to top

If you’re a lover of slightly sweetened, perfectly salted crunchy snacks, (like I am), then this is definitely a recipe to put at the very top of your to-do list!

Admittedly, I’m a massive fan of kettle corn.  If it’s being sold at a fair or carnival then it’s almost a guarantee that I’ll buy a bag… or two!  Especially since I have three men in my life who also love kettle corn.

There are some things sitting down for, like enjoying fresh kettle corn at the local pumpkin festival!

I will say – there are certainly all sorts of popcorns you can buy by the bag these days, but I don’t think anyone would disagree that the warm, homemade and freshly popped type is the very best you can possibly have.  Plus, it’s a lot cheaper, too!

With the recipe below, you’ll be able to make a version of kettle corn that’s slightly lighter due to the fact that only half the amount of oil is called for when compared to other sweet popcorn recipes. And, one third less sugar!  I also take pride in the fact that the sweetener called for is minimally processed all while offering a nice, rich flavor… almost like brown sugar! YUM.

Anywho, enough chatter!  Here is the how you make this awesomely delicious Lighter Maple Kettle Corn…

1. First, place a large 8 quart pot on the stove and crank the heat to medium high. Immediately add the 2 tablespoons of oil.  You want the oil nice and piping hot before you add the popcorn.  How do you know when it’s ready?  Why, simply add one popcorn kernel to the pot…

When it pops, the oil is ready for the rest of the kernels!

I should warn you, though – do not hover over the pot while waiting for that kernel to pop.  Otherwise you’ll likely get spattered with oil at some point!  Just keep a nice distance of a foot or two and listen for it.  Trust me on this!

2. Next, add the 1/2 cup of popcorn kernels to the oil and cover the pot with a lid. Once that popcorn really gets going, shake the pot by the handles every couple seconds to keep things lose and to prevent burning.

3. In the meantime, add the maple sugar and salt to a small bowl and stir to combine.

4. Once it gets to the point where there are a few seconds between each “pop” of popcorn, quickly turn off the heat, transfer the pot to another burner and remove the lid.

5. Then, sprinkle the maple sugar/salt mixture over the top and stir the popcorn with a long handled spoon for a good 30 seconds or so.  The heat from the pot with allow the maple sugar to melt and stick to the popcorn, which is what makes this recipe so magical!

Once that’s done, immediately transfer the popcorn to your serving vessel of choice. ( HINT: Try not to dilly-dally – keeping the popcorn in the pot longer than a couple minutes may cause the sugar to burn!)

And that’s all there is to it!  Keep whatever popcorn you don’t eat right away in an airtight container to preserve freshness.

Honestly, this popcorn is so addicting and so satisfying.  I hope you love it as much as we do!

Lighter Maple Kettle Corn

Makes one big bowl of popcorn


  • 1/2 cup Popcorn Kernels (NonGMO, if possible.  I like THIS brand)
  • 2 Tb. Neutral Flavored Oil
  • 3 Tb. Maple Sugar (which you can buy HERE)
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt





Sharing is caring!

print recipe


Mary Monson

I have a hot air popper, will that make a difference with this recipe?


Audrey Dunham

Hi Mary, I love those hot air poppers, but with this particular recipe, the big 8 quart stock pot works best so that you can stir in the sugar at the end and create a crunchy caramelized effect. It’s totally worth it. 🙂


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.