This recipe for Sugar and Pumpkin Spice Popcorn is so easy; no messy coatings or oven baking required. Simply combine butter, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ground ginger and add to your popcorn. DELICIOUS!
It’s that time of year. Pumpkin Spice time. Actually it starts in August when all of food bloggerland seems obsessed with all things Pumpkin Spiced! But there is some confusion. Without pumpkins to be found anywhere in sight that name can be misleading to many. What we are really seeing are a plethora of dishes and baked goods using a seasoning more correctly called Pumpkin Pie Spice.
A spice mix consisting of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and sometimes cloves; you know the ones that are always put into a Thanksgiving holiday pie? There really is no need to buy a separate spice labeled as such when it’s just a combination of spices you probably already have in your cabinet. I’ve seen a million different recipes and it’s clear there is none that is uniform; I’ve included mine in the Recipe Notes but try it and modify according to your tastes. For this recipe I don’t use cloves at all but I do love including them when I’m baking.
Of course the ubiquitous Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks may have started this whole ‘Pumpkin Spice’ thing and until 2014 it was true to form. No pumpkin. Nope, not a drop. I hear they’ve changed that and quite frankly I can’t imagine coffee with pumpkin in it…so I won’t be standing in line for one which is easy for me; the only one I’ll stand in line for comes out a bit later and has eggnog in it!!
So what does this have to do with popcorn. First. I love popcorn. I even love movie popcorn with that awful butter. I love caramel corn and popcorn drizzled with white and dark chocolate. I even made popcorn once with a bourbon caramel drizzle. But the truth is that even though some of those sinful creations are FANTASTIC, the real nitty-gritty is that I just don’t often take the time to make coatings that need a lot of monitoring or expensive thermometer gadgets to help me accomplish the task.
I love this simple recipe so much that when I do make popcorn I’m happy with just a big bowl of this next to me. The original recipe from an old cookbook of mine called it Sugar and Spice Popcorn but really it is all about spices we associate with pumpkin pie so I long ago started calling it Sugar and Pumpkin Spice Popcorn to differentiate it from something with sugar and a hot spice like cayenne (which is good but certainly different!). I promise NO PUMPKIN WAS SMUSHED for these kernels!
I first published this post for Sugar and Pumpkin Spice Popcorn over five years ago but forgot I had already put it on the blog. I made some last week when I was DYING (OK, so I had a cold but you know some exaggeration is in order right?) and feeling too punk to do much but some bird watching and I realized I had to share. Or in this case share again.
Although popcorn that is not coated with a sugary confection is more often mixed with more savory ingredients, this combination of butter with sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger is so good and so easy; our entire family has been hooked for over two decades and I see no decline in our love happening anytime soon. It’s easy too; no time spent making either a syrupy mess or baking it in the oven; just mix the butter, sugar and spices and pour the mixture over the popcorn, mix a bit with a large spoon (or your hands) and go.
Always our go to; this recipe is perfect all year long so let’s pass the napkins (lots of them) and start snacking. I’m betting you’ll find it addictive too!
Sugar and Pumpkin Spice Popcorn
- 8 cups of popped corn
- 1/3 cup butter
- 3 Tbsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- Pinch of ground ginger
- Put popped corn into large bowl with enough room to mix ingredients.
- Melt butter and add sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger.
- Stir until sugar is dissolved. Drizzle over popcorn and toss until well coated.
Pumpkin Pie Spice:
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground ginger (scant)
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves (optional)