Craft a 100% edible bucket using white chocolate popcorn then decorate it to look like a snowman. This delicious and adorable Snowman Popcorn Bucket will make a wonderful gift for Christmas or a fun dessert for any winter party.
It has been years since I made my first White Chocolate Popcorn Bowl. I crafted a large bowl using white chocolate popcorn for a movie night we were hosting for friends and I filled the edible bowl with Peanut Butter Twix Popcorn. It was a huge hit!
In the past, I've shared tutorials to make a Jack-O-Lantern Popcorn Bowl for Halloween and a Chocolate Football Popcorn Bowl for Super Bowl and I thought it was time to revisit this idea and create something fun for Christmas.
The edible snowman popcorn bucket is easy to make using just two ingredients. Once created, the bucket can be easily decorated using modeling chocolate or fondant. Let's see how!
How to make a Snowman Popcorn Bucket?
You'll start by popping some popcorn using an air popper (my preferred method), a pan on the stove, or in a bag in the microwave. You can even buy popped popcorn from the grocery store.
You can use salted or unsalted popcorn but do not use buttered popcorn. It will be too greasy and the white chocolate won't stick well to buttered popcorn.
No matter how you make your popcorn, be sure to separate the popped popcorn from any un-popped kernels. You don't want to coat un-popped kernels in the white chocolate.
What white chocolate to use?
When making white chocolate popcorn, I prefer to use compound white chocolate which is made using palm kernel oil as opposed to cocoa butter (used to make pure white chocolate) because it melts and hardens easily with little fuss. It has a pleasant vanilla flavor that tastes great with popcorn.
I personally use Peter’s IceCap wafers which are available at cake and candy shops but you can also use Merckens White Wafers, Ghirardelli White Melting Wafers, Wilton Candy Melts, White Candi Quik, or any white almond bark you can find in the grocery store.
If you use pure white chocolate it must be tempered (heated and cooled to specific temperatures) due to the crystal formations in the cocoa butter so that it will harden properly. You can learn how to melt and temper pure chocolate by checking out my chocolate-making tips page.
Melt white chocolate then mix with popcorn.
Melt the white compound chocolate in the microwave or on the stove. Use 30-second bursts of high power, stirring after each until melted or melt using a double boiler over LOW heat on the stove.
Reserve about a little over an ounce of the melted white chocolate, then pour the rest over the popcorn and toss it quickly until well-coated. Don't overmix or the white chocolate will begin to harden.
Shape the popcorn bucket.
Use a 3-quart popcorn bucket to make this snowman. If you can find a cardboard bucket, that will work great. I used a plastic popcorn bucket and lined it with non-stick tin foil.
Working quickly, start by spooning some of the white chocolate popcorn into the bottom of the bucket. Pack the popcorn into an even layer. It's best to use food-handling gloves to do this if you have any on hand.
Then, build the outer walls by adding small amounts of white chocolate popcorn around the edge of the bucket. Press it into an even layer. If the popcorn falls, just pick it up off the bottom and press it back in place.
Continue to layer the popcorn until it comes up to the edge. Use any extra white chocolate popcorn or some of the reserved white chocolate to fill in any gaps. Freeze the popcorn bucket for 15 minutes until the chocolate hardens.
Decorate your Snowman Popcorn Bucket.
Pinch off pieces of black modeling chocolate and roll them into balls. Flatten into two large coal-shaped eyes and seven smaller pieces of coal for the smile.
Use a larger piece of orange modeling chocolate to create the carrot nose.
Modeling chocolate is easy to make using just two ingredients and I think it tastes better than fondant but you can use store-bought or homemade fondant if you prefer.
Attach the decorations to your popcorn bucket using more melted white compound chocolate.
Fill the popcorn bucket snowman with more popcorn.
I have shared lots of white chocolate popcorn recipes that you can use to fill your popcorn bucket. Make 1 batch of popcorn using any of the recipes listed below.
- Winter Wonderland "FROZEN" Popcorn with candy snowflake sprinkles (pictured above)
- Peppermint Popcorn - white chocolate popcorn drizzled in dark chocolate and topped with candy cane pieces
- Peanut Butter Popcorn - crunchy popcorn coated in a creamy peanut butter fudge topping is topped with dark chocolate and mini peanut butter cups
- OREO Popcorn - white chocolate popcorn loaded with OREO Cookies
- White and Dark Chocolate Popcorn - white chocolate popcorn drizzled with dark chocolate
- S'mores Popcorn - white chocolate popcorn tossed with graham crackers, chocolate chips, and marshmallows
- Candy Bar Popcorn - white chocolate popcorn speckled with an assortment of candy bar bites
- Salty and Sweet Popcorn - white chocolate popcorn tossed with peanuts, pretzels, and potato chips
Craft an edible bucket using white chocolate popcorn. Then, decorate the snowman popcorn bucket with modeling chocolate or fondant.
- 10 cups popped popcorn (un-popped kernels removed)
- 18 ounces white compound chocolate (Candy Melts, Melting Wafers, Confectionery Coating, Almond Bark)
- 2-3 ounces black modeling chocolate or fondant
- 1-2 ounces orange modeling chocolate or fondant
Line the 3-quart popcorn bucket with non-stick tin foil. Try to smooth out the foil as much as possible.
Pour the popcorn into an extra-large mixing bowl. Be sure all the un-popped kernels are removed.
Melt the white compound chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl for 30-second bursts of high power, stirring after each, until melted. Do not overheat or the white chocolate will burn.
You can alternatively melt the white chocolate using a double boiler set over low heat. Fill a saucepan with 1-inch of water then set a bowl that fits snuggly over the top of the saucepan so that the bowl does not touch the water. Fill the bowl with white chocolate and set over low heat, stirring often, until melted.
Reserve a little over 1 ounce (a heaping tablespoonful) of the melted white chocolate for later.
Pour the remaining melted white chocolate over the popcorn and toss a few times using a silicone spatula or wooden spoon just until the popcorn is coated in the white chocolate.
Spoon some of the chocolate-coated popcorn into the bottom of the tin foil-lined popcorn bucket and flatten it into an even layer.
Begin building a wall of popcorn around the inside edge of the bucket.
Add small amounts of the white chocolate popcorn holding it in place using your hand or a spatula until it no longer falls.
Build the wall of popcorn until it comes up to the top edge of the bucket.
If needed, fill in any gaps using any remaining popcorn and melted white chocolate (reserving a small amount for decorating).
Chill the popcorn bucket in the freezer for 15 minutes.
Remove and lift up on the tin foil to lift the popcorn bucket out of the plastic bucket.
Peel off the tin foil.
Now your bucket is ready to decorate.
Pinch off two pieces of black modeling chocolate or fondant and roll them into balls then flatten them into coal-shaped eyes. Pinch off 7 small pieces of black modeling chocolate to create the coal for the snowman's smile.
Create a carrot nose using orange modeling chocolate or fondant.
Attach the snowman decorations to the popcorn bucket using the reserved melted white compound chocolate. If needed, reheat the white chocolate in the microwave for 10-second bursts of power, stirring after each, until melted.
Fill the popcorn bucket with your favorite popcorn.
Store this Snowman Popcorn Bucket in a popcorn tin for up to 2 months.
If you store the popcorn bucket in a plastic airtight container, the popcorn will keep for about 2 weeks.