Ann Reardon

Gravity Defying Popcorn Cake

gravity defying popcorn cake ann reardon

The countdown to Christmas is on, half of the advent lollies have been eaten and school holidays are upon us. Movies are something we do most holidays. Here is a fun gravity defying popcorn cake to turn any movie gathering in to a party. Seriously, when I served this up the guests thought it was a pot exploding with popcorn. They were delighted to eat the chocolate lid, devoured the caramel popcorn and were amazed that it was actually a cake.

The competition to win one of 6 Kitchen Aid Artisan mixers is now closed. The winners were: Amber Williamson, Yasshna Asriani, Anthea Ashleigh, Mia Plumridge, Minna Wong and Ailis Relihan.

To make this gravity defying popcorn cake you will need:

One and a half times my rich chocolate cake recipe baked in three 8″ round cake tins, baked, cooled and leveled.
600mL (20.29 fluid ounces) Cream
Cake Support
800g (28.22 ounces) chocolate
150g (5.29 ounces) Black fondant
4 lollipop sticks
edible silver luster dust

Salted Caramel

2 cups or 500mL (16.91 fluid ounces) cream
2 tsp vanilla
300mL (10.14 fluid ounces) or 1 1/4 cups water
430g (15.17 ounces) or 2 cups caster sugar (superfine sugar)
1 tsp sea salt
40g (1.41 ounces) or 2 tablespoons glucose syrup
Place the water, sugar and glucose syrup into a pan. Give it a little stir to make sure all the sugar is wet. Wash the sides of the pan down with a wet pastry brush.

Leave it unstirred to boil, after a few minutes until it starts to turn golden. Let is get an even golden colour – then remove it from the heat. Add in your vanilla and the cream. Return to the heat and keep stirring it until the caramel is melted into the cream. Stir in the salt and continue to heat until the desired thickness is achieved (see the video for how to test what thickness you caramel will be).

Caramel Popcorn (make two separate batches of this recipe)

70g (2.47 ounces) popcorn kernels
210g (7.41 ounces) or 1 cup sugar
100mL (3.38 fluid ounces) water
15g (0.53 ounces) or 1 Tablespoon butter

Pop the corn kernels (I used an air popper but you can do it in a pan if you prefer)
Heat the sugar and water until it goes golden then stir in the butter.
Immediately pour that over the popcorn and stir it around.

Cut some acetate to the height you want your pot to be and wrap it around a round cake tin. Mark where it joins so you know where to spread the chocolate to. Remove the acetate. Wrap another piece of acetate around the tin to cover it so you can slide the chocolate off.

Temper the chocolate, if you don’t know how to do that see my chocolate secrets post. This is important or your chocolate won’t set at room temperature.
Spray a little oil on the underside of a pan lid and then gently rub it with some paper towel so that you leave a thin layer of oil. Pour on approximately 200g (7.05 ounces) of tempered chocolate and spread it around the lid. As it starts to thicken spread it out form the middle back to the edges so they are not too thin. Then place it in the fridge to set.

Spread the remaining chocolate onto the acetate to make the sides of the pot, once it is starting to set wrap it around the covered cake tin. Place over a bowl to set (see video for demonstration). Repeat with a smaller piece of acetate just smaller than your pan lid

Once the lid is set run your nail around the edge and then flip it over to remove the chocolate from the lid. Using a fondant extruder make a snake of black fondant. Rub a little water around the edge of the chocolate lid and wrap the fondant around the lid, gently pressing it onto the chocolate.

To make the handle roll a thick snake of black, then use your fingers to roll it thinner and fold the ends down. Check that it is the right width for your lid and leave the fondant to dry out.

Make the handles for the side of the pot in the same manner but adding a little ‘foot’ on each side. Use you cake tin to make sure it is on the right angle. Add a lollipop stick to each side of the handle so you can add it to the cake.

Slowly and gently pull and turn to wiggle the chocolate rings off the cake tins. Add the smaller one to the underside of the lid. Check the larger one for holes and patch any problem areas before removing the outside acetate.

Whip the cream.

Assemble the cake inside the large chocolate ring layering up cake, salted caramel and cream.

Brush the fondant handles, lid and sides of the pot with silver luster dust.

Make a batch of caramel popcorn and tip your popcorn out onto some baking paper then using thick silicone gloves shape the popcorn into a cylinder by just gently pushing it together. Once cooled add to the cake.
Add the lid into place. Then make another batch of popcorn and add it artistically exploding out of the pot.

gravity defying cake tutorial
Copyright © 2017 Reardon Media Pty Ltd. All rights reserved. How To Cook That


I have been busy over the last year planning, writing and overseeing the photography and layout for my first ever cookbook! There are heaps of my favourite dessert recipes in there with a chapter on pastries, ice-cream, yummy cakes, artistic desserts and of course chocolate desserts. Each chapter has its own intro explaining the food science that you'll need to know for success every time. Booksellers where you can purchase your very own copy:

All recipe quantities in the book are in grams, ounces and cups.

