Microwave popcorn, with sweet or savoury flavouring

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I’d mentioned in a blog post that Sunday morning https://eatingforireland.com/2018/10/07/sunday-morning-the-song-of-the-early-riser/ that an occasion such as the new Doctor Who starting on the telly in required popcorn and drinkies..

Fair enough, but of course ordinary popcorn wouldn’t do me; it would have to be a little bit special. So off I went, on a dull Sunday afternoon in a rainy Belfast, to check out what my cookery books and the Internet had to say on the topic.

As always, I’ve done the experimenting, so you don’t have to.  I know, I’m a saint.. 😉

At home, we cook our popcorn without added oil, in the microwave. My Dad (huge fan of popcorn) always made it with vegetable oil in our biggest pot – the one Mum used for steaming the Christmas puddings – because we didn’t have microwaves in the 70’s! #thedarkages  😉

Fat-free probably doesn’t taste quite as good initially, but we’re completely used to it now. Of course it’s way better for us, especially when you consider the quantities I can put away..

Here we go ..


  • A large deep bowl, suitable for use in the microwave.
  • A loose-fitting, vented lid, or some microwavable clingfilm, stabbed a few times – the steam needs to be able to escape..
  • A microwave oven (duh)
  • A pair of oven gloves


  • Popcorn kernels – I buy mine in Sainsbury’s
  • SAVOURY: A pinch (you can always add more to taste) of your choice of the following – Ground Cumin, mild Curry powder, salt or melted butter – feel free to try out different combinations
  • SWEET: Again, your choice of: a teaspoon of icing sugar, a pinch of Cinnamon, a tablespoon of melted butter, a couple of tablespoons of maple syrup..

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  • Put 50g popcorn kernels into the bowl, cover, making sure that steam can escape easily.
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I used clingfilm, with a few stabbed holes..

  • Stick it into the microwave, put the timer on for 4-5 minutes, and cook on the highest setting until the popping stops or slows down significantly (timing will depend on the wattage of your oven) See NOTES for my experience..
  • Take it out carefully, using oven gloves – there will be steam, and it can burn you!
  • Remove the unpopped kernels from the bottom of the bowl (there will always be some) before adding flavourings – they’re like flavour magnets, stealing it away from the popped corn.
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Popcorn with Maldon salt and maple syrup

  • Add the flavourings and stir in well, turning the popcorn over to make everything is well distributed.
  • Taste, and adjust flavouring as required.
  • Sit back, relax, enjoy the show!
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Popcorn with melted butter and a hint of ground Cumin


  • It’s important that you stand over the microwave for this recipe – especially when you’re making this for the first time.
  •  Your microwave will have a different setting to mine, so the timing will be different for virtually everyone making this recipe.
  • Don’t panic (I nearly did) when nothing happens for the first minute – it takes that long for the popping to start.
  • Put the timer on for longer than you think you’ll need (I put mine on for 6 minutes, and it took about 5 minutes 40 to get maximum popped corn). Stopping and starting doesn’t work with popcorn.
  • Don’t leave the microwave unattended.
  • Do be careful of the steam when you’re removing the bowl from the oven
  • Our favoured pairings today were: Maple syrup and Maldon salt, and Melted Butter with ground Cumin. I know you’ll have lots of fun finding your favourites!



I started writing down recipes in an old copybook when I was about 16. With 6 children at home, my Mother was always glad of a hand in the kitchen, and really allowed us to experiment - as long as we washed up afterwards, and left the kitchen immaculate! Having a tidy kitchen has followed me through my life, as has the habit of writing down my favourite recipes; except that these days I write them for my website, and add photographs when I can. The website really started when it occurred to me that my daughter might like to have these recipes when I've forgotten them. In my early days of cooking for family and friends, I used to phone my Mum all the time to ask her for the recipe for some of our favourite family dinners. She rarely had a recipe to hand - I think, like me, she made a lot of it up as she went along.. So welcome to Eating for Ireland - these are the recipes that my friends and family having been eating these past 40 years.. yes, I truly am ancient! They are tried and tested, and have worked for me for all that time - I have updated them as new ingredients became available - I really hope you'll find something that you can make into a family favourite of your own. You don't have to tell anyone where you found these great new dishes that you're serving up - it can be our little secret, but I'd really love it if you could give me a sneaky 'follow' on Facebook and Instagram.. So off you go - have a good rummage around, you're bound to find something new! My sincere thanks to all of you who have found a recipe that you liked and dropped me a line to tell me - I really do love to hear from you! Happy Cooking! Becks xx

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