This cinnamon popcorn recipe is something you MUST try. It came about after my kids tried store-bought caramel popcorn and thought it was just the bee's knees, so I decided to create a healthier homemade, corn-syrup-free version.
Why This Recipe Works
- Absolutely delicious!
- Easy and quick to make
- Plant based vegan snack
The ingredients you will need
You will of course need popcorn. In addition to this, you will need the ingredients o make a vegan caramel sauce.
- Coconut oil
- Maple syrup (you can use honey but this is not vegan)
- Nut butter (I typically use peanut butter as it's the most economical, but its also delicious with almond butter or cashew butter)
I am an ambassador for Countdown supermarket, they support my blog by providing ingredients for recipe creation and testing. I used macro organic coconut oil, maple syrup, and cinnamon their range in this recipe.
How to make cinnamon popcorn
Popping the Popcorn!
I am a stovetop girl, this is how I pop my popcorn.
Step one: I heat oil in a pot. I add a few popcorn kernels to the oil while it's heating. These are my guide for when the oil is at the right temperature.
Step two: When they pop, I add the rest of my popcorn kernels, turn the heat down low and listen to the popping party! Once all the popcorn is popped transfer the popped corn to a large mixing bowl.
Give the saucepan a quick wipe out with a paper towel as you can use the same pot for making the cinnamon caramel sauce.
Making the Vegan Caramel Sauce
The quick vegan caramel sauce I use in this cinnamon popcorn recipe could be used for all sorts of other things. I call it vegan, as at the moment vegan is a 'hot' term. But for my parents of allergy kids it also means this is a way to make a dairy-free and egg-free caramel sauce, it's gluten-free too!
Step one: Melt the coconut oil and maple syrup together, you can do this on the stovetop. Wait for it to begin to bubble and caramelize.
Step two: Whisk in the nut butter and voila you will have a caramel sauce. I usually also add a little vanilla extract at the end as well, You can also add a little salt for a vegan salted caramel sauce. Of course, for my cinnamon popcorn, I added a good dose of cinnamon to the caramel!
Finishing the cinnamon popcorn
Step one: Return the popped popcorn to the saucepan with the caramel, stir to coat the popcorn
You can stop here... but you will get a slightly better end product if you do the next couple of steps
Step two: Line a baking sheet with baking paper. Spread the cinnamon caramel-coated popcorn evenly over the baking paper
Step three: Bake at 150 degrees celsius for around 10 minutes stirring halfway through, this crisps up the popcorn, but isn't entirely necessary
You can add a little salt to the finished popcorn if you like the sweet and salty type thing!
Popcorn is considered a chocking risk, unpopped kernels are hard and small foods, while popped popcorn is a 'compressible food' this means that the food can be squashed into the shape of a child’s throat and get stuck there. The New Zealand Ministry of Health Recommends popcorn should not be given to children under 3 years of age, I've also seen recommendations of not for children under 4 and 5 on other guidelines.
If your caramel popcorn is soggy and sticky it means the caramel was not cooked for long enough. baking the caramel corn in a single layer in a cool oven can fix this problem.
Here is how you can make and serve this cinnamon popcorn!
On my website I share lots of recipes for toddlers and kids, and even babies. Popcorn is considered a choking risk.
I, therefore, don't serve popcorn at playdates or parties for pre-school children, It's also a food I wouldn't give to a young child to snack on when we are on the move like in a pram or car.
Choking risk also increases when kids are walking around or playing while eating, so for younger children, popcorn is probably a better snack to have up at the table when they are sitting upright and not distracted.
You could always microwave your popcorn kernels in a paper bag, you can find instructions to do this right here How to make microwave popcorn in a brown paper bag
Other recipes that might tickle your fancy
- For the cinnamon fans - Healthy Cinnamon Cookies or Apple Cinnamon Muffins
- Healthier vegan treat cravers Chocolate Peanut Butter Freezer Fudge or Vegan Brownie in a mug or 3 minute vegan strawberry icecream
- Popcorn lovers you will love my honey caramel Popcorn Bars and Parmesan Pocorn
- 3 tablespoon coconut oil
- ½ Cup popcorn kernels
Cinnamon Caramel Topping
- 2 tablespoon coconut oil
- 2 tablespoon maple syrup
- 2 tablespoon peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- First, we will pop the popcorn, I do this on the stovetop, but you could choose to pop your popcorn in the microwave or buy popped popcorn
- Heat the first measure of coconut oil in a large saucepan over a medium-high heat
- Add a couple of kernels into the oil, when these pop the oil is hot, add the rest of the kernels. Put the lid on and reduce the temperature to low.
- Listen to the pops, when they slow down and there are large gaps between pops remove from heat
- Pour the popped corn into a large bowl
- Give the saucepan a quick clean out I use a paper towel to do this
- Return the saucepan to a medium heat
- Add the second measure of coconut oil and the maple syrup, heat unit l melted and they combine easily when whisked
- Turn off the heat, whisk in the peanut butter until you get a smooth caramel
- Whisk in the cinnamon and the vanilla
- Return the popped popcorn to the saucepan with the caramel, stir to coat the popcorn
- You can stop here... but you will get a slightly better end product if you do the next couple of steps
- Line a baking sheet with baking paper
- Spread the cinnamon caramel-coated corn evenly over the baking paper
- Bake at 150 degrees celsius for around 10 minutes stirring halfway through, this crisps up the popcorn, but isn't entirely necessary
- You can add a little salt to the finished popcorn if you like the sweet and salty type thing!
- ½ a cup of popcorn kernels will yield approximately 10 cups of popcorn
- You can make the caramel with honey but it will not be vegan
- You can sub the peanut butter for any nut butter