DessertsBakedEverything ElseVegan Desserts

Homemade Caramel Popcorns

55 mins Cook
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Caramel popcorn nomnomwow

Remarkable grazing dessert for gatherings. And because it remains fresh for weeks, it makes for a sensational meals gift!

Ramsha Baig

The closing Caramel Popcorn! With a skinny, crispy, even coating of caramel on every piece, this caramel corn stays crispy for weeks. Caramel corn may be made with or without corn syrup – I’ve observed the ideal alternative that works a hundred percent flawlessly!

Caramel Popcorn

I make caramel popcorn lots all at some stage in the yr. I make it for:

  • Gifting – just a pure act of kindness without any ulterior motives;
  • Bribing – when I’m trying to sway decisions / get in or stay in someone’s good graces. (This happens more than I care to admit ); and
  • Dessert for gatherings – it’s a brilliant grazing option for dessert so your family and friends don’t need to commit to a huge slice of chocolate cake because they’re stuffed full from dinner!

The reason it makes such a regular appearance around here is because it ticks a lot of boxes:

  • long shelf life – 100% crispy for 2 – 3 weeks;
  • is low effort to make a fair volume (this makes about 11 – 12 cups);
  • it’s gluten free (useful for gatherings / gifting); and
  • everybody loves it – young and old!

This stuff is CRAZY addictive!! UPDATE: This year (2020) I’ve also made special Christmas version of Caramel Popcorn called Christmas Popcorn Candy, flavoured with classic warm festive spices and almonds!

Why this is The Caramel Corn Recipe

If you’ve ever made caramel popcorn and ended up with uneven globs of caramel on the popcorn which finally ends up stuck to your teeth – I experience your ache.

I’ve been there and carried out that, and it became many years earlier than i found the name of the game to perfect, crispy, frivolously covered caramel corn:

  1. BAKING SODA (aka bi-carbonate soda, or bi-carb for short); and
  2. BAKING.

Baking soda is the secret to an even, thin coating of caramel on the popcorn. When it’s added to the caramel, it makes it foam up so it increases in volume and makes it easier to coat the popcorn more evenly.

The baking part serves two purposes:

  1. Coat popcorn evenly – initially, the caramel remelts so when you toss the popcorn, it coats the popcorn more evenly and thinly (thanks to the baking soda!); and
  2. Crispy caramel and popcorn – during the 2nd half of baking time, the caramel and popcorn dries out, making the thin caramel coating AND popcorn super crisp. This caramel corn stays crispy for WEEKS!

What you need for Caramel Popcorn

Here’s what you need. Not very much stuff!!

For the ones of you out of doors of the us and Canada who can’t get corn syrup, don’t be anxious. Glucose is a 100% perfect substitute. I make caramel popcorn quite frequently (meals gifting!) so I stock up on corn syrup when I go to the States. but I continually run out.

So I had to discover a alternative. And after making dozens and dozens of batches with glucose, i’m glad to report that glucose is a really perfect alternative for corn syrup!

(if you’re questioning why you want corp syrup, its purpose is to make certain the caramel doesn’t crystallise ie in place of becoming liquid, you grow to be with sugar grains. Caramel is easy but may be temperamental. Corn syrup makes it a positive factor.

How to make Caramel Popcorn

  • Pop your popcorn kernels using your method of choice – stove or popcorn maker, if you have one (I do, but for some reason digging it out of the back of the cupboard seems like more effort than cooking the popcorn on the stove);
  • Make caramel – simmer butter, sugar and corn syrup or glucose;
  • Whisk in baking soda to make the caramel foam up!
  • Toss popcorn with caramel – just do the best you can here, the caramel will harden as it cools. Don’t worry if it’s not evenly coated, we do this in the next step;
  • Bake 45 minutes, tossing 3 – 4 times – this makes the caramel coat the popcorn evenly, then makes the caramel and popcorn crisp so it stays crispy for 2+ weeks!

Caramel warning: handle with care because that molten goodness is mighty hot! So don’t be tempted to stick your finger in for a taste test!

