National Popcorn Day is January 19! Popping Up Flavorful Fun

Popcorn Treats Your Family Will Love

By Valarie Fisher, publisher of Macaroni KID Roseville-Rocklin-Lincoln, CA | Brenna Gutell, publisher of Macaroni KID Conejo Valley - Malibu - Calabasas, CA December 30, 2023

Who doesn't like popcorn? If you kids are like mine it's part of their regular snacking routine. Depending on the toppings it can be a much healthier option than other snacks. That said it is fun to have a sweet treat every so often. National Popcorn day is January 19th, why not celebrate with your family by trying a new flavor and learning more about this tasty treat? 

There are so many ways to make popcorn to get your popcorn fix. There's basic plain popcorn of course, but that can be so booorrriing. Then there's fresh buttered popcorn which is delish, but instead . . .  my family likes to experiment with flavorings or mix in sweet treats. How do you like yours? Maybe sweet and salty, just sweet, just salty, savory, spicy, cheesy or with mix-ins!

Although ready made popcorn comes in all sorts of flavors and there's a variety of premade seasonings and popcorn flavorings I've found that it's super easy to make our own! Just open up your spice cabinet and you'll find everything you need. I have some great suggestions including a Melted Marshmallow Topped Popcorn Recipe - so keep reading!

🍿 Ready to make some popcorn!

This is from one of my favorite cooking shows, I love how he includes the science of cooking - this is great to watch with your kids:

 Svetl from Getty Images via Canva

🧂 Yummy Popcorn Seasoning Suggestions

Here are some ideas for great DIY flavor combos to turn plain popcorn into a can't-miss treat. Add spices on their own, create your own combos or try some of these. Popcorn popped fresh at home tastes best, but you can also flavor up store bought in a pinch. 

Simply mix together, then sprinkle on your popcorn:

  • Hot Chocolate:  sprinkle on powdered cocoa and sugar or use hot cocoa mix - spice it up by adding cinnamon / cayenne
  • Garlic Cheese:  Parmesan cheese and garlic powder
  • Pizza:  garlic powder, salt, oregano, and powdered Parmesan cheese
  • Dill:  garlic powder, onion powder, salt, ground mustard, and dill - fresh if you have it
  • Taco:  taco seasoning - purchased or your favorite homemade, cumin and cilantro - fresh if you have it
  • Chili and Lime:  mix chili powder and lime juice into melted butter -  Optional: add salt, pepper, or cumin
  • Snickerdoodle:  cinnamon and sugar
  • Cookies and Cream:  take your favorite cream filled sandwich cookie and break into small pieces
  • Pumpkin Pie:  use pumpkin pie spice mix or add nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger and cloves plus a bit of sugar
  • Gingerbread: cinnamon, ginger, cloves and a touch of sugar
  • Strawberry:  crush freeze dried strawberries or other fruits into a powder for a healthy and colorful option 
  • Ranch:  ranch dressing mix - purchased or homemade
  • Chili Cheese chili powder, cumin, paprika, and Parmesan cheese - add some cayenne powder of you want an extra kick
  • Italian Italian seasoning mix - packaged or homemade
  • French Onion:  French onion soup / dip mix
  • Turmeric:  use alone or combine with other spices
  • Curry:  use alone or combine with other spices
  • Nutritional Yeast: This adds a cheese salty flavor - it's a great non-dairy / vegan cheese flavored option
  • Specialty Salt:  Check the spices section at your favorite store and look for flavored salts
  • Everything Bagel:  This yummy combo includes onion, garlic, poppy and sesame seeds, make your own or pick up readymade from the store
  • Peanut Butter:  Look for powdered peanut butter at your local grocery store

I purposely didn't include quantities of spices:  Add flavorings until it tastes right to you! Personally, I tend to wing it, adding a little of this and a little of that until I find the flavor I am looking for. 

Macaroni Tip:  Use the spices solo or mix with a little olive oil, melted butter or melted ghee and mix into popcorn - you can also use a cooking spray before adding dry spices. Also note that powdered ingredients stick better, think about using powdered sugar and powdered spices.

NatashaPhoto from Getty Images via Canva

🥄Yummy Popcorn  Mix-Ins

Here's where you can get creative and make some sweet and salty mixes. My favorite as a kid when we went to the drive-in was salty popcorn and sweet chocolate. 

You can add as many of these mix-ins as you want in order to come up with a one-of-a-kind family treat: 

  • Pretzels - kick it up a notch and use chocolate covered or peanut butter filled
  • Small candies - M&Ms, skittles or your fav.
  • Mini marshmallows
  • Gummies - I don't know about you, but my kids love gummies especially the sour ones.
  • Shredded Coconut
  • Cereal
  • Chips - chocolate, white chocolate, vanilla, peanut butter, butterscotch, etc.
  • Dried Fruit -  raisins / other dried fruits, cut larger fruit into smaller pieces - don't forget freeze dried fruit if you prefer it crunchy 
  • Nuts - raw / roasted or experiment with spiced, flavored, coated or chocolate covered if you dare
  • Seeds - pumpkin, sunflower or even sesame
  • Graham cracker pieces - Just break them apart into pieces, or add small cookies like Teddy Grahams
  • Cookies - use minis or break into smaller pieces
  • Heath baking bits
  • Caramel baking bits
  • Mini peanut butter cups
  • Mini candies of your choice
  • Sour candy
  • Animal crackers - even frosted ones
  • Sprinkles

Aleksandra Nigmatulina from Getty Images via Canva

🍿 Yummy Popcorn Topping "Melted Marshmallow" Recipe

These toppings can be lightly drizzled on or mixed in to coat every piece. Add some mix-ins too . . . smaller pieces will stick to the popcorn.


  • 4 cups of popcorn
  • Marshmallows or marshmallow cream
  • 1/4 cub Butter


  • For some fun color and fruit flavor, add 2 tablespoons of Jell-O mix to the melted marshmallows
  • Want S'more? Drizzle on melted chocolate or add chocolate chips and top with graham cracker bits
  • Add some melted peanut butter


  1. Melt 2 cups of marshmallows with a 1/4 cup of butter - mix till smooth
  2. Pour over 4 cubs of popped popcorn. 
  3. Optional: Form the popcorn into balls or bars!

Popcorn is so versatile and is an inexpensive snack that is fun for the whole family to experiment with. Take a pop at jazzing up your popcorn on your family's next movie night!

Learn more about popcorn:

Jupiterimages from Photo Images via Canva

Valarie Fisher is the publisher of Macaroni Kid Roseville-Rocklin-Lincoln, Calif.

This previously shared article has been updated and edited

by Macaroni KID Conejo Valley - Malibu - Calabasas