Easy Caramel Corn Recipe (2024)

Jump to Recipe

SomethingSwanky is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you.

Easy Caramel Corn Recipe (1)

You guys. I don’t even know how to begin this post. This is possibly one of the most surreal days of my life (in a good way)…

I wrote a book, and it is officially, as of today, ON SHELVES!!!!

2 years in the making, and it’s finally out there. For everyone to see. EVERYONE. Eeeeeeek!!!

So, basically, I’m dying. Coherent thoughts aren’t coming, and there’s a good chance this post will be all over the place. But stick with me. Even if I don’t make any sense, I promise I’ve got a worthwhile recipe for you at the end of all of this rambling.

Easy Caramel Corn Recipe (2)

Writing a cookbook has been a really bizarre and rewarding experience. And such a team project! Whew! I never knew how many people it took to publish a cookbook. It takes a lot of (extremely patient and talented) people. If you’ve ever wondered how it kind of works, here’s a basic run down…

A literary agency contacted me with an idea, and we worked together on taking the concept and turning it into a pitch for publishing houses (complete with photos, recipes, comparative book stats, marketing strategies, etc…). And then…. we waited. For months (nerves, anxiety, more nerves…). Until a publishing house made an offer (even more nerves!).

I came up with 75 recipes and wrote the book. This took somewhere between 6 months and year. To be honest, the time frame has all become a little fuzzy. But let’s just say…. we ate popcorn at our house every day for a very long time! This stage involved a lot of take-out dinners, amazing babysitters, late night kitchen cleaning, and floss.

Serious floss, you guys. I think I have some PTSD from the feeling that I would never be able to get all the kernels out of my teeth. Ever.

Sorry if that’s gross TMI. But… it happened.

And after all of that came months editing and photos and more editing.

And then waiting. And waiting. And waiting. Waiting for vendors to check it out, waiting for the first printing, waiting for my first advanced copies, waiting, waiting, waiting….

Next: a bazillion email conversations with a really awesome marketing team and prep for getting the word out about publication.

And then I blinked and it was today. TODAY! Books are on the shelves and online, and I’ve got butterflies in my stomach!

Easy Caramel Corn Recipe (3)

In honor of the big day, I’m sharing my very favorite recipe from the book… this easy Caramel Corn.

My roommate gave me this recipe in college, and it’s been a family favorite ever since. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever met someone who doesn’t like this stuff. It’s NEVER a bad idea.

It’s quick and easy to make, very no fuss. Besides being perfect for movies and game nights, it’s also amazing for gifting. It packages really well and… I won’t confess to how I know this– but it has an INCREDIBLY long shelf life.

Like…. months. Uh… like, a lot of months.

I know. Sorry. College kids are disgusting. What can I say?


This recipe is amazing and a classic one to keep on hand all of the time.

Easy Caramel Corn Recipe (4)

It’s my THANK YOU to all of you. In my wildest dreams, I never imagined that authorship would be a part of my journey in life. And thanks to you guys, my incredible readers and the blogging community, I was able to have this amazing experience. I appreciate each and every one of you!

In the coming weeks, as an even BIGGER thank you, I’ll be featuring recipes from the book and REALLY COOL giveaway items that I’ve been saving up just for you guys. Be sure to keep checking in, because you aren’t going to want to miss a post!

To learn more about Party Popcorn, be sure to check out my COOKBOOK page. And you can purchase the book on Amazon or at your nearest Barnes & Noble.

Enjoy the recipe!

Easy Caramel Corn Recipe (5)

Caramel Corn

This caramel corn is so easy to make and is perfect for packaging and giving as a homemade gift!


  • 8 cups popped popcorn
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of sea salt
  • optional: melted chocolate for drizzling


Preheat the oven to 300ºF. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

Pour the popcorn into a large bowl and remove any unpopped kernels.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, stir together the brown sugar, butter, and corn syrup until the butter has melted and the mixture reaches a slow bubble. Allow the mixture to bubble for 4 minutes.

Remove from the heat immediately and mix in the vanilla extract and baking soda.

Pour the caramel mixture over the popcorn. Using a large rubber spatula, gently stir to coat.

Spread the popcorn evenly onto the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with the sea salt (adding more to taste if desired). Bake the popcorn for 10-15 minutes. A 10-minute bake will yield a chewy popcorn (my preference if we're eating it same day, not so good for packaging and storing). A 15-minute bake will yield a crunchy popcorn (PERFECT for packaging and storing).

Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a bowl to serve.

Optional: drizzle with chocolate if desired.

  • Coffee Cake Recipe Without Sour Cream

  • Can You Freeze Lemon Bars? Best Method to Freeze Lemon Squares

  • Butterscotch Cookies Recipe: Best Chewy, Soft, Salted Chip Treats

  • Pigs in a Blanket Recipe Pillsbury Copycat

Easy Caramel Corn Recipe (2024)


Why is my homemade caramel corn soggy? ›

Make sure to allow your caramel corn PLENTY of time to cool before packaging it up into ziplock bags or an airtight container. Otherwise, condensation will form and the moisture will cause the popcorn to become soggy.

