This vegan kettle corn recipe is so easy to make you’ll be able to enjoy freshly popped popcorn with a crunchy sweet coating whenever you want! My love of all things popcorn comes from my mother. She can smell a fresh batch of kettle corn from across the food court. The smell alone makes my mouth water.
And the great news is that homemade popcorn is easier than you think! This recipe calls for just 4 ingredients and takes less than 10 minutes from start to finish.
Why make Vegan Kettle Corn at Home?
Kettle corn is naturally plant-based, sweet, salty, and delicious! What’s the difference between regular popcorn and kettle corn? Kettle corn is made by mixing fresh-popped popcorn with some sugar and salt until the kernels are lightly coated and crispy. To make vegan kettle corn just use oil instead of butter! It’s that easy!
I started making kettle corn at home a few years ago and after the first try, I was hooked. Looking for a great homemade gift idea? How about putting some unpopped corn kernels in a mason jar and attaching a copy of the instructions for making homemade kettle corn?
It’s fun, from the heart and absolutely scrumptious! Kettle corn is usually found at fairs and amusement parks so it’s already associated with fun, you just need to bring that fun home.
Haven’t ever made popcorn at home? It’s ridiculously easy to do! Start with getting the popcorn kernels. Most grocery stores carry the kernels next to the greasy, buttery bagged version.
Don’t worry, after you start making your own fresh popcorn you’ll never want to go back to the bagged microwave version again. With the same amount of time, and just a little bit of effort you will yield popcorn that is leaps and bounds ahead of the bagged variety.
And if you like the taste of ‘buttered’ popcorn you can add a bit of nutritional yeast (nooch) to give it that buttery flavor. Nutritional yeast is often used in vegan savory food to give a butter or cheesy flavor.
And as an added bonus, making your own vegan kettle corn is very inexpensive!
Step by Step Guide to Vegan Kettle Corn Recipe
Gather Your Ingredients
From start to finish this recipe takes just about 10 minutes from start to finish so it’s important to have your ingredients measured out and ready to go before starting.
Heat the Oil
When you’re ready to start, heat the oil in the bottom of a large pot with a lid and add in a few kernels. When the test kernels pop you know you’re oil is hot enough to start.
Add the Popcorn
Next add in the popcorn kernels and place a tight fitting lid over the top. Don’t walk away! You’ll want to watch the popcorn carefully as it cooks. Shake the pot every minute or so to prevent burning. To tell when the popcorn is done listen for the pops.
If you start to hear a pop more than 3-4 seconds between pops your popcorn is ready to come off the heat. You’ll have a few stray unpopped kernels in every batch but that’s okay.
Add the Sugar and Salt
When the popcorn is finished popping remove from heat and add in the sugar and salt. Use a silicone stirrer or other long handled spoon to quickly mix the popcorn with the sugar mixture until coated and the popcorn starts to carmelize. Then put the pot back on the stove top and stir a few more times.
Repeat this process 2-3 times to ensure the sugar mixture has coated the popcorn then take off the heat.
Cooling Down the Vegan Kettle Corn
When the popcorn is coated to your liking use a cookie sheet or a baking sheet with a lip to pour the hot popcorn onto. Allow this to cool for about 5 minutes. Done! You’re now ready to enjoy fresh homemade vegan kettle corn! This recipe is so simple you can enjoy Vegan Kettle Corn anytime!
Tips and Tricks for Making this Vegan Kettle Corn Recipe
Traditionally white granulated sugar is used to make kettle corn, but sometimes I like to use natural cane sugar. The larger crystals lead to some of the popcorn clumping together in big sugary-salty popcorn balls.Yummy! My mouth is watering just thinking about the clusters of sweet goodness!
Did you lend your kettle to the neighbor? Maybe yours is just dirty and you need an alternative. I use my small Dutch oven or my stockpot to make this recipe. Ultimately you are looking for a sturdy pot with a lid. That’s all!
To make clean up even easier line your half cookie sheet with a baking mat or parchment paper before you start.
Let’s get Popping!
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1/3 cup corn kernels
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
Step 1: Heat 3 tablespoons of coconut oil in a large pot or Dutch oven on medium-high heat.
Step 2: Place 2-3 corn kernels in the pan and put on the lid. Watch and listen, when they pop the oil is ready.
Step 3: When ready add in the rest of the corn kernels and put the lid on. Shake the pot every few seconds to distribute the kernels. Keep on heat until most of the kernels have popped. You’ll have a few kernels leftover and this is okay.
Step 4: Take off the heat and stir in the sugar and salt. Give the popcorn a few good turns and then place it back on the heat. Stir a few times and take back off.
Do this until the corn is slightly caramelized. It should take no more than a minute or 2.
Step 5: Spread the popcorn out on a half cookie sheet to cool. Leave to cool for 5 minutes.
Popcorn will keep at room temperature in an airtight container for a few days.