Caramel Popcorn Recipe -
Caramel Popcorn Recipe
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Caramel Popcorn
Make this simple recipe for festive caramel popcorn. See more
  • READY IN hrs

Caramel Popcorn

Recipe by  

"Great caramel popcorn for any holiday or occasion. If you like chewy popcorn, bake less."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 5 quarts Change Servings
  • PREP

    30 mins
  • COOK

    1 hr

    1 hr 30 mins


  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F (95 degrees C). Place popcorn in a very large bowl.
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil without stirring 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in soda and vanilla. Pour in a thin stream over popcorn, stirring to coat.
  3. Place in two large shallow baking dishes and bake in preheated oven, stirring every 15 minutes, for 1 hour. Remove from oven and let cool completely before breaking into pieces.
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Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Jan 01, 2006

I have never rated a recipe before, simply as all the recipes that I try from the site are fantastic, and much smarter cooks than I always give great feedback. However, one tip on this recipe was SO helpful--Linda Mc advised to put the popcorn in the pan to warm in the oven before adding the brown sugar mixture, and that was the KEY. The first batch (with cold popcorn) was a disaster, but with the warm popcorn in the roasting pan already, the mixing was a breeze and the batch was fantastic! Thanks to everyone for all the tips that are so helpful!

Most Helpful Critical Review
Feb 12, 2004

This recipe started out well...until I put it in the oven. I had my oven set to 250 degrees and at the end of the hour, my popcorn tasted slightly burnt. I'll try this again, but bake at a lower temperature.

Aug 23, 2006

Yummy! I reduced the butter to 1/2 lb like others suggested - perfect. I used a 12 quart stainless steel All-clad stockpot to pop kernels, make the caramel, and coat the popcorn (the pot was covered in oil from popping the corn and the caramel didn't stick - w/plenty of room to stir). Note: there is no way you would ever find me mixing this in my sink - impeccably clean as it is, the thought is repulsive to me! (no offense to anyone who thinks this is acceptable). Anyway, I poured the coated popcorn onto 2 silpat lined sheet pans (was fresh out of nonstick foil). I only baked one of the sheet pans because the kids begged me to let them keep eating the other one. For softer/chewy/shiny version, don't bake. For firm/crispy/non-shiny version, bake, but reduce baking time to 45 min. I used tongs to break up clumps while baking and cooling. We loved both versions. Hints: 1. Reduce butter in half. 2. Use a good quality, heavy pot. 3. If possible, avoid microwave popcorn. 4. Remove unpopped kernels before coating. 5. Keep popcorn warm in 250 oven until ready to coat. 6. Stir with a silicone spatula. 7. For softer/chewy/shiny version, don't bake. For firm/crispy/non-shiny version, bake, but reduce time to 45 min. 8. And most importantly, if you mix this in your sink, don't give any to me! :)

Jun 29, 2006

I am rating this recipe again because I was eating so much of this popcorn, its wonderful, that when I saw the review from the person who cut the butter to 1/2 cup I had to try it before I gained 50 pounds. Understand I HATE to change something this good, afraid it won't be the same, but I have to say I can not tell the difference. I kept everything the same but only used a half cup butter. PERFECT!! I use 3 bags ACT II Old Fashioned Natural microwave popcorn. I have used more expensive popcorn but this works the best. Also, one thing I have learned after making so much of this popcorn is use a name brand brown sugar. I picked up a store brand once because thats all they had and the coating came out grainny. Now with half the butter I'll probably just eat more. YIKES!!!

Apr 27, 2004

I've been making this same recipe for years, but I do it in the microwave. You put the popped corn in a paper grocery bag. Then you microwave the butter, sugar, vanilla, and corn syrup, letting it boil for one minute. Then stir the baking soda into the caramel mixture. Pour it over the corn in the bag and shake it up. Microwave the whole bag for about 30 seconds and shake it up again. Spread it out on a lined baking sheet to cool down. Tastes absolutely incredible, and done in under 10 minutes.

Jan 24, 2004

This recipe is the same one (minus the vanilla) my mother has been using for 20 years. There is another way to cook this - use the microwave. After mixing the popcorn and caramel, divide the corn into two paper grocery bags. Microwave each bag for 30 - 40 seconds, remove the bag from the microwave and shake it. Repeat microwaving and shaking for a total of 4 times for each bag. Open the bags carefully and spread out the corn to cool - breaking up any large pieces. Clean up is easy - just throw away the bags.

Sep 06, 2006

I've been making this recipe for years and it is always a favorite for both young and old. It tastes better than anything you can buy in the store. Here are my hints: 1. always use "golden" brown sugar, not the dark brown which is likely to burn. 2. bake it in a very large turkey roasting pan. It will all fit and still be easy to stir. 3. clean-up is very easy, just soak the pans for a minute in hot soapy water. All the hard candy just melts away. 4. Always buy double the ingredients(you'll be making it again the next day!) 5. If there is any left over, store in an air tight container or it will get soft. Make it once and it will be on your top 10 list too!

Jun 01, 2007

All I have to say is, I love it! I spread the popcorn out in the largest casserole dish I had, after coating with non-stick cooking spray, of course. I just poured on the carmel slowly and mixed it up as I went along. My friend also commented on how well everything was coated. "The trick is" I told her,"to drizzle and mix frequently, then work it with your greasy fingers to spread any big clumps." :) Thanks!


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  • Calories
  • 253 kcal
  • 13%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 32.8 g
  • 11%
  • Cholesterol
  • 24 mg
  • 8%
  • Fat
  • 14 g
  • 21%
  • Fiber
  • 0.9 g
  • 4%
  • Protein
  • 0.9 g
  • 2%
  • Sodium
  • 340 mg
  • 14%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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