Air popped popcorn is a naturally dairy-free and top allergen-free snack. I love it with just a little bit of coconut oil an salt. But you can also use it to make fun desserts, like these Popcorn Christmas Trees. They’re a riff on classic popcorn balls that are dairy-free and festive!
These dairy-free Popcorn Christmas Trees recipe is adapted from popcorn.org. They also shared this photo with us.
These Popcorn Christmas Trees are Ready for Your Edible Decorations
This simple recipe is naturally allergy-friendly, but you have to consider your ingredients when making your popcorn Christmas trees and when decorating them.
Plain marshmallows are typically dairy-free, and many are top allergen-free. However, they are usually made with gelatin, which is a concern for some people. Vegan marshmallows are made without gelatin, but keep in mind that they are usually made with soy.
This recipe includes an option for making your own decorating sugars. A popular allergy-friendly brand for the food dye is Nomeca Vibrant Food Color. If you’re sensitive to dyes, be sure to pick natural food dyes that suit your needs. Some good options are McCormick Nature’s Inspirations and India Tree.
For a delicious homemade option, use my Dairy-Free Buttercream Frosting Recipe. You can substitute part or all non-hydrogenated shortening for a whiter finish. Or you can use this Coconut Oil Frosting Recipe.
If you prefer store-bought, then there are a few options. Pillsbury Creamy Supreme White Frosting and Duncan Hines Fluffy White Frosting are each made with shortening, not butter, so they’re dairy-free. Miss Jones Vanilla Frosting and Simple Mills Organic Vanilla Frosting are good options if you want to stick with vegan frosting that’s made without hydrogenated oils.
Those little candy decorations are usually made without top allergens, but not always. Check the ingredients (yes, they’re on there in wee little print!) to ensure they suit your allergen needs. I know a lot of bakers turn to Wilton for these candies.
Special Diet Notes: Popcorn Christmas Trees
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, optionally egg-free, nut-free, peanut-free, optionally soy-free, optionally vegan, and vegetarian.
- 10 cups air-popped popcorn
- 1 (10-ounce) bag mini marshmallows (vegan, if needed)
- 2 tablespoons dairy-free buttery spread
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Green decorating sugar
- Blue decorating sugar
- Dairy-free white frosting
- Small, colorful candies such as sprinkles and miniature silver dragees
- Pour the popped popcorn into a large bowl.
- Place the marshmallows and buttery spread in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir until the marshmallows are melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the vanilla extract.
- Immediately scraped the marshmallow mixture onto the popcorn and gently stir until evenly combined.
- Line a baking sheet with foil.
- Grease your hands, then scoop about 1 cup popcorn mixture. Shape the mixture into a cone, keeping base flat to form tree. Sprinkle the tree with decorating sugars and place the tree on your prepared baking sheet. Repeat this step to make nine more trees.
- Using a decorating tip, pipe the frosting onto the trees to make garland. Decorate the trees with the sprinkles and silver dragees, as desired.