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popcorn in popcorn bucked with pink background

Last week I spent an entire day at a local water park, complete with water slides, wave pool, and general chaos.

If you remember how I feel about such things, you’ll understand  why I had hesitation in going.

Jordan had been dying to go all summer and this was a girl scout event; a reward for all those cookies I she sold last spring.

As a reward for all my her hard work, we got to spend a day at the least most fun place in the area.

I don’t like heights, putting my head under water, crowds, claustrophobic round tubes, and swimming pools in general, so you can understand my hesitation in going.

The last time I went to a water park I was 12. It was for the birthday party of a friend, and I had tubes in my ears (for the second time). I had to wear ear plugs and, because of the force of the water coming off the slides and the eventuality that I would lose an ear plug thus rendering my head an aching mess, I had to also wear a bathing cap.

Did I mention I was 12 years old? Gawky, just a smidgen overweight next to my waif girlfriends in bikinis and I had to wear a bathing cap the entire day.

Now the gawkiness is gone, the smidgen is more a ton, and the tubes are gone but the problems that caused them remain. But, really, I can deal with all the water, the heights, the incredible chaos that is an amusement park filled with water. (“Okay, Jordan is over there. [Blink] Where the f*&# did she go?”)

What I cannot deal with in a place like that?

Walking barefoot.

Seriously people. A few times in line for the one slide I was nice enough to brave I had to keep my gag reflex in check just thinking about my bare tootsies on the wet ground.

I am the girl in the gym bathroom that showers with flip flops. When washing my feet in the shower, I do yoga to wash one, then the other. (I’m reeealllly good at tree pose.) I will not let my feet (nor any other part of my bare body) touch any part of the floor.

How, dare I ask, is the water park any different than a gym bathroom floor?

{Hint: it’s only different because it’s worse.}

Turns out I am very skilled at walking up stairs on the tiniest portion of foot that gravity allows.

My calves reminded me of this the next morning.

And people seem to have no problem walking around barefoot all day. I wore flip flops and/or water shoes (yes, I brought both) as much as possible. But you’re not allowed to wear them on the slides.


Needless to say, there was a lot of foot scrubbing at my house that night.

And comfort eating.

This popcorn is perfect comfort food.

In her book, the Joy the Baker Cookbook, Joy wrote about how her kettle corn had gotten her through many a hard day.

Of course, I couldn’t just make kettle corn. Although it was good by itself, that’s not quite how I roll.

So I added Butter Pecan Cake Batter (the ultimate comfort food in my book) and toasted pecans. And white chocolate.

Total comfort food. Perfect for when you survive a day of barefoot trauma at the water park.

{Oh, and do you need a last minute teacher gift idea? Then this is it! Popcorn is great for giving…especially when you’re “popping by” to say hello. See? I even made cute tags.}


Red and white container of butter pecan cake kettle corn, with graphic title on the top.

Butter Pecan Cake Kettle Corn

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Kettle corn that tastes like butter pecan
Prep Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Yield 8 servings
Serving Size 1 serving


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup popcorn kernels
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 sections 8 ounces white candy melts
  • 1/2 cup butter pecan cake mix
  • 1 cup toasted pecans toast in a frying pan over low heat, stirring often, just until you smell them


  • Melt oil and butter together over medium heat in a large pot with a tight fitting lid. Add popcorn and sprinkle sugar evenly over kernels. Place the lid on the pot and turn heat to medium-high. When popcorn begins to pop, using potholders, shake pot every 20 seconds to reduce risk of burning the sugar. Once popping slows, remove from heat and remove lid carefully. Sprinkle with salt and add to a large bowl.
  • Melt candy melts. Stir in cake mix. Pour over popcorn. Add toasted pecans and stir until all the candy is incorporated. Turn out onto a baking sheet covered with wax paper and chill until candy hardens. Store in a sealed container.

Recipe Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 207kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 265mg | Potassium: 84mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 65IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 1mg
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate
Course Dessert
Cuisine American

Last Updated on May 13, 2020

Dorothy Kern

Welcome to Crazy for Crust, where I share recipes that are sometimes crazy, often with a crust, and always served with a slice of life.

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  1. Ok I’m so with you on not wanting to put my head under water… mine stems more from wearing contacts and not wanting to mess up my hair, but still I just don’t see the appeal. Did I mention I hold my nose? Yeah. Anywho mmm did someone say toasted pecans? Thanks for sharing at Pin It Thursday!

  2. Dorothy,
    This is amazing and I’m making it ASAP. I haven’t ever had butter pecan cake kettle corn but I will soon 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing at Creative Thursday this week. Have a wonderful weekend 🙂


  3. Yum Yum Yum! I’m totally following your blog now…you have too many amazing recipes!

  4. uuuuggghhh I am with you on so many levels here. Public swimming pools – yuck! Barefoot in public – double yuck! (i wear shoes or socks all day at home too:-) Bathing suits – cringe!!! (there is too much of me to let it all hang out in a suit) Head under water – shiver!!! (I can’t stand my face or head in water at all…unless it is the privacy of my own shower) Flavored Popcorn – awesome!! I love that you put cake batter in the chocolate chips! This will help erase any memories of days spent in the most disgusting of all places:-)

  5. Wow, what a great teacher gift! Now I’m craving kettle corn. And you crack me up, I’d never thought about water parks in that way before, and now I really have no desire to ever visit one. It was sweet of you to take your daughter! 🙂

  6. Yeah, I’m with you on the no barefeet at the pool (or anywhere other than my own home) thing. Gross! We joined a private pool this summer, and even though it’s nicely maintained, you still won’t find me walking around there without shoes. And I sort of cringe when my husband and so go into the men’s room. YIKES. But this popcorn? Oh, this popcorn looks absolutely fabulous!! I love kettle corn, and I love butter pecan, so it’s right up my alley!

  7. KEttle corn is my favorite kind of popcorn – love it more than caramel, butter, and even cheddar popcorn! And I adore.. love… and NEED some kind of texture in anything I eat, so adding the pecans, cake mix, and the white chocolate puts this kettle corn up there on my list, I have to try it! Dorothy, your Sundays with Joy posts are so fun to read!

  8. Hahah, this is why I haven’t been to a water park in a long time..
    This looks fantastic! Here I am with my plain old butter popcorn, when you have the ultimate-in-comfort kind. I think mine needs a serious revision :p