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Kettle Corn Recipe | The Gracious Pantry

This kettle corn recipe is just like the kind you get at a carnival! (But shhh!!! It uses two secret ingredients to get it’s carnival-like flavor that most people wouldn’t suspect.

Kettle corn is delicious stuff. But if you purchase a big bag of it (does it come any other way?) you always end up feeling yucky for eating that much sugar, or your sweet tooth checks out half way through and you’re left with half a bag to either give away or throw away. At least, that’s how it always worked around here.

Kettle Corn in a popcorn bucket.

What Is Kettle Corn

Kettle corn is a sweet variety of popcorn that is typically mixed or seasoned with a light-colored refined sugar, salt and oil . It was traditionally made in cast iron kettles, hence the name. But in modern times, other types of pots and pans are used.


What You’ll Need

  • 2 tsp. coconut oil
  • ¼ cup un-popped, organic popcorn
  • 2 tbsp. coconut sugar
  • ½ tsp. pumpkin pie spice no sugar added (optional, but excellent!) – See recipe link below to make your own

How To Make Kettle Corn

I’m sure there are several ways to make kettle corn. This is just MY way to make it. If you know any other tips or tricks, please share in a comment below!

One thing to note is that with this sugar, the bottom of your pot might look like a goner when you’re done. But I promise, with a little soak in some hot water, your pot will be just fine.


  • In a small mixing bowl, blend together your coconut sugar and pumpkin pie spice (if you are using it) so you have it pre-measured and ready to pour. Set aside.
  • Using a sturdy pot with a lid, melt the coconut oil and then add the popcorn kernels. Cover with lid.
  • Make sure you have some pot holders handy if you need them. Occasionally shake the pot over the flame to avoid burning.
  • When the popcorn is popped, keep the lid on, but remove the pot from the heat.
  • Remove lid and quickly stir in the coconut sugar, stirring with a wooden spoon is best. Stir until the popcorn is well coated. There will still be some white spots on the corn. It should look roughly like the photo above.
  • Once mixed, immediately transfer to a cool serving bowl so the sugar doesn’t burn.
Clean Eating Kettle Corn Recipe

The Secret Ingredients

This is, hands down, the best kettle corn recipe I’ve ever made. So what are the secret ingredients I mentioned above?

Pumpkin Pie Spice – you might be scratching your head at the pumpkin pie spice. But I assure you, the finished kettle corn does not taste like pumpkin pie spice, and the effect on the popcorn is nothing short of delicious! Truly a carnival-like flavor.

Coconut Sugar – Using this sugar gives the kettle corn it’s absolute, perfect, carnival flavor. More than the pumpkin spice, this is the main secret ingredient of the two. No other sugar will give your kettle corn this marvelous flavor.

Kettle corn packaged in a clear plastic bag and tied with a red ribbon.

More Healthy Popcorn Recipes

Recipes Used

Copyright Information For The Gracious Pantry


Clean Eating Kettle Corn Recipe
  • 2 tsp. coconut oil
  • ¼ cup un-popped, organic popcorn
  • 2 tbsp. coconut sugar
  • ½ tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Please note that the nutrition data below is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible.

Serving: 0.25the recipe | Calories: 85kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 15mg | Potassium: 28mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 0.4mg

Recipe from the Gracious Pantry® archives, originally posted 11/19/2012.

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