Candy & Snacks/ Caramel/ no mixer

Caramel Popcorn

June 6, 2014

This old-fashioned popcorn candy is made with an easy homemade caramel sauce and baked in the oven for crunch. No thermometer needed!

Caramel Popcorn

Iโ€™m back from a few daysโ€™ vacation in the French Riviera, and honestly, I couldnโ€™t be more relaxed. The beaches, the narrow rustic streets, the little boutique shops โ€“ it was truly paradise. Not to mention the unique kitchen props and vintage pieces I found (and bought, of course) in those little shops. See, I have way too many addictions. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Caramel Popcorn

Now about this caramel popcorn, just like my Nutella pretzels and candied almonds, this stuff is dangerous and addictive. If I keep making these delicious treats, I wonโ€™t be able to have the balanced diet Iโ€™ve been trying to reach for the last few months (clearly with no success yet). The popcorn in this dessert is mixed with a delicious caramel sauce, then baked in the oven for crunchiness. Itโ€™s sweet, but not overly so like some other caramel corn Iโ€™ve tried before. Unfortunately, thatโ€™s no good news for you because it means you can easily find yourself eating an entire bowl without noticing. I did.

Caramel Popcorn

If you donโ€™t have a popcorn maker, you can use 2 store-bought bags of microwave popcorn (natural taste with no added butter) or use this trick: put 3 tablespoons of popcorn kernels in a brown paper lunch bag and fold the top twice to seal the bag tightly. Microwave on high for about 1 minute and 30-45 seconds. This method yields 5 cups, so youโ€™ll need to do it twice for this recipe.

Once you have the popcorn, we prepare an easy-peasy homemade caramel sauce by heating together butter, brown sugar, and honey (and salt, if using). Usually, recipes for caramel corn will call for corn syrup, but since not all of you have this ingredient at home, Iโ€™ve found that replacing it with honey works just as well. If you do have corn syrup, you can replace the honey with it in equal amounts. Let the mixture simmer for 5 minutes on medium heat until itโ€™s bubbly and thick. Immediately after removing the pan from the heat, add vanilla extract and baking soda. The mixture will foam up due to the baking soda, so be careful.

Caramel Popcorn

Mix the popcorn with the caramel in a bowl until all pieces are evenly coated โ€“ the more care you take with this step, the more delicious each bite will be! So mix, mix, mix! Remember to do this gently, though, so the popcorn doesnโ€™t break. At this point, the caramel corn will be chewy, so the next step is to put it in the oven (forย crunchiness). Place it in a single layer on 2 baking sheets and bake.

Caramel Popcorn

The popcorn should be left in the oven for an hour at a low temperature. Stir the mixture every 20 minutes (2 times in total) to prevent burning. Most importantly, each time you stir, try to control yourself from nibbling because it smells so darn good!

4.0 from 2 reviews
Caramel Popcorn
Yields: 10-12 cups
 
This old-fashioned popcorn candy is made with an easy homemade caramel sauce and baked in the oven for crunch. No thermometer needed!
Ingredients
  • 10-12 cups air-popped popcorn*
  • ½ cup (1 stick or 115g) butter
  • 1 cup (200g / 7 oz.) dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup honey
  • Pinch of salt (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 200F/95C degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat and set aside.
  2. Place popcorn in a large bowl. Set aside. In a medium saucepan on medium heat, bring butter, sugar, honey, and salt to a boil. Let the mixture simmer for 5 minutes, whisking occasionally. Remove the saucepan from the heat and immediately add vanilla extract and baking soda (be careful, the mixture will foam) and stir. Pour the caramel over the popcorn and toss until evenly coated. Spread popcorn evenly over prepared baking sheets. Bake for 1 hour, stirring the mixture every 20 minutes (twice total) to prevent burning. Cool completely on a wire rack. Once fully cooled, break up any popcorn that is stuck together (or, if preferred, break into clusters). Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
Notes
*You can use 2 store-bought bags of microwave popcorn (natural taste with no added butter) or the following trick: put 3 tablespoons of popcorn kernels in a brown paper lunch bag and fold the top twice to seal tightly. Microwave on high for about 1 minute and 30-45 seconds. This method yields 5 cups, so youโ€™ll need to repeat it for this recipe.

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28 Comments

  • Reply
    Julie @ Lovely Little Kitchen
    June 6, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    This caramel corn looks so yummy and your pictures are so adorable! Pinned!

    • Reply
      Shiran
      June 6, 2014 at 6:28 pm

      Thank you so much Julie!

  • Reply
    Angie (@angiesrecipess)
    June 6, 2014 at 5:13 pm

    This looks so inviting!

