Easy Cinnamon Bun Popcorn

Just four easy ingredients and 3 minutes to make this healthy, delicious cinnamon bun popcorn for a snack to enjoy anytime! Naturally vegan and gluten free, this recipe also boasts over 20 grams of protein per serving! 

Easy Cinnamon Bun Popcorn - Just three minutes to crispy, sweet and salty popcorn which tastes and smells like fresh cinnamon buns, but with a healthy twist!

“Someone’s burnt popcorn again!”

If there were five lines which I heard on repeat during my 6 month study exchange in New York, that would be one of them. The other four-

“I’m skipping class today!”


“They served {insert animal of choice) food in the dining hall today.”

“I’m skipping class today!”

So skipping class was easily the most heard/used phrase in my college. Personally, I always would lament about the smell of burnt popcorn condensing the 7th Floor of the J building. 

Easy Cinnamon Bun Popcorn - Just three minutes to crispy, sweet and salty popcorn which tastes and smells like fresh cinnamon buns, but with a healthy twist!

Between the hours of 9pm and 5am, there would always be the smell of popcorn seeping through our rooms. Most of the time, it would be the delicious, buttery smell which made you want to chuck a pie at your sister in joy and turn on a movie. If heaven could have a scent, it would definitely be buttered popcorn, followed by freshly baked FRENCH bread (no other country, please) and Vanilla Cupcake scented candles from Yankee Candle. 

Oh man, I did NOT just admit the latter. 

Confession- Upon returning from college, I brought back my mum and sister the Vanilla Cupcake scented candles yet conveniently forgot to give it to them. 🙂 

Back on topic- Popcorn. Sometimes, however, one of my dorm mates would keep the popcorn in the microwave for that extra second longer and it would just wreck the whole atmosphere- Literally. This smell would make you want to chuck a pie at your sister in frustration and yell at your TV like Tyra does to her top model minions. Fortunately, we knew who those dorm mates guilty of the overcooking were and were able to ban them from the kitchen altogether.


Easy Cinnamon Bun Popcorn - Just three minutes to crispy, sweet and salty popcorn which tastes and smells like fresh cinnamon buns, but with a healthy twist!

If there is one (legal) food I would associate dorm life and college living with, it would be popcorn. Our college took this food group (yes, it’s a food group in itself) so seriously, there were weekly trips to our local Walmart to stock up on packets for hungry students who were incapable of taking the 2 minute (Free) shuttle bus down there to buy it themselves.

I may have been one of them.

As I’m working with Kohl’s this quarter on their #makeyourmove campaign and creating easy and fun recipes which kids or college students can make, popcorn HAD to be one of them. While instant microwave popcorn is delicious and easy, doing it yourself is just as simple, much cheaper AND….you can jazz it up and make it just a little bit fancy without sacrificing health or taste! 

Easy Cinnamon Bun Popcorn - Just three minutes to crispy, sweet and salty popcorn which tastes and smells like fresh cinnamon buns, but with a healthy twist!

This easy, healthy cinnamon bun popcorn is a delicious twist which just uses four ingredients! You can easily make this in the microwave using the infamous paper bag method (per single serve- Add 1/4 cup kernels in a large paper bag and pop for 2.5 – 3 minutes- depending on microwave) or use this popcorn maker or even stovetop (my preferred method). All you need to do once the popcorn is cooked is lightly spray it with coconut oil (or any liquid- you can even use water BUT it becomes soggy), and add the cinnamon bun protein mix and voila- A delicious snack to enjoy which tastes like a cinnamon bun AND gives you a protein boost!

For those not keen on using protein powder, enjoy the option without it- The flavour still tastes similar! For those who don’t want to make popcorn from scratch, you can use an even easier way- Just use packed air popped corn and add the flavour mix! 


Make this Easy (and healthy!) Cinnamon Bun Popcorn but make sure you’re not the culprit leaving the burnt lingering smell. My sister doesn’t need (another) pie thrown at her in frustration. 

