How To Make Realistic Fondant Or Gumpaste Popcorn For Cakes

Fondant and gumpaste popcorn that most people make is pretty cartoon-y, which is fine if you’re going for that look. 

If you want to make more realistic popcorn, though, you should get some real popcorn to study first, then ditch the cutters, since you don’t need them. 

If I’m going to go to the trouble of making fake food, I like it to look more realistic, so this is what I came up with.

gumpaste popcorn tutorial

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gumpaste popcorn

I’ll add that if there’s a cake that you could just use real popcorn on, do that, it’s a lot faster! But fondant popcorn can be fun because it tricks people into thinking that it’s real, and they’re always impressed when they find out it’s not.

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How to make the fondant popcorn

Get some real popcorn to use as a model, because that will make your fondant popcorn way more realistic.

how to make fondant popcorn for cake decorating

  • Start by rolling some balls of fondant that have a tiny bit of yellow food coloring to give them a very pale yellow appearance. Using some crumpled-up tinfoil, press the ball in to give it some texture.
  • Use a ball tool for polymer clay to press some crevices and dips into the ball.

how to make fondant popcorn for cake decorating

  • Press some “petals” into the top edge of the dips to mimic the exploded part of the popcorn.

how to make fondant popcorn for cake decorating

  • Pinch the edges of the petals and curl them to look like the edges of real popcorn.

how to make fondant popcorn for cake decorating

  • When you have the shape done, remove the fondant piece from the tinfoil and it will have the crumply look of real popcorn. Let it dry on a piece of flower foam, or on a cookie sheet with more crumpled tinfoil to support it.

how to make fondant popcorn for cake decorating

  • When the piece is dry enough to handle, paint the inside of the exploded section with some tan food coloring. I used ivory without diluting it, it gives you a pretty accurate color.

gumpaste popcorn

gumpaste popcorn painting

  • The finished pieces will look like real popcorn, and you can store it until you need it to add to cakes or cupcakes.

fondant popcorn for red carpet cakes

Here’s a video showing the whole process of making the popcorn if you’d like to watch me do it and see some extra details:

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