Drew Swantak/Thrillist

Hot Tamales Popcorn Recipe

Total Time:  40 minutes
Yield:  10 cups


  • 1 (3-ounce) package “movie theater” popcorn
  • 1 (5-ounce) box Hot Tamales
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon extract (optional)
  • Candy thermometer


  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Cook popcorn according to package instructions and transfer to a large bowl.
  • In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, melt Hot Tamales, sugar, corn syrup, and water. Bring to a rapid boil, stirring constantly, until the candies dissolve and mixture reaches 300℉ on a candy thermometer, 25-30 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cinnamon extract for extra spice.
  • Pour the mixture over popcorn in a thin stream while mixing with a spatula to coat. Quickly spread popcorn onto the baking sheet and let cool for 5 minutes before breaking into bite-size pieces.
  • Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.