Caramel Popcorn

Irresistible Homemade Caramel Popcorn: A Sweet and Crunchy Treat

Get ready to elevate your snacking game with our mouthwatering Homemade Caramel Popcorn recipe! Bursting with sweetness and crunchiness, this irresistible treat is perfect for movie nights, game days, or any occasion that calls for a delicious snack. Made with simple ingredients and easy-to-follow steps, you can whip up a batch of this addictive caramel popcorn in no time. Join us as we delve into the world of homemade snacks and discover the joy of making and munching on this delectable caramel-coated goodness.


  • Condiments
    • 1/2 cup Corn syrup
  • Baking & Spices
    • 1/2 tsp Baking soda
    • 2 cups Brown sugar
    • 1 tsp Salt
    • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • Snacks
    • 5 qt Popped popcorn
  • Dairy
    • 1 cup Butter


  1. Prepare the Popcorn: Start by popping 5 quarts of popcorn using your preferred method. Remove any un-popped kernels and place the popped popcorn in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
  2. Make the Caramel Sauce: In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Once melted, add the brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt, stirring constantly until the mixture comes to a boil.
  3. Cook the Caramel: Allow the caramel mixture to boil for 4-5 minutes without stirring. This will help the caramel develop a rich flavor and reach the desired consistency.
  4. Add Vanilla and Baking Soda: Remove the caramel mixture from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract and baking soda. Be careful as the mixture will bubble up when the baking soda is added.
  5. Coat the Popcorn: Pour the hot caramel sauce over the popped popcorn in the mixing bowl, using a spatula or wooden spoon to gently toss and coat the popcorn evenly with the caramel.
  6. Bake the Popcorn (Optional): For an extra crunchy texture, spread the caramel-coated popcorn onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in a preheated oven at 250°F (120°C) for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes to ensure even baking.
  7. Cool and Serve: Once baked (if preferred), remove the caramel popcorn from the oven and allow it to cool completely before breaking it into clusters. Serve the caramel popcorn immediately or store it in an airtight container for later enjoyment.

Cook Notes and Variations:

  • Add Nuts: For added crunch and flavor, consider mixing in your favorite nuts such as peanuts, almonds, or cashews with the popcorn before coating it with caramel.
  • Chocolate Drizzle: For a decadent twist, drizzle melted chocolate over the cooled caramel popcorn before serving. This adds a delightful chocolatey contrast to the sweetness of the caramel.
  • Salted Caramel: Enhance the flavor profile of the caramel popcorn by sprinkling a pinch of sea salt over the caramel-coated popcorn before baking. The combination of sweet and salty flavors is truly irresistible.
  • Spiced Caramel: Experiment with different spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, or pumpkin pie spice to infuse the caramel with warm, aromatic flavors. Simply add the desired spices to the caramel mixture before boiling.

Keto and Low-Carb Versions:

  • Keto-Friendly Option: To make keto-friendly caramel popcorn, substitute the corn syrup and brown sugar with sugar-free alternatives such as erythritol or xylitol. Use a keto-friendly popcorn seasoning or air-popped pork rinds as a low-carb alternative to traditional popcorn.
  • Low-Carb Twist: For a lower-carb version, reduce the amount of corn syrup and brown sugar used in the caramel sauce and increase the proportion of butter for added richness. Use a low-carb sweetener such as monk fruit sweetener or stevia to sweeten the caramel to taste.

In conclusion, Homemade Caramel Popcorn is a delightful treat that’s easy to make and impossible to resist. Whether enjoyed as a snack during movie nights, shared with friends at parties, or packaged as a homemade gift for loved ones, this sweet and crunchy indulgence is sure to be a hit. With its irresistible combination of buttery caramel and crispy popcorn, this homemade version far surpasses anything you can find in stores. So, gather your ingredients, pop some corn, and get ready to savor the joy of making and munching on this delicious Homemade Caramel Popcorn

Cooking Tips and Notes:

  • Temperature Control: When making the caramel sauce, it’s crucial to monitor the temperature closely. Cooking the caramel over medium heat allows it to reach the desired consistency without burning. Be patient and avoid stirring the mixture once it begins to boil to prevent crystallization.
  • Popcorn Prep: For the best results, use freshly popped popcorn for this recipe. You can air-pop the popcorn or prepare it on the stovetop with minimal oil. Avoid using microwave popcorn, as the added butter and salt can alter the flavor of the caramel coating.
  • Even Coating: To ensure that every kernel of popcorn is evenly coated with caramel, work quickly but carefully when mixing the popcorn with the caramel sauce. Use a large spatula or spoon to gently toss the popcorn until it’s fully coated, taking care not to crush the popcorn clusters.
  • Cooling Time: Allow the caramel-coated popcorn to cool completely before serving or storing it. This allows the caramel to set and ensures a crisp, crunchy texture. Breaking the popcorn into clusters once cooled makes it easier to handle and enjoy.

Variations and Customizations:

  • Flavor Infusions: Get creative with flavor infusions by adding ingredients like cocoa powder, espresso powder, or pumpkin spice to the caramel sauce for unique flavor profiles. You can also mix in dried fruits, such as cranberries or cherries, for a sweet and tangy twist.
  • Savory Options: For a savory take on caramel popcorn, skip the brown sugar and corn syrup and instead toss the popcorn with melted butter, garlic powder, grated Parmesan cheese, and a sprinkle of herbs like rosemary or thyme. Bake until golden and crispy for a savory snack option.
  • Nut-Free Alternatives: If you have nut allergies or prefer nut-free snacks, omit the pecans and use sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, or coconut flakes as a crunchy alternative. Simply sprinkle the seeds or coconut over the caramel-coated popcorn before baking for added texture.
  • Seasonal Varieties: Customize your caramel popcorn to suit different seasons or occasions by incorporating seasonal flavors. For example, add crushed candy canes or peppermint extract for a festive holiday treat, or mix in chopped dried apples and cinnamon for a cozy autumn-inspired snack.

Keto and Low-Carb Versions:

  • Keto-Friendly Ingredients: To make a keto-friendly version of caramel popcorn, use keto-approved sweeteners such as erythritol or stevia in place of brown sugar and corn syrup. You can also substitute almond flour or coconut flour for the corn syrup to achieve a similar texture.
  • Low-Carb Options: For a low-carb twist, reduce the amount of sweetener used in the caramel sauce and opt for natural sugar alternatives like monk fruit sweetener or xylitol. Keep in mind that moderation is key, as even low-carb sweeteners can affect blood sugar levels when consumed in excess.

In conclusion, Homemade Caramel Popcorn is a delightful snack that’s easy to customize and enjoy. Whether you’re craving a sweet indulgence or looking for a savory twist, this versatile recipe has something for everyone. With its irresistible combination of crunchy popcorn and rich caramel coating, it’s sure to become a favorite snack for movie nights, parties, and everyday munching. So, get creative in the kitchen, experiment with different flavors and ingredients, and treat yourself to the joy of homemade caramel popcorn!

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