This recipe for spicy caramel popcorn is one of my favourites from my cookbook sweet and turns ordinary popcorn into something special, worthy of a party and worthy of Halloween.  I never grew up with this holiday and to be honest, I have never even been to a Halloween party, but caramel and corn and sweets and candy are what I imagine should be key elements at one. The spice is mild enough to give it an exciting flavour edge, but still suitable for children. I didn’t think it could be improved upon it until I added nutty M&M’s to the mix and. They just really work with these crunchy caramel clusters to make a sweet snack bowl of happiness. You will live this I promise.

Spicy caramel popcorn with peanut M&M's recipe

Spicy caramel popcorn with peanut M&M's

Spicy caramel popcorn with peanut M&M's recipe

You could add more paprika, chilli or cayenne if you want to take the heat up a notch. I use coconut oil when making popcorn – it is a little healthier and gives the popcorn a lovely flavour – but a neutral oil such as sunflower works equally well.

I love the new limited-edition peanut & hazelnut M&M’s which have just launched in South Africa, but peanut M&M’s work just as well.

Spicy caramel popcorn with peanut M&M's recipe

Spicy caramel popcorn with peanut M&M's recipe

Recipe – spicy caramel popcorn with M&M’s

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    Spicy caramel popcorn with peanut M&M’s


    • 150 g corn kernels
    • 15 ml coconut oil, or any other neutral oil
    • 5 ml ground cumin
    • 5 ml ground cinnamon
    • 3 ml paprika
    • 5 ml salt
    • 3 ml bicarbonate of soda
    • 325 g butter
    • 300 g granulated white sugar
    • 30 ml golden syrup
    • 5 ml vanilla extract
    • 1 cup or a 128 bag of Limited edition peanut & hazelnut M&M’s


    1. Preheat the oven to 120 °C. Line a baking tray with silicone or baking paper.
    2. Make the popcorn any way that you prefer. (I like to use a large skillet with a glass lid.) Transfer the popcorn to a large, deep bowl; it should only half fill the bowl, allowing space to toss the sauce.
    3. Mix all the spices and bicarbonate of soda together.
    4. In a medium-size, heavy-based pot bring the butter, sugar, and syrup to the boil. Continue to let it bubble, stirring continuously, until the mixture turns golden-brown and reaches the hard crack stage of 155 °C. Add the vanilla extract and spice mix and stir vigorously for a few seconds, then remove from the heat. Pour the hot caramel over the popcorn and toss to coat.
    5. Spread the caramel-covered popcorn evenly on the prepared baking tray and bake for 15 minutes. Remove it from the oven and toss to ensure it’s evenly coated. Return it to the oven for a further 15 minutes, then remove, toss again and leave to cool.
    6. Once cool, break it up and serve in a bowl with the M&M’s. Store in an airtight container to preserve.

Brown butter blondies with Salted Caramel M&M’s 

Brown butter blondies with salted caramel M&M’s

*This post is proudly sponsored by M&M’s

Spicy caramel popcorn with peanut M&M's recipe


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1 Comment

  1. I had no idea there are peanut and hazelnut m&m’s! I might have to start buying candy! This popcorn looks really fun and delicious!

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