caramel popcorn in a large glass bowl
Snacks

Caramel Popcorn

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One of my all-time favorite snacks is popcorn. But I love homemade caramel popcorn even more!

What is not to love about this amazing snack? This crunchy sweet snack is perfect for watching movies, TV shows, or just because. It can be expensive to buy at the store, so, just make it at home. It is super easy to make using very few ingredients. If I can do it, you can do it. Let’s get started!

Step 1: Gather the ingredients

In order to make homemade caramel popcorn you need the following ingredients:

  • Popcorn – You can’t have caramel popcorn without the popcorn.
  • Brown sugar – Although you can make homemade caramel with white granulated sugar, for this, I like to use brown sugar.
  • Corn syrup – Sometimes known as liquid glucose in other parts of the world.
  • Butter – The butter makes the caramel taste amazing.
  • Salt – The salt will balance out the sweetness.
  • Baking soda – The baking soda helps with the overall texture of the caramel.
  • Vanilla extract – This will add flavor and enhance the flavor of the other ingredients.
  • Nuts – You can add peanuts, cashews, almonds, etc. if you like.

Step 2: How to make caramel popcorn

Begin by popping the popcorn. Then preheat the oven to 250 F/120 C. In a sauce pot combine the brown sugar, butter, salt, and corn syrup. Set the heat on the burner to medium heat. Stir the ingredients until they melt all together and start to boil.

bubbling caramel in a sauce pot on a stovetop.

Allow the mixture to boil for 5 minutes without stirring. This will create the caramel.

Step 3: Vanilla and Baking Soda

Hand pouring vanilla extract into the caramel

After 5 minutes turn the heat off and stir in the baking soda and vanilla extract. The baking soda will cause it to bubble up and create lots of small bubbles which will affect the overall texture of the caramel corn.

Step 4: Coat the popcorn in caramel

Hand pouring caramel all over the popcorn in a large glass bowl

Place the popcorn in a large bowl and then pour half of the caramel over it. Stir the popcorn so the caramel coats it. Then add the rest of the caramel and stir.

If you want less caramel coating the popcorn make more popcorn.

Step 5: Bake the caramel popcorn

Caramel popcorn spread out on a sheet pan

Pour it out onto a sheet pan lined with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Spread it out evenly. Then bake it for 15 minutes in the oven. After 15 minutes remove it from the oven and stir. This will allow for even baking.

Next, place it back in the oven and bake for 15 more minutes. Then repeat the stirring, etc. Until it has baked for 60 minutes. Remove it from the oven and allow it to cool completely.

Step 6: I love you but it’s time to break up

Finished caramel popcorn in a large glass bowl

Most likely after the caramel popcorn has cooled it will be stuck together. Break it apart with clean hands and place it in a large bowl or in a bag. Then snack on it! Enjoy!

How long does homemade caramel popcorn last?

If stored in an airtight container caramel corn can last for 2 to 3 months. Although it is hard to believe it will last that long. Mine is gobbled up in a week! And that is with only me eating it, haha.

Homemade Caramel Popcorn

One of my favorite snacks is caramel popcorn! It is super easy to make and perfect for watching movies, TV, or just to snack on when you want something sweet and crunchy.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Baking Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: crunchy, sweet
Servings: 16 servings
Calories: 221kcal
Author: Matt Taylor

Equipment

  • Rubber spatula
  • Wooden spoon
  • Baking sheet pan
  • Parchment paper, artisan mat, or cooking spray
  • saucepan

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup popcorn kernels 6 to 7 quarts of freshly made popcorn (125g)
  • 2 cups of brown sugar 400 g
  • 1/2 cup of corn syrup 150 g
  • 1 cup of butter 2 sticks or 16 tablespoons (226 g)
  • 1 tsp of salt 6 g
  • 1/2 tsp of baking soda 4 g
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract 5 ml
  • Nuts optional

Instructions

  • Begin by preheating the oven to 250 F/120 C.
  • Make the popcorn either with an airpopper or the old-fashioned way on the stovetop.
  • In a pot combine the brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, and salt. Set the burner to medium heat. Stir occasionally and bring the mixture to a boil. Once it boils, allow it to boil for 5 minutes without stirring.
  • After the 5 minutes remove it from the heat and add the baking soda and vanilla extract and stir them in. The caramel will bubble.
  • Pour the caramel over the popcorn half at a time then stir the popcorn and then the other half. Stir until the popcorn is evenly coated with the caramel.
  • Spread the caramel popcorn out onto a silicone mat-lined sheet pan. Or you can use parchment paper. Bake for 15 minutes, then stir the mixture, then bake for 15 minutes, then stir, etc. Do until the total time is 60 minutes. Allow the caramel popcorn to cool.
  • Break it apart and serve! Store in an airtight container at room temperature. It should last a few months. Enjoy!

Video

How to Make Caramel Popcorn | Easy Homemade Caramel Popcorn Recipe

Notes

Nutritional facts for caramel popcorn

Do you like this recipe? Please give it a rating and comment down below, I really appreciate it.  If you make it tag me on Instagram @inthekitchenwithmatt. Also, sign up for the newsletter so you won’t miss out on any of my new posts and recipes.

Here are a few more recipes you may like:

Apple Roses Pastry

Coconut Bread

Chocolate Bread

Mardi Gras King Cake

Thin Crispy Potato Chips

Caramel popcorn pin for Pinterest
(Pin it!)

4 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I could eat the whole bowl!! Popcorn is our Friday, movie night treat & of course, this caramel popcorn is a favorite! Such a delicious recipe!

  2. 5 stars
    Oh my gosh, homemade caramel corn. I’m in love.

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