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caramel popcorn in a bowl featured image

Easy Caramel Popcorn Recipe

Easy Caramel Popcorn Recipe, sweet, crisp, and delicious. Only requiring a few ingredients- you will make this caramel corn recipe time and time again.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 45 cups (3 bags of popped popcorn)
Calories 108kcal
Author Lisa


  • 3 bags of popped popcorn
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup corn syrup
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda


  • Line 2 baking sheets with foil or parchment paper and preheat oven to 250°F.
  • Pop bags of popcorn in the microwave. (3 bags of buttered popcorn)
    popped popcorn
  • Remove unpopped kernels by placing a cooling rack over a baking sheet and pouring the popcorn onto it. The kernels will fall through but not the popped popcorn. Divide popcorn between prepared baking sheets.
    popcorn on cooling rack
  • Melt butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt in sauce pan, bring to a boil stirring constantly. (1 cup butter, 1 cup brown sugar, ½ cup corn syrup, ½ teaspoon salt)
    butter and sugar melted in sauce pan
  • Once at a boil let boil 5 minutes* without stirring*. For high altitude instructions see notes below.
    caramel in sauce pan boiling
  • Remove from heat and stir in baking soda and vanilla. The caramel will foam up a bit- this is normal. (1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon vanilla)
    caramel after adding baking soda- in a sauce pan- foamy
  • Pour over popcorn (half goes on each tray) and stir to coat the popcorn.
    pouring caramel over popcorn
  • Bake for an hour stirring every 15 minutes.
    stirring popcorn on baking sheet after it has baked for 15 minutes
  • Once done baking, allow to cool and then enjoy! *
    caramel popcorn after being baked on baking sheet



Tips and Tricks
  • *If you are at high altitude, I recommend reducing the time spent boiling by 30 seconds for each 1000 ft above sea level. So, for me, I live close to 4000 ft above sea level and boiled my sugar mixture for only 3 minutes.
  • If you don’t reduce the time and live at high altitude your sugar/caramel mixture will be thick and grainy. It will taste good but not have the smooth finish. See post above for photo examples.
  • *Stop stirring once the mixture starts to boil. This prevents the sugar from crystalizing and the caramel from becoming grainy.
  • * Store any leftover caramel corn in an air tight zip lock baggie.


Calories: 108kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 91mg | Potassium: 44mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 148IU | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 1mg