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Cinnamon Churro Popcorn (Gluten Free & Vegan Friendly)

Cinnamon Churro Popcorn – This easy cinnamon popcorn almost tastes like biting into a warm churro or cinnamon roll. It’s a simple, delicious treat you can whip up in no time! (Gluten free & vegan friendly)

Gluten Free & Vegan Friendly Cinnamon Churro Popcorn by One Lovely Life

This post is written in partnership with Sprouts. All opinions are my own. 

One of the things I hope for as my kids grow up is that they have lots of memories of being happy at home. 3/4 of us are MEGA introverts, so we love being home and cozy. While they’re small, we look for little excuses to make the simple things fun, whether that’s turning lunch into a picnic on the floor, celebrating obscure holidays (National Chocolate Chip Cookie day, for instance), or making the most of movie or game nights by adding a little treat to go with them.

One of our go-to treats is popcorn because it’s one of those easy, always ready to go snacks you can make in no time. Popcorn kernels are ready in just a few minutes, and there are so many tasty ways to flavor it that you’ll never run out of options.

This Cinnamon Churro Popcorn is our latest favorite and guys? It’s GOOOOOOD. Also easy. Did I mention easy? Because…

Popcorn kernels, cinnamon, and vanilla--ready to be made into Cinnamon Churro Popcorn

What You Need to Make Cinnamon Popcorn (Key Ingredients):

1. Popcorn Kernels. You can’t make cinnamon churro popcorn without, well, popcorn. You can use plan (not buttered) microwavable popcorn if you like for this recipe, but I love picking up popcorn kernels bagged on the shelves or in the bulk bins at Sprouts when they’re on sale. The great price and awesome quality make it my go-to choice. I keep popcorn kernels on hand so I can flavor it any way I like. And don’t worry about popping it–I’ll walk you through my 2-minute-per-batch method of popping corn below in the recipe. It’s EASY!

2. Butter or Vegan Butter – This cinnamon churro popcorn recipe can be made with or without dairy, as it works equally well with butter or vegan butter. Pick the one that works best for your dietary needs! (I’ve tried it with coconut oil, too, but the coconut flavor came through more than I liked. I recommend sticking with butter or vegan butter)

3. Coconut Sugar – I use coconut sugar because it’s my go-to granulated sugar. It’s thought to have less of an impact on blood sugar, and the taste is delicious and caramel-y. (It’s made from coconut blossom nectar not coconuts themselves, so it doesn’t taste like coconut the way coconut oil does.) See the next section for swaps if you prefer to use something else.

4. Cinnamon & Vanilla – Here’s where all that yummy cinnamon and churro flavor comes from. The combination lends another note of sweetness and tastes like a warm churro or gooey cinnamon roll. It’s AMAZING.

Cinnamon Churro Popcorn from One Lovely Life

Variations & Substitutions for this Cinnamon Popcorn

  • Swap Your Sweetener – Not a coconut sugar fan? You can easily use white sugar or brown sugar for this recipe. Both will work beautifully, though I prefer the brown sugar option if you’re not going the coconut sugar route. I haven’t tried it with erythritol, monkfruit, or any other alternative powdered sweeteners.
  • Make it Vegan – You can easily make your cinnamon churro popcorn vegan by switching out the butter for vegan butter and making sure to use a vegan friendly sugar (my favorite is at Sprouts). It’ll work just as well! I do not recommend using oil (like coconut or avocado) because the flavors won’t quite be the same. With avocado oil, it falls flat and with coconut oil, it tastes too coconutty with the cinnamon, which isn’t my favorite combo.
  • Pumpkin Spice – You can quickly turn this cinnamon popcorn into pumpkin spice popcorn by swapping pumpkin pie spice for the ground cinnamon.
  • Chai Spice – Or, you could give it the chai spice treatment with my DIY chai spice blend. It’s delicious!

