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Introducing maple syrup popcorn! The same sweet and crispy popcorn that you already love, minus the refined sugar! This 4-ingredient popcorn has a delicious caramelized flavor, a touch of saltiness, and is incredibly addictive!

Maple Cinnamon Popcorn

This recipe came to mind after looking for a healthier alternative to caramel popcorn. I wanted sweet and crunchy popcorn without using granulated white sugar. Having worked on vegan halva, I knew that maple syrup could crystallize and decided to experiment with it as a sweetener for popcorn.

After a few tries, maple syrup popcorn was born!

One of the best things about this recipe is that while it uses maple syrup, it doesn’t yield sticky or soggy popcorn. It’s perfectly crispy and stays like that for days if stored properly! A must-try for any popcorn lover!

⭐️ Why You Should Try It

  • Refined sugar-free. Looking for a healthier version of popcorn? We have got you covered! This simple popcorn recipe uses only wholesome ingredients and zero refined sugar! You heard it right. It’s sweetened entirely with maple syrup.
  • Lightly sweet and salty. This popcorn is not overly sweet and has a hint of saltiness that complements the sweetness. The maple syrup brings a subtle caramelized flavor that will leave you craving for more!
  • Just 4 ingredients. This recipe requires only 4 ingredients you most probably already have in your pantry. It’s perfect for a last-minute movie snack!

📘 What is Popcorn

Popcorn is a type of corn kernel that puffs up when heated. As the kernels are heated, the moisture inside turns into steam, causing the kernel to burst open.

While its origins are unclear, there is evidence that popcorn has been consumed for over 1000 years. It is now one of the most popular snacks, often served in movie theaters or enjoyed at home while watching movies.

Maple Cinnamon Popcorn

🌽 Ingredient Notes

Here are the ingredients that you will need to make this crunchy popcorn:

  • Popcorn kernels – Use unseasoned, high-quality popcorn kernels.
  • Oil – Any neutral oil that can withstand high heat will work. You can use coconut, sunflower, or grapeseed oil.
  • Maple syrup – Use regular maple syrup. I advise against using dark maple syrup as it could burn and yield a bitter flavor.
  • Salt – To balance the sweetness. It’s optional but highly recommended. You can use regular salt or fine salt specifically made for seasoning popcorn. We personally use regular salt, and it works great.

🥣 How to Make It

1. Pop the popcorn

  1. Heat the oil. Add the oil to a large, heavy-bottomed pot (I used my Instant Pot) and heat it over medium-high heat for about 30 seconds.
  2. Pop the popcorn kernels. Once the oil is hot, add the popcorn kernels and cover the pot with a lid. Wait about 20-30 seconds, and the kernels will start to pop. Shake the pot from time to time to make sure all the kernels pop.
  1. Remove from heat. Once the popping has slowed down, remove the pot from the heat and let it sit for another minute.
  2. Salt it. Add the salt and toss to coat. Set the popcorn aside.
Maple Cinnamon Popcorn

2. Season it

  1. Heat the maple syrup. Add the maple syrup to a medium saucepan and heat it over medium heat. Once it starts to boil and some foam/bubbles form, let it boil for 3 minutes.
  2. Coat the popcorn. Pour the hot maple syrup over the popcorn as you stir to coat the popcorn evenly.

3. Bake

The final step consists of baking the popcorn. This step is essential to allow the maple syrup to crystallize and harden.

  1. Bake the popcorn. Transfer the popcorn to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for about 30 minutes at 250°F (125°C). This step will make the popcorn crunchy and allow the maple syrup to harden.
  2. Let cool. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes. The popcorn will become crunchy as it cools.

📔 Tips

  • Do not let the maple syrup boil for too long. Once the maple syrup is boiling, do not let it boil for more than 3 minutes, or it will harden too quickly once you pour it over the popcorn. One more thing: keep an eye on the maple syrup while it is boiling, as it might bubble and rise. If that happens, use a wooden spoon to stir it.
  • Stir as you pour the maple syrup over the popcorn. When 3 minutes are up, it’s time to drizzle the hot maple syrup over the popcorn. Pour it slowly and make sure to stir the popcorn continuously to ensure it’s coated evenly. This step is easier if you have the help of a friend or family member.
  • Adjust the saltiness to taste. We use 1/4 teaspoon as we like our popcorn salty. If you don’t enjoy sweet and salty popcorn, reduce the salt to 1/8 teaspoon or omit it completely.
  • Adjust the sweetness to taste. If you have a sweet tooth, feel free to use 1/3 cup of maple syrup instead of 1/4 cup.

🧈 Variations

You can easily customize this popcorn by adding spices or flavorings before baking it. Here are some ideas:

  • Cinnamon: Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon.
  • Vanilla: Stir in 1 teaspoon of high-quality vanilla extract for a fresh and floral aroma.
  • Chai-spiced: Add 1/2 tsp ground cardamom, 1/4 tsp ground ginger, and 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon.
  • Butter: Add 1/2 tsp of imitation butter for a rich buttery flavor.

