What better way to celebrate a 2nd birthday than with sprinkles?! Our daughter’s very first friend, Zoe, turned two today and we just had to make a fun treat to take to her party!
When it comes to kids’ birthdays, I’m a big fan of treats that aren’t loaded with sugar or artificial junk. I pulled out my new favorite sprinkles and some dye-free M&M’s for inspiration. I also knew there would be cake, so baked goods were off the table. We know a lot of folks with nut allergies, so I’ve made it a rule to avoid them for parties. To easily adapt the recipe for what you have on hand, see the variations at the bottom of the recipe for ideas.
While daddy and Adelyn wrestled and watched “George George“, I whipped up this quick Funfetti popcorn mix. It took about 20 minutes and just a handful of ingredients! This is a sweet, savory and naturally colorful birthday treat. It was also easy to transport – just two 1-gallon ziplocs!
I popped the organic corn on the stovetop with a little coconut oil to give it a birthday cakey flavor. To my surprise, this treat was as popular with the adults as it was with the kids. By the time we left, there was an empty bowl with a few unpopped kernels and some rogue sprinkles.
Funfetti Popcorn Mix (Dye Free)
- 1 c. unpopped popcorn kernels
- 2 tbsp. coconut oil (or other oil you like to cook with)
- 10-12 oz chocolate coated candies (I used Unreal brand because they are dye free)
- 10-12 oz white chocolate or white candy melts
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 2 oz multi-color sprinkles (I used Pepper Creek Farms Rainbow Sprinkles)
- 1/4 tsp. fine sea salt or popcorn salt
In a large covered pot, melt coconut oil over high heat. (If you don’t have a huge sauce pot, you may want to pop the popcorn two batches). Toss in popcorn kernels and cover. Shake the pan occasionally until you hear the kernels begin to pop. Continue shaking the pan intermittently to ensure all kernels pop and none burn. Once popping ceases, transfer to parchment-lined cookie sheets.
Sprinkle the chocolate candies over the popcorn. In the microwave, melt white chocolate in a squeeze bottle or glass measuring bowl for 30 seconds. Stir and continue microwaving in 30 second increments until chocolate is just melted.
Drizzle half of the melted white chocolate onto the popcorn mixture and toss to coat evenly. Drizzle the remaining white chocolate, stir and quickly pour the multicolored sprinkles over the popcorn before the chocolate sets up. Finally sprinkle with the salt.
Variations: This mix would also be wonderful with pretzel rods, honey roasted peanuts, whole almonds or candy coated sunflower seeds. If opting for a cup and a half of pretzels or salted nuts, reduce the popcorn to 1/2 cup, the oil to 1 tbsp. and omit the salt from the recipe.
You could also substitute 1/4 tsp. of almond extract for the vanilla if you want a subtle birthday cake flavor.
Hint: You can find the natural rainbow sprinkles in Homegoods stores and the Unreal candy is available at Target or CVS.
For more ideas and tips on making dye free sweets, check out my Natural Food Coloring Pinterest Board.
Disclosure: I wasn’t paid or perked to link to the products mentioned, I’m just always on the hunt for baking items free of artificial food coloring. I love sharing that there are alternatives out there!