Sweet and Spicy Popcorn

Nothing says snack food like popcorn.

an overhead shot of sweet and spicy popcorn

When I was younger, the best nights at the cabin always ended with air-popped popcorn.  Papa and dad would go out muskie fishing, while mom, Katie, Martha and I would play cards with Nana. Usually Papa would drop dad off on our dock, but we always hoped dad would come back with Papa because that meant that we were getting popcorn!

Seriously, it’s the little things in life.

coconut oil, popcorn kernels, sugar, and cayenne are the only ingredients in this sweet and spicy popcorn snack

The air-popped popcorn eventually turned into microwavable popcorn.  And while I won’t say no to butter laden anything, it’s just not the same as the air-popped stuff.

I knew I wanted to have popcorn as a Superbowl snack, but I also wanted it to have a little twist. So I found a kettle corn recipe from The Kitchn and added cayenne for some heat.

zoomed in on the cayenne - the secret ingredient to this sweet and spicy popcorn

I love sweet and spicy together and this popcorn does not disappoint.  It’s quick and easy to make right on your stovetop and the spice possibilites are endless!  Next time I’m planning on adding chili powder and cumin – one of my favorites!

a full tray of sweet and spicy popcorn coated in sugar and cayenne pepper

I have a few more recipes coming in time to make and share on Superbowl Sunday. So be sure to stop back!

If you try any of my recipes and post on social media, use the hashtag #imhungrybynature so I can check it out!  Don’t forget to follow along:

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overhead shot of sweet and spicy popcorn in a bowl and on a cookie sheet

Sweet and Spicy Popcorn

  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 5 mins
  • Total Time: 10 mins
  • Yield: about 10 cups 1x


Adapted from The Kitchn’s Kettle Corn Recipe


  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels
  • 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment and set it near the stove. You will pour the popped corn out onto this sheet to cool.
  2. Pour the oil into the pot and drop three kernels of corn over the top. These three kernels will be your indicator for when the oil is hot. Cover with the lid and set over medium-high heat.
  3. When you hear one of the kernels pop, uncover the pot and pour in the rest of the kernels, sugar, cayenne, and salt. Quickly stir everything together to coat all the kernels and replace the lid.
  4. Shake the pan occasionally as the popcorn starts to pop, and then more frequently and vigorously as the popping increases. Rest the pot on the burner every few seconds to maintain the heat. Some wisps of steam toward the end of popping are normal — don’t confuse this with smoke! However, if you smell smoke, stop popping and proceed with the next steps.
  5. Listen closely — when you hear the popping begin to slow, 1 to 2 seconds between pops, remove the pan from heat. Don’t wait for every kernel to pop or you’ll end up burning the popcorn; as soon as you think it might be starting to slow down, take it off the heat.
  6. When the popping slows, immediately uncover the pot and pour the popcorn on the prepared baking sheet. Use the long-handled spoon and your fingers to spread the popcorn into an even layer to cool and pick out any burnt pieces (there are always a few in every batch!).
  7. Let the kettle corn cool for at least five minutes — the popcorn will crisp as it cools. Eat immediately or store in an airtight container for several days.

Pop your heart out.

overhead shot of sweet and spicy popcorn in a bowl and on a cookie sheet


3 thoughts on “Sweet and Spicy Popcorn

  1. Pingback: 10-Minute Rosemary Asiago Popcorn - Hungry by Nature

  2. Best Popcorn Company

    Sweet and Spicy Pop Corn are the best Pop Corn. The Ingredients are very easily available and they are very easy to prepare.


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