Old-Fashioned Homemade Kettle Corn: A Versatile Dairy-Free Treat


What many people don’t know is that kettle corn is a traditionally dairy-free treat. Unfortunately, some brands do choose to add dairy for a buttery flavor. But old-fashioned homemade kettle corn is easy to make, and doesn’t require any dairy or top allergens for that matter. It’s a great speedy option for holiday parties, whether serving little ghosts or goblins, hosting appetizers and drinks, or fending off hungry appetites before the big feast.

Old-Fashioned Homemade Kettle Corn Recipe - A naturally dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan and allergy-friendly treat

Special Diet Notes: Homemade Kettle Corn

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, nut-free, optionally peanut-free, optionally soy-free, vegan, vegetarian, and top food allergy-friendly.

Old-Fashioned Homemade Kettle Corn
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Many kettle corn recipes skip salt, but even a little bit can add delicious contrast. We initially shared this recipe back in 2006, but have updated it with some modifications!
Serves: 10 cups
  • ¼ cup peanut, coconut, non-GMO canola, or vegetable oil (or your cooking oil of choice)
  • ½ cup popcorn kernels
  • ¼ cup white sugar (see Sugar Note below)
  • ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon salt (optional)
  1. Pour the oil into a heavy pot with high sides over medium heat. Add 3 popcorn kernels. When the kernels pop, the oil is ready.
  2. Add the remaining popcorn and sprinkle with the sugar and salt (if using). Immediately cover the pot.
  3. Frequently lift and shake the pot as the popcorn pops.
  4. Once the popping has slowed, remove the pot from the heat.
  5. Pour the popcorn out onto a piece of parchment paper or a silicone baking mat to cool before serving.
Sugar Note: Plain white sugar, or cane sugar, works best for making old-fashioned kettle corn. However, you can swap in your favorite granulated sugar (like coconut sugar) for a less traditional treat.

Key Ingredients & Supplies: Homemade Kettle Corn

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About Author

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

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