Dorie Greenspan's Caramel-Honey Popcorn 4.000

Dudley M. Brooks/The Washington Post

Everyday Dorie Sep 2, 2016

Using these measurements for cinnamon and chipotle, you get a popcorn with a mild hit of heat and a subtle cinnamon flavor. If you’re making the popcorn for kids, you might want to omit the chipotle; if you’re making it for spice lovers, you can increase the amount of both ingredients.

You can eat the popcorn as soon as the caramel cools down, but Dorie Greenspan prefers crisping it in the oven. It’s a matter of preference and patience.

Make Ahead: Humidity will do this popcorn in, but you can always re-crisp it in a 250-degree oven for a few minutes. The popcorn will keep in a dry place for up to 2 days. It keeps best in a paper bag.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4 servings; makes about 6 cups

  • 6 cups popped plain popcorn (not buttered or flavored)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, or as needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, or as needed
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper, or as needed
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 3/4 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons honey


Lightly grease a large metal mixing bowl with cooking oil spray and pour the popcorn into it. Have at hand two heatproof flexible spatulas (sprayed for extra slipperiness, if you like).

If you're crisping the popcorn in the oven (see headnote), center a rack in the oven and preheat it to 250 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper (which you can spray very lightly, if you like) or a silicone baking mat.

Whisk together the baking soda, salt, cinnamon and chipotle pepper in a small bowl.

Combine the butter, brown sugar and honey in a medium saucepan over medium heat; cook, stirring frequently, until the butter and sugar have melted. Bring the mixture to a boil; cook for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until it’s a light mahogany color. (You can drop a bit on a white plate to see the color more easily.) You might see a little smoke, and that’s fine.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the baking soda mixture to form a caramel, which will bubble and seethe – it’s the baking soda at work – and that’s just what you want. Stir to make sure that everything is evenly incorporated, and then pour the caramel over the popcorn.

Working with the heatproof spatulas, turn the popcorn until it’s coated with caramel. This takes a couple of minutes. Keep turning; if your kitchen is cold and the caramel thickens, pop the bowl into the oven for a few minutes before continuing. You won’t get a perfectly even caramel coating, but you’ll come close.

Let the popcorn cool in the bowl before eating. Or, to crisp the popcorn in the oven, scrape the mixture onto the baking sheet and spread it out. Bake (250 degrees) for 40 to 50 minutes, turning the popcorn twice to make sure that nothing sticks and everything bakes evenly. The caramel may bubble and spread, but it will be fine once the corn is fully baked. Cool on the baking sheet.

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Recipe Source

From cookbook author Dorie Greenspan.

Tested by Kara Elder.

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