Buttery Sweet and Salty Popcorn

This Buttery Sweet and Salty Popcorn rivals movie theater popcorn and may even surpass it.

I was obsessed with this Amaretto Caramel Popcorn last Christmas. It was good enough to pack up in cello bags and put under the tree.

Close up shot of caramel corn in a clear bag

This one is also a good choice to make an appearance under the tree because it stays fresh for a number of days.

The secret to all the buttery taste is ghee instead of regular butter. You can see how to make ghee here. It is so easy and it stores so well it is worth a few minutes to make it.

Golden, clear ghee in a small saucer.

Ghee has all the water content removed from regular butter so it has a high smoking point which makes it ideal to pop the corn in. So that adds some flavour right there.

Then when you pour more over the popped corn it just amps up the flavour even more.

And since the water has been removed from the butter the corn doesn’t get soggy.

Thanks to Recipe Tin Eats for that tip!

There are many variations of how to achieve the sweet and salty aspect. Some recipes call for honey and vanilla, others just sugar. Salt is sometimes coarse salt or regular salt.

This one uses icing sugar -so very fine sugar and you make the sea salt very fine by crushing in a pestle and mortar. Grind the sea salt to a powder BEFORE measuring it out for your topping. The fineness of the sugar and salt make it adhere very nicely to the popped corn.

What Kind of Popcorn is best?

I had no idea there are so many different kinds of kernels out there. Check out What Is the Best Popping Corn? My main concern started out to be just how to find the popcorn with the least ‘hull debris’ left behind. And there is something called hull-less popcorn. It isn’t really hull-less – the hull is just thinner and more tender.

But turns out there are shapes and sizes that are better suited to candy coatings versus buttery and seasonings.

This Buttery Sweet and Salty Popcorn will work well no matter what kernel type you are working with though so not to worry. I find the jumbo or Mushroom popcorn leaves way more hulls floating around though so I lean toward the Butterfly or Snowflake type.

How Much Does it Make?

1/3 cup of large popping (Mushroom) corn kernels made about 6 cups popped.

1/3 cup of the smaller, tender (Butterfly) popping corn made a generous 9 cups popped.

Close up of jumbo popcorn with sweet and salty flavouring.

Buttery Sweet and Salty Popcorn

Ever so buttery popcorn!
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Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: 4 minutes
Total Time: 7 minutes
Servings: 18 cups


  • 2/3 cups popping corn
  • 7 Tbsps ghee divided 2 + 5
  • 1 Tbsp icing sugar
  • 1 3/4 tsps regular sea salt (you will grind to a powder to make 2 teaspoons)


  • Using a spice grinder or a mortar and pestle, grind the sea salt to a fine powder similar to the consistency of the icing sugar. Then measure out 2 teaspoons of the powdery salt.
  • Melt ghee and heat 2 Tbsps ghee in a large saucepan (with a lid for later) over medium high heat. Retain remaining ghee until corn is popped. Put 3 popcorn kernels in the pan. When the ghee is hot enough for them to pop take them out and pour in all the kernels.
  • Cover the pan with the lid and gently shake the pan over the hot burner until there is about 3 seconds between kernels popping.
  • Remove from heat and pour popped corn into a large bowl.
  • Stir the salt and sugar together to mix evenly. Pour the remaining hot ghee over popped corn. Sieve half the sugar/salt over the popcorn and then toss. Sieve remaining sugar/salt mix and stir again till evenly mixed.
  • Serve immediately or store in an airtight container. It will keep a few days without getting soggy.


Nutrition is per cup.


Calories: 76kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 259mg | Potassium: 17mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Iron: 1mg
Buttery Sweet and Salty Popcorn

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