‘Swicy’ Caramel Corn

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A hint of cayenne gives this sweet snack a crush-worthy kick.
bowl of swicy caramel corn
Katherine Gillen

By now we’re all on the same page about sweet and salty (it’s delicious, full stop), but what are your feelings about sweet and spicy? Dip your toes in the water with this recipe for ‘swicy’ caramel corn. It has just enough heat, and a stick-to-your-teeth coating to keep you coming back for another handful, and another, and another…

Don’t say we didn’t warn you.


8 cups popcorn (from ½ cup kernels)

¾ cup sugar

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 300°F. Lightly spray a large bowl with nonstick spray and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Add the popcorn to the prepared bowl.

2. In a medium saucepan, add ¼ cup water and the sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat, swirly occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Cook until the mixture turns a light amber color, then remove from the heat and stir in the butter—the mixture will sputter, so be careful.

3. Stir in the salt, baking soda and cayenne, then immediately pour the caramel over the popcorn. Working quickly, toss the popcorn with a silicone spatula to coat. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and spread into an even layer, then bake until dry, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool before serving.

Nutrition Facts
  • 201 calories

  • 9g fat

  • 31g carbs

  • 1g protein

  • 25g sugars

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Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.

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Katherine Gillen

Senior Food Editor

Katherine Gillen is PureWow’s senior food editor. She’s a writer, recipe developer and food stylist with a degree in culinary arts and professional experience in New York City...
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