I’m from Iowa and I’m pretty sure popcorn is its own food group. We grew popcorn on the farm from time to time and I remember stripping the tiny dry kernels from the cob. My best popcorn memories are, of course, eating it! Popcorn for dinner, leftover popcorn for breakfast, kettle corn at the fairs, popcorn balls in the fall…why not a popcorn cake? My college buddy, Mary, celebrates her birthday in late July. When we were in college and celebrating BIG for her birthday, I decided to make her a popcorn cake. A month later, Mary made me a Snickers birthday cake (winding my favorite miniature circles of Snickers bars into a cake). Until this year, it was the only popcorn cake I’ve ever made but I decided to celebrate my birthday BIG this year by making myself one and sharing it on my blog. Happy Birthday to Me! Now that I’ve told everyone about it, does that I mean I have to share?
2/3 cup light corn syrup
2 cups sugar
2 tablsepoons vinegar
2/3 cup boiling water
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/3 teaspoon baking powder
Pop about 10-15 cups of popcorn (2 batches in the air popper).
Bring sugar, water, vinegar and syrup to a boil. Add cream of tartar and boil to soft crack stage (260 degrees–use candy thermometer).
Add the melted butter, vanilla and baking soda. Stir well. Pour over popped corn and stir to mix well. Pour popcorn mixture into a buttered angel food cake pan. Push the popcorn down with buttered hands to remove air pockets. Let cool. (Note: if you have any remaining popcorn mixture, use buttered hands to shape into popcorn balls about the size of a baseball. Place on waxed paper to cool.)
Once cool, take a knife and go around the sides of the angel food cake pan to release the popcorn mixture from the pan. Push the cake out of the pan from the underside of the pan (removable bottom).
Decorate as you wish. I decorated the top with colored candies and candles and tied a purple ribbon around the middle. Add candy to the popcorn mixture or use icing to write on the top.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME…HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME (and Mary, too!)