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Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Popcorn (Vegan, Gluten Free)

Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Popcorn – This vegan peanut butter popcorn is topped with a chocolate drizzle. Crispy, crunchy, sweet, chocolatey–it’s everything in one! 

Front view of a bowl of vegan peanut butter popcorn with chocolate drizzle

I love popcorn all the time, but especially this time of year. We start hunkering down for family movie nights more and more, and we love making some kind of treat to celebrate. Sophie loves to help, and when she couldn’t decide whether Muddy Buddies or popcorn sounded best, I got the idea for combining them.

This Chocolate Peanut Butter Popcorn has all the chocolate peanut butter goodness of Muddy Buddies paired with the crunch of popcorn. It’s the best of both worlds, and it’s perfect whether you’re serving it for a movie night, party, or get together. Here’s what makes it amazing…

Ingredients for Vegan Peanut Butter Popcorn with Chocolate Drizzle - Large bowl of popped popcorn, and small bowls of natural peanut butter, agave syrup, coconut sugar, and chocolate chips Overhead view of tray of Vegan Peanut Butter Popcorn with Chocolate Drizzle.

What Makes This Chocolate Peanut Butter Popcorn Amazing:

  • A perfect pairing. First, well, it’s got chocolate AND peanut butter. So… yum.
  • The texture is amazing. The gooey peanut butter caramel coating goes onto the popcorn. Then, it’s drizzled with melted chocolate. What you end up with is crispy, crunchy, sweet, salty, chocolatey goodness that’s basically all my favorite things at the same time.
  • It’s easy. I love (like, LOVE!) caramel corn, but sometimes if you accidentally boil it too long, or not long enough, the texture doesn’t come out quite right. This is pretty basic stuff. No fussy tricks required!
  • It makes a fun gift! Obviously, nut allergies are a BIG deal, so this wouldn’t work for everyone, but you can easily pack this up in a cute little bag and give it to a friend. It’s so yummy!

Other Mix-Ins & Ways to Adapt It:

I love playing with recipes, and this one’s easy to adapt! A few other yummy ways to take this recipe and run with it…

Overhead view of a tray of vegan peanut butter popcorn with chocolate drizzled on top

Notes on this Chocolate Peanut Butter Popcorn:

  • I Use & Recommend Natural Peanut Butter – I use natural creamy peanut butter (brand doesn’t matter) for this recipe. Crunchy also works. I classify “natural” peanut butter as a peanut butter without any added sugars, oils, or stabilizers. Ideally, the ingredient list should be just peanuts or peanuts and salt. If you’re using unsalted peanut butter, I recommend adding a tiny pinch of salt to the peanut butter mixture to help offset the sweetness and wake up the flavors.
  • Dairy Free Chocolate – Dairy free chocolate is getting easier and easier to find. Enjoy Life is a fairly widely available brand, and even a new Toll House variety is allergen friendly. If you don’t have an allergy, you can also use Guittard semi-sweet or extra dark chocolate chips (which have no dairy ingredients, but are produced on shared equipment with dairy-containing products).
  • How To Pop Your Popcorn – You can use a variety of methods here. I often use a chemical free microwave method using a plain paper bag + popcorn kernels (see the notes section of the recipe card for how to do this). You can also use about 1.5 store-bought bags of microwavable popcorn (look for no butter). I prefer this brand which uses no chemicals or additives on their bags + organic, non-GMO corn kernels. If microwaves aren’t your jam, you can use this method for stovetop preparation, or use an air popper.
  • How To Store This: After letting it completely set (this can take a few hours), I transfer it to an airtight bag or container. We also move ours to the fridge to help it last longer, and it’ll keep up to 4-5 days in the fridge vs 2-3 on the counter. You do you!
  • Other Nut or Seed Butters? I do think this would work with other nut butters or seed butter. There isn’t anything important texturally about peanut butter that would prohibit subbing in cashew butter, almond butter, sunflower seed butter. Use what you can! (Again, I’d stick with “natural” versions, wherever possible.)

Craving More? Here Are Some Other Yummy Treats You Might Like:

Close up front view of a bowl of vegan peanut butter popcorn with chocolate drizzle

Print
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Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Popcorn (Vegan, Gluten Free)


  • Author: Emily
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: about 8 cups 1x

Description

This vegan peanut butter popcorn is topped with a chocolate drizzle. Crispy, crunchy, sweet, chocolatey–it’s everything in one! 


