Red Hot Holiday Trends: Dulce de Leche Popcorn Ice Cream with Almonds & Coconut

Some of you may know that I’ve been doing some blogging over at Betty Crocker for the last several months and it’s been an awesome and rewarding experience. I absolutely love being a part of the Betty Crocker team of bloggers. When it came time to sign-on for Betty’s Red Hot Holiday Trends for 2013, I was all over it and so excited to participate in all the delicious goodness.

The Betty Crocker team totally has their finger on the pulse of this year’s Red Hot Holiday Trends and my favorite is definitely Popcorn Reinvented. I‘m always a fan of still warm, crunchy, freshly popped corn…and secretly, I enjoy it with a tall glass of milk. It sounds weird, but it’s totally a winning combo. For a frozen twist on a favorite snack, I made this Dulce de Leche Popcorn Ice Cream with Almonds & Coconut. I love to infuse the puffed & popped kernels into the indulgent ice cream base, swirl it with dulce de leche and stud it with buttery, salted almonds, and toasted coconut. It’s almost like a nutty, coconut dusted, caramel corn…but in ice cream form!

Be sure to check out all of the festive contributions from my fellow Betty Bloggers, as well as Betty’s twist on Popcorn Reinvented with this amazing Triple-Caramel Popcorn Fudge! You can see my other contributions to the Betty site HERE.


Print Recipe

Dulce de Leche Popcorn Ice Cream with Salted Almonds and Coconut

Adapted from THIS recipe.

2 cups heavy cream

2 cups whole milk

8 cups popcorn*

5 teaspoons cornstarch

2/3 cup sugar

2 tablespoons corn syrup

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup dulce de leche

1/2 cup toasted coconut

1/2 cup salted almonds, coarsely chopped

In a medium saucepan heat the heavy cream with the popcorn (the popcorn will basically wilt away, so if it seems like a lot, it won’t be), bring to a low boil, cover, remove from heat and steep for 1 hour. Sieve the popcorn cream through a fine mesh strainer, pressing on solids to extract as much cream as possible. Discard solids, you should have about 1 cup of cream remaining, if less add cream to make 1 cup.

Mix 1/4 cup of the milk with the cornstarch to create a slurry. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan mix together the popcorn cream with the remaining 1 3/4 cups milk, add the sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Heat the mixture and bring to a low boil, quickly whisk in the slurry mixture and return to a boil, whisking until thickened–about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat.

Pour the ice cream base into a heatproof bowl and either cool, while whisking, in an ice bath, or cover the surface with plastic wrap or a parchment round (making sure the plastic or parchment comes in direct contact with the ice cream base, to prevent a skin from forming) and chill in the refrigerator for several hours until cooled, up to overnight. Churn the chilled base in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturers instructions. Spoon about 1/3 of the churned ice cream into your desired container and layer on 1/3 of the dulce de leche, coconut, and almonds, repeat with the remaining ice cream and mix-ins. Cover and freeze the ice cream for several hours, until firm, before serving.

*To pop the corn without a popcorn popper, you will need:

1/2 cup popping corn

paper lunch bag

Place the popcorn kernels in the bag, fold the bag top 2-3 times, microwave on high until the corn is popping like crazy, followed by 1-2 second pauses between pops–about 3 1/2 minutes. This may take some trial and error, just be watchful–you may have to pop it in 2 batches. This made me about 9 cups of popcorn–I used 8 and snacked on the remaining cup. [/recipe]

Full disclosure, I contribute regularly to and was compensated for the development of this post. As always, all opinions are my own. 




  1. says

    SO AWESOME!! This popcorn is incredible. I the love coconut and the popcorn with the dulce de lech and the salted almonds!! Just incredible and SO, So, SO good! I can only imagine this is one heck of a holiday treat!

  2. says

    CINDY…This is brilliant!! I might be that person who crushes popcorn on top of their ice cream while people give me weird looks. I need to make this asap!

  3. says

    Cindy, I CAN’T EVEN RIGHT NOW!!!! This is like the combination of everything I love in the world. And I have popcorn for dinner more often than I should probably admit (just last night, in fact). This salty sweet thing going on here is totally making my day!

  4. Sigourney says

    So I also love popcorn, but even more I LOVE it with a tall glass of chocolate milk! I have had people give me weird looks for years, so it is great to know I am in company!


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