Easy homemade chocolate drizzled kettle corn is mixed with toasted almonds and topped with dark chocolate for a quick and crunchy chocolate popcorn dessert.
While Wikipedia tells me that kettle corn has been around since the 1700s, I distinctly remember a kettle corn boom in the early 2000s to the point that it became the only microwave popcorn I made.
Those 100 calorie packs? My daily snack.
I (temporarily) got off the popcorn train sometime in college when, after one too many dormmates scorched the living daylights out of it, I couldn't stomach it anymore.
The proverbial 'they' say time heals all wounds...and they're right when it came to my popcorn cravings. This chocolate drizzled kettle corn is the fourth popcorn recipe on the blog but the first one that dips back into my old love kettle corn.
Psst - if you're a savory popcorn fan, you might be interested in these other blog recipes: salted lime popcorn, turmeric popcorn, and buffalo ranch popcorn.
While microwave popcorn can't be beat for convenience, homemade popcorn isn't that much more time consuming. I make it right on the stovetop, and all you'll need is a big pot with a lid. It's become my preferred popcorn method now.
A big bag of popcorn kernels will cost you just a few bucks and will last a long while. Offered in white and yellow varieties, I use white, though either would work just fine. My standard supermarket brand bag of kernels is thirty-two ounces, costs around $2, and in total is listed to make approximately 120 cups when popped.
That's a lot of popcorn.
Homemade popcorn at its most basic has very few ingredients: oil, kernels, and arguably salt as a must-add.
Just one ingredient upgrades standard popcorn to kettle corn - granulated sugar. In addition to all of the above, sugar is added to the pot along with the kernels and salt and works its magic in coating the popcorn with a slightly hardened and sweet coating as they pop.
Here there are two extra elements at play to turn this kettle corn into even more of a dessert versus a snack: toasted almond slices and a melted dark chocolate drizzle. While both are technically optional, they really help take this recipe over the top!
Easy stovetop method
Even though the flavors are different, there are a lot of similarities between how I make kettle corn and savory popcorn. For starters, it's the exact same method - all made in a big pot with a lid.
Then I always use coconut oil for popping. It doesn't burn, doesn't leave a greasy feeling on your fingers, and is flavorless when using refined coconut oil (see a note on this below).
Once the popcorn has popped, you'll want to immediately pour out the kettle corn onto a parchment paper-lined sheet and arrange it into a fairly uniform layer. Getting it out of the pot as soon as possible prevents the popcorn pieces on the bottom from burning, which as we know, is not a popcorn goal.
This also helps the kettle corn harden as it cools and clump together slightly. It's inevitable that a few kernels will get a little too roast-y toast-y in the process, so just pick those out as needed. Once cooled, a quick drizzle of dark chocolate takes things to the next level to make this sweet snack-slash-dessert something special.
This kettle corn is certainly delicious without the almonds (and do leave them out if you don't eat them or have them), but toasted almond slices tossed throughout were a nice treat!
Refined vs. unrefined coconut oil
Usually I have an opinion on which type of coconut oil to use for a certain recipe, but in this case either refined or unrefined coconut oil work. It just depends on your preferences.
Refined coconut oil has an incredibly neutral taste and doesn't impart any coconut flavor whatsoever to whatever it is you're making. It's what I use most of the time when I'm making something savory.
Unrefined coconut oil has a stronger coconut aroma and taste, which may or may not mesh well with whatever it is you're making. For this recipe I like to use unrefined coconut oil because a slight coconut flavor/after taste mixed with toasted almonds and dark chocolate is certainly complementary.
Use whichever you prefer though! They both behave the same way as far as popping the popcorn is concerned.
- As written below I recommend measuring out all of your ingredients and prepping your parchment before beginning as this recipe moves quickly and is time-sensitive.
Chocolate Drizzled Kettle Corn
- ⅓ cup sliced almonds, toasted
- 3 tablespoon coconut oil
- ½ cup popcorn kernels
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon flaked sea salt
- 3 oz dark chocolate chopped
To toast almond slices:
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Scatter sliced almonds in an even layer over an ungreased rimmed baking sheet and bake for 4-5 minutes, or until almond slices are golden brown. Keep a close eye on them as they can burn quickly.
- Once toasted, immediately remove sheet from the oven and transfer the toasted almonds to a plate or bowl so they stop toasting and cool.
To make the kettle corn:
- Measure out your ingredients as things move quickly from here. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Add coconut oil and three popcorn kernels to a large pot set over medium-high heat. Put the lid on the pot.
- Watch for the first kernel to pop, then carefully pour in the rest of the kernels, the sugar, and the salt. Quickly stir everything together.
- Place the lid back on the pot and shuffle the pot back and forth, shaking up the kernels to prevent those on the bottom from burning. You'll soon hear the popping intensify. Once the popping slows down to a few seconds between pops, immediately pour out kettle corn onto the parchment-lined sheet and arrange in an even layer. Remove any burnt bits or unpopped kernels with kitchen tongs. Don't use your fingers as they'll be hot.
- Kettle corn will harden some as it cools. Once cool, melt chocolate in your preferred manner and transfer to a plastic bag. Snip the corner of the bag and pipe melted chocolate over the cooled kettle corn. Let chocolate harden before storing.
Nutritional information is provided as an estimate. As it can vary due to many factors (brands used, quantities, etc.), we cannot guarantee its accuracy.Food Safety and Nutrition Disclaimer
Just a warning… I made the mistake of doubling the recipe and since my kernels and sugar could not agitate well due to having less room, most of the sugar burnt on the bottom along with several kernels. The whole batch had a burnt flavor.
Thank you for sharing your experience! Sorry you had trouble.
This was a huge hit!! I left out the almonds because my kids are so picky…… but omg so good!!
So glad you liked it, Dawn!