Full coverage vs lighter coating

The popcorn you see pictured in the photos and in the video has full caramel coverage. Meaning, the ratio of caramel to popcorn is such that it’s intended that every piece of popcorn is coated with caramel.

Full coverage caramel popcorn is very sweet! It’s made with 1/3 cup kernels, 10 cups popcorn, and is literally like candy. If you eat it by the handful like Butter Popcorn, chances are you will regret it….unless you have a major sweet tooth (otherwise try my Light ‘n Salty Butter Popcorn)!

I commonly move full insurance when I’m gifting to people I don’t know that nicely (ie generally paintings associated bribing because it looks better.

For my own personal purposes, for my family and buddies, for gifting to people I understand, I do a lighter insurance. Lighter insurance popcorn has seen white splotches due to the fact you don’t get full insurance. It’s made with three/four cup kernels and it’s far certainly nevertheless sweet and indulgent.

no one has ever had my Lighter coverage caramel popcorn and stated “that’s no longer sweet enough”!

Homemade Caramel Popcorn

Homemade Caramel Popcorn

The closing Caramel Popcorn! With a skinny, crispy, even coating of caramel on every piece, this caramel corn stays crispy for weeks. Caramel corn may be made with or without corn syrup – I’ve observed the ideal alternative that works a hundred percent flawlessly!
prep time
10 mins
cooking time
55 mins
total time
1 hour 5 mins




  • 1/4 cup (60ml) vegetable oil (not required if air popping with a popcorn maker)

  • 1/3 cup popping corn (10 cups popcorn, Note 1 for lighter caramel coverage)


  • 100g / 7 tbsp butter , unsalted

  • 1 cup (220g) brown sugar , packed

  • 1/2 cup (170g) corn syrup , light (sub glucose, Note 2 more subs)

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1/2 tsp baking soda




Heat oil in a massive pot over medium heat. add a few pieces of popcorn and wait until it pops, then fast get rid of. Add final popcorn, raise off range to shake and spread corn out evenly. cover with a lid. once the popcorn begins popping in earnest, shake the pot lightly as soon as. Put off from heat when the popping stops (when you can count to a few among pops) and transfer to a (very!) big bowl. You want 10 cups of popcorn.


Preheat oven to a hundred and ten°C/230°F. Soften butter in a saucepaan over medium heat. Add sugar, corn syrup and salt. Stir till just blended. While it starts offevolved to bubble, simmer for 4 minutes - DO not STIR! Remove from heat then quickly whisk in vanilla and baking soda. while you stop whisking, the caramel will foam and growth in quantity. Speedy pour straight over popcorn, toss till caramel cools and starts offevolved to harden.

Baking to Crisp:

Spread popcorn on 2 baking trays. Bake for 45 minutes, tossing every 10 minutes or so. Caramel will remelt for the first 2-3 tosses - tossing coats popcorn more evenly with caramel. (If using glucose or honey, bake further 15 minutes). Remove from oven, leave to cool. Gently break into pieces and serve. Stays crisp 2 - 3 weeks!


Caramel coverage - 1/3 cup popcorn kernels will give you full caramel coverage on each popcorn. This makes the popcorn like candy - it's very sweet! I use 3/4 cups popcorn for "normal" coverage - it's still sweet, but not intensely sweet where every piece feels like you're eating candy. See in post for photo comparison. 2. Corn Syrup is called for to stabilise the caramel to ensure sugar crystallisation doesn't occur. Corn syrup is a common grocery item in the US and Canada - I stock up every time I go! It can be purchased online in Australia from (here). Glucose is a perfect substitute for corn syrup which is available in Australian supermarkets (baking aisle, clear thick syrup with honey consistency). However, the popcorn needs to be baked for 15 minutes longer (because glucose as higher water content). More substitutions - the following will alter flavour slightly (because corn syrup and glucose are flavourless) but in terms of coating and crispiness, they work perfectly: honey (bake 15 minutes longer) treacle golden syrup I don't recommend molasses because the flavour is bit too intense. Haven't tried with maple syrup because it's much thinner, it will need to boil for longer which makes flavour dilute. 3. Storage - stays 100% crisp and fresh for 2 - 3 weeks in an airtight container!
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