Before you buy the pre-packaged caramel corn from the grocery store or gas station, why not make your own batch? Once you taste this homemade Caramel Corn, you will walk right past those pre-made varieties. If you love caramel corn, you have to try my White Chocolate Caramel Popcorn.
When I think of caramel corn, my first thought is a box of Cracker Jack. Remember the ‘prize inside’ marketing strategy? I admit it worked on me😊. It actually started as molasses coated popcorn being sold out of a cart over 100 years ago! It definitely has stood the test of time, and when the line was written into the ‘Take Me Out to the Ball Game’ (buy me some peanuts and CRACKER JACK) in 1908, you can imagine how popular the snack became! Well, the prizes don’t tempt me as much anymore, so I decided to just make my own Caramel Corn. With a sweet flavor that is baked into the popcorn, it’s a prize in itself!
How to Make Caramel Corn
You will actually be baking this Caramel Corn. It is worth the baking time, let me tell you! It actually goes well with the Cracker Jack slogan: “The more you eat, the more you want”! The truth is, you WILL want more as you keep eating it! It is your choice how you pop the plain popcorn. You can air pop the popcorn, or you can just as easily use microwavable popcorn.
- Preheat the oven to 250°F while you prepare the sauce.
- In a large saucepan, over medium heat, add the brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, salt, and vanilla. Bring this to a boil and remove it from the heat.
- Add in the baking soda.
- In a lightly greased deep-set baking pan, pour in the popped popcorn.
- Pour the caramel mixture over the top of the popcorn and mix it all together. I like to use a wooden spatula for this.
- Bake for 60 minutes, remembering to stir it once in a while.
- After it has baked, spread the popcorn out on parchment paper to cool.
- Finally, munch away!
How to Keep Caramel Corn Fresh
Caramel Corn doesn’t spoil, it just loses its crunchiness and taste if not stored properly. (Think about the stale chips you have eaten when the bag wasn’t tightly closed.) Now, in my experience, there was no need to store the Caramel Corn for long since it was gone in a few hours sometimes. But, if you want to save it for a while, be sure to store it in an airtight container, getting all the air out. Keep it in a place that will not expose it to lots of humidity and heat (room temperature is best). I recommend keeping it on the counter or in a pantry. Do not freeze it or heat it up in the microwave.
Looking for More Snacks?
With baked in sweetness and crunchy popcorn, Homemade Caramel Corn is better than anything you can buy!
- 1 cup (200 g) brown sugar
- ½ cup (113g) butter
- ½ cup (171g) light corn syrup
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 16 cups plain popped popcorn
- Preheat oven to 250°F.
- In a large saucepan over medium heat, add brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, salt and vanilla. Bring to a boil and remove from heat.
- Add baking soda.
- Place popcorn in a lightly greased deep-set baking pan. Pour caramel mixture over the top and stir with a greased wooden spatula.
- Bake for 60 minutes, gently stirring the popcorn occasionally.
- Spread popcorn in an even layer on parchment paper to cool.