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Easy Homemade Caramel Corn is so much better than store bought! This recipe is simple to make and ends up sweet, crunchy and perfect.
No need to let homemade caramel corn intimidate you. This recipe is super easy to make, with simple and minimal steps and no thermometer needed. Once you make this, you'll think how silly it was to be nervous about making a homemade version of caramel corn. I know I was! I love making this caramel corn now! It makes a great sweet treat after dinner or a sweet snack for the kids. Popcorn is one of my favorite snacks and I love to switch it up with sweet popcorn once in awhile. This is great recipe for a sweet popcorn, along with my Scotcharoo Popcorn.
Ingredients For Homemade Caramel Corn Recipe
- Popcorn Kernels
- Brown Sugar
- Baking Soda
Can I use microwave popcorn?
Yes, you totally can. Pop two bags of microwave popcorn and omit the salt in the recipe.
What is the purpose of baking soda?
Adding baking soda to caramel corn sounds odd doesn't it? I am no science expert, but basically what happens is the baking soda creates tiny air bubbles, which then adds air to the caramel making it crunchy but not hard as a rock.
How to Make Easy Homemade Caramel Corn
Step 1: Pop the Popcorn
Pop the kernels in an air popper and remove any unpopped kernels. Alternately, you can pop kernels on stove top or use microwave popcorn. Place the popcorn in a very large bowl, big enough so there is plenty of room to stir the popcorn without too much spillage being allowed.
Step 2: Make Caramel
In a medium skillet, add the butter, honey, brown sugar and pinch salt. Over medium heat, bring the sauce to a boil and boil for 5 minutes while gently whisking the whole time. After 5 minutes, remove from heat and quickly whisk in the baking soda and pour caramel over popcorn. Working quickly stir the popcorn and caramel together until it is incorporated best you can. No need to worry if every piece isn't fully coated, it will get fully coated during the baking process.
Step 3: Spread the Popcorn
Spread the popcorn on two rimmed baking sheets that have been sprayed with nonstick spray. Try to get it into a single layer the best you can.
Step 4: Bake the Caramel Corn
Bake the Caramel Corn in a 250° oven for 45 minutes, stirring and rotating every 15 minutes. Fold the caramel corn with a rubber spatula every 15 minutes, and rotate the pans. By that I mean, if you are using both oven racks, switch the pans so they are getting heat evenly throughout the baking process.
Step 5: Cool the Caramel Corn
Once the caramel corn has baked for 45 minutes, stir it one last time, and spread it out into a single layer. Let the popcorn sit on the sheet pan until completely cooled. Once the caramel corn is cooled, break it up with your fingers and shove handfuls in your face like you would with any great popcorn!
How to Store Homemade Caramel Corn
Store cooled caramel corn in an air tight container or zip top bag. Caramel Corn with last a week or more, if it hasn't all been ate by then!
Homemade Caramel Corn Variations
- Sea Salt: Add a sprinkle of course sea salt on the caramel corn right after it comes out of the oven before it has cooled.
- Peanut Caramel Corn: Sprinkle a cup of roasted peanuts over the popcorn after it has been spread on the baking sheet before going in the oven.
- Chocolate Caramel Corn: While the caramel corn is cooling, make a chocolate drizzle from your favorite chocolate chips and coconut oil. Melt ½ cup of chocolate chips with 1 teaspoon coconut oil and drizzle it over the caramel corn. Let the chocolate harden and set before breaking it apart with your fingers.
More Sweet Treats to Try!
- Chocolate Drop Candy Cookies
- Dark Chocolate Walnut Brownies
- Homemade Oatmeal Cream Pies
- Monkey Bread
- No Bake Scotcharoos
- Homemade Brownie Bites
- Sugar Cookie Bars
- Apple Crisp
- Old Fashioned Frosted Brownies
- Double Chocolate Chip Cookies
Try out this Easy Homemade Caramel Corn Recipe and let me know how it turns out in the comments below! Pictures encouraged on Instagram with the hashtag #heathershomemadekitchen You can also follow me on Social Media to see what other crazy things my family and I are doing! If you like what you see, please share with your friends and family!
Don’t forget to pin the recipe for later!
Easy Homemade Caramel Corn
- ½ cup popcorn kernels
- ½ cup butter, salted
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- Preheat oven to 250°
- Pop the kernels in an air popper and remove any kernels that did not pop. Place popcorn in a very large bowl, big enough to stir popcorn.
- In a medium skillet, combine butter, honey, brown sugar and salt.
- Over medium heat, bring caramel to a boil and boil for 5 minutes, gently whisking the whole time.
- Remove from heat and quickly whisk in baking soda.
- Pour caramel over popcorn and stir to evenly coat as best you can.
- Spread popcorn onto two greased rimmed sheet pans.
- Bake the popcorn for 45 minutes stirring and rotating pans every 15 minutes. Fold the popcorn with a rubber spatula and rotate pans by switching between racks to ensure even baking.
- Stir popcorn one last time and spread into even single layer and let caramel corn cool.
- Once cooled, break apart with fingers.
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