Caramel Popcorn: the easy recipe for crunchy, sweet popcorn

Total time: 30 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 10 people
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By Cookist
200 g (1 cup)
120 ml (1/2 cup)
2 tbsp
Corn kernels

To take any dessert or snack to the next level, you simply need to pour caramel over it. And what better snack to do that with, than popcorn. Crunchy and sweet, two words that describe this easy homemade Caramel Popcorn recipe pretty accurately.

It’s easy enough to whip it up as a quick snack, and is perfect for movie nights. The flavor is rich in buttery caramel, while the texture is crispy with no caramel that sticks to your teeth.

To make it, you simply whip up a batch of popcorn, make a caramel (made without corn syrup), and then mix the two together. The recipe has the perfect ratio of caramel to popcorn, which means that each piece of corn is coated perfectly. Caramel popcorn is a family favorite and now it’s also super easy to make at home.


Caramel Popcorn Ingredients

Sugar – Use white or light brown sugar.

Butter – Use salted or unsalted butter.

Milk – Use full-fat milk.

Corn kernels – use high-quality uncooked corn kernels.

How To Make Caramel Popcorn

Start by making the popcorn in a large pan over medium heat. Cook until all the kernels have popped. Set aside while you make the caramel.

Melt the sugar, and then add the remaining ingredients. Stir continuously to ensure that the mixture is smooth and not grainy. Pour the caramel over the popcorn and stir to combine.


Tips For Easy Homemade Caramel Popcorn

If you want the caramel popcorn to be chewier, you can boil the caramel for less time. A longer cook will result in a crispier popcorn.

If the caramel becomes grainy, it means that the sugar crystallization occurred. To prevent this, you can do one of two things. Either add a bit of acid (like lemon juice) or baking soda, or you can substitute some of the sugar with corn syrup or honey.

Caramel popcorn that absorbs water will become soggy. To make them crispy again, lay them on a baking sheet and bake at 250°F for about 5 minutes.

Don’t leave out the butter, it’s essential for a good caramel. If you want to make this without dairy, leave out the milk and use vegetable-based margarine.

You can make caramel in the microwave too! Simply mix together 1 cup brown sugar, ½ cup butter or margarine, ¼ cup corn syrup (or glucose), ½ tsp salt, and 1 tsp vanilla extract. Microwave for 3 minutes, stir, and microwave for another 2 minutes. Remove from the microwave and stir in ½ tsp baking soda. Pour over the caramel.

Feel free to make your own mixed caramel popcorn. Add in chopped Reese’s peanut butter cups, nuts, or M&M’s.

How To Store Caramel Popcorn

To keep the caramel popcorn crispy and fresher for longer, store it in an airtight container (or a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid). It will keep at room temperature for up to 2-3 weeks.


Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat. Once melted, add the corn kernels.

Cover with a lid.

Cook for about 5 minutes and cook until all the kernels are popped.

In another clean pan over medium heat, add the sugar and cook on low heat, while stirring continuously.

Cook until the sugar is caramelized.

Gradually add the milk and butter.

Mix well.

Pour the caramel onto the popcorn.

Stir the caramel through the popcorn until all the kernels are coated.

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