Check out this fun recipe – maple popcorn is such a treat!

It is maple syrup season here in New Hampshire, and we have maple sugar shacks practically around every bend. Some fancy, some not so fancy, but the outcome is still delicious maple syrup.

Maple popcorn served in a white bowl

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Why you’ll love this maple popcorn recipe

  • Sweet and salty flavor: The combination of sweet maple syrup and a pinch of salt makes this popcorn irresistible. The balance of flavors is perfect and will keep you coming back for more.
  • Easy to make: This recipe is incredibly easy to make and requires only a few ingredients. It’s a great treat to make when you need a quick and satisfying snack.
  • Versatile: This recipe is versatile and can be customized to your liking. You can add in chopped nuts, seeds, or dried fruit to give it some extra crunch and flavor.
  • Healthy snack option: Popcorn is a whole grain that is low in calories and high in fiber, making it a healthy snack option. The maple syrup in this recipe is a natural sweetener that is lower in calories than refined sugar.
  • Perfect for sharing: This recipe makes a large batch of popcorn that is perfect for sharing with friends and family.
  • Kid-friendly: Kids love popcorn and the sweet flavor in this recipe is sure to be a hit with children. It’s a fun and delicious snack that they will enjoy making and eating.
  • Great for family night: Popcorn and family night go hand in hand and this maple popcorn recipe is the perfect addition to any family night. It’s a healthier and more delicious alternative to store-bought popcorn.

Ingredients and substitution notes

  • Popped popcorn: You can use any type of popped popcorn for this recipe, such as microwave popcorn, air-popped popcorn, or stovetop popcorn. Just make sure it’s plain, unsalted, and unbuttered.
  • Maple syrup: This recipe calls for pure maple syrup, which gives the popcorn a sweet, maple flavor.
  • Vegan margarine: Vegan margarine, such as Earth Balance, is used to give the popcorn a buttery flavor.
  • Vanilla: A small amount of vanilla extract is added to enhance the flavor of the popcorn.
  • Salt: A pinch of salt is added to balance out the sweetness of the maple syrup. If you prefer your popcorn sweeter, you can reduce the amount of salt or omit it altogether.

Maple Popcorn Recipe variations and add-ins

  • Pecan Maple popcorn: Add chopped pecans to the maple syrup mixture before tossing with the popcorn.
  • Maple cinnamon popcorn: Add ground cinnamon to the syrup mixture before tossing with the popcorn.
  • Maple carob or chocolate popcorn: Melt carob or chocolate chips and drizzle over the popcorn after tossing it with the maple syrup mixture.
  • Caramel maple popcorn: Make a batch of caramel sauce and mix with the maple syrup before tossing with the popcorn.
  • Apple cinnamon popcorn: Add dried apple chips and ground cinnamon to the syrup mixture before tossing with the popcorn.

Top tips for making maple popcorn

Toss the popcorn well: Toss the popcorn well with the syrup mixture, making sure each kernel is well coated. This will ensure that the popcorn is evenly flavored.

Cool the popcorn completely: Allow the popcorn to cool completely on the baking sheet before serving. This will help it to crisp up and prevent it from getting soggy.

It is easier to make this recipe if you have a candy thermometer!

If you want to add some extra crunch to your maple popcorn, you can also add in some chopped nuts or seeds, such as almonds, pecans, or sunflower seeds. Just toss them with the popcorn mixture before baking in the oven.

Maple popcorn

Make ahead of instructions and storage

Make Ahead Instructions: 

You can make this recipe a day or two in advance and store it in a paper bag until you’re ready to serve. To do this, follow the recipe as directed, allowing the popcorn to cool completely before storing it in a paper bag. Crisp the popcorn back up in the oven if needed.


Maple popcorn can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. Be sure to store the popcorn in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and moisture. If the popcorn begins to lose its crispness, you can reheat it in the oven at 250°F for 5-10 minutes, or until it becomes crispy again.


Can I use microwave popcorn for this recipe?

Yes, you can use microwave popcorn for this recipe, but be sure to choose a plain or unsalted variety to avoid overpowering the maple flavor.

How do I prevent the popcorn from getting soggy?

To prevent the popcorn from getting soggy, make sure to toss it with the maple syrup mixture immediately after popping, while it’s still warm and crispy. Also, be sure the popcorn cools completely after baking, before storing it in an airtight container.

Can I add nuts or other mix-ins to the popcorn? 

Yes, you can add nuts or other mix-ins to the popcorn for added texture and flavor. Some popular options include chopped pecans, almonds, or peanuts.

Wrapping it up

Maple popcorn is a delicious and easy-to-make treat that’s perfect for any occasion. The combination of sweet maple syrup and salty popcorn creates a tasty treat that’s sure to please everyone. 

Plus, with the many recipe variations and add-ins, you can customize the recipe to your liking and create your own unique flavor combinations.

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Maple popcorn

Maple Popcorn

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  • Author: Chef Ani


The combination of sweet maple syrup and salty popcorn creates a tasty treat that’s sure to please everyone.


  • 6 cups popped popcorn
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup vegan margarine (earth balance)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • a pinch of salt


  1. In a medium size pot add all of the ingredients. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pot making sure that the bottom of the thermometer is not touching the bottom of the pot!  Bring the mixture to a light boil.  Cook until the mixture has reached the hard ball stage (250-260 degrees F).  If you do not have a candy thermometer you can put a drop of the mixture into ice water until it forms a soft ball… then it is ready.
  2. Caution:  This mixture is very hot.  Proceed with caution.  Work quickly.  Pour over the popcorn and stir quickly (it helps to have one person pour and the other stir), spread on a silicone baking mat in a rimmed baking tray, and bake at 275F until the popcorn is crispy (about 45-60 min), stirring every once in a while!  Keep an eye on the popcorn, as you do not want it to burn.  Enjoy!

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