Buttered Popcorn Cupcakes

Buttered popcorn cupcakes You are probably in one of two groups. You either know the Oscar's are this Sunday, or you don't know (and probably don't care). I don't always end up watching the whole thing, and there's even been years I've missed the Oscar awards altogether but, I must admit I get excited for them. I used to be completely obsessed with them! This was partly due to the fact that I used to dream about being an actress, but also THE DRESSES. It's so fun to see what everyone wears!Buttered popcorn cupcakes  These cupcakes are my nod to the Oscar's this week. But also, Trey challenged me to find a way to incorporate buttered popcorn Jelly Bellies into a cupcake recipe. Sounds sort of weird, right? I wanted to create a cupcake that did indeed, showcase that buttered popcorn flavor but without being overwhelming or unappealing. Too much and it can get kind of gross. And cupcakes should never be gross.

I'm happy to report these are mostly sweet and delicious with just a little nod to that salty, buttery goodness we love about popcorn. So, don't be scared. You're gonna love these.Vanilla cupcake recipeButtered Popcorn Cupcakes, make two dozen standard size or three dozen mini size cupcakes.
Adapted from Chocolate Chip Cupcakes via Martha Stewart's Cupcakes.

3 1/4 cup sifted cake flour
4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup + 2 tablespoons whole milk
1/2 cup + 6 tablespoons softened butter
1 3/4 cups sugar
5 egg whites (room temperature)
24+ buttered pop corn jelly belly beans

For the frosting:
5 egg whites (room temperature)
1 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
small pinch of salt
2 cups softened butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
yellow food color (optional)

First sift together the cake flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.Jelly bean cupcakesWith an electric mixer, or stand mixer, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks begin to form. Set aside. Tip: If you only have one electric mixer, like me, be sure to beat the egg whites first and just remove them to another bowl. You don't want to beat the butter mixture first as any excess fat in your bowl (from the butter) will hinder the egg whites from whipping up properly. 

With an electric mixer, or stand mixer cream the softened butter until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the sugar and beat again until the mixture begins to looked whipped (softer and creamy in texture). Begin adding the flour mixture and milk in intervals, mixing in between. Add in the vanilla extract as well.

Fold the whipped egg whites into the batter using a rubber spatula. Cut through the batter down the center, then swiftly stir to one side. Keep mixing in this manner until nearly no lumps remain and the batter looks cohesive in texture.

Spoon batter into prepared baking cups. Add a jelly bean the center of each cupcake.Jelly bean cupcakes Jelly bean cupcakes  Bake at 350° for 20-22 minutes for standard size, and 17-18 minutes for mini size cupcakes. It's ok if some of the jelly beans peak out of the cupcakes. :) 

Allow those to cool while you make the frosting.How to make swiss meringue buttercreamThis is my favorite frosting: swiss meringue buttercream. It's perfectly appropriate for this particular cupcake because it has a lot of butter in the mix. 🙂 Lot's of people feel intimidated by swiss meringue buttercream, because it can be a bit tricky to get right. The truth is mine often turns out much more grainy than it ought to be, the most common "mess up" that can arise. But I have a trick that fixes this every time. 

First, combine the egg whites and sugar in a metal or glass mixing bowl. Set this over a pot of simmering water. Whisk until the egg whites are slightly warmed and the sugar and completely dissolved. You should be able to rub the mixture between your fingers without feeling any of the sugar granules. If it still feels grainy, keep whisking.How to make swiss meringue buttercream Now, using an electric mixer or stand mixer, beat the egg whites until stiff, glossy peaks form. You don't want to over mix but you do want those peaks to be stiff. Similar to pavlova, see these peaks

Then, with the mixer running on low, add the softened butter a few tablespoons at a time. You really want your butter to be room temperature, it can't be too cold or it wont' incorporate well. Once you've added all the butter turn the mixer up a few notches to whip the batter for a few seconds (getting rid of any air bubbles).

Your frosting should be silky smooth at this point.What to do if your swiss meringue buttercream is grainyOh, your frosting isn't silky smooth? It looks like a lumpy, grainy mess? Yeah, that happens to me too. At about this time I feel like throwing my hands in the air and yell about the injustice of the world.

But then I realize that's maybe a little dramatic for a frosting mishap.

Here's how to fix grainy swiss meringue buttercream. Remove about 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of the grainy looking frosting to a mug or small microwave safe bowl. Microwave this on high for about 15-20 seconds, until mostly melted. Turn the mixer on low and slowly stream the melted frosting into the remaining batch. Turn the mixer up to whip everything together for a 10-20 seconds. If it still looks a little grainy, repeat again. Sometimes I need to do this twice in order to get that silky texture.

See the frosting above? It looks super silky smooth right? It was a grainy, lumpy mess until I did this final step. This works for me every time. Now you'll never have to be scared of swiss meringue again. Hooray! Movie night cupcakes
Pipe your now perfect frosting onto the cooled cupcakes. Top with a piece or two of buttered popcorn. These are best eaten the day they are made. So host a party and surprise guests with these unexpectedly delicious salty, sweet cupcakes. Perfect for a movie night, or Oscar watching party. 🙂 Enjoy! xo. Emma

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman

  • My mouth is waaaaatering just looking at these pictures! What an amazing idea!