197 Comments View Comments

  1. Hi Ann! I entered but didn’t get a confirmation of entry-it just took me back to the recipe. Should I get an email or something? Thanks for all the amazing baking ideas!

  2. When will you announce the winners of the giveaway?

  3. Hi Ann. I love all of your creations and have been following you for years.I wanted to ask you if the giveaway is free of cost. Thanks so much for all the insipiration.

  4. Rating: 5

    Amazing looking and gorgeous tasting i’m certain. I love caramel, chocolate and popcorn.. perfect combination all in one. I think my pain problems (neuropathic pain in hip and leg, CRPS j will prevent me from trying without my daughers being willing to help, but I always watch. One day we’ll try a copy and share the results too!

    • We will look forward to seeing the pics!


  6. Rating: 5

    hi , Ann ) you know, actually the main reason why i watch your videos is that i am obsessed with your voice!!!! your accent is amazing )) hope that i will be one of the 6 winners)

  7. Rating: 5

    You are great Ann !!! thanks for all the amazing videos you prepar for us!

  8. Rating: 5

    I tried it
    It was delicious ?
    Thanks Ann

  9. Rating: 5

    Hi Ann, can you make a Tim Burton themed cake please, thanks.

  10. Hi Ann it’s me Justin! The Justin from the peanut brittle that you watched! Anyways I just finished making your gingerbread house and it’s amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (I wish this was how to enter your competition, lol, because I would be pretty confident)

    • Great work Justin!

  11. Rating: 5

    can you make a tooth cake

  12. Rating: 4.5

    Hi Ann,
    I love your videos and look forward to each new one every Friday! You inspired me to bake while I was going through quite a rough time and wanted to try and destract myself. I started with your coke bottle cake, then the giant snickers and so on! I really love your amazing videos and the talent you have is super impressive! To win the Kitchen aid mixer would make my year! Thank you, Ann!

    • Hi Megan, How brave to start with the coke bottle cake! Thanks for the great feedback.

  13. Wow Ann, you’ve done it again…another wonderfully creative cooking demonstration. Ive enetered this competition bcos id love to win the kitchen aid, (ive been hinting for one for christmas to my children ) but its expensive to buy…. im in Adelaide for Christmas, feeding the homeless and those people who are doing christmas alone, cooking up a spread of festive foods , sweets and treats @ the Marion Salvation Army. Christmas is not to be spent alone so we are spreading our love and sharing the christmas flavours to those around us. Hope you and your family have a fun filled, safe and cool christmas. xoxo

    • Thta’s great Thea. The Salvos help so many at this time of year.

  14. Rating: 5

    Ann, I’ve been following you for a long time now. Love how creative you are!
    I’d love to win the KA, but reading through the cooments above, I think maybe one of the others deserves to win.
    Keep following your passion!
    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

  15. Rating: 5

    I think that everything you do is so inspiring. You helped me get a job in a cafe, baking and designing cakes. This was such a hard time in my life. Truly, you saved me from loosing my home. Thank you so much for everything x

    • Hi Bronya, So glad things a re going better for you now.

  16. Rating: 5

    Dear Ann,
    Hi, I’m an 11 year old that lives in Canada. I love baking and really wish that I can win this giveaway. I’ve been begging my parents to get me one for Christmas, but they said no. I need to make my own money to buy it. But it is nearly impossible to make that much money, because I am tired out from dance, and don’t have enough time to go and find a job. I’ve had a passion for baking ever since I was little, and I’ve been using an old hand mixer for quite a while. I’m the only person in my family that has even a slight interest in baking.Having a stand mixer would help me so much. I really hope I can win this giveaway.
    Thanks so much!

  17. Rating: 4.5

    Amazing tutorial!…as usual!!

    • Thanks Harmony.

  18. Rating: 5

    Hello Ann! My name is Emra and a new Kitchen aid would be incredible because I’ve just gotten my associates inn culinary arts! Good luck to all those who entered!

  19. This generous giveaway couldn’t be more perfectly timed for me, should I be so fortunate to win one.My own stand mixer just died. I have been using my grandmother’s faithful old Sunbeam mixer. Time to update!

  20. Hii.. Ann I really love to watch ur videos they are amazing… I have entered the giveaway plzz plzz I really wanna win the kitchen aid because I really love to bake things but by hand its hand its very tough to make.. I really want one but it’s really costly here in India….
    I Love all ur recipes nd I make them me and my family like them a lot…love from India.
    Thank you

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