Once you taste this homemade Caramel Corn, you will walk right past those pre-made varieties and make your own batch! If you love popcorn, you have to try my White Chocolate Caramel Popcorn.

Bowls of Caramel Corn
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Caramel Corn

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😊. Well, the prizes don’t tempt me as much anymore, so I decided to just make my own. With a sweet flavor that is baked into the popcorn, it’s a prize in itself!

Pouring Caramel Over Popcorn to Make Caramel Corn

Ingredients

Caramel: You will need brown sugar, butter, light corn syrup, salt, vanilla, and baking soda to make the caramel mixture.

Popcorn: I prefer white popcorn in this recipe. However, you could use white or yellow.

Sheet Pan Filled with Caramel Corn

White Popcorn vs Yellow Popcorn

I much prefer the smaller flakes (popped kernels) of white popcorn. White popcorn is more tender and pops up white. Yellow popcorn is another variety you can easily find at the grocery store. You guessed it, it pops up yellow. It is considered chewier than white.

In some cases, you may see popcorn referred to as ‘mushroom’ or ‘butterfly’ type. This is based on the shape when popped. Mushroom popcorn is large, rounded pieces of popcorn, whereas butterfly popcorn is smaller in size and can vary in shape.

It is really your preference as to the kind of popcorn you use. And, don’t forget about microwavable popcorn, too. Any kind that is coated in caramel will be a deliciously sweet snack!

Scoop Filled with Caramel Corn

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.

Scoop Filled with Caramel Corn
5 from 5 votes

Caramel Corn

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
With baked in sweetness and crunchy popcorn, Homemade Caramel Corn is better than anything you can buy!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (200 g) brown sugar*
  • ½ cup (1 stick / 113 g) butter
  • ½ cup (171 g) light corn syrup
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 10 cups (80 g) plain white popped popcorn, about ½ cup kernels

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 250°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a large saucepan over medium heat, add brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, salt, and vanilla. Bring to a boil and remove from heat.
  • Stir in the baking soda.
  • Place popcorn in a lightly greased large bowl. Pour the caramel mixture over the top and gently fold in the popcorn with a greased wooden spatula.
  • Pour the mixture onto the lined baking sheet, spreading it out into an even layer.
  • Bake for 60 minutes, gently stirring the popcorn occasionally, until darkened and dry.
  • Let the caramel corn cool to room temperature before serving.

Notes

*You can double all of the caramel ingredients if you want, creating a lot of extra ooey gooey caramel popcorn. Any leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator.

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Meet Amanda Rettke

Amanda Rettke is the creator of I Am Baker, and the bestselling author of Surprise Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion – With a Little Something Extra Inside.Over the course of her 15+ year blogging adventure, she has been featured in and collaborated with the Food Network, New York Times, LA Times, Country Living Magazine, People Magazine, Epicurious, Brides, Romantic Homes, life:beautiful, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Mail, Star Tribune, The Globe and Mail, DailyCandy, YumSugar, The Knot, The Kitchn, and Parade, to name a few.

Reader Comments

  1. I give you five stars because you share the greatest recipe. I love caramel popcorn, and I’m making it this week. I can always count on something delicious from you.

  2. I’m going to try this one! It is very similar to the one I make, and I want to see how different the flavor is in comparison.

  3. I love caramel corn too! It’s helpful to shake down the popped corn and leave out unpopped kernels.

  4. This is the recipe I use. Instead of laying out on a baking sheet, I get my pasta pot, and bake it in that. It takes a little longer, but so much easier to stir! Now I’m have to make some!!🤤

  5. I have this recipe! I would mention, in the directions, after adding the baking sofa to stir the mixture until it becomes frothy before pour onto popcorn. I also add peanuts to mine! So good!

    1. You can microwave. We used to do it when I was a kid. Put the popcorn in a brown paper bag, add the caramel sauce, fold the top of the bag down to close. Shake it up to coat well, then nuke for 1 minute on high. Shake. Then repeat at 30 second intervals another 4 times for a total of 3 minutes, shaking after each 30 seconds. Then pour out onto a sheet pan lined with foil or parchment paper and break up. Allow to cool until hard.

  6. Any chance of leaving out the corn syrup or substituting it for something else? I don’t have corn syrup here where I live

  7. I’m going to try this because caramel corn is my favorite. When you watch them make it in the huge copper pots they do t bake it though? Why are all the home recipes baked??! Always wanted to know!

  8. Perfect timing. I was in the hospital last week and smelled caramel corn while being wheeled past a nurses station at 2:30 in the morning. Making this as soon as am able. Know it going to taste great!

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