Easy Homemade Caramel Corn

Easy Homemade Caramel Corn

Summer Fest Ingredient: Corn

I know what you’re thinking. You have a beautiful bounty of fresh summer corn to saute, grill, puree and bake (i.e.: the whole point of Summer Fest) and you did what with this week’s ingredient?

Yep. I popped it. No husking, no picking through for a good cob, no fidgeting with silken strings to avoid accidental flossing. I plain ol’ ripped open a bag and started popping. But I swear this was only out of necessity …

My mom and grandmother declare every imaginable holiday as an excuse to send me my favorite treat – a tri-colored assortment from my best buddies over at The Popcorn Factory. And since I polished off the 4th of July tin weeks ago, and Labor Day’s shipment is way too far away, this kernel-crazed aficionado has resorted to making her own. Serve this quick-fix crunchy treat in bowls or go the extra accessible step and make parchment paper cones for finger-friendly snacking.

A full list of corn recipes (and more pics!) from my fellow Summer Fest 2010 bloggers is after the jump …

Easy Homemade Caramel Corn

Yield: 20 servings

Prep Time: 10 min

Cook Time: 1 hour


¼ cup vegetable oil
¾ cup unpopped popcorn
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups light brown sugar
½ cup corn syrup
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup pecans (optional)


Preheat oven to 250ºF.

Place a large stock pot over medium heat and add the vegetable oil.

Add the popcorn to the pot and cover it. Once you hear the first kernel pop, remove the pot from the heat for one minute. Return the covered pot to the heat, shaking it over the flame until all of the kernels have popped. Reserve the popcorn.

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Then allow the mixture to boil, undisturbed, for 4 minutes. Remove the caramel from the heat and stir in the baking soda and vanilla extract.

Immediately pour the caramel over the popcorn, stirring to coat each kernel.

Transfer the coated popcorn into two 9x13" shallow baking pans.

Bake the popcorn for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes.

Remove the caramel corn from the oven and spread it onto parchment paper to cool completely before breaking it into pieces.

Recipe adapted from AllRecipes.com.


Easy Homemade Caramel Corn

Easy Homemade Caramel Corn

Easy Homemade Caramel Corn

Fellow Summer Fest 2010 Bloggers:


35 Responses to “Easy Homemade Caramel Corn”

  1. #
    Stacey Ballis — August 4, 2010 at 1:08 am

    For more corn recipes, like Caramelized Corn with Mint, Corn and Bacon Souffle, Chilled Corn Soup and Sweet Corn Cupcakes, head over to http://thepolymathchronicles.blogspot.com/2010/08/summerfest-2010-corn.html

  2. #
    Winnie — August 4, 2010 at 8:38 am

    That caramel corn looks crazy delicious!
    I made a corn and green zebra tomato salad in honor of Summer Fest…
    I love corn and can’t wait to check out all the other recipes this week!

  3. #
    Kim — August 4, 2010 at 10:38 am

    Over at Flexitarian Foodie (www.flexitarianfoodie.com) we’ve featured a bunch of corn dishes recently!

    BBQ Corn: http://www.flexitarianfoodie.com/2010/07/quick-idea-bbq-corn.html

    Avocado-Corn Quinoa:

    Pasta with corn and tomatoes:

    Nothing’s better than fresh summer corn!!

  4. #
    Ranjani — August 4, 2010 at 10:48 am

    Looks tasty!
    I made two corn recipes this week:
    Corn and tomato gratin: http://4seasonsoffood.blogspot.com/2010/08/corn-and-tomato-gratin.html
    Summer succotash: http://4seasonsoffood.blogspot.com/2010/07/summer-succotash.html
    Looking forward to browsing through the recipes

  5. #
    Melissa — August 4, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    Wonderful! Who doesn’t love Carmel Corn!
    Enjoying being a part of the fun. This week at It’s The Way She…

    I made Goat Cheese and Roasted Corn Quesadillas


  6. #
    Sarah — August 4, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    Yum! Caramel corn is one of those things I just can’t resist! This time of year, I can’t help but just eat corn straight off the cob most of the time, grilled or steamed, but if I do cook with it, my favorite recipes include:


    Three Sisters Chili, and

    Green Chile Chicken Tortilla Soup

    A few have been on the blog for a while, but I couldn’t help but share them this week for SummerFest! Thank you for hosting!