Healthy (and EASY!) Cinnamon Bun Air Popped Popcorn which is packed with protein and made with NO sugar, oil or nasties! {vegan, gluten free, sugar free recipe}- thebigmansworld.com

Easy Cinnamon Bun Popcorn

Just four easy ingredients and 3 minutes to make this healthy, delicious cinnamon bun popcorn for a snack to enjoy anytime! Naturally vegan and gluten free, this recipe also boasts over 20 grams of protein per serving!
0 from 0 votes
Print Rate
Servings: 1
Author: Arman @ thebigmansworld



  • 5-6 cups air popped popcorn using the paper bag method/stovetop or instant package

Cinnamon bun mix

  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder optional*
  • 2 T+ granulated sweetener of choice I tried coconut sugar, a stevia granulated blend and standard white sugar**
  • Coconut oil cooking spray sub for any spray of choice- Can use water but see notes


  • In a small mixing bowl, combine the cinnamon, sea salt, protein powder (if using it), granulated sweetener and mix well.
  • Pour your popcorn in a large bowl or extra large paper bag. Spray with the cooking oil spray to cover the popcorn.
  • Pour the cinnamon bun mix over it and shake well until combined- If it isn't sticking well, add a dash more cooking spray.
  • Enjoy!


* I recommend using a blended protein powder or vegan brown rice protein powder
** Adjust to taste. My protein powder was sweetened so I kept it at 2 tablespoons.
If you use water, you need to eat your popcorn immediately to avoid it getting soggy.
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!
Want more easy recipes which can be made in a dorm room? Check these out! 

Healthy Three Ingredient No Bake Oatmeal Bars

3 Ingredient No Bake Oatmeals- Easy, delicious and the perfect healthy snack to have on hand- Naturally gluten free, vegan and allergen friendly!

No Bake Banana Bread Bites

No Bake Banana Bread Bites- Delicious, healthy bites which taste JUST like banana bread without the need for baking! Quick, easy and a delicious snack! {vegan, gluten free, dairy free, paleo}

Three Ingredient No Bake Fudge 

Three Ingredient No Bake Fudge which melts in your mouth and takes 5 minutes! Paleo, vegan and gluten free too!

Easy Cinnamon Bun Popcorn - Just three minutes to crispy, sweet and salty popcorn which tastes and smells like fresh cinnamon buns, but with a healthy twist!

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Kohl’s.


Cheers, hugs and handshakes for supporting companies and brands which help in making The Big Man’s World continue to grow and allowing me to do what I love. 

Those who’ve stayed on a college campus- Any popcorn horror stories?

Is there any smell better than buttery popcorn? Yes. Yankee Candles. 

The Big Man’s World ® Arman Liew owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes, pictures and content to be reproduced anywhere other than this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed this recipe and would like to publish it on your own website, please re-write it, in your own words and link back to my site and recipe page. Copying and/or pasting full recipes and pictures to social media or personal blogs is strictly prohibited. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


food Gluten Free recipe Vegan



81 thoughts on “Easy Cinnamon Bun Popcorn

  1. Om. Nom. Nom. And I was largely spared horrific burnt popcorn smells as I lived in the single that was in the stairwell. I also got to see all the walks of shame. Which were popcorn worthy 😀

  2. Dear Arman, I have that exact popcorn maker. I received for Christmas and I use it all the time. Before then I used the stove top because believe it or not, I don’t have a microwave! But I love my new air popper. I tend to make my popcorn spicy but I love your sweet cinnamon mix…my family would enjoy the change too. Have a wonderful day, Catherine

  3. Those cupcake scented candles are MY LIFE. Seriously, I could just sit around and smell them forever,
    Or I could just sit around and eat this popcorn forever. Which I think is a very solid life choice, since I’m obsessing over it! Pinned!

  4. This just made me so sad that I can’t make popcorn at my office. One of our co-workers has a really weird aversion to the smell and has basically mandated that none of us are allowed to make popcorn at work. Terrible, right?

    I lived off ramen noodles and Mexican food in college, but I do remember having quite a bit of popcorn as well.

  5. Hahaha…you just admitted that you watch Top Model and burn Yankee Candles. 🙂 But then you totally made up for it with this popcorn. What an awesome flavor combo! I love playing with popcorn flavors, but I usually go the savory route. This sweet version is going to have me craving popcorn all day long now!

  6. This popcorn is such an interesting flavor combo,Arman – I don’t think I’ve ever had protein powder sprinkled popcorn before!
    Now I cannot wait for you to come up with another version that smells like the “Vanilla Cupcake scented candles from Yankee Candle”!

  7. This is so funny! There was a major amount of popcorn in my dorm. Also ramen and pizza too. No wonder I turned the Freshman 5 into the Freshman 15! Lol. This looks amazing. I’ve never done much with protein powder beyond the basic smoothie, so I love this alternative idea.

