Homemade Caramel Corn {Caramel Popcorn} - CakeWhiz

Homemade Caramel Corn {Caramel Popcorn}

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

Easy caramel corn recipe, homemade with simple ingredients. Loaded with caramel sauce. Sweet, crispy, crunchy. Perfect Fall or Thanksgiving snack. No candy thermometer needed.

Sweet and crunchy is one of my absolute favorite combinations and this caramel corn hits the spot every time. I love to make it around football season and Thanksgiving to have out for guests, or for movie night with the family. This popcorn can even be used as a topping for cakes like this Chocolate Popcorn Cake.

HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE CARAMEL CORN?

  1. Heat butter, brown sugar and corn syrup– In a saucepan until butter is melted and sugar is dissolved. Whisk often.
  2. Remove from heat– Mix in vanilla extract, salt and baking soda.
  3. Let this caramel mixture rest at room temperature– For about 2-3 minutes.
  4. Pour caramel over popcorn– Use a spatula to toss popcorn until coated.
  5. Spread out coated popcorn in 1 very large baking tray or 2 medium-sized baking trays, lined with parchment paper.
  6. Bake at 225 degrees F for 45-60 minutes– Remove tray from oven every 15 minutes and toss popcorn with spatula. Break any big clumps.
  7. Transfer the baked popcorn to another baking tray, lined with parchment paper.
  8. Let it cool– At room temperature and enjoy!

VARIATIONS

Salted caramel popcorn– Sprinkle with sea salt at the end for a salty sweet combination.

Chocolate caramel popcorn– Drizzle finished popcorn with dark, milk, or white chocolate for added decadence.

Caramel and cheese popcorn– Mix with cheddar cheese popcorn for a “Chicago Style” mix.

Add candy– Mix this popcorn with your favorite small chocolate candies for an extra special treat.

Add spices– Such as cinnamon, apple pie, or pumpkin pie seasoning.

Add nuts– Such as candied or regular pecans, walnuts, peanuts, or cashews.

Microwave Caramel Popcorn– Microwave the caramel sauce ingredients instead of using the stovetop, if you prefer this method of making the popcorn.

TIPS AND TECHNIQUES

How to store caramel corn? In an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. However, it tastes best served fresh.

What happens if you miss the baking soda in caramel corn? The caramel may be a little harder. The baking soda reacts with the sugar to create bubbles which allow for a softer caramel to coat the popcorn with.

Is kettle corn the same as caramel corn? No, kettle corn is popcorn with a little sugar and salt flavor, but it is not coated in the sugary caramel mixture like caramel corn.

What is the best popcorn to use for this recipe? I recommend using popcorn popped in an air popper. This keeps the popcorn from being too oily like microwave popcorn can be.

What temperature to bake the popcorn? Some people bake their popcorn at 250 degrees F, but I prefer 225 degreed F. It takes a bit longer, but reduces the chances of the popcorn burning.

Use parchment paper– Do not use wax paper! Wax paper can melt and catch on fire at high temperatures in the oven, but parchment paper will not.

Work quickly when pouring the caramel- This will help the popcorn to be coated evenly by the caramel. The caramel becomes harder to work with as it cools.

Toss the popcorn every 15 minutes while baking- This keeps the popcorn from burning and sticking to parchment paper, and also from creating big clumps.  I usually just have to do 3 intervals but on really humid days, 4 intervals gives better results.

MORE CARAMEL DESSERTS

Homemade Caramel Corn in White Bowl  on Dark Wood Background
Easy Homemade Caramel Corn in White Bowl on Dark Wood Background
Print

Homemade Caramel Corn

Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
 

Easy caramel corn recipe, homemade with simple ingredients. Loaded with caramel sauce. Sweet, crispy, crunchy. Perfect Fall or Thanksgiving snack.

Servings: 8 People
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy homemade caramel popcorn
Calories: 444 kcal
Author: Abeer Rizvi

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Butter Unsalted
  • 1.5 cups Brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup Corn syrup
  • 8 cups Popped corn Highly recommend using an air popper to prevent popcorn from becoming oily
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Baking soda

Instructions

  1. Heat butter, brown sugar and corn syrup in a nonstick saucepan over medium heat until butter is melted and sugar is fully dissolved. Be sure to whisk often.

  2. Remove from heat and mix in vanilla extract, salt and baking soda. Please note that the baking soda causes bubbling, which is normal.

  3. Let this caramel mixture rest at room temperature for about 2-3 minutes or until it starts thickening slightly.

  4. Pour caramel over popcorn and use a spatula to toss popcorn until fully coated. Work quickly!

  5. Spread out this coated popcorn in 1 very large baking tray or 2 medium-sized baking trays, lined with parchment paper.

  6. Bake at 225 degrees F for 45-60 minutes. Remove tray from oven every 15 minutes and toss popcorn with spatula and break any big clumps. I usually just have to do 3 intervals but on really humid days, 4 intervals gives better results.

  7. Transfer the baked popcorn to another baking tray, lined with parchment paper.

  8. Let it cool at room temperature and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

  • Read all my tips above.
  • Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, although it tastes the best when served fresh. 
Nutrition Facts
Homemade Caramel Corn
Amount Per Serving
Calories 444 Calories from Fat 216
% Daily Value*
Fat 24g37%
Saturated Fat 15g75%
Cholesterol 61mg20%
Sodium 672mg28%
Potassium 98mg3%
Carbohydrates 60g20%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 51g57%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 731IU15%
Calcium 43mg4%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Closeup Shot of Handful of Caramel Popcorn On Wood Background

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating