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You’ll Love This Quick and Easy Caramel Popcorn Recipe

Caramel popcorn, anyone? You won't regret making this!
Easy Caramel Popcorn Recipe

I have been making this caramel popcorn for the past twenty years. It uses only a few simple ingredients and is delicious. If you have only ever eaten the stale, prepackaged stuff, then you are in for a treat!

Caramel popcorn in a blue dish.

Caramel Popcorn is Made with Only a Few Simple Ingredients

Brown sugar, popcorn kernels, chopped peanuts, vanilla extract, baking soda, salt, and butter in bowls.

To make caramel popcorn you only need:

popcorn, corn syrup, brown sugar, butter, salt, baking soda, vanilla extract and (optional) peanuts.

Butter and brown sugar melting in a blue pot.

Caramel in its simplest form is just sugar and water.

[Making caramel is a fun science experiement to do with your kids.]

Caramel sauce usually calls for cream, and for caramel popcorn, we use butter. This recipe is simple enough that you can enjoy making it with your kids. I promise they will love seeing the sugar and butter transform!

Popcorn spilling out of blue dish.

I recommend you buy an air popper. This way your famliy can enjoy a healthy, high fiber, low-fat snack of popcorn that hasn’t been cooked in oil.

Easy Caramel Popcorn Recipe

This caramel popcorn takes only a few minutes to prepare, then is baked in the oven to reduce stickiness.

Course Dessert
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes


  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 quarts popped popcorn
  • 1/2 cup chopped peanuts


  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

  2. Pop popcorn and set aside.

  3. In heavy-bottomed medium sauce pan, melt butter. Stir in brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt.

  4. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly.

  5. Once mixture is boiling, let it boil WITHOUT stirring, for four minutes.

  6. Remove from heat and add baking soda and vanilla.

  7. Pour caramel over popcorn, and mix well. Be careful, the caramel is very hot.

  8. Sprinkle in chopped nuts and mix.

  9. Place popcorn on two baking sheets and place in oven. Remove and stir every 15 minutes, four times.

  10. Let cook completely, then enjoy!

Popcorn in bowl on wooden table.

By the way, you may just want to make two batches of this. It’s just that good!


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