A Super Snack Bowl - Cajun Caramel Corn (For ZWT-9)

Total Time
Prep 5 mins
Cook 15 mins

Found in the recipes section at the Serious Eats website, this recipe was contributed by Jenny McCoy (a pastry chef from New York City who left no doubt that she was also a serious New Orleans Saints fan). She sees this popcorn as the perfect snack for Super Bowl Sunday – Something salty, spicy, sweet, served in a bowl & must be eaten by the handful! I would not be able to eat it just once a yr, btw. Jenny further added that: “This is super easy to make (esp if you use microwave popcorn) & it's truly addicting. But don't be fooled – The caramel corn may not seem too spicy at first, but it will sneak up on you.” Since this recipe is all about the “Cajun Caramel” flavor, you can opt to make “old school” popcorn using ½ cup popcorn kernels w/1 tbsp vegetable oil or go the microwave popcorn route you see below. Prep time was not given, so I allowed 5 min to ready the ingredients & cook the popcorn. Enjoy!

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Preheat oven to 350F & cook the microwave popcorn per pkg directions.
  2. When cool enough to handle, empty popcorn into a bowl & toss a bit so any un-popped kernels will fall to the bottom of the bowl. Transfer the nicely popped corn into another bowl & discard the un-popped kernels.
  3. In a sml pot over med-heat, cook the butter, brown sugar, cayenne, sea salt & corn syrup until it just begins to bubble on the sides. Remove the pot from the heat & whisk in the baking soda.
  4. Slowly pour the warm caramel over the popcorn while stirring gently. Continue to stir the popcorn until well-coated.
  5. Spread the caramel corn onto a lrg baking sheet. Bake for approx 8-12 min or until the caramel just begins to darken. Be sure to stir around the caramel corn once (after the 1st 6 min or so of baking).
  6. Let cool to just about room temperature Break up any clusters & enjoy!
  7. NOTE: On-line reviewers suggested they would increase the cayenne & I suspect the cayenne/sea salt combo could be replaced by a Cajun seasoning blend as another option, but those are decisions you will have to make.


Most Helpful

This is a nice football snack! I made this for us while watching a game and my popcorn-loving grand daughter loved it. Will definitely make again as it was such a hit. Thanks twissis for a nice keeper. Congrats on your Week 14 Football Win.

lazyme December 29, 2013

This is popcorn with a kick, actually I think there is a little too much pepper, will make it with less the next time. It is a nice change from regular popcorn.

morgainegeiser December 19, 2013

I made a batch of this for the Monday night football game. The recipe is very easy to follow. The only change I made was that I had to use Kosher salt (I couldn't find my sea salt in the cupboard). It was salty, sweet and spicey. I was half tempted to up the cayenne pepper amount, but I didn't and I'm glad... 1/4 teaspoon is plenty. I think when I make this again using the cayenne, I will also try one batch without it. Thank you for posting. (Made for Football Pool week 14 win)

rosie316 December 10, 2013

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