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

"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!"
photo by Starrynews photo by Starrynews
photo by Starrynews
photo by iammaggiewilliams photo by iammaggiewilliams
Ready In:
4 1 Cup Servings




  • Preheat oven to 350F & cook the microwave popcorn per pkg directions.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Slowly pour the warm caramel over the popcorn while stirring gently. Continue to stir the popcorn until well-coated.
  • 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).
  • Let cool to just about room temperature Break up any clusters & enjoy!
  • 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.

Questions & Replies

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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)
  4. This is delicious! The sweet and spicy combo is wonderful. Thanks for sharing! ZWT9
  5. Made it just as written, and it was great! A bit of heat, sweet, and tad bit of saltiness. Easy recipe, great for those late night cravings!


I am an American transplanted from Dallas to Iceland by marriage to a native Icelander & I retired to become his "Kitchen Queen". We love to entertain our family & friends, so I have an eclectic collection of recipes. I especially love simple, easy-fix, flexible & make-ahead recipes - BUT also like challenging myself on occasion. I enjoy baking & food photography. I am devoted to the "More is Always Better Principle" & apply it liberally to bacon, butter & garlic. I can have ingredient issues due to availability here in Iceland & my DH is medically diet-restricted from some ingredients as well. Either situation might require me to modify a recipe, but I will do my best to be true to your recipes & fair/honest in my reviews. Mary Pat (aka twissis)
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