Brown Butter Kettle Corn

Brown Butter Kettle Corn // shutterbean

Thoughts while driving home from work:

Why don’t people use turn signals? Will they stop making them in cars one day because they’re deemed unnecessary?  I have all that butter in the fridge. Thank heavens they sell Kerrygold  at Costco. There isn’t enough browned butter in my life.  Wait. When was the last time I had kettle corn? Does that mean I haven’t been to a Farmer’s Market in awhile?  Can I have popcorn for dinner? Why is that guy brushing his teeth while driving? How can you not text but you can brush your teeth while driving? Another person not using a turn signal. WHAT IS UP, PEOPLE?!!  Is it time to listen to Marky Mark yet? I think it’s been an hour. Popcorn in my future. Please and thank you.

Brown Butter Kettle Corn // shutterbean

Popcorn kernels get popped. A nutty brown butter mixture gets a brown sugar treatment and coats the hot popcorn. Sea salt makes an appearance and we have the most lovely salty sweet crunchy combination.

Brown Butter Kettle Corn // shutterbean

Just when you think you think there hasn’t been enough sweetness in a handful or popcorn, a caramelized crunchy bit makes its way into your mouth. There it is. Just what you’ve been looking for. Then you get a bite of a salty buttery popcorn kernel and all is right with the world. Back and forth…forever…

And we’re off.

Simple is really best, isn’t it?

Brown Butter Kettle Corn // shutterbean

Coconut oil goes into my Whirley-Pop along with POPCORN!

I used a nice blend of kernels.

Brown Butter Kettle Corn // shutterbean

Bing bang boom. Transfer the popcorn to two LARGE bowls.

Brown Butter Kettle Corn // shutterbean

Now we brown butter.

Brown Butter Kettle Corn // shutterbean

And brown sugar gets melted into the butter. A teaspoon of water goes into the mixture.

Brown Butter Kettle Corn // shutterbean

Drizzle it on the popcorn. Half in one bowl. Half in the other.

Brown Butter Kettle Corn // shutterbean

Stir and toss the popcorn back & forth in the bowls to saturate the kernels. Salt it up!

If Cooper didn’t freak out over a Lego piece breaking, I’d have more pictures of this process. KIDS.

Brown Butter Kettle Corn // shutterbean

Divide! Serve it up!

Brown Butter Kettle Corn // shutterbean

Get in there. Cooper did.

Brown Butter Kettle Corn // shutterbean


Brown Butter Kettle Corn // shutterbean

So does COOPER!

Brown Butter Kettle Corn // shutterbean

Get in there.

Brown Butter Kettle Corn

      makes about 14 cups

recipe adapted from Real Simple Magazine

  • 1/2 cup popcorn kernels
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Place a 3 quart saucepan (or Whirley Pop) over medium-high heat. Add coconut oil and popcorn kernels to the pan. Close the lid and move pot back and forth (or whirl around!) on the stove and pop the popcorn until you start to hear the popping slow down. Remove from the stove.  Divide the popcorn between two large bowls.

Cook butter in a medium skillet over medium heat, stirring until the butter foams and browns, about 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in brown sugar and 1 teaspoon water until dissolved.

Working quickly, drizzle brown butter sugar mixture into both bowls of popcorn and toss well to coat the popcorn. Transfer popcorn back and forth between both bowls several times to help saturate the popcorn. Sprinkle with sea salt and serve immediately.

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  • Flora

    Yum! I have had a few too many suppers recently that were basically just a variation on the above…lazy, yes maybe, be soooo good! Thanks for the new flavour inspiration.

  • Averie @ Averie Cooks

    Brown butter + popcorn in any form…YES! This is my kinda snack! Errr, meal! 🙂 pinned

  • Katie

    You had me at ‘back and forth forever.’ 🙂

  • Tom @ Raise Your Garden

    I just promised Emma, my four year old that we would watch a movie and make some popcorn. This kettle corn looks amazing!

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

    Definitely need to put brown butter on my popcorn. YUM!

  • ileana

    This sounds sooo perfect! Brown butter for president.

    And re: turn signals. I learned to drive in Miami… if I use a turn signal no one will ever let me into the next lane! I have to kind of sneak in when I see the chance. Terrible but true.

  • Victoria

    Yum!!! A good caramel corn is a MUST every now and then!

  • Lori @ RecipeGirl

    Kettle corn is the best, I love the brown butter twist!

  • Mandy

    Tracy! I’m a new addict to your podcast with Joy. Seriously makes my day. And right now, I listen to a couple a day sometimes, so you all my make my day several times a day! I want to be on We’re about to Become Friends…cause thats how I feel. 😉

    But anyways, I LOVE LOVE popcorn. And I thought I was the only one that had a Whirley Pop! My family is from Indiana (where they are produced), and I’m a huge fan. Can’t wait to try out this recipe! I will probably use my lady finger popcorn for this one.

    You and this recipe are definitely maj in my book. 🙂

  • fusilliamy

    FEEL the vibration this sounds perfect. Salty/sweet combo is so in my “wheelhouse” 😉

  • Kate

    What I love more than the people who don’t use turn signals are the ones who flip them on for a sec right after they’ve changed lanes. Seriously??

    The popcorn looks delicious and I adore my Whirley Pop 🙂

  • Taylor

    I will eat all of the popcorn. Thank you.


  • Jamie

    I’m sure I’ll say this again but DARN YOU TRACY SHUTTERBEAN!!!

  • Liz @ Floating Kitchen

    Yes!!! I spied this recipe in Real Simple and have been meaning to make it. But you know how it goes…. Thanks for reminding me of it! I’m dying over your photos. I want to shove my face in that huge bowl right now!

  • Paula

    There is nothing so easy and satisfying as making your own buttery, salty-sweet popcorn. I can’t even pretend to practice restraint. I’m making this for a wine-tasting party this weekend so I can’t eat the entire batch myself…in 2 hours.

  • tara

    Seriously, people in California do not like turn signals.

    That bing bang boom part totally reminded me of the part in Anchorman. I love that movie.

    POPCORN IS THE BEST! I love it in pretty much any form, but it’s just such a good vehicle for sweet/salty (which is the best combo EVER!) C

  • Leah Davis

    Love kettle corn and you make me smile. This looks delicious!!

  • Barbara

    I’m in!

  • Ella

    How do you think it work to brown coconut oil? Is that a thing… I feel like it might scorch but I’m not sure.

    • Tracy

      Oh! I’ve never tried that. I doesn’t seem like it would work so well.

  • Jessica W

    Lol on the thoughts while driving. Why don’t people use their turn signal? Drives me batty.

    Must make this soon. Tonight I dug into your archives to make the coconut tres leches cake for a coworker’s birthday.

    Thanks for all the wonderfulness!

  • Katie @ The Surly Housewife

    I make popcorn every night. Totally making this version tonight. Thanks for the inspiration!!

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    I love this little hand photos, so cut and tempting! This looks like a great treat any night of the week!

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