Easy and nearly effortless Homemade Caramel Corn! Great as a sweet snack or packaged as a gift! You will flip with how delicious this caramel corn is.

Is it fall yet?

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You probably want to strangle me for typing that. I get it. It’s the last day of August and still technically summer with autumnal equinox only twenty-something days from now. However, isn’t summer considered over once the school supplies show up at Target? I’m just sayin’.

Because it definitely feels like fall. Not weather wise, of course, but back-to-school wise. Checks are being written left and right, two different orientations to attend, my daughters “need” new clothes (<—who started this trend? I wanna know!) and the schools have handed out supply lists a mile long. Yup, fall.

So with all that “fun stuff” going on it’s got me excited to have my days to myself which leads me longing for crisp cool days, flannels and woolly socks. I am so ready to embrace the cozy. I’m so ready, that I plan to braise a large hunk of meat this week (I’m not even sorry about it) and I made caramel corn.

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Homemade caramel corn, that is. It’s super easy, you don’t need any special candy thermometer and you will immediately fall in love with it. It’s SO delicious my 15-year-old-soon-to-be-sophomore agreed to model it for you. 😉

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It all starts with popcorn. Have I ever told you that one my favorite Christmas gifts ever is my air popper? We are popcorn people, so I make it all the time. I’ve never really been a fan of microwave popcorn and it’s fake butter, but real popcorn drizzle with real butter? Big fan. HUGE.

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But what’s better than butter loaded popcorn? Homemade caramel corn. Air-popped popcorn tossed with an easy homemade caramel consisting mainly of butter, brown sugar, and both maple syrup and corn syrup.

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After tossed in that heavenly concoction, the sticky popcorn is baked low and slow in the oven until the caramel becomes one with the popcorn. A sugary shell if you will. It’s the absolute best smelling thing to come out of my oven this year.

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Better than store bought. It’s sweet, crunchy and addicting. If you want to sprinkle with a little bit of flaked salt afterwards when it’s still a little warm, then that would make it dreamy.

Here are a few other fun popcorn recipes to try!

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This makes a lot so package it up in small snack bags to pack in school lunches, give to friends, neighbors or stash it inside your bedside table for late night munchies.

Enjoy! And if you give this Homemade Caramel Corn recipe a try, let me know! Snap a photo and tag me on twitter or instagram!

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My cookbook Simply Scratch : 120 Wholesome Homemade Recipes Made Easy is now available! CLICK HERE for details and THANK YOU in advance! 

Homemade Caramel Corn
Yield: a lot or about 20 cups

Homemade Caramel Corn

Better than store bought. It's sweet, crunchy and addicting. If you want to sprinkle with a little bit of flaked salt afterwards, then that would make it dreamy. This makes a lot so package it up in small bags to pack in school lunches, give to neighbors or stash in you bedside table for late night munchies.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup white popcorn kernels
  • 2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup corn syrup (can be swapped for 1/4 cup of maple syrup instead)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (more or less) coarsely chopped peanuts or pecans halves (optional)

Instructions

Preheat your oven to 250°and line two rimmed baking sheets with a silicone baking mats OR grease with butter.

Work in batches of 2, pop the corn and place into a large paper bag. Set off to the side. An air popper works great here!

In a medium pot, combine the sugar, butter, maple and corn syrup.

Bring to a slow boil for 5 minutes without stirring.

Once the 5 minutes are up, remove the pan off of the heat and whisk in the baking soda, salt and vanilla.

Carefully pour the caramel into the bag with the pop corn. Roll the top of the bag tightly, leaving room, and shake to coat the popcorn.

Once coated, divide the caramel covered popcorn onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake in your preheated oven for 1 hour, stirring the caramel corn every 20 minutes.

Note: if you want to add peanuts into the mix; add half if the caramel to the popcorn in the bag and give it a good shake. Add in 1/2 cup (more or less) of peanuts or pecans and toss together before adding the remaining caramel.

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