  • You have a lovely blog, if you’d like to visit mine and follow me via bloglovin I always follow back 😉


  • These look delicious, such a cute idea for an Oscar watching party! I will definitely be giving these a try on Sunday xx

  • OOOH these sound SO lovely. Think of all the other Jelly Belly flavours!

    Rosie x
    Every Word Handwritten

  • Oh my! These are CRAZY cool! I love the idea and beautiful pics! Thanks for sharing!

  • Such a clever trick to dissolve the sugar – I hadn’t thought of doing that before, i’ll have to try it next time. Also, love your kitchen aid!

  • What a great idea! I wish I were savvy enough to veganize this recipe. I may just have to alternate a handful of popcorn with a bite of vanilla cupcake! Have fun watching the show!

  • Ooooh these are so intriguing! I’m not sure how I feel about combining popcorn and cupcakes… and jelly beans too?! Eek.

    I’m definitely tempted to try the popcorn part though! Might have to give these a go sometime soon. Thanks for sharing!

    – Taryn Elise xx

  • I just want to say that, as a culinarian and a baker, I have a tip for you. When you are heating the sugar and the egg whites together you can put them in a normal pot, skipping the whole double boiler process. And also, and this is HUGE (!), it is very highly suggested that you heat this mixture to about 140 degrees, in order to heat the egg whites sufficiently to kill the possibilities of salmonella.

  • OSCARS. NO APOSTROPHE. I do not think there is a single post on this blog without a glaring, embarrassing typo.

  • I’m really Into this idea! Good work now I’m hungry!


  • LOVE the extra touch of a popcorn jelly bean!


  • Everyone always makes fun of me for liking the buttered popcorn jelly bellys! This is such a fun idea!


  • These look delicious! I love incorporating crazy (and delicious) foods into dessert. Deb Perelman made some awesome buttered popcorn cookies once, and they’re awesome as well! Can’t wait to try these out!



  • These would be really fun to make for a movie night! I’m saving the recipe, thanks for sharing!

  • these look amazing what an awesome idea !!
    i do like toffee popcorn as a treat this would be a lovely take on the classic to bake
    Lauren x
    Britton Loves | Fashion Lifestyle + Photography – www.brittonloves.blogspot.co.uk
    Support my Photography Project here !

  • You may have just changed my life with the grainy frosting tip – my grandmother’s similar buttercream recipe always does that grainy thing and I’ve never dreamed up a way to fix it. I am going to try the melted frosting stream in thing next time!

  • WOW! These look AMAZING! So creative and I bet they taste immense!


  • I’m totally going to make these for the oscar party I’m going to!! Buttered Popcorn is my favourite jelly belly flavour. These look so great! xo

  • Once again you made something so beautiful, and I’m sure it tastes great, I have to try it out! You are a great example to show that even if you have certain dream, some opportunities come knocking and it might seem great at the time, but can be the best thing ever happening.. I hope one day I’ll be happy and successful just like you!
    Keep up the good work Emma! And Elsie too, you’re both so great!

  • Ahhh I am in charge of baked goods for an Oscar party this Sunday and I was looking for something festive to bake – thank you!!

  • My eyes are like this *.* right now!

    A fashion & DIY blog…

  • WHAT ON EEEAAAARTH?! These are awesome! I’ve actually never watched the Oscars before (although I follow up online to look at dresses and see if Leo finally won something).

    Maybe these awesome cupcakes will give me a reason to throw a cool Oscars party ;D


  • This is the perfect treat for an Oscar’s party! I used to hate watching award shows, but I’m tuning in this year because I need to see Leo win an award! He deserves one! And the red carpet is always fun to watch.


  • I read this title and first though EW, but upon seeing how cute they are, and realizing that they must be SUCH a perfect combo of sweet and salty, all I can say is I can’t wait to make em!

    (also, SO excited Ellen is hosting)

    xo, Juliette Laura

  • im not sure about popcorn jelly beans, these looks awesome though!

  • They look so cool! and i bet they taste even better!
    such a good alternative to good old popcorn!

  • That looks AMAZING!

    Thank you so much for sharing- yummy yummy yummy:-)

    Have a sunny day and greetings from Germany,

    Birdy and Bambi


  • LOVE LOVE LOVE this! Looks so yummy. Defoe on my Baking list
    Tink x

  • huuuge thankyou to Trey for challenging you! This flavour of jelly bean is up there with my favourites, so these look beyond delicious!

  • When would you add the food coloring? I think a buttery yellow would be great change from white. I’ve never done swiss meringue buttercream, but I know that timing is nearly everything and i dont want to add coloring too soon or too late. 🙂

  • I completely forgot the Oscars were this weekend, i love watching it purely for the dresses! And these cupcakes would be perfect for watching the Oscars, popcorn is a must!!


    And it’s going to be so much fun surprising everyone else with this new recipe!

  • Yum! *drooling* Thanks for sharing this 🙂


    I can’t wait for the Oscar dresses either 😉

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