Caramel Corn

Caramel Corn

Don’t make this if you have no will power – it’s unbelievably good and won’t last long. Pop the corn fresh using an air popper, a pot on the stove or my paper bag microwave method (see my video) but do not use store bought popped or the packaged microwave kind. You’ll need a baking sheet with a rim so the mixture doesn’t spill out when you stir it. It's easy to make & may be the best caramel corn on the planet! - Jenny Jones

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Makes: about 9 cups

Caramel Corn


  • 8 cups fresh popped popcorn (1/3 cup popping corn)
  • 3/4 cup any nuts (almonds/walnuts/pecans/dry roasted peanuts)
  • 5 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Preheat oven to 250º F.
  2. Place popped corn into a large bowl. Place the nuts on top.
  3. Heat the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring until butter is melted. Reduce heat and cook, undisturbed and uncovered, for 5 minutes.
  4. Remove saucepan from heat and stir in baking soda & vanilla.
  5. Pour the syrup over the nuts & popcorn, stirring quickly.
  6. Spread the mixture onto an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for one hour, removing briefly every 15 minutes to stir.
  7. Spread the mixture onto wax paper to cool. It will seem sticky at first but it will dry up nicely.

Note: Plain corn syrup is not the same as high fructose corn syrup.

Caramel Corn

71 Comments on "Caramel Corn"

  1. Sandra

    I use..
    1/2 tsp each of…
    butter vanilla
    Mexican vanilla
    Almond extract

  2. Jode

    Excellent, reminds me of cracker jacks as a kid, only better…..this recipe is super easy, and perfect every time. I’ve used this recipe five times, each time perfection. Thanks Jenny.

  3. Mary

    Merry Christmas Jenny!
    My batch is in for the second round.
    I know it will be absolutely delish!
    Much Love!

  4. Karen Drake

    I made this tonight and it was super delicious. I used microvave popcorn and it turned out great.

  5. Karen

    What brand popcorn do you use? Having trouble with mine popping in micro bag method?
    Any ideas?

    • Jenny Can Cook

      I use Orville Redenbacher brand.

    • Mary

      If you have not tried Bob’s Red Mill Yellow Popcorn, you are in for a treat. You can get it at places like Vitacost inexpensively. Pops large. Happy Holidays!

  6. Heather Johnson

    I was volunteered to be in charge of a popcorn bar at a friend’s wedding. Obviously, caramel corn is a must. I’ll be honest, I tried a few different recipes to be sure I found the absolute best option and THIS IS IT. I even did a taste test with 5 friends just to be sure and hands down, this was the winner. The others didn’t compare.

    I didn’t change a thing, followed the recipe exactly as written. The caramel corn was crispy, sweet, crunch, and delicious.

    Now, the only problem is not consuming it all before the wedding!

    THANK you for this recipe!!

  7. orcaholic

    This is the best caramel popcorn I’ve ever had. It’s delicious. I’ve made it and given it as gifts and people love it.

    • orcaholic

      BTW: I used salted butter and eliminated the salt from the recipe and it turned out great. I also read a comment from Jenny where she said she uses Karo Light Syrup for anyone that was wondering. That’s also what I used. I also recommend that you watch Jenny’s video of her making the caramel popcorn. If you think it looks easy to make it’s cuz it is. And it’s delicious!

  8. Shaunese Alexander

    Have you ever tried freezing the caramel sauce for future use?

  9. B.A.F.

    Jenny I never get tired of your videos. They’re frequently on my YouTube home page. I learn something new every time.
    •☆•☆•☆•☆•☆• Most importantly you can print the recipes and find the video on YouTube.
    Thank you for taking the time to teach us about Polish foods and culture.

  10. Sharon Mercado

    Made your Carmel corn, it’s delicious, I had pecans so I put them on top. Best Carmel corn I have ever had. Thank you for your wonderful recipes.

  11. Patty Sciarra

    Jenny,I made your raisin channel braided bread sent it to my mom and what a hit I also made it without raisi ns as a swirl roll in a loaf pan another hit then i made your apple pie wow they went wild it was over the top,I also made the bread in dutch oven sent a loaf to my neighbor he swears i bough it thank you for elevating my cooking skills I just love you and the colorful stuff you have in kitchen and love the set up of your kitchen ,I watch the show with my husband Ted who gets to benefit from all the wonderful receipes and I also blundered and washed a momento i thaught it was dirty and signed thing a majig but signature remained So been there take care Jenny you and Dennis bless you both in this pandemic .Patty from Greeley,Pa

  12. Neicy A

    For your caramel popcorn recipe, do you use high fructose corn syrup or pain corn syrup? Could you offer the brand that you use?

    • Jenny Can Cook

      High fructose corn syrup should be avoided and is only used commercially and not sold to the public. I use Karo Light Corn Syrup.

      • Shaunese Alexander

        Thank you Jenny! I’ve made your popcorn several times, and it came out great! However, the last couple of times it taste different. The popcorn was really dark and it taste a little burnt. So I’m just trying to find out what I’m doing differently. Any ideas?

