Caramel Popcorn

By Shiran

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!

ย 

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.

26 Comments on Caramel Popcorn

    • Shiran
      June 6, 2014 at 6:28 pm (2 years ago)

      Thank you so much Julie!

      Reply
    • Shiran
      June 6, 2014 at 6:28 pm (2 years ago)

      Thanks Angie ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply
    • Shiran
      June 7, 2014 at 3:10 pm (2 years ago)

      My pleasure ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply
  1. Cindy @ Pick Fresh Foods
    June 6, 2014 at 8:03 pm (2 years ago)

    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 (2 years ago)

      Can’t wait for you to try them Cindy!

      Reply
  2. Lindsey @ American Heritage Cooking
    June 7, 2014 at 12:24 am (2 years ago)

    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 (2 years ago)

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

      Reply
  3. Guillem
    June 9, 2014 at 8:55 am (2 years ago)

    It looks amazing!

    Reply
  4. Winnie
    June 9, 2014 at 10:45 pm (2 years ago)

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

    Reply
  5. Kloe's Kitchen
    August 8, 2014 at 10:36 pm (2 years ago)

    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 (2 years ago)

      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 (8 months ago)

        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 (8 months ago)

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

          Reply
  6. Allison
    December 20, 2014 at 8:51 pm (2 years ago)

    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 (2 years ago)

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

      Reply
  7. April
    July 7, 2015 at 9:33 pm (1 year ago)

    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 (1 year ago)

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

      Reply
  8. Emmy
    January 16, 2016 at 9:46 pm (7 months ago)

    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 (7 months ago)

      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
  9. Saadet
    February 12, 2016 at 10:41 pm (7 months ago)

    OMG!!!Just tried this and me and my two daughters almost finished the whole thing๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ˜‹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 sharing๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ˜‹

    Reply
    • Shiran
      February 13, 2016 at 8:18 am (6 months ago)

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

      Reply
  10. Dada
    August 13, 2016 at 3:05 am (2 weeks ago)

    Making it tonight

    Reply
    • Dada
      August 13, 2016 at 3:07 am (2 weeks ago)

      ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

      Reply

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