You can’t knock the classics – salt, sweet, salt AND sweet, or toffee – but also, sometimes popcorn deserves to be jazzed up.

[Read more: The science behind popcorn's magic metamorphosis]

While the rise of gourmet popcorns – from Propercorn to Joe & Seph’s – has meant our cinema snack needs are being met in ever more inventive ways, they can also be pretty pricey.

Luckily for us, popcorn is one of the easiest and cheapest treats to whip up at home. Just follow this basic recipe, and add one of our flavoursome toppings below.


Made some #popcorn #tuesdayathome #goodday

A post shared by Alina Melanych (@a.melanych) on

How to make plain popcorn

Heat one teaspoon of vegetable oil in a large saucepan, over a medium heat. Add 50g of dried corn kernels to the pan, pop the lid on and shake until you can hear that the kernels have stopped popping. Will serve two hungry people.

1. Lemon and thyme

Melt a knob of butter in a small pan, stir in a tablespoon of chopped thyme leaves until they release their aroma. Add a pinch of salt, and stir through your popcorn, before grating over the zest of one lemon.

2. Chilli, lime and black pepper

Again, melt a knob of butter in a small pan, add a teaspoon (or more, depending how hot you like your chilli) of fresh chilli/chilli flakes/paprika/cayenne pepper and sea salt. Stir through your popcorn then top with a good grind of black pepper and some lime zest.

3. Peanut butter and banana

Melt a tablespoon or two of peanut butter (smooth or crunchy, you choose) in the microwave or on the hob, and pour over your popcorn. Top with chopped dried banana chips.

4. Cinnamon sugar

Sprinkle your hot homemade popcorn – still in the pan – with a tablespoon of brown sugar, and shake again with the lid on (the sugar should caramelise slightly). Then add a teaspoon of cinnamon – you could chuck in some nutmeg or ginger too – as well as a handful of dried apple rings for an even more autumnal flavour.


🍿Homemade Cinnamon Popcorn🍿 Friday night is often 'movie night' in our house, therefore we need popcorn!  Shop bought versions are usually covered in nasty chemicals, with heaps of sugar & salt. But it's very easy to make your own. Just heat some oil in a pan (I like to use coconut oil) and throw in 1/2 cup corn kernels with salt & cinnamon, put the lid on and wait til they start popping. I also used melted butter in this version…which was great! 🍿🍿🍿🍿🍿🍿🍿 #sugarfree #popcorn #healthysnack #kidsfood #movienight #homemade #cinnamonpopcorn #butterpopcorn #coconutoil #lunchboxideas #eatrealfood #kidsfood #kidssnack #homemadepopcorn #sugarfreesnack #fridaynight #familyfood

A post shared by Janey 🍓Crazy Sugar Lady🥑 (@thecrazysugarlady) on

5. Chocolate, fruit and nut

Grab a handful of your favourite nuts (we’d go with pecans) and dried fruit (cranberries work well). Chop them up and mix in with your popcorn, then drizzle with a melted bar of dark chocolate (you may need to eat this with a spoon).

[Read more: What’s your star sign’s favourite pizza topping?]

6. Maple syrup and rosemary

Sweet and savoury, for this one, just melt a knob of butter in a pan and add a teaspoon or two of chopped rosemary needles. Let them release their oils and stir through your popcorn, before drizzling over with maple syrup and a sprinkling of sea salt.