  13. Joe

    Love it

  14. Jaryssa

    I made this twice in the past 4 days and ate every popped kernel. I found the peanuts stick a little better when I mix it in with the caramel sauce, then pour over popcorn. I can’t believe I ate 16 cups of caramel corn in 4 days!

  15. Roger S

    Hi Jenny: I tried this recipe – measuring everything including the popped corn exactly. I heated the caramel syrup in a cast-iron enameled pan on medium heat and I left it undisturbed as you say for 5 minutes. But the caramel turned black and was totally burned. I had to throw the whole batch away.
    What went wrong?

    • Jenny Can Cook

      My guess is that medium heat under cast iron is too hot and it simply burned. If you try again, I suggest using a regular saucepan.

  16. Cheri Allison

    Oops!!!! Grabbed the baking powder instead of baking soda! What difference will it make in the recipe? Have I ruined it?

  17. Taunya

    My husband found your video on YouTube and asked me to make it. YUM!!! The next time I went to make it, I couldn’t remember which recipe I used, so I used a different one. Although it was similar, yours is WAY better! I use a glass 9×13 to bake mine. It makes it easier to stir, in my opinion. When I make this, I have to immediately package half of it to give away so that I don’t eat it all! It’s always a big hit with a crowd.

  18. Wendy

    Best ever! So quick! (I did not do the oven part, as it mixed pretty well on my first try. just need a big bowl and someone to hold onto it while you pour and stir.)

    I will definitely make this again and again.

    • orcaholic

      You bake it in the oven to eliminate the excess liquid in the caramel sauce so the caramel sauce reduces and dries out over the popcorn. It’s quite different than just mixing the sauce over the popcorn. But if you like it without cooking it in the oven, that’s OK, too. You do you.

  19. Mark

    You clarified between corn and high fructose corn syrup but you didn’t state which one to use I’m assuming since you just said corn syrup then you only use the low sugar kind. Also just a suggestion after you get the corn syrup all over the popcorn dumping into a brown paper bag and shake it Shake It Up that’ll probably help distribute that song then dump dump it onto the baker pan and spread it out before baking I’m not sure if that will help it just seems like it might help it looks awesome I’m going to try it

    • Taunya

      It’s way too gooey to do that. It’s not hard to to stir it to distribute all of the caramel yumminess. I make mine in a 9×13 glass pan instead of a baking sheet. The first time, I used a baking sheet but found it harder to stir.

  20. MARY

    Thanks so much Jenny for this great Caramel Corn recipe.

    This was actually my third time making this, and each time I receive rave revues

    from everyone.

    Thanks again for sharing!!

  21. Cynthia

    made it love it and gave it as a party favor at a baby shower

  22. Dennis

    Omg…the best I had and I can’t believe I made. I’ve been buying this all this time and it’s easy to make and taste so good huh never again. Look out Christmas. I need to go now I do have popcorn to pop.

  23. Elaine

    I use the same recipe except at step 4 I put all the popcorn and nuts in a double paper bag. The big one. Then pour the Carmel over. I shake the bag for about 1 to2 min them stick bag in the micro wave. I min. Take out shake really good again. Repeat microwave and shake about 4 more times then open bag carefully as it is hot. Lay out on trays or waxed paper and let cool. Great stuff!! Turn bag over each time.

    • Christa

      Great idea using a paper bag!

    • Mark

      LOL I guess I should have read all the comments before I made mine cuz I suggested a paper bag also I like your idea about double bagging it on the microwave that’s too much a good idea thanks for the tip!

  24. mike

    I have made your caramel popcorn recipe once again, replacing the 60ml corn syrup by 30ml corn syrup+30 ml maple syrup.

  25. mike

    I have tried your Caramel corn recipe today. EXCELLENT !!!.
    “if my English was good enough, I would tell so much more”
    Encore une fois Merci

  26. Joy Kallastumus

    This is by far the finest recipe for caramel corn I have ever seen. It was easy, and outstanding taste… thank you for sharing this.

  27. Herminia

    Hi Jenny, i just tried you recipe and everything went well, up until i had to add the baking soda. As soon as i added the baking soda the caramel seperated from the butter. I did it twice and the same thing happened. Help!. How can i prevent this from happening again.

    • Jenny

      Please list each ingredient you used and I will try to help. Please describe each one specifically by brand and type.

      • Liz

        Jenny, your recipe for caramel popcorn may be the solution to world peace.
        We could make a huuuuuuge batch and when that delicious Caramel aroma wafts across the oceans, troops everywhere will throw down their weapons and surrender under the irresistible spell of Jenny’s Caramel Popcorn! And peace will be world wide. I guarantee it!

    • Liz

      I made this too, and we looooved it. Be sure to use baking soda, I have never seen any brand but Arm & Hammer in the yellow box, but baking powder is not the same ingredient and will not substitute for baking soda. Try again, and I know you will be a happy snacker too!

  28. Tania

    yum yum yum! this is super easy and its so good!!

