Unlike potato chips, there aren't many creative popcorn flavors at the store. You typically have three options for prepackaged popcorn: light butter, regular butter, and movie theater butter (and maybe kettle corn if you're lucky). Although a bag of pickle-flavored Lay's (my favorite) is a good movie companion, there's endless potential to transform traditional popcorn with avant-garde flavors that will up your snack game. To make your home movie nights even better, here are some creative popcorn toppings to shake up your usual salt and butter routine.

1. Cookies 'n Cream

Janelle Porman

Cookies 'n Cream is an iconic flavor that can be the feature of any party. You can't go wrong with a snack that is sweet, creamy, and chocolatey. Simply crush up Oreo cookies (Double Stuf is the only way to go), add the bits and melted white chocolate to the popcorn, and mix it all up for a delectable, chocolatey bite.

2. Buffalo Ranch

Janelle Porman

A buffalo-inspired seasoning (like a little cayenne, hot sauce, or chili powder) adds a bit of heat that's the perfect complement to the cool, robust ranch flavor. I used regular ranch popcorn seasoning that you can get at the grocery store but added the cayenne to tickle my tongue and make it fancy. 

3. Toasted Coconut & Dark Chocolate

popcorn, chocolate, caramel, coconut, candy
Sabena Quan-Hin

The toasted coconut balances the rich, dark chocolate. If you want a little more sweetness, you can drizzle caramel on top and create your own (slightly) healthier Samoa cookie-inspired snack. To make this popcorn, put a sheet tray of shredded coconut in the oven at 350ºF and cook until golden. Toss the popcorn with melted dark chocolate and toasted coconut and dig in.

4. Everything Bagel

pepper, herb, condiment
Alex Frank

The combination of sesame and poppy seeds with garlic and onion creates a savory popcorn topping that provides added texture as well. Regardless if you air-pop your popcorn or if you have pre-buttered microwave popcorn, you'll need to add melted butter on top to help the dry seasoning stick to the popcorn and not fall to the bottom of your bowl. You can make your own everything bagel seasoning or you can buy it. 

#SpoonTip: Everything Bagel seasoning can be found online or in stores like Trader Joe's and Walmart.  

5. Butterscotch

Janelle Porman

Butterscotch is one of my favorite toppings because the butter in the butterscotch reminds me of eating buttered popcorn, but it has an added sweetness and richness from the sugar and the scotch. To make this, melt butterscotch chips to coat the popcorn and then top it off with more butterscotch chips to really punch in the flavor and add another contrasting texture.

6. Caramel Apple

popcorn, corn, cereal, kettle corn, wheat, caramel
Stephanie Marchuk

Caramel corn is a common popcorn flavor, but I add diced green apple to my popcorn and then drizzled the caramel on top before mixing it all together. I used caramel ice cream topping, but you can also use melted caramel candies or get extra brownie points by making your own caramel. The apple gives you a good variety of texture and provides a bright, tart flavor that brings out the super sweet caramel.

7. Birthday Cake

Janelle Porman

Who doesn't love birthday cake? The sprinkles are so fun, and the sweet vanilla extract in the popcorn is absolutely divine. Simply add melted white chocolate, vanilla extract, and sprinkles to lightly buttered popcorn, and mix to well combined. Among the creative popcorn toppings, this is definitely one of my favorites.

#SpoonTip: Lightly buttered or no butter popcorn is key for Birthday Cake because the more butter the popcorn already has, the stronger savory flavor it will bring.

8. Maple Bacon

Janelle Porman

The gooey maple coating the salty bacon and buttery popcorn is a combination that can't be beat. Drizzle maple syrup on popped, buttery popcorn, and top it off when cooked bacon bits and a little bit of brown sugar. It's so complex that you just want to eat more so that you can taste all the different flavors.

#SpoonTip: You can make candied bacon with brown sugar if you want to add a little more sweetness.

9. Dark Chocolate Cherry

This one is an homage to my favorite Dairy Queen blizzard. The rich dark chocolate and fruity, sweet cherry is a classic combination that tastes upscale. You can use real cherries or maraschino cherries. Maraschino cherries are a plus because they already come with "juice" (more like cherry sugar syrup), and they're usually cheaper than buying actual cherries. Drizzle the cherry syrup and melted dark chocolate on the popcorn and then add a few cherries to add an extra burst of cherry flavor.

10. Chili Lime

Sabena Quan-Hin

If you don't have much of a sweet tooth but love a little heat, this popcorn is perfect for you. To make it, mix a little bit of butter, lime juice, cayenne, cumin, and salt and toss the popcorn in it.

#SpoonTip: The heat also wakes up you so you don't fall asleep during the movie.  

11. Cinnamon Brown Sugar

Janelle Porman

The warm cinnamon complements the sweet, rich brown sugar to create a homey, decadent treat. I even add a dash of nutmeg and cloves to make it feel like Christmas in July (or whatever summer month you want). 

#SpoonTip: You can add however much cinnamon and brown sugar you want to this popcorn. 

12. S'mores

S'mores is a ubiquitous summertime dessert, so why not incorporate its flavors into your crunchy, buttery popcorn? You can toast the creamy marshmallows over a fire, over a gas stove top, or even stick it in the oven. If you're a marshmallow addict, you can even add marshmallow fluff to coat the the popcorn. You can have chunks of chocolate in your popcorn, or you can melt it down and swirl it into your popcorn and sprinkle in crumbled graham cracker bits.

13. Goat Cheese & Garlic

Toss crumbled up bits of goat cheese in with your warm popcorn and top it with garlic powder (a little goes a long way). The goat cheese is a little salty and tart, and the garlic will round out the savory note. If you want to go up another notch with your creative popcorn toppings, you can add chopped up dill as well. 

14. Spicy Cheddar

Janelle Porman

Personally, I think cheese belongs on everything. Powdered cheddar cheese works as a popcorn topping, or you could even use Parmesan if you like. Add a little spice like chili powder or cayenne pepper to break up the rich, cheesy flavor and excite your taste buds.

15. Peanut Butter, White Chocolate, & Marshmallow

Janelle Porman

I love to make Avalanche cookies because they're super easy and insanely yummy. You can't go wrong with gooey, rich peanut butter, sweet white chocolate, and chewy mini marshmallows so it only makes sense to add popcorn to that party. Stir warm peanut butter in with the melted white chocolate and pour that decadent mixture over the popcorn and marshmallows. You're going to get peanut butter and chocolate all over your hands while you munch, but it's so worth it.

These are just a few unique popcorn toppings you can try, so don't feel limited by this list. Flavor combinations are very personal. Don't hesitate to customize these flavor combinations to fit your taste buds, or even create a flavor combination from scratch.