    • Reply
      Shiran
      June 6, 2014 at 6:28 pm

      Thanks Angie ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Traditionally Modern Food
    June 6, 2014 at 6:49 pm

    i love caramel popcorn thanks for the recipe:)

    • Reply
      Shiran
      June 7, 2014 at 3:10 pm

      My pleasure ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Cindy @ Pick Fresh Foods
    June 6, 2014 at 8:03 pm

    Yum, caramel popcorn sounds delicious! I’ve never tried to make it, but your recipe looks so easy. I am going to try this.

    • Reply
      Shiran
      June 7, 2014 at 3:09 pm

      Can’t wait for you to try them Cindy!

  • Reply
    Lindsey @ American Heritage Cooking
    June 7, 2014 at 12:24 am

    I must try my own caramel corn soon!! Yours looks delicious! I am super jealous of your trip to the French Riviera! J’adore la France!

    • Reply
      Shiran
      June 7, 2014 at 3:07 pm

      I know! I love France!! Thanks Lindsey ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Guillem
    June 9, 2014 at 8:55 am

    It looks amazing!

  • Reply
    Winnie
    June 9, 2014 at 10:45 pm

    ื–ื” ืžืกื•ื›ืŸืŸืŸืŸืŸืŸืŸืŸืŸืŸืŸืŸ
    ื–ื” ื›ืœ ื›ืš ื˜ืขื™ื ืฉืคืฉื•ื˜ ืื™ ืืคืฉืจ ืœื”ืคืกื™ืง ืœืื›ื•ืœ ืืช ื–ื”

  • Reply
    Kloe's Kitchen
    August 8, 2014 at 10:36 pm

    So excited to try this recipe!! Am I drowning you with comments??? Ha! I just like your site….okay LOVE your site!

    • Reply
      Shiran
      August 9, 2014 at 10:14 am

      Feel free to write as many comments as you like ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thank you so much for all the sweet words!

      • Reply
        brooke
        December 24, 2015 at 10:22 pm

        I made your recipe right away. Absolutely loved it. Making it again tonight to set out tomorrow with christmas snacks. It just melts in your mouth.
        Thank you and happy holidays.

        • Reply
          Shiran
          December 25, 2015 at 6:06 am

          I’m so glad to hear that ๐Ÿ™‚ Happy holidays to you and your family, Brooke!

  • Reply
    Allison
    December 20, 2014 at 8:51 pm

    Just made this, it was so quick and easy! I omitted the honey and added extra salt when I coating the popcorn with caramel YUM

    • Reply
      Shiran
      December 21, 2014 at 8:50 am

      Thank you so much Allison, that’s so nice of you to share this!

  • Reply
    April
    July 7, 2015 at 9:33 pm

    This is the best recipe I have found.Thank you for having detailed description and amount of each ingredient. (you would be surprised, there are many out there that don’t) I just tried this for the first time and then I found your recipe. Granted I didn’t have baking soda or vanilla but it still turned out pretty good. Can’t wait to try your recipe!!

    • Reply
      Shiran
      July 8, 2015 at 10:16 am

      Thank you for your sweet comment, April! I’m glad to hear that my post and recipe were helpful ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Emmy
    January 16, 2016 at 9:46 pm

    Turned out great!! I left out the honey and made it up with brown sugar, I’ll have to try it with next time. Curious, what part does the baking soda play?

    • Reply
      Shiran
      January 19, 2016 at 1:13 pm

      Hi Emmy! I’m glad it turned out great ๐Ÿ™‚ Without getting into chemistry, the baking soda help to create air bubbles in the caramel, ultimately making it softer to the bite once cooled.

  • Reply
    Saadet
    February 12, 2016 at 10:41 pm

    OMG!!!Just tried this and me and my two daughters almost finished the whole thing???I wasn’t expecting it to be so good because of corn syrup!I am not buying caramel corn anymore !Thank you so much for sharing???

    • Reply
      Shiran
      February 13, 2016 at 8:18 am

      I’m so happy to hear that you and your daughters like it ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you so much for your comment!

  • Reply
    Dada
    August 13, 2016 at 3:05 am

    Making it tonight

  • Reply
    Karyn
    October 12, 2016 at 6:34 pm

    Absolutely delicious and a fan favorite around here. I’ve gotten a lot of good comments on the honey flavor vs the usual corn syrup most recipes call for. I usually use a little less popcorn for that much caramel. (I have a caramel problem. The popcorn is pretty much just a vehicle for the caramel.) I’ve found it’s important to heat the mixture slowly, and if you heat it to 300 degrees and stir it into the popcorn fast enough, like a crazy lady, you don’t have to put it into the oven.

    • Reply
      Shiran
      October 19, 2016 at 6:27 am

      Thank you, Karyn! I’m also addicted to caramel, so I know what you mean ๐Ÿ™‚

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