Homemade Caramel Corn {Soft, Sweet, & Salty}

Caramel Corn and Christmas time go together like two peas in a pod. Although, this delicious treat is wonderful any time of year; salty, sweet, and crunchy… and nutty, too, if you like it that way!

Homemade caramel corn reminds me of being a kid. There would always be a batch of party mix, lots of special cookies, and definitely eggnog… sans alcohol for the kids, of course, and lots and lots of caramel corn!

A bowl of caramel corn with a wooden scoop in it.

How to Make Caramel Corn

You are going to love how easy and fun this is to make.

  1. Melt butter, sugars, and salt per recipe below in a saucepan and boil 5 minutes (don’t stir).
  2. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and baking soda. Coat popcorn with this mixture, and add chopped nuts if using.
  3. Bake according to recipe instructions below.

That’s all there is to it for perfect homemade caramel corn!

Note: The caramel  mixture boils to create a candy coating and is VERY hot. Be aware, especially with kids around.

Left image - popcorn with pecans being mixed in. Right image - homemade caramel sauce being poured on top.

For Perfect Caramel Corn

  • Medium Heat Use medium heat to heat the caramel. It make take a bit longer but ensures your caramel doesn’t separate.
  • Baking Soda Don’t skip the baking soda, it reacts with sugar mixture making little bubbles. This gives the perfect texture to the caramel coating.
  • Use a Large Container Place the popcorn in a very large container to stir, you’ll need lots of space. I use a large pan but even a disposable roasting pan will work.
  • Bake Once the caramel corn is coated, baking it gives the perfect consistency and takes it from sticky and chewy to crisp.
A sheet pan filled with caramel popcorn.


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