❄️ Storing

  • To store: This popcorn will stay crunchy for up to 1 week if stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
Maple Cinnamon Popcorn

💬 FAQ

My popcorn is soggy. What happened?

You either didn’t let the maple syrup boil for long enough or didn’t bake the popcorn. Both steps are essential to getting super crispy popcorn.

Can I make this recipe oil-free?

Yes, you can pop the popcorn kernels in a pot or pan without any oil.

This maple syrup popcorn is super crispy, lightly sweetened, and so addictive! Now, grab your bowl of popcorn, snuggle up in a comfy blanket, and start your favorite movie for the ultimate movie-watching experience!

⭐️ Did you like this recipe? Let us know in the comments below, and tag us on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest!

Note: This recipe was first released in November 2018 and was updated in February 2024 with new photos and process shots.

Maple Cinnamon Popcorn
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Recipe
Maple Cinnamon Popcorn

Popcorn with Maple Syrup

5 from 5 votes
Author: Thomas Pagot
Introducing maple syrup popcorn! The same sweet and crispy popcorn that you already love, minus the refined sugar! This 4-ingredient popcorn has a delicious caramelized flavor, a touch of saltiness, and is incredibly addictive!
Prep Time : 10 minutes
Cook Time : 30 minutes
Total Time : 40 minutes
Servings 2 servings
Calories 264 kcal

Ingredients
 

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 250 °F (125°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.
  • Heat the oil. Add the oil to a large, heavy-bottomed pot (I used my Instant Pot) and heat it over medium-high heat for about 30 seconds.
  • Pop the popcorn kernels. Once the oil is hot, add the popcorn kernels and cover the pot with a lid. Wait about 20-30 seconds, and the kernels will start to pop. Shake the pot from time to time to make sure all the kernels pop.
  • Remove from heat. Once the popping has slowed down, remove the pot from the heat and let it sit for another minute. Add the salt and toss to coat. Set the popcorn aside.
  • Heat the maple syrup. Add the maple syrup to a medium saucepan and heat it over medium heat. Once it starts to boil and some foam/bubbles form, let it boil for 3 minutes.
  • Coat the popcorn. Pour the hot maple syrup over the popcorn as you stir to coat the popcorn evenly.
  • Bake the popcorn. Transfer the popcorn to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for about 30 minutes at 250°F (125°C). This step will make the popcorn crunchy and allow the maple syrup to harden.
  • Let cool. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes. The popcorn will become crunchy as it cools.
  • To store: This popcorn will stay crunchy for up to 1 week if stored in an airtight container at room temperature.

Notes

  • Do not let the maple syrup boil for too long. Once the maple syrup is boiling, do not let it boil for more than 3 minutes, or it will harden too quickly once you pour it over the popcorn. One more thing: keep an eye on the maple syrup while it is boiling, as it might bubble and rise. If that happens, use a wooden spoon to stir it.
  • Stir as you pour the maple syrup over the popcorn. When 3 minutes are up, it’s time to drizzle the hot maple syrup over the popcorn. Pour it slowly and make sure to stir the popcorn continuously to ensure it’s coated evenly. This step is easier if you have the help of a friend or family member.
  • Adjust the saltiness to taste. We use 1/4 teaspoon as we like our popcorn salty. If you don’t enjoy sweet and salty popcorn, reduce the salt to 1/8 teaspoon or omit it completely.
  • Adjust the sweetness to taste. If you have a sweet tooth, feel free to use 1/3 cup of maple syrup instead of 1/4 cup.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 serving | Calories: 264 kcal | Carbohydrates: 48 g | Protein: 3 g | Fat: 7.8 g | Fiber: 3.5 g | Sugar: 24.5 g
Course : Snack, Sweets
Cuisine : American
Did you make this recipe? Tag @fullofplants on Instagram and hashtag it #fullofplants
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About the Author

Thomas Pagot is the founder, photographer, and recipe developer behind Full of Plants. He created the blog in 2016 as a personal cookbook for vegan recipes. Through years of recipe development, Thomas has successfully grown Full of Plants into a trusted resource for plant-based recipes.

Learn more ➜

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definitely trying this!! Can I use air popped corn to avoid the oil? Love your blog! Just made your Instant Pot Cauliflower Tikka Masala for the second time–an amazing recipe! Thank you~

5 stars
Oh Yum !! So easy and worthwhile to make 🙂

5 stars
Yum! I just made some coconut bacon. I’m thinking of crumbling and toss on before placing back into oven the second time!

5 stars
This came out so delicious! I used air popped popcorn

[…] Maple Cinnamon Popcorn – Full of Plants […]

Can I replace coconut oil with olive or sunflower? I don’t have any coconut oil to hand.

5 stars
Very addictive. I can’t stop when I begin to put my hand in it.

5 stars
So good! Used the air popper and followed the recipe, this is so good!!