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Sweet & Salty Kettle Corn

This recipe should how to make kettle corn, at home! This sweet and salty treat tastes just like the classic festival snack, and is made with only four ingredients. Ready in 5 minutes, this homemade kettle corn is full of festive flavors and perfect for sharing.

bag of kettle corn on a what time

What is Kettle Corn?

If you’re familiar with this classic confection, kettle corn is a sweet/salty snack that’s cooked in oil and sugar for a crisp outer coating. It’s definitely one of the most “addictive” snacks I’ve ever come across. Something about its satisfying crunch and perfect touch of sweetness really keep you coming back for more! Better yet, its often served during cool weather outdoor events like harvest festivals or winter carnivals while carry a touch of nostalgia during our socially-distant times

Because so many events are cancelled, I figured an at-home recipe for this delicious salty-sweet treat was in order. Popcorn is always one of my favorite snacks, and this recipe is a fun twist perfect for autumn.

three ears of indian multicolored corn on a marble board

How Do I Make Kettle Corn At Home?

Making kettle corn on the stovetop in a pot is the easiest way. I am fortunate to have a Whirley Pop, which makes at-home popcorn incredibly easy and delicious. I’m happy to say today that this tool is not necessary for this kettle corn recipe. All you’ll need to make kettle corn at home include:

  • A large, handled stock pot (aluminum preferred) with a matching fitted lid
  • A wooden spoon, for stirring
  • A cookie sheet, for spreading popcorn to cool

What Ingredients Do I Need for Kettle Corn?

  • Canola oil, to help crisp the outside of the popcorn
  • Sugar, brown or white, for sweetness
  • Un-popped popcorn kernels, yellow or white
  • Sea salt

close up of popcorn with caramel and salt

What is the best popcorn for popping at home?

Yellow popcorn kernels are the best for popping yourself, and as a bonus they tend to be the most affordable. I have made a LOT of popcorn over the years and can attest there is no real difference between high level name brands and their generic counterparts. What’s most important is the cooking method on the stovetop. You’ll want to use a high heat and provide near-constant agitation to the kernels, to prevent sticking or burning on the bottom of the pan.

bag of carnival style kettle corn

I hope you enjoy this at-home kettle corn recipe! Be sure to leave a rating + review if you try it.

If you’re looking for more fall snacks, try one of these next:

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bag of kettle corn on a what time

Sweet & Salty Kettle Corn

  • Author: Emily
  • Total Time: 3 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


This recipe should how to make kettle corn, at home! This sweet and salty treat tastes just like the classic festival snack, and is made with only four ingredients. Ready in 5 minutes, it’s full of festive flavors and perfect for sharing.


  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup brown or white sugar, unpacked
  • 1/2 cup popcorn
  • 1/21 TBS sea salt


  1. Heat a large uncovered pot (that has a lid) on the stove over high. Add oil to pot and then add sugar. Stir with a wooden spoon to distribute sugar into oil.
  2. Add popcorn to the hot oil. Add lid and let popcorn heat in oil. Once you hear the first kernel pop, begin shaking the pan vigorously. A good way to do this is to grip both handles of the pan and shake back and forth, while keeping it over the flame. Be sure your hands are covered either with oven mitts or towels, as the pot will be hot. Try to shake until you hear the kernels slow down in their popping.
  3. Once the popping has stopped, remove the kettle corn immediately from the heat.  Pour onto a large baking sheet, in as even of a layer as possible.
  4. While popcorn is still hot, sprinkle salt across. Taste and adjust salt as needed.


If you are a popcorn fan and do not yet own one, I strongly recommend a Whirley Pop.

  • Prep Time: 0 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 minutes
  • Category: Snack
  • Method: Popping
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1/4 of recipe
  • Calories: 240 calories
  • Sugar: 9.3g
  • Sodium: 879 mg
  • Fat: 13.6g
  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 12.6g
  • Trans Fat: 0.1g
  • Carbohydrates: 25.4 g
  • Fiber: 3.5g
  • Protein: 2.5g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg

Keywords: popcorn, party, snack, kettle

Pin this recipe for later:

This recipe should how to make kettle corn, at home! This sweet and salty treat tastes just like the classic festival snack, and is made with only four ingredients. Ready in 5 minutes, it's full of festive flavors and perfect for sharing. 

Portrait of Emily Meyers, founder of Garlic Head

About the Author

Hi, I'm Emily! Garlic Head is a plant-based recipe website for all eaters who want to easily, affordably, and sustainably incorporate more vegetables into their diets. I am a lifelong vegetarian and 10+ year vegan, but I do not focus on labels - I focus on creating food that everyone can enjoy. I earned a certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from Cornell University.  Meet me here.

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  1. Rosalia Q. Figueroa says

    I tried this recipe, and it was really good, but I have questions I want to ask; how can I reach you?

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