Caramel Corn Recipe: Scrumptious Homemade Gourmet Caramel Corn

homemade caramel corn

I guarantee that you will LOVE this homemade caramel corn recipe. It will become a tradition in your family. You will pass the caramel corn recipe down to your children, your grandchildren. Yes, it’s that good. Darin’s aunt and uncle make this gourmet caramel corn every Christmas. Auntie Di cut the recipe out 40 years ago from The Toronto Star Weekly. It’s one of the treats that we look forward to most around the holidays.

If you are looking for a scrumptious DIY wedding favor – read on! I am not only sharing the homemade caramel corn recipe – but tomorrow I’ll be offering up a tutorial on how to make your favors look extra lovely – along with freebie labels to go with your homemade caramel corn.

Honestly, your guests will think they’ve died and gone to heaven when they pop these gourmet goodies into their mouths. Beware: if you are making this for your wedding, store in a cool (not cold), dry place that is out of the way. You don’t want these in your range of vision. Otherwise there won’t be any left for your guests!

Homemade Caramel Corn Recipe and Tutorial


6 qts. popped corn (1 cup unpopped)

1 cup butter

2 cups dark brown sugar packed

1/2 cup golden corn syrup

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. vanilla

Pre-heat oven to 250 degrees.

Lightly butter large shallow roasting pan.

Pop the corn. We used Orville Redenbacher non-microwave popcorn and air popped it in a popcorn popper. The popper I have is a Westbend Hot Air Corn Popper from the 1980’s. I bought it at Value Village for $5 and it works like a charm.

homemade caramel corn

Melt butter in a saucepan. Stir in brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil without stirring for 5 min. (or hard ball stage if you are using a candy thermometer about 248 to 250 degrees. )

caramel corn recipe

Remove from heat. Stir in baking soda and vanilla till well blended (the caramel will foam up when you add the soda so be careful.) It is also very hot.

caramel corn recipe

Pour hot caramel over popcorn in a fine stream.

homemade caramel corn recipe

Mix well with a wooden spoon.

caramel corn recipe

Place pan in oven and stir every 15 minutes. Bake one hour. Remove from oven.

caramel corn recipe

Cool completely. Store up to a month in air tight containers. Make sure you keep the containers in a cool, dry place.

Tomorrow: DIY Caramel Corn Favors with Free Printable Label

caramel corn wedding favors

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14 Comments  |  Filed Under: DIY Favors & Gifts, DIY Food & Drink, DIY Wedding

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  1. Posted by Katie on November 30th, 2009 at 10:09am

    I live in South Africa and we can't get corn syrup...any ideas for a substitution?? I LOVE caramel corn, especially around Christmas time.
  2. Posted by Britt on November 30th, 2009 at 11:46am

    This is a family favourite of my family for years too. My grandma cut out the recipe from some newspaper years ago (perhaps it was the toronto star too!)

    Thanks for the great favour idea! I had totally forgotten about the yumminess of caramel corn. :)
  3. Posted by anna and the ring on November 30th, 2009 at 12:11pm

    Gosh, I just want to make this right now!!!
  4. Posted by Merci New York on November 30th, 2009 at 9:29pm

    SUCH a great favor idea- and your packaging is lovely!
  5. Posted by Christina on November 30th, 2009 at 10:59pm


    Try googling "corn syrup substitute".

  6. Posted by Vicky Rowe on December 1st, 2009 at 5:57pm

    Oh wow! I am going to make me some of this tomorrow and just curl up on the sofa and munch away whilst watching a film. Yum
  7. Posted by Angela on December 1st, 2009 at 11:13pm

    Hmmm. I think I might need to do a trial run before my wedding next year to see if I like them. :)
  8. Posted by Dawn on December 22nd, 2009 at 8:08pm

    Thank you for this recipe, We made caramel corn for my husbands work mates and today my 7 yr old and I changed it up by using white sugar and adding a little red kool aid to make candied popcorn.
  9. Posted by Christina on December 24th, 2009 at 1:00am

    You're welcome Dawn! The candied corn sounds interesting. I bet my little ones would love that!
  10. Posted by Margo on September 16th, 2010 at 2:38pm

    I just made this recipe for our upcoming hot roast. It's delicious! I really hope it makes it to the table! Thank you for a great recipe!!
  11. Posted by Christina on September 17th, 2010 at 9:43am

    You're welcome Margo! I just made some a couple of weeks ago and it flew out of the cookie tins WAY TOO FAST!:)
  12. Posted by Liz on January 22nd, 2011 at 11:28pm

    Absolutely divine! Made this for a party and it was so much fun. Thank you for sharing! I will have to do some tweaking next time; mine turned out with a little bit of a sugary, almost grainy, texture. Not sure if I made an error. It still tasted fabulous and would make an adorable wedding favor. (Just make sure you hide it... it's addicting!)
  13. Posted by Christina on January 23rd, 2011 at 10:58am

    Hi Liz. Thanks for letting us know how your caramel corn turned out! My aunt and uncle have been making this recipe for decades. This year my uncle complained that his batch turned out sugary. It's the nature of candy-making. Finicky. Glad it still tasted yummy though.
  14. Posted by Stephanie on September 15th, 2011 at 10:39pm

    This is such a lovely intro photo and what sounds like a yummy, yummy, yummy recipe that I had to share on my blog. I hope you don't mind. Thank you!!
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