  8. This is definitely the most creative way I’ve ever seen protein powder used! I’m impressed that you were able to get 20g of protein into this recipe (WHATTT) and transformed a stereotypically unhealthy college essential into a post-workout snack. Props to ya 😉 .

    OH! And on the topic of things every college student eats, at UCSB (at least my freshman year) it’s those microwavable Kraft Mac and Cheese single serving containers. So good.

  9. Popcorn is probably the most perfect thing ever- so light and it goes with everything! I sound like I am advertising a purse. I have never heard anyone mention smelling popcorn at a dorm, thats definitely something I will note. If my roommate were to over burn popcorn I don’t know what I would do :P.

  10. 1. This is the most genius snack I have ever heard of. Mostly because I eat popcorn every single day (not kidding at least 1-2 times per day)
    2. I always need protein or i feel like I’m eating air
    3. I would argue that cinnabon might be the most intoxicating scent in the world
    4. don’t forget about bath & body works. i have a MAPLE SEA SALT POPCORN candle from there that I refuse to ever get rid of directly next to my bed because it is the greatest thing i’ve ever spent unnecessary money on
    5. is there a sweet nose instead of a sweet tooth? because i have that.
    6. kettle corn kettle corn. i can’t wait

  11. Oh my goodness, Arman! This sounds so delicious. Grains are a rare treat for me and I chose to eat popcorn on my birthday this year. So that shows how much I enjoy it, and this version would be devine.

  12. Your writing gets me every time! I could TOTALLY relate and ew to that burnt popcorn smell! This looks amazing! I use a very similar mix on top of my popcorn, but add in chili powder for a kick too! Gotta get that metabolism up!

  13. Soooo… I really like the smell of gasoline. And paint. And probably a whole host of other chemical nonsense that’s no good for me 😆 But if we’re talking food, then cinnamon anything wins. It’s torture to have to walk past a Cinnabon in the food court. Torture.

  14. FACK! Popcorn was and still is the SHEEZE my neeze! However, as you know, it does not agree with me… Nothing does – ugh! Did I tell you I had to go to the ER the other night? GAH – F.

    This pop corn kinda reminds me of when I tried putting some in my ice cream way back when. Ha! Oh the memories of me eating everything on the face of the planet.

  15. This is my popcorn story: once my friends and I burned the popcorn in the microwave SO BAD, the guys we were with unplugged the machine and took it outside so we wouldn’t set off the fire alarm. True heroes right there.

  16. Popcorn in the dorms while I’m trying to study is torturous. It draws me from my cave of intellect to bury my emotions in bowls of endless buttery popcorn.
    Pumpkin bread baking in the oven has my heart though. Don’t tell my friends though, or else they’ll torture me with that too.
    Fantastic idea with this popcorn, dude!

  17. Sounds wonderful and I’d be willing to be my son would love this! I might have to send him the mixture in a care package.

  18. hmm – i don’t remember any popcorn horror stories (my room was at the opposite end of the hall from the common area, which was inconvenient but at least I could avoid any burnt popcorn smells), but i do remember when the microwave broke when someone was using it and it wouldn’t open. so someone’s crackers and cheese stayed in the microwave for like a month. Glad I wasn’t around when they finally got it open…

  19. The boyfriend loves himself some popcorn – I am going to hafta be a great lady and make him some. 😉 Obviously, after I try it of course…so we’ll see if any actually gets over to him.

      1. Yes, you’re right my dear Almond and I meant to mention that I too love those vanilla cupcake Yankee Candles! 😉 😛

  20. Cinnamon popcorn – not a bad idea at all. Given that you added protein powder it should now become the go-to snack for all college kids who want not only popcorn but protein shakes yet hate cleaning the blender – this kills two birds with one stone 😉 .
    And I actually got that exact Vanilla Cupcake Yankee candke as a gift a few months ago but have yet to light it …. too precious. Or maybe I’m waiting for a special occasion.

  21. And now I want popcorn for breakfast. Fresh, buttery popcorn whipped up on the stove top. The Hubby and I might have a play day today so it could happen. Also play day is where you shuck all responsibilities and just play. 🙂

  22. I literally feel my pants bulge farther when I smell popcorn–it’s not even funny! Will apply to college this year; hope I get into an awesome one!
    Cinnamon bun popcorn sounds better than buttery popcorn IMO! And if it’s high in protein that’s even more awesome!

Have a comment? Go for it!