Sweet Popcorn Glaze

Learn how to make sweet popcorn;  This sweet popcorn recipe is quick and easy, and not too sweet.

Sweet Popcorn Glaze from Jen's Favorite CookiesWe are a popcorn family.  I probably buy an 8-pound tub of unpopped kernels at Costco every other month.  My kids sometimes forget that microwave popcorn even exists.  We usually eat it air-popped with just butter and salt, but sometimes I soup it up and make it sweet.  This easy glaze is one of my favorite stand-by’s.  It’s easy, quick, and basically impossible to ruin.

I’ve made this simple popcorn glaze for many a holiday party.  I don’t want you to think it’s just for the holidays, though.  It’s also perfect for basically any occasion or get together.

Game days, birthdays, even summer barbeques are better with sweet popcorn.

Movie days are better with sweet popcorn.

Wednesdays are better with sweet popcorn.

Sweet Popcorn Glaze from Jen's Favorite Cookies

What is it about butter and sugar that is so fantastic?  Think about it.  Did you ever eat something made primarily with butter and sugar that didn’t taste like heavenly sweetness?  Me either.

If you get this popcorn recipe right, it should taste sweet, but not overwhelmingly so.  It’s not cooked long enough to be caramelized; it has a very simple flavor.  It’s actually quite similar to kettle corn.

I’ve included a small recipe here, but it is easy to double or triple if you have a crowd.

Sweet Popcorn Glaze from Jen's Favorite Cookies

This popcorn also keeps easily for a couple days, so it’s great to package up as gifts.

And by the way, if you’re looking for more ways to fancy up your popcorn, I’ve got them.  I’m all about fancy popcorn.  On this site, I have recipes for butterscotch popcorn, white chocolate popcorn, oreo popcorn; I’ve made peppermint popcorn, I’ve even added popcorn to the krispie treats.

Scroll to the bottom of the post to find easy links to all these recipes.

Sweet Popcorn Glaze from Jen's Favorite Cookies

And if you ever want my recipe for perfect plain-old butter and salt popcorn, just ask!


5 from 5 votes

Sweet Popcorn Glaze

A simple butter and sugar popcorn treat.

Servings 4
Author Jen @ Jen's Favorite Cookies


  • 1/2 cup unpopped popcorn kernels
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water


  1. Pop the popcorn. (I use an air popper, but any method is fine.)

  2. On the stove, melt the butter. Add sugar and bring to a boil. Boil about 2 minutes.

    Add water and stir well. Quickly pour over popped corn, and toss to coat.

  3. Chill the popcorn in the fridge for 15-20 minutes before serving.

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38 thoughts on “Sweet Popcorn Glaze

  1. Carla

    Mmm popcorn! When I studied in Ireland, we didn’t have a microwave, so my housemate taught me how to make stovetop popcorn. That’s all I ever make now.

  2. Pingback: Toasted Coconut Popcorn |

  3. kene bill

    I did it for the first time,it was brownish in colour though i needed it to b white…..sweet anyway…….

    1. Jen Post author

      Kene, sorry to hear that. It sounds like you may have cooked it too hot or for too long. If the butter starts to brown, it’s gone too long! Better luck next time.

  4. Jack Fairhurst

    Hi. Would like to get your recipe for salt and butter popcorn. Trying the sweet one now but trying it 2 ways. One with clarified butter and the other with Pam buttery flavored cooking spray. What do you think? Jack

    1. Jen Post author

      Jack, clarified butter is awesome stuff, but I’m not sure how the cooking spray would taste. You’ll have to let me know! When we make regular salt and butter popcorn, I use 1 cup unpopped kernels and 1/2 cup melted butter, and salt to taste. It’s a little bit subject to your personal taste, and of course, the brands you use. I have found that the Orville Redenbacher tends to make more popcorn than the other brands. Good luck!

      1. Josie

        What do you think about using a more heart healthy not trans fat butter substitute such as ‘Smart Balance’ etc?

        1. Jen Post author

          I have never tried this recipe with Smart Balance, but in general dairy substitutes do not cook the same way actual dairy does. It’s probably better as a spread than a popcorn topping.

  5. Jennifer

    Made this late last night for the first time. I left it in the fridge all night and it was soggy this morning. Any tips for storing? Should I only refrigerate for on 10-15 min to prevent sogginess? Thanks!

    1. Jen Post author

      Jennifer, I haven’t had too much trouble storing it. I would guess that if it is soggy, it’s because there is not quite enough popcorn for the glaze. Since popcorn yields vary from brand to brand, it’s difficult to be precise. A good quality popcorn brand like Orville Redenbachers might make a difference. Also, if you live in a humid climate, popcorn in general doesn’t keep well. Our climate is very dry here in Utah, so I often forget how quickly things like popcorn and potato chips can get soft in humid places!

  6. Lauren

    Could you possibly tell me what the ingredient would be in grams please? I live in England and we don’t use cups but I’ve been looking for a sweet popcorn flavouring for ages! Thanks

  7. Trevor Gill

    Can I have your Salt and Butter receipes for Popcorn, I can’t find any in the UK. Many thanks Trevor Gill. 05/01/2016. Happy New Year to All

    1. Jen Post author

      Trevor, when I make popcorn, I use 1 cup unpopped kernels, and pop them in an air popper, 1/2 cup at a time. I melt 1/2 cup (1/4 pound or 1 stick) butter and pour it over the top, using a large wooden spoon to stir and coat the popcorn with butter. Then, quickly salt to taste.

  8. yusuffpeaceman

    I u§e to make sweet popcorn on street for living. And people do enjoy it,so I want more knowledge on how to make good taste pop corn.

  9. Nabil

    Dear Jen,

    Great Recipie. Taste is super. Do you know what i can add/change to give the sweet popcorn a longer shelflife? let us say 1 month?

  10. Georgianna Anderson

    Love this! it reminds me of the wonderful butter/sugar mixture used to make popcorn balls! Do you have a variation that makes a crispier coating also?

  11. Ralph

    I kinda did this. I used Act II extreme butter. I took 3 tablespoons of butter, 2 teaspoons of sugar, one teaspoon of cayenne pepper. after popping the popcorn I took the rest ingredients and microwave get in 30-second increments. I did add a half a teaspoon of water. Mixed well.

  12. Andrea

    Was making popcorn for the grandkids and creating something sweet myself .. found this recipe – so simple, so sweet, so perfect !! Thank you for sharing – this will become a family favorite !


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