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How to make a popcorn birthday cake

Updated on December 7, 2014

A popcorn cake is perfect for a movie themed birthday party!

My daughter wanted a movie themed birthday party when she turned 12. We had to come up with the perfect themed cake to go along with her party. Of course, we made a cake in the shape of a simple popcorn box. This cake is as easy to make a regular 9x13 rectangular one. As a busy mom of seven, I need to find birthday cakes that are quick and easy to make and decorate and frugal as well. Here I have included step-by-step instructions along with pictures. All of the pictures were taken as I made the cake. Maybe this cake will be perfect for your next birthday party! I made this in about a half hour.

Get the tools you need to decorate great cakes!

Wilton Basic Cake Decorating Set
Wilton Basic Cake Decorating Set

Here is a basic kit to get you started on cake decorating. You will have the tips to make an awesome popcorn birthday cake and all other kinds of cakes! This kit includes 12 bags and 5 of the most commonly used tips plus 4 colors to tint your icing.


Start with a 9x13 cake

I made things easier on myself by starting with a box mix. The price is right, and the directions and ingredients are very simple. Start by baking a cake in your favorite flavor in your rectangular 9x13 pan. I used a white cake mix because the white cake would not show through the icing, but you can use any flavor. Make sure you grease and flour the pan well, so that it will not stick or fall apart when you take the cake out of the pan. Then let it cool commpletely before you move to the next step.

You need a great 9x13 pan! - I use mine daily

I love to bake cakes and everything else in my stoneware pan. Stoneware keeps the bottom of cakes and bar cookies from burning and it heats evenly for great results every time. I make most of my family dinners in my stoneware 9x13 pan also--ziti, lasagna, shepherd's pie, chicken--it does it all. A 9x13 stoneware pan is great for cooking Frugal Family Meals!

Rada Cutlery Stoneware Rectangular Baking Pan, 9 x 13 Inch, Made in USA
Rada Cutlery Stoneware Rectangular Baking Pan, 9 x 13 Inch, Made in USA

This is a great stoneware option! You can make main dishes and desserts using this rectangular baker.


Cut the edges to shape your cake

Once the cake is completely cool, you need to cut the edges off the bottom at an angle to shape the cake like a popcorn box. Two quick cuts are all you need! (I know it doesn't look like much yet.) At this point, you can have a snack--eat the edges that you cut off!

Ice the entire thing with white icing - I used a can of Pillsbury white icing

Cover the entire cake with white icing. It will be much easier to ice if you put it in the freezer for a bit first, but I didn't have time so as soon as the cake was cool, I iced it. Tip: Ice the sides first, then do the top. Smooth out the icing as you go.

Pipe a circle of red icing in the middle - This is where you can write "happy birthday"

I used a star tip to pipe a circle of stars in the middle near the top, then I began to pipe stripes (again using the star tip) up the side to about 2 inches from the top. You will be adding real kettlecorn popcorn to the top of the cake. (That is why you don't want the stripes to go to the top of the cake.) When you pipe the circle, make sure you leave enough room to write your birthday greeting inside.

Pipe lines up and down the entire top - Write your birthday message inside the circle

Continue to pipe stars to form lines on the top of the cake. I then piped a zig zag across the top above the circle and a line across the bottom. I also piped a line of stars around the base to give it a more finished look.

Add real Kettle Corn popcorn to top of cake - Add more icing and more popcorn as needed

You can use a bag of store-bought kettle corn or you can make your own. I used a bag of ready made kettle corn to save time. Push the kettle corn into the icing, add more icing and more popcorn as needed. I used a bit of additional icing as "glue" for the popcorn until it looked like a full popcorn bag.

You can make this impressive cake in minutes!

Easy enough?

Was this easy enough? Would you make it sometime?

See results

What did you think of this cake? - Get ready to have your own movie themed birthday party!

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    • Redneck Lady Luck profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 4 years ago from Canada

      I was sure that I had stopped by this delicious popcorn cake recipe before but I guess I haven't. Either that or I was just so excited that I forgot to like it, so this visit I just have to say,"Gosh I like that cake!"

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Here lately I have been having a Huge Craving for Popcorn, I guess I found this Lens at the Right time! ;D

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 5 years ago

      Lovely idea. Pinned to my birthdays board and Squid Angel Blessed!

    • LittleLindaPinda profile image

      Little Linda Pinda 5 years ago from Florida

      I was wondering what you were going to make the popcorn with. Kettle Corn, my favorite popcorn. What a neat idea and it looks easy enough to make with your great photos and instructions. Thank you.

    • DIY Mary profile image

      DIY Mary 5 years ago

      What a neat idea for a cake!

    • Spiderlily321 profile image

      Spiderlily321 5 years ago

      Very fun idea. Thanks for sharing this! I think I will make it for someone that I know for their birthday

    • profile image

      Natural_Skin_Care 5 years ago

      Such a cool idea. Thanks for sharing!

    • profile image

      Natural_Skin_Care 5 years ago

      Such a cool idea. Thanks for sharing!

    • VarietyWriter2 profile image

      VarietyWriter2 5 years ago

      Another great lens by you. Blessed :)

    • profile image

      Kellenmadagan7 6 years ago

      Neat cake!

    • iijuan12 profile image

      iijuan12 6 years ago from Florida

      Cute idea! I love making shaped cakes for my kids' birthdays.

    • maytheforcebewi profile image

      maytheforcebewi 6 years ago

      I like cake.

    • profile image

      Annamadagan 6 years ago

      Oh, and there's me in the picture:)

    • profile image

      Annamadagan 6 years ago

      Thanks for making me such a good birthday cake! I loved the idea - and the taste!

    • CCGAL profile image

      CCGAL 6 years ago

      I love creativity - and your designing this cake for the movie theme was very creative! Nice job - lovely photos.

    • profile image

      happynutritionist 6 years ago

      Adorable! Now all you need is a good birthday movie!

    • profile image

      mockingbird999 6 years ago

      That is really cute. Wouldn't have thought of it myself.

    • profile image

      MaggiePowell 6 years ago

      cute idea... I'll use it for a friday night sleepover-movie night!

    • kerbev profile image

      kab 6 years ago from Upstate, NY

      It looks great!

    • JoyfulPamela2 profile image

      JoyfulPamela2 6 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      I'm impressed! I don't know how you got all the things ready that you needed to do in one day for her party, made it creative and fun, made it look easy, and made a lens about! Wonderful job! Hope the young ladies had a great time! :)

    • VarietyWriter2 profile image

      VarietyWriter2 6 years ago

      How fun. Blessed by a SquidAngel :)