This Caramel Corn recipe is an easy treat that your whole family will love! Made with simple ingredients you probably already have on hand, this recipe is a winner!
Family movie night is one of my favorites. I love laughing with my kids and spending time cuddled up together. Family movie night watching holiday movies is somehow even more precious.
I think it goes without saying that any great movie night needs to have snacks. One of the greatest movie time snacks is caramel corn! It is far easier to make than you would think, and it was a HUGE hit with my family.
This was the most delicious recipe I have ever tried. I have made three batches and my friends just absolutely love it and I can’t keep enough of it. The texture and crunchiness along with the buttery caramel is just wonderful. Love it!!!!
Caramel Corn Ingredients
This homemade caramel corn comes together with simple pantry staples, and there’s no need for a candy thermometers! For sweet, simple caramel corn, here’s all you need (find all the measurements in the recipe card at the bottom of the post):
- Brown sugar: You can use dark or light brown sugar, and it is the key ingredient to any caramel sauce.
- Corn syrup: Light colored corn syrup will work best here.
- Butter: I like to use unsalted to control the amount of salt flavor, but if you only have salted, that will also work here.
- Salt: I’m using kosher salt here. If you only have table salt, you will want to start with less and then add more to taste.
- Baking soda: This reacts with the acid in the brown sugar and creates carbon dioxide, which creates air bubbles inside the caramel. This makes it softer.
- Vanilla: This creates a subtle and delicious flavor.
How to Make Caramel Corn
Homemade caramel corn can seem intimidating, but trust me, if you can boil water, you can make this easy recipe. Follow these simple steps (or see the printable recipe at the bottom of the post):
- Pop the popcorn. Then spread all the popcorn out on a rimmed baking sheet, removing all the un-popped kernels.
- Make the caramel sauce. Mix the brown sugar, corn syrup, butter and salt in a heavy bottomed sauce pan and let it boil for five minutes. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla and baking soda.
- Pour the caramel mixture over the popcorn.
- Bake the caramel corn. Bake for an hour, giving it a stir a few times during the baking process so it coats and bakes evenly.
- Once it cools, break it up and enjoy!
Making Popcorn for Caramel Corn
Measuring out Dry Popcorn
This recipe uses 14 cups of popcorn. One quarter cup of dry popcorn equals eight cups popped, so you’ll need a couple of batches.
You can usually get about 8-10 cups in one bag of microwave popcorn, depending on the brand and your microwave.
How to Pop Popcorn
There are a few great ways to make popcorn for this recipe.
- Microwave Popper: I always make mine with this awesome microwave popper. If you use something like this, you’ll need to make it in two batches.
- Microwave Popcorn: Plain, non-buttered microwave popcorn works great too. As mentioned above, you will need two bags.
- Air Popper: These work well and don’t use any oil.
- Stovetop: You can always make popcorn on the stovetop. Just use a heavy bottomed pan with a lid and some vegetable oil.
Store extra caramel corn in an airtight container at room temperature for up to four days. Make this recipe Friday afternoon and you will have a delicious family movie night treat all weekend!
Yes! This is a gluten free recipe. As with all recipes, double check all of the ingredients to ensure that they in fact gluten free.
The baking soda reacts with the brown sugar and creates carbon dioxide in the sauce. This creates air bubbles which makes for a softer caramel coating rather than one that is too hard.
Other Great Snacks for Movie Night
There’s nothing better than a big bowl of snacks to get the family together. Try some of these easy treats too:
I hope you love this easy homemade caramel corn as much as my family does. If you have questions or comments, please leave me a note below. I love hearing from you.
- 14 cups popped popcorn (112 grams)
- 1 cup brown sugar (213 grams)
- 1/2 cup corn syrup (118.294 ml)
- 1/2 cup butter (113 grams)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat your oven to 250 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Pour the popped popcorn onto the baking sheet, picking out any unpopped kernals. Set aside.14 cups popped popcorn
- Combine the brown sugar, corn syrup, butter and salt in a heavy bottomed pan. Bring to a boil and then boil for 5 minutes without stirring. Remove from the heat and mix in the baking soda and vanilla, stirring well.1 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup corn syrup, 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pour over the popcorn. Bake for 1 hour, mixing three times during baking.
- Remove from the oven, mixing one more time. Allow to cool completely.
- Break up and store in an airtight container.