Pour the popcorn out onto a cookie sheet covered with aluminium foil or a silpat liner. Place in the oven on 110C for 10-15 minutes to dry out and then let it cool completely before using.
  6. Once cooled add three cups of the caramel popcorn to a food processor and blitz until finely crushed. Alternatively you can crush it in a zip lock bag with a rolling pin.
  7. Cake
  8. Please note: the cake recipe will need to be doubled to achieve the cake in the video. I halved it in the video because most people don’t have mixing bowls big enough in their kitchens to make the entire recipe in one go :0) Let’s get stuck into the recipe!
  9. Preheat a fan-forced oven to 160C (320F) or 180C (356F) for a conventional oven. Spray an 8” cake tin with oil spray and line the bottom with baking paper.
  10. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the flour, baking powder, caster sugar and salt. Turn mixer on low speed and allow it to mix for a couple minutes to help everything combine well (alternatively you may do this by sifting the ingredients together). Add the softened butter and mix until it resembles a fine sand like texture.
  11. Add the milk, oil, Greek yogurt, eggs and vanilla extract into the bowl with the dry ingredients and mix on medium speed until no dry ingredients are visible. Scrape down the bowl, add dulce de leche and crushed popcorn and fold until well combined.
  12. Fill three 8” cake tins with batter.
  13. Bake for 45 min or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow the tins to cool for 2 min and then carefully flip the cake tins over on to a cooling rack to cool completely before using.
  14. Using a large serrated knife, carefully trim the top off each layer of cake to make even and flat layers. Try to aim to get them all the same height. An easy way to do this is to find the lowest height of the cake, place a skewer or toothpick next to that point and mark it. As you go around each side of the cake cutting it, use the marked skewer to make sure each cut is at the same height.
  15. To prepare crumb coat, add a dab of frosting onto an 8” cake board or serving plate. Add first cake layer. Use a small offset to add a layer of frosting and smoothen out and layer the frosting on each layer before adding the next layer of cake. Add more frosting around the outside to fill the grooves between each layer. This should just be a neat thin layer of frosting which is aimed at trapping any cake crumbs so that random bits of cake crumbs don’t show up on the outside of the cake. Chill for 2 hours or overnight
  16. Pipe three lines of dark caramel frosting to the bottom of the cake using a piping bag. Then the next shade of frosting and finish with three lines of the light shade on top of the cake. Use a cake scraper to go around the cake to smoothen out the frosting. Make sure you clean off the scraper each time you go around. Use the cake scraper to scrape the top too.
  17. Add larger pieces of popcorn at the bottom of the cake and work your way up with smaller, crushed popcorn.
  18. Fit the end of a piping bag with a Wilton 8b piping tip and frost swirls on top of the cake. Finish with a drizzle of salted caramel sauce.