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+ servings
A small wooden bowl filled with caramel corn.

Homemade Caramel Popcorn

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Plain popcorn is coated in a homemade caramel mixture, then baked until crunchy. Homemade caramel popcorn can be prepped weeks in advance and is great for gifting! 
Course Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword caramel corn recipe, homemade caramel corn
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Cooling Time 1 hr
Total Time 2 hrs 15 mins
Servings 8 cups
Author Danielle


  • 8 to 9 cups plain popcorn (45 grams)
  • ½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick; 115 grams)
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar (200 grams)
  • cup light corn syrup
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda


  • Preheat the oven to 250°F (120°C). Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Place the popcorn in a large bowl and set aside.
  • Add the butter to a medium saucepan. Place over medium heat until the butter is melted. Add the brown sugar, corn syrup, salt and mix until well combined. Bring to a boil, stirring often so that it doesn’t burn. Turn the heat down and simmer for 5 minutes, continuing to stir often.
  • Remove from the heat and mix in the vanilla extract and baking soda until fully combined. The mixture will bubble and foam up, this is normal!
  • Drizzle the caramel mixture over the popcorn and carefully mix with a large spoon.
  • Transfer the popcorn to the prepared baking sheet and spread it around into one even layer.
  • Bake for 45 minutes, stirring the caramel corn every 15 minutes.
  • Remove the baking sheet from the oven and give the popcorn one last mix. Allow to cool completely on the baking sheet, about 1 hour, then break into pieces.



Storage Instructions: Caramel popcorn can be stored in a large airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
To make your own popcorn: Add 2 tablespoons of popcorn kernels to a brown paper bag and fold the top of the bag over to seal it. Microwave on high for 1 ½ minutes to 2 ½ minutes (the amount of time will depend on your microwave). Once the popping slows to about 2 seconds between pops, the popcorn is done. You will likely need to repeat this process one more time to get 8 to 9 cups of popcorn.