Costco's Zebra Popcorn is a delicious treat that combines the irresistible flavors of sweet caramel popcorn with rich milk and white chocolate drizzled over crunchy popcorn. Recreating this snack at home allows you to indulge in its deliciousness whenever the craving strikes!
Zebra Popcornopolis is a brand of popcorn you can often find at local retailers like Target and Walmart. Costo sells the huge bags of this popcorn brand, but it's easy to create at home with just a few simple ingredients. You will need:
- corn syrup or honey
- granulated sugar
- vanilla extract
- semi sweet chocolate chips
- white chocolate chips
1. Prepare the Popcorn:
- Pop the popcorn using an air popper or stovetop method. Ensure it's free of any un-popped kernels and set it aside in a large bowl.
2. Create the Caramel Coating:
- In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the unsalted butter. Add the sugar and corn syrup or honey. Stir continuously until the mixture comes to a gentle boil.
3. Cooking the Caramel:
- Let the mixture simmer for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Incorporate the vanilla extract.
4. Coat the Popcorn:
- Quickly pour the hot caramel over the popped popcorn in the bowl. Using a spatula or wooden spoon, carefully toss the popcorn until evenly coated with the caramel. Pour the popcorn onto a baking sheet and bake at 250 degrees for 15 minutes, tossing halfway through baking time.
5. Create the Zebra Pattern:
- Melt the semi-sweet chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl in short intervals or using a double boiler until smooth. Drizzle the melted chocolates over the caramel-coated popcorn in a striped pattern.
6. Allow to Set:
- Spread the popcorn onto a parchment-lined baking sheet to cool and allow the caramel and chocolate to set. You can gently separate the pieces if needed while it cools.
7. Serve and Enjoy:
- Once cooled and set, break the popcorn into clusters or individual pieces. Serve this delightful copycat Costco Zebra Popcorn and relish the delicious combination of sweet and savory flavors.
You can easily adapt this recipe to any food allergies, intolerances or preferences.
- Gluten free: This recipe is already naturally gluten free
- Dairy free: Substitute dairy free butter and chocolate chips.
- Vegan: Substitute dairy free butter, dairy free chocolate chips and maple syrup or agave in place of the corn syrup or honey.
- Naturally sweetened: In place of the sugar, substitute coconut sugar. It will give your popcorn a nice caramelly flavor. Also use sugar free chocolate chips.
You can store your popcorn in an airtight container for up to one week. The popcorn may loose a little bit of crispness the longer it is stored.
Yes, you can use plain or lightly salted microwave popcorn as a convenient alternative. Make sure to remove any unpopped kernels before adding the caramel coating.
Store the cooled popcorn in an airtight container or resealable bags at room temperature. It can stay fresh for up to a week, though it's best consumed within a few days for optimal taste and texture.
Absolutely! Customize your Zebra Popcorn by adding nuts like peanuts or almonds, pretzels, or sprinkles before the caramel sets for added texture and flavor.
Yes, feel free to experiment with dark or milk chocolate for a different flavor profile. Adjust the sweetness according to your preference.
While spreading the popcorn on the baking sheet, gently separate any clumps or clusters to ensure they cool individually and don't stick together.
Enjoying Your Costco Zebra Popcorn
Enjoy the homemade goodness of Zebra Popcorn reminiscent of the beloved Costco Popcornopolis favorite. Also enjoy some other fun variations like our apple caramel popcorn or some Costco snickerdoodle cookie brittle.
Costco Zebra Popcorn
- popcorn maker optional
- baking sheet
- 9 cups popped popcorn approximately ½ cup corn kernels, popped
- For the caramel sauce:
- ½ cup butter
- ¼ cup honey or corn syrup
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- For the Zebra drizzle:
- ½ cup semi sweet chocolate chips
- ½ cup white chocolate chips
- Remove any kernels from the popcorn and discard. Place the popped popcorn in a very large mixing bowl.
- Place the butter in a saucepan on the stove. On medium heat, melt the butter. Once butter is melted, add the sugar and honey or corn syrup. Bring mixture to a boil. Once the mixture is boiling, continue to boil for five minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, and stir in the vanilla. Pour the caramel mixture over the popcorn and stir thoroughly to combine.
- Once popcorn is mixed, spread the popcorn evenly on a cookie sheet. Place the popcorn in a 250 degree preheated oven for fifteen minutes, stirring the popcorn halfway through to bake the popcorn evenly.
- Remove the popcorn from the oven and allow the popcorn to cool for 5-10 minutes before drizzling the popcorn with the melted chocolates. Place the popcorn in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to set the chocolate.
- To serve: Break the popcorn into pieces and serve. Popcorn can be stored in an airtight container for up to one week.