Caramel Popcorn

A Quarter Baked
by A Quarter Baked
1 Bag
30 min

Caramel popcorn was one of my favorite treats growing up. I love the salty sweet combination it brings. Not to mention the varieties of nuts that can be included. I’ve become a caramel popcorn connoisseur over the years. My absolute favorite has candied pecans in it, and it is literally one of the small joys of my life. But for this post I wanted to keep things simple and classic. To some, making caramel can be daunting, but it’s not as bad as you think. The key to making caramel is going slow and steady. If you try to rush it, you are more likely to burn it, or crystalize your sugar. Also, leave the sugar alone. Don’t stir it. Don’t shake the pan like a mad woman. The only thing you should do is brush the sides of the pan with water, but make sure not to touch the sugar. Miss handling the sugar will cause it to crystalize, and you to cuss several times. I know I have, and I burned a finger in the process. Once you see how easy it is, your world will be filled with all kinds of caramel options. I know mine has. Caramel goes great with a variety of recipes and desserts, such as caramel apples, peanut brittle, and caramel sauce. A friend of mine her mother makes the most delicious no bake cookies out of caramel, and they are rolled in powdered sugar. I know. I’m drooling too. So pull out those saucepans, and get to boiling. I hope you guys enjoy this recipe as much as I do. Until next time!


  • How do I store the popcorn once it's made? In an air tight container on the counter or pantry.
  • Do I have to use a specific type of popcorn? No. Any of your favorite popcorn brands will do.
  • Do I have to use a specific flavor popcorn? I suggest plain, butter, or kettle corn.
  • Why is my caramel so light? You did not let the sugar cook enough. The amount of amber color that is developed is what give your caramel its color.
  • Why is my caramel dark and bitter? You let the sugar cook for too long or have the heat up too high. Use a medium heat and don't let so much of the sugar turn amber. You only want 1/2 - 3/4 of the pan to turn amber before you take it off the heat.
  • Once it's cooled is the caramel supposed to be hard? Yes it is.
Recipe details
  • 1  Bag
  • Prep time: 10 Minutes Cook time: 20 Minutes Total time: 30 min
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  • 1 bag Un-popped Popcorn 3.29oz bag
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • ½ cup Water
  • 1 T Unsalted Butter
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • 1 sheet pan line with parchment paper

Pop your popcorn, and place it in a bowl.
Have a baking sheet lined with parchment paper near by as well.
In a saucepan, combine the sugar and water over a medium heat. If any sugar gets on the sides of the pan brush it down with water periodically to get rid of any sugar crystals. Be careful not to touch the boiling sugar in the pan.
Cook the sugar until 1/2 of the pan becomes amber in color, and then remove from the heat. If you would like a darker caramel and more intense flavor let the sugar cook longer. The deeper the amber color the deeper and darker the caramel flavor and color will be. I like a medium amount of color.
Once you reach the desired color take the pan off the heat.
Stir in the butter and salt until well combined.
The caramel should be warm but not too hot. You don't want to burn your popcorn.
Pour the caramel over the bowl of popcorn and stir until everything is coated.
Pour the warm caramel popcorn out onto the baking sheet to cool.
Then break apart and enjoy. Popcorn can also be stored in an air tight container for later.