This season has been full of football games, county fairs and festivals filled with drool-worthy foods like the huge pots filled to the brim with sweet, sticky kettle corn cooking away. It’s the one thing I crave the most at these type of events, but what’s a person to do when kettle corn is out of season? Or perhaps they also want healthy kettle corn (i.e. without so much sugar and oil). Surely there is a way to make delicious kettle corn that’s a little better for our bodies.

With this recipe, you can easily make kettle corn at home year-round and know exactly what is going in. You keep things a little healthier but just as tasty. It’s all about making the right substitutes.

The first modification I made was to substitute brown sugar with coconut sugar. Though it is not a perfect solution (sugar is still sugar) coconut sugar has a low glycemic index, which means it won't spike your blood sugar level as high as white sugar. It’s also full of B vitamins and minerals.

Rebecca Buechler

The second modification I made to the traditional kettle corn recipe was to minimize the amount of oil used. 

While healthy fats are an important part of a balanced diet, those aren't the kinds of fats you use to make kettle corn. Depending on the way you make your popcorn, this recipe is virtually oil-free. I kept a tiny amount of butter or margarine in the recipe for flavor, but feel free to omit it if you like.

Whether you are a health nut or simply want to learn how to make kettle corn at home, you can follow this simple recipe and have sweet, warm kettle corn in no time. Add in pumpkin spice mix, and it will really bring you back to the season of drinking ciders around the bonfire, cheering on your school’s football team, and enjoying all the holiday festivities. 

Healthier Kettle Corn

  • Prep Time:5 mins
  • Cook Time:25 mins
  • Total Time:30 mins
  • Servings:4
  • Easy


  • 1 bag plain microwave popcorn or 1/3 cup popcorn kernels
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon butter or margarine
  • 5 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • Salt to taste
Rebecca Buechler
  • Step 1

    Preheat your oven to 350° Fahrenheit and prepare your popcorn, either in the microwave according to the bag's instructions, or by popping kernels in an air popper or on the stove top in a covered pot with 1/2 tablespoon of coconut oil.

    Rebecca Buechler
  • Step 2

    In a large pot over medium heat, boil water, coconut sugar, and spices for about 15 minutes or until a light syrup forms.

    Rebecca Buechler
  • Step 3

    Allow the syrup to thicken while you spread your popcorn on a baking sheet. Gently pour the syrup over the popcorn, mixing until evenly distributed.

    Rebecca Buechler
  • Step 4

    Bake for a maximum of 5 minutes, and keep a close eye on your popcorn to prevent it from burning. Salt to taste after removing from the oven.

    Rebecca Buechler