  29. Marilyn

    Caramel corn recipe is awesome….just made it and divided it between my husband and grandson and me…I need to make lots and have it ready for the weekends. Will definitely make again….I love Jenny’s recipes and videos….just plain wonderful to have….Thank you, Jenny….

  30. Zebo

    Ok so i must admit that this is the easiest caramel corn ever. I tried it I liked it, my father liked it, my mom did the security gaurds did and so many another people. I am so happy that i found your recipe it brought joy to my heart

  31. khabirah

    Hi jenny. I am very curious about that red table or what I believe is a red table in most of the videos I’ve seen. Is it a special kind of surface because I’ve seen you place hot pots on it. If so where can I find one?

    • Jenny

      The red table is just a piece of red fabric covering a plywood table top. It’s the same tabletop I use in all my videos and I just use different colors of fabric that I purchase at a fabric store.

  32. Wantip Kulwanichaporn

    Hi, I’m from Thailand. I want to thank you for this recipe. It’ s my first time I tried to make popcorn caramel last week. I picked your recipe. I gave my popcorn to my colleague that they all loved it and asked for more. They were also surprised of how I could make it. Recently, Garrett Popcorn Shop is just opened in Thailand with a very long line of customers who never tried this before. Even it is delicious , it’s very expensive and too sweet for Thai people. I find your recipe is alternatively the best choice. 😀

  33. Kasey G

    Hi Jenny
    I made this on the weekend and while Saturday’s batch was just ok, I found the second time much easier and the results ten times better as I used a ceramic roasting pan to mix the carmel into the popcorn and nuts and got MUCH better coverage and distribution this way than in my large mixing bowl (there was popcorn flying all over the place my first try). Am attempting your granola bars this weekend!

  34. Adriana

    I made this popcorn earlier today, delicious !! I’m a big microwaved natural popcorn fan, now I have a sweet option, its hidden from sight!!

  35. Eric

    This stuff is dangerous. Just made it and it is sooo good. I planned ahead and ate some heavy food before It was finished so it was easier to stop. But wow, this is a great recipe.

  36. Trina

    I made this caramel and shared it with my co-workers. I was told it was the best they ever had! I agreed. I am not a huge fan of sweets but I like certain sweets from time to time. Well, it’s not safe to make this too often because i will eat the whole batch!! Fabulous recipe!

  37. Judy

    AAMAAAAZINGGGG and my ALL of my family are inLOVE with it thankuu sooooooo muchhhhhhhh !!!! xxxxooooo

  38. pat

    what can be used in place of corn syrup

    • Jenny

      You could try using honey or Lyle’s Golden Syrup.

      • Mitch Reed

        I used a mixture tonight of Corn Syrup and Blue Agave Syrup @ 3:1 ratio, corn syrup to Agave. In the past, I tried it with Corn Syrup mixed 50/50 with some real Maple Syrup I had laying around in the fridge. Lastly; organic Coconut Nectar can be used too. I use everything I can organic, and this recipe makes it pretty easy to accomplish that. Wonderful recipe Jenny.

        • Renee

          Great idea on the Agave syrup. I only thought to use honey in lieu of the corn syrup. Agave’s flavor is more like corn syrup.

    • Renee

      I’ve used honey and it’s just the right texture, but it definitely gives more of a honey flavor to the final product. Not necessarily a bad thing!

  39. emily

    i ate it in 2 hours

  40. Maiyah

    Can I use store bought caramel sauce?

    • Jenny

      I can’t say for sure because I have only made it with my own sauce but I suspect it would not work very well. If you try, please let us know…

  41. Livija

    can u make it without nuts????

    • Jenny

      Yes, you can omit the nuts. You’ll have a little more caramel on your popcorn but there’s nothing wrong with that! Sometimes I make it without the nuts, too.

      • Livija

        thanks!! this stuff is delicious! making it for a second time today

  42. Deronda

    Awesome job…Jenny!! I love making this caramel corn…it is indeed the BEST!!! I’m still laughing about the way you ended your video!!

  43. Kali

    MAN this was really really good
    perfect recipe, i doubled it haha!
    thanks for sharing it!

  44. Reeebecca

    I just made this and it is AWESOME! I am going to have to fight my boyfriend for this. I am enjoying your videos, I was a fan of your show as well…thanks so much Jenny.

  45. Brooke

    I love this recipe when I watched this I immediately started ! I am 13 and this recipe really helped thank you I’m surprised you aren’t on tv yet

  46. Randy L.

    One big problem is its hard not to eat it when it comes out of the oven!!!

  47. RRE226

    I made this and I agree it’s the best ever 🙂

  48. JANET


  49. Wendy

    Warning, do not make this unless you are prepared to eat the whole thing. I have had good caramel corn in the past, and tried unsuccessfully to make it. This technique is perfect. I did change the recipe a little because I didn’t have clear corn syrup. I used dark corn syrup and regular granulated sugar vs brown sugar. It is THE BEST caramel corn I’ve ever eaten. This would also be a great item to cook when you are showing your house to be sold because the smells are intoxicating. Soooooo good. Thanks Jenny!!!

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