Ingredients

Scale
  • 8 cups popped popcorn**
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar (can sub white or brown sugar)
  • 1/3 cup agave or honey (use agave for vegan)
  • 1/2 cup natural, creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch salt (optional)

To Drizzle:

  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (dairy free, as needed)

Instructions

  1. Pop your popcorn and transfer to a large bowl (with plenty of room for stirring).
  2. Prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone baking mat and set aside.
  3. In a medium saucepan, heat coconut sugar and agave/honey over medium heat.
  4. Bring mixture to a boil and boil 2 minutes, stirring regularly.
  5. Remove from the heat and immediately add peanut butter and vanilla, stirring until it’s smooth. Mixture may look separated at first. Keep stirring. It’ll come together and be quite thick.
  6. Drizzle mixture over your popped popcorn and stir well with a spatula to coat the popcorn.
  7. Spread peanut butter coated popcorn onto your prepared baking sheet to cool. Try to spread it in a single layer. Don’t worry about separating clumps. (I prefer little clusters!)
  8. In a small saucepan, gently melt your chocolate chips over low heat. Drizzle melted chocolate over your peanut butter popcorn. To do this, you can transfer the chocolate into a zip-top bag and snip a corner to create a “piping bag” for even drizzling. Or, you can use a fork dipped into the melted chocolate for a more varied look.
  9. Allow popcorn to cool and set before eating for best results. (If you can’t wait, it’ll be a delicious, but gooey!). Popcorn will set in about 1-2 hours.
  10. To store, let the popcorn set completely, then transfer to an airtight bag or container and store at room temperature 2-3 days or in the refrigerator up to 4-5 days.

Notes

Pop Your Popcorn (Microwave Method): you can place 3-4 Tbsp of kernels in a plain paper bag. Fold down 2 times and place (fold side down) in the microwave. Microwave 2 minutes. Repeat with remaining kernels, until all your popcorn is popped. You can also sub in 1.5 bags plain microwaveable popcorn. (No butter, please!)

Pop Your Popcorn (Stovetop or Air Popper Method:) if you prefer cooking without a microwave, I recommend this method for stovetop popping, or you can use an air popper.

I Use & Recommend Natural Peanut Butter – I use natural creamy peanut butter (brand doesn’t matter) for this recipe. Crunchy also works. I classify “natural” peanut butter as a peanut butter without any added sugars, oils, or stabilizers. Ideally, the ingredient list should be just peanuts or peanuts and salt. If you’re using unsalted peanut butter, I recommend adding a tiny pinch of salt to the peanut butter mixture to help offset the sweetness and wake up the flavors.

Dairy Free Chocolate – Dairy free chocolate is getting easier and easier to find. Enjoy Life is a fairly widely available brand, and even a new Toll House variety is allergen friendly. If you don’t have an allergy, you can also use Guittard semi-sweet or extra dark chocolate chips (which have no dairy ingredients, but are produced on shared equipment with dairy-containing products).

Other Nut or Seed Butters? I do think this would work with other nut butters or seed butter. There isn’t anything important texturally about peanut butter that would prohibit subbing in cashew butter, almond butter, sunflower seed butter. Use what you can! (Again, I’d stick with “natural” versions, wherever possible.)

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Dessert, Snack
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Peanut Butter Popcorn, Chocolate Peanut Butter Popcorn, Chocolate Drizzled Popcorn, Chocolate Drizzled Peanut Butter Popcorn, Peanut Butter Chocolate Popcorn, Vegan Caramel Corn

Overhead view of a tray of vegan peanut butter popcorn with chocolate drizzle and text reading "Gluten Free & Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Popcorn"

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4 Comments

  1. I love this recipe, but I can’t seem to make my popcorn crispy. It is very gooy and wet even after I let it sit overnight. Any recommendations? Thanks!!

    1. I’m so glad you like it, but I’m sorry it’s not crisping up for you! This recipe doesn’t get super crispy (it’s meant to be more like gooey caramel corn). You could try using more popcorn (to thin out the peanut butter topping), or you can pop it in the fridge to cool so the topping hardens before it makes the popcorn soggy. I hope one of those ideas helps!

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