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Lighter Maple Kettle Corn

If you’re a lover of salty-sweet combos in the form of crunchy snacks, (like I am), then this is definitely a recipe to put at the top of your list! The added bonus is that it can be made in just a few minutes.

Kettle corn in a bowl on a serving platter next to decorative leaves

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. Here are two of them…

Four year old James Dunham eating kettle corn at the pumpkin patch.

Four year old Jack Dunham eating kettle corn at the pumpkin patch.

Cheeeese!

Why This Recipe Works:

  • This 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! (But I promise you’d never guess it.)
  • The use of maple sugar offers a nice, rich flavor, but is also minimally processed!
  • There’s no popcorn maker or fancy equipment needed – all you need is a large pot – about 8 quarts or so.
  • Without a doubt – fresh kettle corn is WAY better than the type you buy at the grocery store.

Why is kettle corn called kettle corn?

  • Kettle corn got its name from the way it was originally prepared – using a kettle! Thankfully now, all you need is a pot and any type of stove.

Looking for more crave-worthy snacks? Then you have to check out the recipe for my Ultimate Craving Crusher, Sweet and Salty Maple Walnuts, and my 5-Ingredient Sweet n’ Salty Chunky Vanilla Almond Butter!

Instructions to Make Lighter Maple Kettle Corn:

1. First, place a large 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…

One raw popcorn kernel in a pot with oil on the stove

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

One popped popcorn kernel in a pot with oil

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 handle(s) every couple seconds to keep things lose and prevent burning.

3. In the meantime, add the maple sugar and salt to a small bowl and stir to combine. Set it aside for now.

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.

Plain popped popcorn in a pot on a stove

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!

Kettle corn in a pot on the stove with sugar mixed in

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!)

Kettle corn in a bowl next to decorative leaves and pinecones

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!

Top Tips for Making Lighter Kettle Corn:

  • Transfer your popcorn to a bowl immediately after thoroughly mixing in the sugar – do not keep it in the pot. Otherwise the sugar may burn.
  • When buying popcorn kernels, be sure to purchase non-GMO corn whenever possible. “Organic” automatically means non-GMO, as well.
  • Keep leftover kettle corn in an airtight container to preserve freshness.

 

Did you try this recipe? Give it a star rating and let me know what you think in the comments below. Your feedback is very helpful!

Kettle Corn

Lighter Maple Kettle Corn

If you're a lover of salty-sweet combos in the form of crunchy snacks, (like I am), then this is definitely a recipe to put at the top of your list!
0 from 0 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Snack
Cuisine: gluten-free, plant based, vegan
Keyword: Homemade popcorn, Kettle Corn, Vegan Snacks
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 12 minutes
Servings: 1 big bowl of popcorn

Ingredients

Instructions

  • First, place a large (8 quart or so) 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?  Simply add one popcorn kernel to the pot. When it pops, the oil is ready for the rest of the kernels!
    Note: Do not hover over the pot while waiting for that one 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.
  • 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 handle(s) every couple seconds to keep things lose and to prevent burning.
  • In the meantime, add the maple sugar and salt to a small bowl and stir to combine. Set this aside for now.
  • 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.
  • 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!)

Notes

  • Do not hover over the pot while waiting for that one test 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.
  • Transfer your popcorn to a bowl immediately after mixing in the sugar for 30 seconds to make sure the sugar doesn't burn.
  • When buying popcorn kernels, be sure to purchase non-GMO corn whenever possible. "Organic" automatically means non-GMO, as well.
  • Keep whatever leftover kettle corn you have in an airtight container to preserve freshness.
Tried this Recipe? Follow me Today!Mention @AudreyEDunham or tag #AudreyDunhamRecipes!

 

 

 

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Comments

Mary Monson

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

Reply

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. 🙂

Reply

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