Cinnamon Sugar Microwave Kettle Corn

Popcorn was my dietary staple for much of college. If only I’d known this little trick: Do-it-yourself microwave popcorn. The DIY version has none of the artificial flavors, colors or chemicals present in store-bought varieties. It’s also cheaper and produces less environmental waste.

Here’s how it works: Into a standard brown paper lunch bag put ¼ cup popcorn kernels. Add 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil and a big pinch of salt. Fold the top of the bag over two or three times (fasten with two staples to make a super tight seal …no, it won’t spark in the microwave, I promise). Lay the bag on its “back” in the microwave and run it for about two and a half minutes until the popping of the kernals slows to just every few seconds. Dump into a bowl and eat as is. If you want to get fancier, do up a batch of this Cinnamon Sugar Microwave Kettle Corn. Your kids will think you’re a genius.

Cinnamon Sugar Microwave Kettle Corn

Servings 5 1/2 cups


  • 1/4 cup popcorn kernels
  • 2 tablespoons butter , melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • Ground cinnamon


  1. Put the popcorn kernels in a brown paper lunch bag. Fold it over 1/3 of an inch and make a firm crease.Fold it again two more times, creasing it well each time so it forms a tight seal that will prevent air from escaping as the corn pops.
  2. Set in the microwave on its “back” and microwave on high for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes or until the popping nearly comes to a stop.
  3. Empty the popcorn into a medium bowl.
  4. Drizzle with the butter. Sprinkle with salt and sugar, and toss several times to coat. Give the cinnamon a few shakes over the popcorn and toss again.

Photo credit: Shutterstock


03.07.2011 at7:26 PM #


This is brilliant! I regularly make the “old-time” popcorn on our stove for our kids, but one of our boys got a package of microwave popcorn from his preschool teacher for Valentine’s Day. Since then, our boys no longer want me to make it on the stove because they thought it was so great to watch the bag puff up.. I just couldn’t bring myself to buy those little packages of solid fat, salt, and popcorn kernels, and so this is perfect! Thank you! You have an incredible knack for posting on a completely relevant topic at exactly the perfect time!

03.07.2011 at7:26 PM #


I’m glad to be so timely for you. This really couldn’t be easier.

03.07.2011 at7:27 PM #

Mop Prime

What a cool idea. (Or should I say poppin’hot?) Can’t wait to try it.

03.07.2011 at9:39 PM #


I think you are the genius! This is great…can’t wait to try it!

03.07.2011 at10:20 PM #


Last fall we picked ears of popcorn at a local farm’s harvest festival. We were amazed to read their instructions, which were to place the whole ear of popcorn (after letting it dry for a few weeks) into a brown paper bag, fold it up and microwave it. It popped right off the cob. Very fun for the kids and parents too.

03.07.2011 at10:20 PM #


I will have to try that too. Thanks for the idea.

03.07.2011 at11:05 PM #


I agree this is a hit. We’ve done this with salt or with sugar for “kettle corn”. Have the kids pre-decorate the bag and it’s a great after-game snack treat.

03.07.2011 at11:05 PM #


I love the kettle corn idea….and pre-decorating the bag. Very cute. Thanks

03.08.2011 at1:43 AM #


I can’t wait to try this – Emily loved it and assured me the instructions would be posted this week.

03.09.2011 at3:19 PM #


I would love to post this recipe on my blog and link back to you if that’s ok.

03.10.2011 at10:21 PM #


I love this idea! I am trying it tonight.

03.11.2011 at5:02 PM #


Hi Katie! I saw your post about this on Social Moms and thought I would come check you out. I love your blog and you have some great practical ideas for eating healthy with kids.

I wanted to ask you if it would be okay to share this on my blog and link back to you? What a smart, healthy and frugal idea!

03.11.2011 at5:02 PM #


Sure, feel free to post this on your blog with a link. Thanks for asking.

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