Honey Popcorn Recipe

Growing up, my dad would pull out the air popper every night at nine and make popcorn. I loved the crispy texture and always looked forward to the bedtime snack. Every once in a while, mom would make caramel popcorn instead and I would eat as much as I could get away with. 

This honey-coated popcorn reminds me of caramel corn. It has the same golden color, sweetness, and crispy texture, without requiring a candy thermometer or corn syrup. 

Instead of using an air popper, I make the popcorn on the stove and then use the same pot to make the honey and butter coating, which means I only have one pot to clean! It fills a sheet pan and is a great option for packaging up for a bake sale or piling it into a big bowl for movie night. Honey popcorn also lasts for five days, so go ahead and make it ahead of time. 

Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm

Tips for Making Honey-Coated Popcorn

  • I found that a large 8-quart stock pot works the best for making a large batch of popcorn. 
  • Even though you have a big pot and only a little bit of oil, beware of splatters. Keep a little distance from the pot when it’s heating up and while it’s popping. Having the lid cracked makes the popcorn crispier but also allows for oil to splatter. Set the lid ajar at the handles so that the oil and steam releases left to right instead of towards you.  
  • Make sure to stir until all of the liquid is coating the popcorn and not sitting at the bottom of the pot. The popcorn will be glossy and pale yellow. 
  • Once the popcorn is out of the oven, let it cool completely. You’ll be rewarded with the crispiest bites.

Using Microwave or Bagged Popcorn

Making the popcorn on the stovetop resulted in the crispiest, tastiest popcorn. But if you have microwave, bagged, or air-popped popcorn, you can still make this recipe! Start with 10 cups of popped popcorn, which is one microwave bag or 1/2 cup popcorn kernels. Pop and pour it into a big bowl. Make the honey and butter mixture in a small pot. Pour it over the popcorn and stir until well coated. Continue with the recipe as directed.

Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm

Flavor Variations

  • Switch up your honey and use hot honey or infused honey for another dimension of flavor. 
  • Add fresh herbs, such as rosemary, lavender, or chamomile to the warm butter mixture and let it infuse off the heat for 5 minutes. Remove the herbs and then bring the mixture back to a simmer before mixing in the popcorn.

It’s Raining Popcorn!

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