The Best Caramel Corn Recipe

The BEST homemade caramel corn recipe!  I’ll show you how to make caramel corn that’s perfect as a snack or made for gifts. Yummy!

caramel corn recipe

My husband and I have been on the hunt for the best caramel corn recipe for awhile.  We’ve been making caramel corn for years but always found it that was a bit chewy at the end, which is not exactly what we were looking for.  We finally found the this caramel corn recipe that’s easy and leaves a crunch!

If you’re looking for a great appetizer for the big game, this is a perfect fit!  If you’re looking for the perfect homemade gift to take to neighbors during the holidays, I would recommend puppy chow or this recipe I’m sharing today!  It was a huge hit at our house and so much fun to make.  It does take a bit of time, but the results are delicious!  This is one of those appetizers that’s great for kids and adults alike.  My niece liked it so much I think she ate half of it!

The Best Caramel Corn Recipe

To make the homemade caramel corn recipe  you’ll need the following ingredients.

  • 4 quarts popped corn (1/2 cup un-popped)
  • 1 Cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 Cup corn syrup
  • 1/2 Cup butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit and pop the popcorn.  About 1/2 of a cup of un-popped popcorn makes 4 quarts of popped popcorn. (Say that 10 times fast.) Place the popped popcorn into two 13×9 pans and put them into the preheated oven.  I use the disposable pans for easy clean up.

best caramel corn recipe in pan

Mix the brown sugar, corn syrup, butter and salt in a sauce pan over medium-high heat.  Stir constantly.  Bring it to a boil.  Allow it to boil for 5 minutes without stirring.

caramel popcorn recipe

Remove from heat and add baking soda and vanilla.  Mix well.  The baking soda makes it foam. Just stir quickly and be ready to ladle onto your popped popcorn.

homemade caramel corn in sheet pan

Pour the caramel syrup over warm popcorn.  I did it one ladle at a time.  Once I added one scoopful, my husband would then stir the popcorn to evenly coat it.  We added another scoopful, tossed the popcorn, another scoopful, tossed the popcorn.  This really is easiest with two people, a scooper and a tosser.  🙂

Bake the caramel covered corn for 45 minutes in the 250 degree Fahrenheit oven.  Toss the popcorn every 10 minutes.

how to make caramel corn cooling on foil

Remove the caramel corn from the oven and spread onto a layer of foil that has been sprayed with cooking spray.

caramel corn recipe

Let cool and enjoy!  What I love about this recipe is the fact that it’s not chewy.  The caramel corn gives a nice light sweet texture that’s crunchy.  You can add nuts if you want to add another dimension of flavor!  Enjoy!

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caramel corn recipe in bowl
Created by: Lynette Rice

The Best Caramel Corn Recipe


Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings 32
32
The best caramel corn recipe can be made in less than one hour.

Ingredients
  

  • 4 quarts popped corn
  • 1 Cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 Cup corn syrup
  • 1/2 Cup butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 250˚ F.
  • Pop the popcorn and place into tins. Place the tins into the oven.
  • Mix the brown sugar, corn syrup, butter and salt in a sauce pan over medium-high heat. Stir constantly. Bring it to a boil. Let it boil for 5 minutes without stirring. Remove from heat and add baking soda and vanilla. Mix well.
  • Pour syrup over warm popcorn.
  • Bake the caramel covered corn for 45 minutes in the 250˚ F oven. Toss the popcorn every 10 minutes.
  • Remove the caramel corn from the oven and spread onto a layer of foil that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Let cool.

Notes

For ease, pour one ladle at a time when pouring the syrup over the warmed popcorn. Once I added one scoopful, my husband would then stir the popcorn to evenly coat it. We added another scoopful, tossed the popcorn, another scoopful, tossed the popcorn. This really is easiest with two people. A scooper and a tosser. 🙂

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 525kcal | Carbohydrates: 103g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 91mg | Potassium: 399mg | Fiber: 17g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 320IU | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 4mg

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Recipe Rating




16 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I cook longer than recommended because I want my caramel corn crisp. But it’s lovely! And so easy! I made 5 gallons a few years ago.

  2. 5 stars
    This was Amazing! I have made it twice and definitely need a tosser. Only problem is it keeps disappearing.
    Thanks so much for sharing.

    1. Glad you enjoyed it Cathy!

  3. Heather Brown says:

    5 stars
    This came out amazingly well! Thank you for the recipe.

    One quick tip – I buy the foil pans at Costco in bulk. (similar to the ones in your photo) If you take an extra pan and place it on top of the pan containing the un-coated popcorn and the caramel you pour on top- invert it so it creates a lid – you can shake it like crazy. Coats perfectly and much easier than stirring. Just make sure you hold the seam tightly as you shake.

    Thanks for the perfect Halloween snack to share!

    1. Great idea! I’m totally trying that the next time.

  4. Hi, i just want to comment for those, like me who didn’t know. you need 1/2 cup of kernals to get 4quarts of popped corn. so excited to make this! i have been SEARCHING for ever! 🙂

  5. Kristen @ Joyfullythriving says:

    I grew up with my Mom’s caramel corn, which is a very similar recipe. It is indeed delicious! I love caramel corn!

  6. Lynette,
    I have a caramel corn recipe that you make in the microwave using a brown paper bag. It is wonderful and a lot less work. Please let me know and I can email you this recipe if you are interested. Thanks, Tonya

    1. Hi Tonya – I am interested in it!!! 🙂

      1. sheila soper says:

        hi Tonya, i wouldcould not findit again.an love yor recipe for carmel.please send email. found your coment on siply simple.she has great sight also.i found yor site one time and could not find it again.happy to find you again.web sigt would be welcme >THANKS BUNCHES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      1. Kim Gieber says:

        My first try at caramel corn. Would love to have the microwave recipe also if
        still available.

        Thank you.
        Kim

    2. I never even thought about making my own caramel popcorn, but I’ve been craving it constantly recently. This recipe looks amazing, but a little time-consuming. Tonya, I’m interested in your brown paper bag recipe as well! Please send it along if you don’t mind (allison.m.healy AT gmail DOT com). Thanks!

      1. Therese Dwyer says:

        I’ve made this it’s wonderful but I use plain microwave popcorn than each bag gets strained to remove Unpopped corn than kept in a roasting pan in oven to keep warm while making sauce after I pour the sauce I add peanuts any kind that way it sticks instead sinking to bottom of pa finish with above instructions

        1. Therese Dwyer says:

          When using vanilla if you can use Madagascar vanilla what a difference in taste wow

    3. Laura Hayungs says:

      T please send this recipe I like to make alternate kinds of treats for all the diets! Thanks in advance