Sit back and snack on everyone’s favorite sweet and crunchy treat with a recipe for Easy Homemade Caramel Corn.

Easy Homemade Caramel Corn

My mom and grandmother declare every holiday as the perfect excuse to send me my favorite treat—a tri-colored assortment of butter, cheddar and caramel popcorn from my best buddies over at The Popcorn Factory.

Since I polished off my latest tin weeks ago, and the next holiday shipment is way too far away, this kernel-crazed aficionado has resorted to making her own.

Caramel being poured over popcorn in stockpot

Few foods are as satisfying to crunch into as homemade caramel corn. That sticky, chewy, crispy bite satisfies like no other sweet and salty snack.

With a 10-minute prep time, and endless mix-in options, going the DIY route is much easier than you might think!

Homemade caramel over freshly popped popcorn

Homemade caramel corn begins with freshly popped kernels that are then tossed in a quick-fix combination of butter and sugar. But to really achieve the classic caramel corn consistency, the coated kernels are then baked until slightly crispy.

Child's hands on baking sheet of homemade caramel corn

Serve this sweet and salty treat in bowls or go the extra accessible step and make parchment paper cones for finger-friendly snacking year-round.

The best caramel popcorn

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Easy Homemade Caramel Corn

Homemade caramel corn is a breeze to make!
5 from 7 votes
Easy Homemade Caramel Corn
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Servings 20 servings


  • Cooking spray
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup unpopped popcorn
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda


  • Preheat the oven to 250ºF. Grease two baking sheets with cooking spray.
  • Add the vegetable oil to a large stockpot set over medium heat.
  • 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. Discard any unpopped kernels.
  • Melt the butter in a medium saucepan set 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.
  • Immediately pour the caramel over the popcorn, stirring to coat the kernels.
  • Transfer the coated popcorn onto the baking sheets, spreading it out into an even layer.
  • Bake the popcorn for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
  • Remove the caramel corn from the oven and stir it one more time before allowing it to cool completely. Break it into pieces and serve.
  • ★ Did you make this recipe? Don't forget to give it a star rating below!


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Calories: 236kcal, Carbohydrates: 33g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 24mg, Sodium: 157mg, Potassium: 49mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 28g, Vitamin A: 284IU, Calcium: 22mg, Iron: 1mg

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  1. 5 stars
    Wow, this recipe is really good. Years ago I made caramel corn from a different recipe and remember being disappointed in the results. It came out as a gooey, clumped-up mess. But this recipe worked really well. The popcorn didn’t stick together nearly as much and the caramel coating dried well. I only had microwave popcorn, but otherwise I followed the recipe exactly as printed. Thanks for posting this!

  2. 5 stars
    First time ever to make caramel corn. My popcorn usually turns out tough, followed directions in recipe it was perfect. So I continued on to the caramel part. It turned out delicious…so now I have to make a batch for my son, his Dad and I have nearly eaten the first batch… fantastic recipe 5 stars.

  3. 5 stars
    I didn’t want to use corn syrup, so I used honey. It worked great. I also crisped up some bacon and added it to the popcorn. Bacon caramel popcorn.

  4. Do you have to add the salt to the mixture? I know I should add the baking soda, but with the salt also, it would be too much sodium for our diet.

  5. 5 stars
    Best caramel corn ever! My kids and I devoured this last night. Making another batch today for our Halloween party tonight.

  6. I’ve tried to make caramel popcorn (not your recipe) but my question is how to I make it so it’s not a big glob and more like popcorn than popcorn balls?

    1. Hi Marci! You’ll avoid the popcorn from balling up based on how quickly you stir in the caramel mixture. Once it hits the popcorn, stir as quickly as possible then spread it out on a baking sheet to cool in a single layer :)

      1. I followed the recipe to a t, in fact I made it twice. My question is is it supposed to be kind of grainy or sugary? thought. would be shiny

      2. Hi Marci. We have been making caramel popcorn in our house for years. My wife doesnt want us all consuming so much sugar. Make half the recipe for the drizzle and drizzle on popped popcorn sparingly. It doesn’t come out overly saturated with syrup but definitely sweet enough for us.

    2. I’ve been making it like this for years and we love it. I usually skip the baking step and we eat it just as it comes from the kettle.
      The times I’ve tried baking, the popcorn seems to shrivel up and it’s not a good presentation. What could I be doing wrong.

  7. My spouse and I stumbledd over here frim a different web address and
    thought I might check thigs out. I like what I see so now i’m following you.
    Look forward to looking at your web page for a second time.

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