  7. #
    Maria — August 4, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    Mmmm! Love this snack!

    Try my sweet corn salad:

  8. #
    My Persian Kitchen — August 4, 2010 at 3:16 pm

    Finally! Some with a popcorn recipe!!!

    My contribution to the Summer Fest 2010 this week is super easy and quick to make!


  9. #
    nancy — August 4, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    It’s a really GOOD thing that that caramel corn is on a computer screen and not in front of me….

    I am having so much fun with this Summerfest 2010 thing!! Here is my contribution to the party!!
    Corn, Crab and Tomato Salad


  10. #
    Terri — August 4, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    I am joining the SummerFest party!

    Check out my Thai Shrimp & Corn Cakes:

  11. #
    Alison — August 4, 2010 at 8:53 pm

    I love your site! Here is my post for corn this week for Fresh Corn-Tomato and Basil http://www.ingredientsinc.net/2010/08/summer-fest-2010-fresh-corn-cherry-tomatoes-and-basil/

  12. #
    Trish — August 4, 2010 at 9:35 pm

    Love your caramel corn! I used to work in a candy store, and we made caramel corn in this large copper pot with a huge wooden paddle. It was hard work, but it was totally worth it at the end!
    I’ve made some Fresh Corn and Black Bean Salsa to celebrate Summer Fest. Cheers!

  13. #
    Jennie — August 5, 2010 at 10:18 am

    Love the addition of pecans! My husband only wishes I’d make mine more often—and anyone who shies away from corn syrup, brown rice syrup works excellent too.

    I’m throwing some sweet corn & lemon thyme ice cream into this mix this week, along with a gluten-free and creamless corn chowder!


  14. #
    Lana — August 5, 2010 at 10:09 pm

    I am from Serbia and I associate popcorn with the summer, not with the movies! So I am with you on this one, even though I like my popcorn only slightly salted, started in a bit of oil, old-fashioned way, in a heavy pot. That’s my conditioning!

    Your caramel corn looks so bright and alive!

    My post for Summer Fest is all about the first love and simple grilled corn, Gipsy way.

  15. #
    marla {family fresh cooking} — August 6, 2010 at 9:14 am

    Nice to see that you did your own thing with the corn. It looks decadent and really yummy! I want to dive in to that cone of crunch.

    Here is my Strawberry, Roasted Corn & Avocado Salsa for Summer Fest:


  16. #
    caitlin — August 7, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    My husband and I just had two ears each the other day for a snack and could have gone for third!!

    I wish I had a cooling, Mexican corn salsa, but here’s a warming potato-corn-kale chowder recipe I created that is perfectly in season here in chilly old England:


  17. #
    Kris James — September 10, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    If you don’t have time to make your own delicious homemade caramel corn, check out TheBigPopper.com. Their caramel popcorn is an old-fashioned favorite that is as delicious and addictive a snack as ever. I recommend ordering a tin or two today for home or as a gift.

  18. #
    Sladie — July 1, 2011 at 11:32 pm

    OMG I love caramel popcorn. Thank you for providing a print link, this is absolutely perfect for my Canada Day celebration (which is today xD) thank you.

  19. #
    Kim — September 22, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    Seriously the BEST caramel corn ever!!
    Making a second batch today.
    Thank You!

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — September 22nd, 2013 @ 3:15 pm

      So glad you’re enjoying the recipe, Kim!

  20. #
    Jen — January 20, 2014 at 7:23 pm

    I don’t cook but managed to make this , was so easy and very yummy ..

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — January 21st, 2014 @ 12:20 am

      Awesome! So glad you enjoyed the recipe, Jen!


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