How do you make Martha Stewart caramel popcorn? ›

In a small saucepan, bring butter, sugar, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 2 tablespoons water to a boil, stirring constantly. Working quickly, drizzle popcorn with sugar syrup, and toss. Spread popcorn evenly on prepared baking sheet. Bake, tossing occasionally, until golden and shiny, about 40 minutes.

How to make caramel popcorn in a popcorn machine? ›

  1. Put the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, water and salt into a heavy-bottomed small saucepan. ...
  2. While the caramel mixture is heating, remove the chute from the popcorn maker and put the kernels into the popping chamber. ...
  3. Watch the caramel mixture on the stove closely.

Why is my caramel popcorn not crunchy? ›

The longer you cook the syrup (the mixture of sugar and water the forms the base of the caramel sauce), the crunchier your popcorn will be. For very crunchy popcorn (my favorite!), stop cooking when you see the first wisps of smoke coming from the sugar mixture.

Why put egg in caramel popcorn? ›

While some people said that she added the egg to absorb extra heat, others had different views. "Whole eggs absorb excess heat so it's an easy way to regulate the temperature balance of the other ingredients," a user wrote.

Why shouldn't you stir sugar when making caramel? ›

Like dry caramel, you want to gently move the sugar mixture in that same side-to-side paintbrush-like fashion until the sugar dissolves. Then, as soon as the mixture comes to a boil, it should not be stirred, as the agitation can cause crystallization.

Why isn't my caramel corn shiny? ›

A granule of sugar, over-mixing, or uncooperative clumps of sea salt can turn caramel from a glossy, shiny confection into a dull grainy heap of chewy, brown sugar crystals. Candy making, or in this case caramel popcorn making, involves a significant amount of chemistry.

Why is my sugar clumping when making caramel? ›

If too many bits of sugar get stuck to the side of the pan, they will harden and can cause the caramel to seize or become gritty or grainy when you add in the butter and/or the cream. Prevent this by gently swirling the sugar around as it melts, while holding the pan's handle, instead of using a utensil to stir it.

What is the difference between kettle corn and caramel popcorn? ›

Kettle corn is a combination of sweet and salty flavors. It is lighter in flavor and texture than caramel corn as the sugar and salt are mixed in during popping rather than coated.

Is caramel corn the same as caramel popcorn? ›

Caramel corn or caramel popcorn (toffee popcorn in the UK) is a confection made of popcorn coated with a sugar or molasses based caramel candy shell that is normally less than 1mm thick. Typically a sugar solution or syrup is made and heated until it browns and becomes thick, producing a caramelized candy syrup.

Why did my caramel popcorn turn out chewy? ›

Generally, the caramel will have a higher 'water activity' than the popcorn. As a result, if you leave the popcorn for a while, moisture from the caramel will migrate into the corn. This causes the popcorn to lose its 'crunch' and become soft and chewy.

How do you keep caramel popcorn from getting soggy? ›

The secret to a great caramel popcorn that's evenly coated with caramel with a thin, crispy coating of caramel (rather that globs of sticky caramel) is baking soda and baking the popcorn to dry it out. This caramel corn stays crispy for 2+ weeks!!!

Do you put oil or butter in a popcorn machine? ›

For an 8-ounce popcorn machine, you'll use 1/3 cup of oil. Coconut oil (the butter flavored kind) is what most movie theaters use. We always keep avocado oil on hand and I've used that a lot of times—it doesn't have a strong flavor.

How to make popcorn hack? ›

It turns out there is a simple hack for making perfect popcorn at home every time
  1. Check out our homemade popcorn recipe below:
  2. Add cooking oil and butter along with 3 kernels to your pot and cook over a medium heat until all 3 kernels pop. ...
  3. Remove the 3 popped kernels and add the remaining kernels to the pot.

How do you fix soggy caramel popcorn? ›

Give it some time to cool. If it's still tasting soggy after 1–2 hours of cooling at room temperature, you may have under-baked the caramel corn. 1 hour in the oven is usually plenty. Additionally, be sure to cook the caramel on the stove for long enough.

How do you fix caramel that is too soft? ›

Here's how to make soft caramel harder: Put the caramel back in the pot, add 2-3 tablespoons of water, and remelt the caramel. Cook the caramel until it reaches the correct temperature, and pour it back into a foil-lined pan.

How do you make soggy caramel popcorn crispy again? ›

Resist the urge to toss out that bag of stale popcorn. If you're looking to breathe new life into the snack, spread it on a baking sheet and heat in the oven at 250°F for about five minutes. It should be as good as new!

Why is my corn soggy? ›

If you leave the cobs in boiling water for too long, the corn's starch content will absorb too much water and its pectin will dissolve, yielding kernels with a soggy texture.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Stevie Stamm

Last Updated:

Views: 6661

Rating: 5 / 5 (60 voted)

Reviews: 91% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Stevie Stamm

Birthday: 1996-06-22

Address: Apt. 419 4200 Sipes Estate, East Delmerview, WY 05617

Phone: +342332224300

Job: Future Advertising Analyst

Hobby: Leather crafting, Puzzles, Leather crafting, scrapbook, Urban exploration, Cabaret, Skateboarding

Introduction: My name is Stevie Stamm, I am a colorful, sparkling, splendid, vast, open, hilarious, tender person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.