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Horizontal overhead image of a white creamic bowl of caramel coated popcorn, on a white cloth with a red border, with scattered pieces of the candy-coated popcorn.

Caramel Coated Popcorn

  • Author: Meghan Yager
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 2 hours, 10 minutes
  • Yield: 10 servings 1x


Easy caramel coated popcorn is a family favorite that everyone will be gobbling down as soon as it is cool enough to touch.



  • 10 cups air-popped popcorn (about 1/3 cup popcorn kernels)
  • Cooking oil spray
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • ½ cup light corn syrup
  • 2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 250˚F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place the popcorn in a large bowl, one that is big enough for the popcorn to be tossed in. Spray two spatulas or large silicone or metal spoons with cooking spray and set aside.
  3. To make the caramel, melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in corn syrup, brown sugar, and salt with a spatula until sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring frequently.
  4. When the mixture is boiling, stop stirring and let boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in baking soda and vanilla extract. Be careful, as the mixture will bubble up and become frothy. Once combined, pour the caramel over the popcorn.
  5. Use the prepared spatulas or spoons to toss the popcorn with the sauce, until the popcorn is evenly coated.
  6. Spread in an even layer on the prepared baking sheet.
  7. Place baking sheet in the oven and bake for 40-50 minutes, tossing every 10 minutes. The popcorn should be crispy when it’s done, so be sure to test it at 40 minutes and return to the oven for another 10 minutes if necessary.
  8. Cool completely on the baking sheet before breaking apart. Store in resealable bags.

  • Category: Snacks
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Snacks

Keywords: caramel, caramel popcorn, popcorn, caramel corn