Classic Homemade Caramel Corn
Sweet, salty, and oh-so-delicious, this classic homemade caramel corn recipe is a winner!
I was looking through an old Golden Barrel cookbook the other day (this one) and found a recipe for caramel popcorn that, while reading the recipe, sounded like a winner. Because this old cookbook had no pictures in it, I wasn’t won over with beautifully staged photos, but instead it was the ingredients that sucked me in. I mean, how can you go wrong making homemade caramel with butter and brown sugar?
I have made caramel corn before but it didn’t look anything like this. My first few attempts were splotchy messes. Some popcorn had caramel on it while others were sad and bare. So when I poured the caramel over the popcorn with this batch, I was amazed how evenly coated the popcorn became. I knew right away that I had a winning recipe. Even my boys saw the difference right away and my oldest said, “I think this caramel corn looks a lot better than the last stuff!”
The only problem with this winning recipe is how seriously addicting it is. It’s one of those treats that is hard to stop eating once you start! So this is a snack that’s great for sharing. Make some for family and friends and you’ll all be convinced this is the best caramel corn you’ve ever had!
I made mine in a roaster. It was so simple this way! And a lot less messy. I coated the inside with Golden Barrel Coconut Oil to help prevent sticking, then poured in the already-popped popcorn and preheated the roaster. Once my caramel was done, I simply poured it over the popcorn and stirred to evenly coat everything. It seriously worked like a charm. And since the roaster had higher sides than a cookie sheet, I didn’t lose any popcorn in the process. Ever try to stir popcorn on a cookie sheet?? Half of it ends up on the floor! But no worries if you don’t have a roaster–this caramel corn can still be made on a cookie sheet–just take your time.
This is a fun recipe to make with your kids. They can help sort through and get the unpopped kernels and help stir the caramel on the stove. I made this batch with my middle son and we had a blast.
Oh and if you’re wondering how much popcorn 7 quarts is, I just filled a plastic gallon container to measure it out–it’s just about 2 gallons worth of popcorn. 😉
- 7 quarts popped popcorn (I airpopped mine)
- 2 cups Golden Barrel light brown sugar, packed
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
- 1/2 cup Golden Barrel Light Corn Syrup
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- Coat 2 baking pans with coconut oil or if using roaster, spread inside pan with coconut oil. Spread popcorn on sheets. Preheat oven or roaster to 225 degrees F.
- Place brown sugar, butter, salt, and corn syrup in medium saucepan on medium-high heat until it comes to a boil. Boil for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Remove from heat; add vanilla and baking soda, stir until light and foamy, about a minute. Pour over popcorn; stirring well to coat.
- Bake at 225 for 1 hour, stirring every 10-15 minutes. Allow to cool on pan. Store in airtight container.
my caramel popcorn keeps crystalizing. ??? why is this happening please ?
Hi there, Krista,
Are you stirring it constantly while it’s on the stove? Sometimes when I make caramel recipes, it does seize up but if you keep stirring, it should melt back evenly. Just be sure your stove isn’t too hot and keep stirring. It should only boil for about 5 minutes. I hope that helps. I know how frustrating things like this can be.