Grandpa Unmack's Recipes

Following are 2 Popcorn Cake recipes that I found in Nana's cookbooks and both were titled "Lou's Popcorn Cakes".  I honestly don't remember which one he used the most, although I'm guessing it's version 2.  I suspect he changed and refined it over the years.  I suggest you try both & see which you, your family, and friends like the best.  I have also included some of his other favorite recipes and will add them here as I find them so you might want to check back at a later date.


5 quarts "clean" popped popcorn (popped kernals only...cull out duds)
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup white Karo syrup
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vinegar
1 Tbsp. vanilla

Boil syrup, sugar, and water together until it forms a soft ball (238°).  Add salt & vinegar and boil to hardball/soft crack stage (about 270°).  Remove from stove and stir in vanilla.  Pour syrup over corn slowly, mixing well with large spoon.  Pack into large roaster size pan that has been lined with waxed paper.  Cool.  Break apart & enjoy!


1 cup unpopped popcorn
2 cups sugar
1 cup dark Karo syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
1 Tbsp. Crisco
1/4 cup water

Pop popcorn.  Cull out duds.  Mix remaining ingredients together and boil to hardball/soft crack stage.  Pour over popcorn and mix well.  Pack into large roaster pan that has been lined with waxed paper.  NOTE:  2 lbs. of popcorn will make 6 cakes.


1 cup margarine
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
4 eggs, beaten
3 oz. unsweetened chocolate, melted & cooled
2 Tbsp. instant coffe powder
1 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup chopped walnuts
sifted powdered sugar

Cream margarine and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in vanilla.  Add eggs in thirds, beating well after each addition.  Blend chocolate and coffee powder together.  Add to creamed mixture.  Add sifted dry ingredients in thirds, mixing well after each addition.  Stir in walnuts.  Turn batter into greased 13x9 pan.  Bake at 350° for 40 min.  Cool. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.  Cut into squares.


1 quart A&W Root Beer (the kind you get in the cardboard carton at the Drive-In)
1/2 gallon Knudsen's Vanilla Ice Cream

Bring home Root Beer and keep in "Frigidaire" until well chilled.  Ice cream should be frozen brick hard.  Scoop ice cream into tall glasses.  Pour chilled root beer over ice cream.  Enjoy!

The secret to a great root beer float is to have the root beer frosty cold.  I suspect the other secret is to have good stout root beer like you can't find anymore.  It seems to me even the current A&W's doesn't seem to be as good as I remember.

Return to Louis Unmack front page.