Recipe Image

Caramel Popcorn

  • 15 m
  • 45 m
EatingWell Test Kitchen
“Homemade caramel corn isn't hard to make—whip up a batch for your Halloween party or anytime the neighborhood kids are invading your house for the night.”


    • 8 cups popped popcorn, (from ⅓ cup raw kernels), preferably air-popped
    • ½ cup chopped nuts, such as pecans, walnuts or macadamia nuts (optional)
    • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
    • ½ cup corn syrup
    • 1 tablespoon butter
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • ¼ teaspoon baking soda


  • 1 Preheat oven to 300°F. Spread popcorn and nuts, if using, on a baking sheet with sides and set aside.
  • 2 Combine sugar, corn syrup, butter and salt in a heavy medium saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Clip a candy thermometer to the pan and cook until the mixture reaches 250°F and is at hard-ball stage (when a bit of syrup dropped into ice water forms a hard ball), 2 to 3 minutes. Remove pan from the heat and immediately stir in baking soda. Pour the mixture over the reserved popcorn and nuts, stirring until most of the kernels are coated.
  • 3 Bake the popcorn for 15 minutes. Stir, coating any kernels that were not coated at the beginning. Continue baking until amber, 5 to 10 minutes longer. (Longer baking produces a deeper caramel color and flavor.) Let cool until the caramel has almost hardened, about 2 minutes. Gently break up large clumps and let cool completely.
  • Make Ahead Tip: Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to 1 week.
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