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  • Writer's pictureThe Crooked Ladle

Buttery Homemade Caramel Corn

Far Superior than Store Bought...

Buttery, Crispy Caramel Corn

Craving something irresistibly indulgent? Look no further than this homemade caramel corn recipe! Ditch the store-bought stuff and whip up a batch of crispy, sweet, and buttery goodness right in your own kitchen.

My sister, Valerie, gave me the ingredients for this recipe and it is the best I've ever tried so far. So, I want to thank her for that. This caramel corn is glazed to perfection, with a coating that's not too thick, not too thin, ensuring every bite is a perfect balance of flavor and texture. It's so delicious, it's borderline addictive (you've been warned!), making it a fantastic treat for movie nights, game days, or even as a thoughtful homemade gift. So, gather your ingredients and get ready to experience true caramel corn bliss!

Makes About: 12 cups

Cook Time:  1 hour - 6 minutes

Suggested Tools: 

.  Large stock pot with lid

·  2-quart pot

·  Large mixing bowl

·  Large cookie sheet

·  Measuring cups

·  Measuring spoons

· Rubber spatula

·  Wooden spoon



. ½ cup Un-popped popcorn kernels (I used Orville Redenbacher's because I think the kernels are larger).


. ½ cup or one cube butter


. ½ cup corn syrup (either dark or light) – For this blog, I used light


. ¼ teaspoon salt


. 1 cup brown sugar (light or dark) – For this blog, I used light


. ¼ teaspoon baking soda


. 1 teaspoon vanilla

. optional: 2 tablespoons canola oil (for popping the popcorn, if using this option)



1. It will help to have all of your ingredients measured and ready to go before the cooking process.


2. Pre-heat the oven to 250-degrees and prepare the cookie sheet using any of these options: a) Spray with plenty of butter flavored non-stick cooking spray b) silicone baking mat (I used the silicone baking mat) c) parchment paper.   


3.    Pop the popcorn in large pot, using two tablespoons of oil (or pop it using your preferred technique). Pour all of the popped popcorn into the large bowl.


4.    Cut one cube of butter into 6 or 7 slices into the large pot; then on medium-low heat melt the butter.


5.    Add the brown sugar, corn syrup and salt to the melted butter and bring to a soft boil for *five minutes, stirring constantly.  After the five-minute boil, add the baking soda (this will cause a reaction for the caramel to rise somewhat and lighten in color). Continue the boil for one more minute while stirring.


*Note: If you want to use a candy thermometer, cook until it reaches the firm ball stage of 248° F. I don't believe there is a need for a candy thermometer but some people like using them.  


6.    Take the pot off of the heat and stir in the vanilla to blend well.


7.    Little by little, pour part of the hot caramel mixture over the popcorn in the bowl and mix to blend. [I found it easier to use two utensils to do this like a spatula and wooden spoon]. Continue the process until all of the caramel mixture has been added and mixed into the bowl with popcorn. Don't worry about not getting the popcorn completing glazed as you will have more opportunities to blend later.


8.    Pour the caramelized popcorn into the cookie sheet and spread it out to cover the pan.


9.    Place the cookie sheet of caramelized popcorn into the hot oven and stir every 20 minutes or so, baking for a total of one hour. This will ensure an even coating of the caramel over the popcorn. I recommend using a timer as it can burn easily, if forgotten.

 10.  Allow the caramel corn to cool before serving. Break up any large chunks, if desired. If not eating immediately, store in an airtight container. However, if I know I’m just going to be grazing on it for the next day or so, after it cools, I’ll just pour the caramel corn back into the large bowl I used earlier and cover it with a clean kitchen towel.  


Caution:  Hot caramel can burn easily on the skin; so, avoid the temptation of any tasting before it has cooled down.   




The Crooked Ladle

Savor the taste


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