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Irresistible Recipe: How to Make Salted Caramel Popcorn at Home

Evoking the flavor and texture of a traditional movie theater treat, caramel corn has always been much loved. But when you add a well-balanced touch of saltiness to the sweet, creating salted caramel popcorn, it takes snacking to an indulgent new level.

With the irresistible combination of crunchy popcorn, luscious caramel sauce, and a sprinkle of sea salt, this caramel popcorn recipe is a surefire way to transform your snacking experience into something akin to a movie theater outing – right in your very own home!

A bowl of caramel popcorn in a red heart dish. There are Valentine candies in the dish.

Homemade Salted Caramel Popcorn is not just a great snack for football parties and an ideal companion for a movie night, but it also makes for thoughtful Valentine’s Day gifts, teacher gifts, and just plain good snacks. With its salty-sweet balance, it’s a truly indulgent treat.

We love popcorn in our house, especially when it’s homemade and straight off the stove. The easy homemade salted caramel popcorn is an excellent treat and a versatile recipe. I love caramel popcorn, so I decided I’d whip some up this weekend and add a few little treats – perhaps some nuts for a delightful crunch.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup kernels

Caramel

  • 2 sticks butter
  • 1/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt (divided)

Full printable recipe in the recipe card below with instructions.

This is a straightforward and easy homemade recipe that takes less than an hour to make. It’s so delicious – the only problem you’ll face is keeping everyone’s hands off it due to its irresistible taste!

With its appetizing flavor and texture, it’s a favorite. It’s also a very affordable snack for the big game night at your house. You can even make it for the kid’s game day, and if it’s your week to be snack mom, you can pack it into Ziplocks and hand it out to the team.

How To Make Caramel Popcorn

Butter and brown sugar in a saucepan with a spatula.

Step 1: Start by popping the popcorn kernels on the stove and set in a large mixing bowl.

Step 2: Add the butter, brown sugar, salt, and corn syrup to a medium saucepan and mix it up over medium heat.

Cooking boiling caramel in a saucepan.

Step 3: Once it starts boiling, set the timer for 4 minutes. Stir occasionally. Remove it from the heat when the timer buzzes.

Pouring the melted caramel over the popcorn in a glass baking dish.

Step 4: Pour the caramel sauce over the popcorn and stir the popcorn until it’s coated.

Popcorn on a cookie sheet.

Step 5: Lay the popcorn out on a tray with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Sprinkle with a small amount of salt.

Tip

Do not use wax paper. It will stick to the popcorn, and removing it can be a significant task – I speak from experience.

Optional Step

The next step is optional, offering a chance to transform your homemade treat into a gourmet dessert. If you decide to omit this step, the caramel will retain its addictive toffee-like texture and be stickier and chewier but still taste as delicious as a batch of holiday caramel candies.

However, if you choose to bake it, the caramel undergoes a process of caramelization, hardening into a delightful caramel coating, and the taste becomes just as amazing, if not more so.

Step 6: Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Turn the popcorn a couple of times while baking. Ignoring this step is ok, but know that the caramel might pool at the bottom. You can see that some of mine did, and it’s just fine.

Popcorn in a red candy dish.

Variations and Additions to Try

Let it cool and serve! You can add things like sprinkles, M&Ms, conversation hearts, or whatever sounds good. You can even add peanuts and make it a bit more of a Cracker Jack treat. Imagine the joy of biting into the gourmet dessert and tasting the addictive caramelized coating – it’s like a holiday season in the mouth!

Storing and Packaging the Candy

The popcorn does not need to be refrigerated. Be sure to keep it in a Ziplock bag or airtight container to keep it fresh.

More Sweet Recipes

Caramel popcorn in a bowl with M&Ms.

Prepare yourself to enjoy this gourmet masterpiece. Homemade Salted Caramel Popcorn is a great snack for football parties, gifts, holidays, and just plain ole’ good snacks. Let your guests explore the addictive taste of the toffee-like caramel coating, and they’ll undoubtedly ask for another batch.

Be sure to leave questions and comments below. I will respond in a timely manner.

Homemade Salted Caramel Popcorn is a great snack for football parties, Valentine's Day gifts, teacher gifts, and just plain ole' good snacks.

Easy Homemade Salted Caramel Popcorn in Less than an Hour

Yield: 20
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Easy homemade salted caramel popcorn is not only a great treat, but it's so versatile.

Ingredients

Popcorn

  • 1/2 cup kernels

Caramel

  • 2 sticks butter
  • 1/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt (divided)

Instructions

  1. Pop the popcorn, place it into a large bowl, and set aside.
  2. Line a cookie pan with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
  3. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Caramel

  1. Add the butter, corn syrup, brown sugar, and 1 teaspoon of salt to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.
  2. Boil for 4 minutes.
  3. Pour over popcorn and stir until the popcorn is completely coated with caramel.
  4. Lay the popcorn out on a cookie sheet and sprinkle with the remaining salt.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes and cool.
  6. Add treats, such as M&Ms or conversation hearts, and serve.

Notes

You can pop the popcorn in the microwave or on the stovetop.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 20 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 132Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 24mgSodium: 311mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 0gSugar: 13gProtein: 0g

Nutrition is approximate.

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