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Lighter Kettle Corn

If you’re a lover of salty-sweet combos in the form of crunchy snacks, (like I am), then this Lighter Kettle Corn is definitely a recipe to put at the top of your list! The added bonus is that it can be made in just 5-10 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 is slightly lighter due to the fact that only half the amount of oil is called for when compared to other popcorn recipes. And, one third less sugar compared to most kettle corn recipes! (But I promise this popcorn is still super tasty.)
  • If you choose to use maple sugar you’ll also get a nice hint of maple flavor. This type of sugar is also minimally processed. No maple sugar? No prob – you can also use granulated sugar to make this lighter kettle corn.
  • 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. You can absolutely taste the freshness, and as long as the leftovers are kept in an airtight container or resealable bag, that fresh tastes last for several days.

Why is kettle corn called kettle corn?

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

Looking for more salty-sweet 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 or two popcorn kernels to the pot…

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

When it / they pop, 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 to prevent burning.

3. In the meantime, add the 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 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 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:

  • No maple sugar? No prob – you can also use regular sugar, you just won’t get the hint of maple.
  • Transfer your popcorn to a bowl immediately after thoroughly mixing in the sugar – do not keep it in the pot, otherwise that sugar may burn.
  • Keep leftover kettle corn in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag to preserve freshness.

 

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

Kettle Corn

Lighter Maple Kettle Corn

Who said deliciously crunchy, tasty, sweet n' salty popcorn is always unhealthy? Not me! Try this recipe to discover a kettle corn you can feel good about.
5 from 1 vote
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: 6 - 8

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp. neutral flavored oil (30 ml)
  • 1/2 c. popcorn kernels (120 g) non-GMO if possible
  • 3 Tbsp. maple sugar (about 40 g) - regular sugar works, too! You just won't get the hint of maple.
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Instructions

  • First, place a large pot (8 quart or so) 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 or two popcorn kernel to the pot. When it/they pop, the oil is ready for the rest of the kernels! I should warn you, though - do not hover over the pot while waiting.  Otherwise you'll likely get spattered with oil when the kernel(s) pop. 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 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 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 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

  • No maple sugar? No prob - you can also use regular sugar, you just won't get the hint of maple.
  • Transfer your popcorn to a bowl immediately after mixing in the sugar to make sure that sugar doesn't burn.
  • Keep whatever leftover kettle corn you have in an airtight container to preserve freshness.
Tried this Recipe? Follow me Today!Mention @AudreyDunham or tag #AudreyDunhamRecipes!

 

 

 

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Filed under: Food & Recipes, Snacks

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

Chris

Have your tried monk fruit sugar?

Reply

Audrey Dunham

Hi Chris, not just yet, but if you do – please let me know how it turns out! Thanks

Reply

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