This Salted Caramel Popcorn recipe is beyond delicious! Seriously, make sure you have someone else home with you because eating the entire bowl of popcorn in one sitting is way too easy. Or so I have heard, but just in case, be prepared; it is that good!
Salted Caramel Popcorn
I have a new love in my life. Or, should I say, not new but intense regardless—salted caramel!
Oh my! I am hooked. Pour it on popcorn, ice cream, fudge, or anything to which I can add salted caramel.
This Salted Caramel Popcorn is super easy to make and the perfect upgrade for movie nights at home.
I must admit that I just make it for a snack some days.
Here is a quick overview of the simple ingredients needed to make an epic Homemade Caramel Corn! The printable recipe card at the bottom of the post includes specific measurements and step-by-step instructions.
- Uncooked Popcorn Kernels
- Brown Sugar
- Unsalted Butter
- Light Karo Corn Syrup
- Sweetened Condensed Milk
- Sea Salt
Since we use corn syrup for this caramel corn popcorn you do not need to use vanilla extract or baking soda.
Popcorn - This can be made with microwave popcorn, stove top popcorn, or a popcorn maker. Just make sure to remove as many unpopped kernels as you can.
- Two Large Bowls
- Wooden Spoon
- Parchment Paper
- Baking Sheet
Preparation and Storage
Make-Ahead + Storage: This Homemade Caramel Popcorn is the perfect make-ahead recipe for future snacking sessions! Store leftovers in an airtight container, and enjoy them within two weeks.
Freezing/How to Freeze: You may be surprised that this homemade popcorn is sneakily freezer-friendly (here’s an article on why caramel corn never actually “freezes”)! Store leftovers in an airtight, freezer-safe container or bag, and enjoy them within a year. As with all freezer-bound dishes, label the container with the date you froze it so you know how long it’s been there.
Substitutions: Eat the Gains has substitutions for healthy caramel sauce if you prefer not to use corn syrup.
Vegetarian Option: This Salted Caramel Popcorn recipe is vegetarian-friendly!
Vegan Option: Replace the butter and sweetened condensed milk with plant-based alternatives to make it vegan-friendly.
Gluten-Free: This recipe should be safe for a gluten-free diet, as none of its components typically contain gluten. However, check each ingredient label if you are highly sensitive.
Smaller Serving Size + Larger Group/More Servings: The written recipe yields three servings. Scale it up or down according to your desired number of servings.
Make it Spicy: We’ve seen versions that add cayenne or chili powder to your popcorn for sweet heat.
Sugar-Free: This recipe contains 143 grams of sugar per serving. Replace the brown sugar, light corn syrup, and sweetened condensed milk with sugar-free alternatives to make it sugar-free.
Tips for the Best Caramel Popcorn
- Though it may be tempting to dive straight in, it’s best to let the caramel mixture cool to room temperature, as doing so enables the sauce to meld to the popcorn and ensures that you don’t burn your tongue on hot caramel.
- Drizzle melted chocolate chips immediately after pouring the caramel mixture onto your popcorn for an indulgent treat. You can make an easy double boiler for the chocolate chips by placing a bowl or cup in a saucepan, filling the saucepan with an inch or two of water, and setting the heat to low until the chocolate melts.
- We like to spread this caramel corn recipe out on a parchment lined baking sheet so it can evenly cool.
What to Serve with Caramel Popcorn
This Salted Caramel Popcorn would be fantastic on a sweet snack platter or as a part of a DIY gift bag for any sweetie you love! Here are some pairing suggestions from our Snack Collection!
Snacks: Pumpkin Spice Pretzels, Guinness Glazed Pecans, Crock Pot Peanut Clusters, Chocolate Peanut Butter Muddy Buddies, Hot Chocolate Muddy Buddies, Pumpkin Spice Pumpkin Seeds, Sriracha Caramel Corn, Crock Pot Sugared Candied Walnuts, Sugar and Spice Almonds
When to Serve Caramel Popcorn
- Snack time
- DIY Gifting!
- Movie night
- Game Night
- Wedding Favor
- Baby Showers
- Office Events
Great Popcorn Recipes
If you are looking for other flavors of popcorn these are some of our favorites.
Check out this black-and-white popcorn recipe that looks as delicious as it is yummy! The perfect combination of white and dark chocolate. Hello yum!
Find this featured recipe in our Road Trip Snacks Collection!
Salted Caramel Popcorn Recipe
- Pop popcorn and divide among two bowl
- On medium heat, combine brown sugar, butter and karo, stir together. Allow to come to a boil
- Add in sweetened condensed milk and salt
- Soft boil for 3-4 minutes until the mixture reaches softball stage. Be careful not to burn mixture
- Pour over popcorn and use a wooden spoon to coat popcorn.
Recipe originally posted on September 6, 2015. Updated September 2020.