Gluten Free & Vegan Friendly Cinnamon Churro Popcorn by One Lovely Life

FAQ + Tips for Perfect Cinnamon Churro Popcorn

Can I make this with ghee or coconut oil? In my experience, the ghee didn’t combine with the sugar properly and coconut oil tasted pretty coconutty. It wasn’t bad, but it didn’t taste like a cinnamon churro (which was what I was going for).

Do you use regular paper bags to pop the popcorn? Yep! Just standard paper lunch bags. No added chemicals or protectants needed! You can pick some up on your weekly Sprouts run!

How do I pop popcorn without a microwave? No problem! You can totally use this stovetop tutorial or even this Instant Pot tutorial if you don’t like using a microwave or don’t have one.

Do I have to bake it? Nope! If you skip the baking step, it won’t be as crispy, but if you’re going for gooey (more like caramel corn), then you can skip the baking step. Also note: I don’t recommend skipping the baking step if you’re not eating it immediately. Baking helps dry it out so the cinnamon churro popcorn lasts longer (because it won’t get soggy or shrunken).

Craving More Munchable Snacks? Try:

 

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Gluten Free & Vegan Friendly Cinnamon Churro Popcorn by One Lovely Life

Cinnamon Churro Popcorn (Gluten Free & Vegan Friendly)


  • Author: Emily of One Lovely Life
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 (1-cup) servings 1x

Description

Cinnamon Churro Popcorn – This easy cinnamon popcorn almost tastes like biting into a warm churro or cinnamon roll. It’s a simple, delicious treat you can whip up in no time! (Gluten free & vegan friendly)


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1/2 cup popcorn kernels (about 8 cups popped popcorn)
  • 4 Tbsp butter or vegan butter
  • 4 Tbsp coconut sugar (can sub brown or white sugar)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon, such as Sprouts brand
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch sea salt

Instructions

Pop Your Popcorn:

  1. Place 1/4 cup popcorn kernels in a paper lunch sack. Fold the top over twice to seal and place seam side down in the microwave. Microwave 2 minutes or until no more kernels are popping when you count to 3.
  2. Immediately remove popcorn from bag and allow to cool in a large bowl.
  3. Repeat with remaining 1/4 cup kernels (you can re-use the same bag).
  4. Allow all popcorn to be cool enough to handle, and remove and discard any un-popped kernels.

Make the Cinnamon-Sugar Topping:

  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick silicone baking mat.
  2. In a small saucepan, gently melt butter and coconut sugar together over low heat just until the mixture is smooth and the sugar dissolves. (Don’t boil.) Your mixture may seem like it won’t come together. Just continue to whisk and stir and it will, as the sugar dissolves. Coconut sugar just takes a few minutes longer than white/brown.
  3. When the sugar is dissolved (and no longer grainy), stir in the cinnamon and vanilla. Whisk until smooth.
  4. Pour over your popped popcorn and stir with a spatula to coat as well as you can.
  5. Spread the coated popcorn out on your prepared baking sheet and shake to even it out a bit (you don’t want large clumps stuck together or stacked on top of one another).
  6. Bake at 300 degrees F for 8-10 minutes, stirring every 3-4 minutes for even baking.
  7. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt.
  8. Cool & enjoy!
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Dessert, Snacks
  • Method: Stovetop, Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: cinnamon popcorn, popcorn recipe, churro popcorn,

Gluten Free & Vegan Friendly Cinnamon Churro Popcorn by One Lovely Life Gluten Free & Vegan Friendly Cinnamon Churro Popcorn by One Lovely Life

8 Comments

  1. Hello can u use microwave Kettle popcorn ? I need to put in bags for a party, would really appreciate your advice thank you.

    1. Marina – I’d recommend a lightly salted or plain microwave popcorn. Otherwise, it could end up too sweet. But in a pinch, you might be able to get by!

  2. Just made this and it’s YUMMY. I used 2 small bags of light butter popcorn. I think it was a little too much for the recipe but it’s delicious. Next time I would do the same but double the sauce.

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