This homemade Caramel Corn has the perfect amount of popcorn to caramel ratio! It’s made in your oven, is delicious and perfect for snacking on during family movie night, bringing to parties or making just because you are craving it. Makes a great homemade gift during the holidays too.
I’ve been making this yummy caramel corn around the holidays for years now. It makes a TON , but don’t worry it won’t last long. I always add peanuts but it’s optional if you aren’t nutty like me!
I also have a microwave version of this recipe if you’d rather make it that way. Both are easy and delicious!
Why this recipe works:
- Makes a big batch, perfect for sharing or gifting.
- Only requires pantry staples so it’s easy to keep the ingredients on hand for whenever you have a craving.
- Easy to make, which means you’ll never got back to the store-bought kind.
Pantry Staple Ingredients!
- Popcorn – Just pop it anyway you like it. I recommend leaving the butter off of it.
- Light Brown sugar
- Light corn syrup – Helps the caramel not crystalize. Make sure to use light corn syrup (like Karo), not high fructose corn syrup.
- Salt – This will help all your flavor meld in your recipe and balance the sweetness.
- Baking soda – This will help all your flavor meld in your recipe and balance the sweetness.
- Vanilla extract
- Salted peanuts – These are optional.
Steps to Prepare
- Prep – Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Line to large roasting pans or baking sheets (with sides) with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Popcorn – Pop the popcorn using your preferred method i.e. stove top, air popper, etc. and place in large bowl.
- Prepare Caramel – Boil butter, syrup, brown sugar and salt in a saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat. Next, add vanilla and soda. Toss thoroughly. Add peanuts and toss again.
- Combine – Pour mixture over popped popcorn and stir until combined.
- Bake – Pour the popcorn on prepared pans and bake in the oven at 250 degrees for 1 hour. Stirring every 15 minutes.
- Cool – Put baked caramel corn on parchment paper to completely and then stir in airtight container or resealable bags.
Why do I need baking soda?
The reason there is baking soda in the caramel is that it to reacts with the brown sugar and corn syrup. It creates tiny air bubbles. Once it’s cooled the bubbles help the caramel to have a soft, crunchy texture!
There’s nothing worse that chewy caramel corn so make sure it’s stored in an airtight container.
Also, make sure it’s completely cooled before storing. If it’s not, condensation will form in the container and make it soggy.
If you end up with soggy caramel corn you can also spread it out on a baking sheet and bake it at 250 degrees F for about 10-15 minutes to make it crispy again.
This will not spoil, but it will get stale if it’s not store properly.
More Great Snacks!
- Is there anything more addictive than this sweet classic, Puppy Chow?
- Once I start eating Ranch Pretzels there’s no stopping. So easy to make and so addictive!
- Another classic is Chex Mix that’s always popular around the holidays as gifts, bringing to parties and more. It’s an easy treat that’s always a hit.
- Caramel Puff Corn is a crunchy snack made with homemade caramel sauce!
Be sure and tag me on Instagram @julieseatsandtreats or #julieseatsandtreats! You’ll love this as much as we do I’m sure! Leave a five star rating below and let me know!
Baked Caramel Corn
- 1 c. unpopped popcorn popped
- 2 c. brown sugar
- 1 c. butter
- 1/2 c. light corn syrup
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 c. salted peanuts
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Line to large roasting pans or baking sheets (with sides) with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Prepare popcorn using your preferred way of popping i.e. stove top, air popper etc. Put popped popcorn in large bowl and set aside.
- Boil butter, syrup, brown sugar and salt in saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes stirring occasionally.
- Take off heat and add vanilla and soda. Mix thoroughly. Add peanuts and stir to combine.
- Pour mixture over popped popcorn in large bowl. Stir to combine. Pour the popcorn onto prepared pans and bake in the oven at 250 degrees for 1 hour. Stir every 15 minutes.
- Spread out on parchment paper and let cool. Store in air tight containers or ziplock bags.