This subtly sweet Cinnamon Caramel Popcorn is a truly irresistible treat. Luckily, it’s also superfast to make. Something magical happens to popcorn when it’s coated in a caramely mixture of cashew butter, vanilla and brown rice syrup and sprinkled with a touch of cinnamon. Baked until crisp and golden, it seems to shatter when bitten but manages to remain a little chewy too.
I consider this Cinnamon Caramel Popcorn to be the ultimate party treat. I first made this recipe for my son’s 2nd birthday party. It was such a hit that I knew I had to make it again when he turned 3. It’s crunchy, it’s deeply caramelized and it’s utterly addictive. If your only experience with caramel popcorn is the sticky-sweet stuff that comes in Christmas tins, then I insist that you drop whatever you are currently doing and make yourself a batch this afternoon.
This recipe requires 6 cups of freshly popped popcorn. For 6 cups of popcorn, you need to cook about ¼ cup of popcorn kernels. Start by warming 2 teaspoons of coconut oil in a large pot over high heat. Add popcorn kernels and cover immediately. Then shake the pot to coat the kernels with oil. Continue shaking then pot until the kernels are popping rapidly, then lower the heat slightly. Once popping slows to about 2 seconds between pops, remove from heat, shake again, and keep covered until all popping has stopped. Then remove the lid, measure out 6 cups, and use within an hour, as popcorn becomes stale quickly.
This recipe is adapted from one of my go-to cookbooks, At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen: Celebrating the Art of Eating Well.
- 6 cups freshly popped popcorn (see note above)
- ½ cup brown rice syrup
- 3 tablespoons raw cashew butter
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Place popcorn in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
- Add brown rice syrup to a small pot over medium heat, and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat, and add cashew butter, salt, vanilla and cinnamon. Mix until smooth.
- Pour mixture over popcorn and mix well with a rubber spatula to combine. Spread over lined baking sheet and bake for 6 minutes. Then rotate tray and continue baking for 2 or 3 more minutes. Remove from oven. Allow to completely before breaking into pieces.
- If you have any left over, it can be stored in an airtight container for up to three days.
Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten-Free, Treats