How to make toffee popcorn

Updated February 21, 2017

Unless you are a diehard salted popcorn fan, there is nothing more satisfying than a bowl filled with lukewarm, sticky toffee popcorn. Since it does not package well and deliver its gooey goodness at the same time, making your own toffee popcorn is preferable to buying even the highest quality prepackaged versions. Learning how to make toffee popcorn is simple and when you follow these easy steps you are going to be rewarded with a treat that is second to none.

Fill the skillet with about ½ inch of cooking oil. Turn on the burner to high and let the skillet heat up until the oil is close to smoking. Reduce heat to medium high.

Add the premeasured amount of popping corn to the skillet. The amount you use depends on the amount of toffee popcorn you want to make and how big a skillet you are using. Avoid having the popping corn piled on top of each other excessively. Two single corn layers are the maximum recommended for this recipe.

Place the lid on top of the skillet and gently shake the skillet to permit the oil to coat each and every corn kernel. Replace the skillet onto the burner and wait.

Listen for the first sounds of popping to occur. From here things move rather rapidly and you should not walk away from the stove. Once in a while shake the skillet gently but do not remove it from the burner. When the sounds of popping slow, turn off the burner, remove the skillet and shake it more vigorously. Wait for all sounds of popping to stop completely.

Lift the lid off the skillet, pour the popped corn into the metal colander and place it on the plate with the paper towels.

Place the stick of salted butter into the saucepan and gently heat it on the stove burner over low heat. Do not burn the butter!

Add the ½ cup to ¾ cup of brown sugar and ¼ to ½ cup of light syrup to the melting butter in the saucepan. Gently mix until the butter is fully melted and the sugar has liquefied. You may need to briefly increase the heat to medium. Once all ingredients are well blended your toffee sauce is complete; turn off the burner.

Transfer the popped corn from the colander to the mixing bowl. Drizzle the hot toffee mixture over the popcorn and stir simultaneously with the mixing spoon. Continue this process until the popped corn is evenly coated with the toffee.

Serve the toffee popcorn you made in the mixing bowl with plenty of napkins and also some wet wipes on standby. This is a gooey and sticky treat. Enjoy!


You could use bagged popcorn in a pinch, prepare it in the microware and simply apply the sauce, but why mar such a tasty treat with the artificialness of conserved and preservative laden popcorn?

Enjoy the toffee popcorn you made while it is still slightly warm. Although still delicious even when cooled, the warm version is tastiest.


Do not remove the lid of the skillet during popping. Sizzling kernels of corn may be expelled and lead to burns or eye injuries!

Do not use olive oil. Even though it is a healthy oil, it has a low smoke point and also adds too much of its own flavour to the popcorn.

Things You'll Need

  • Popping corn
  • Heavy skillet with lid
  • Cooking oil
  • Metal colander
  • Dinner plate lined with two or three sheets of absorbent paper towels
  • Stick of salted butter
  • Saucepan
  • ½ cup to ¾ cup of brown sugar
  • ¼ to ½ cup of light syrup
  • Mixing spoon
  • Large mixing bowl
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About the Author

Based in the Los Angeles area, Sylvia Cochran is a seasoned freelance writer focusing on home and garden, travel and parenting articles. Her work has appeared in "Families Online Magazine" and assorted print and Internet publications.