Baker Bettie

Salted Caramel Corn

Salted caramel corn is the best way to eat caramel corn! The simplicity of adding extra salt takes caramel corn to a whole new level and it is so difficult to stop eating this stuff! This recipe makes a large batch and is perfect for sharing during the holidays! 

Salted Caramel Corn in paper bags

Remember last week when I told you that Mr. BB and I were eating cleanly? When I gave you a recipe and sexy pics of donuts and told you it was torture because I wasn’t eating sugar that week. Well that was in preparation for all this holiday baking that has now begun.

Our house has been filled with caramel corn, and sugar cookie bars, and soon even more cookies, and roasted nuts! BUT I will say that we are still shoveling in the greens, which I’m really proud of. Green smoothies for breakfast, huge salads for dinner, and caramel corn for dessert. It’s all about balance, right?

I am surprised to tell you that this was actually the first time I ever made caramel corn. I decided that salted caramel corn was absolutely the way to go. The salty/sweet combo will never get old in my book because it is just such a classic (and highly addictive) combo.

And I’ll let you in on a little secret. This stuff was made even better when I tossed a handful of it with a hand full of smoked almonds. The smoky flavor mixed with the salty and sweet was just a liiiitle bit dangerous. Possibly the food equivalent of crack.


Salted Caramel Corn spilling out of paper bags

The key to making caramel corn is to get all of your ingredients ready and pre-measured as well as knowing every step of the recipe well before you even get started. The process goes fast once you start and you can’t really stop to read the directions and measure ingredients in the middle of the process.

The other thing I recommend for making caramel corn is to use a really large bowl or pot to mix the popcorn with the caramel. Almost every recipe I read suggested laying the popcorn out on a sheet pan and then pouring the caramel over it and stirring. I don’t know how these people did that without getting popcorn all over the floor, but that is what happened when this messy baker tried it.

I made a second batch and folded it into the popcorn, using a stock pot as my vessel, and that was much more successful. And much less messy.

My other big tip when making caramel corn, or any recipe involving caramel, is to wash all of your dishes immediately. Otherwise you are going to have one heck of a time getting them clean! Ok, I confess. That tip is from my resident dishwasher, Mr. BB.

I’m warning you, this stuff is addictive. And now that I know just how quick and easy it is to make, it is a little dangerous. I think next time I’ll try some other spices and flavors. An apple pie spice would be amazing. Or I keep thinking that a white cheddar caramel corn would be insane! Amiright?! Adding to the list of to make!

Happy holiday baking!

Salted Caramel Corn spilling out of paper bags

Salted Caramel Corn

Yield: 15 Servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

The simplicity of adding extra salt takes this caramel corn to a whole new level and it is so difficult to stop eating this stuff! This recipe makes a large batch and is perfect for sharing during the holidays! 


  • 15 cups popped plain popcorn (from about 1/2 cup kernels)
  • 1 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 TBSP light corn syrup
  • 1 tsp kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda


  1. Measure out all of your ingredients and read the recipe a few times before you start cooking the caramel!
  2. Preheat your oven to 200F. Place the popped plain popcorn in a very large bowl or pot that has been lightly sprayed with non-stick spray. Prepare a half sheet pan, or large baking sheet with sides, by spraying with non-stick spray. Set aside.
  3. Place the dark brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, salt, and vanilla in the a saucepan over medium heat. Stir occasionally until the butter is melted and the sugar dissolves. Once the mixture comes to a boil, continue cooking for 3 more minutes without stirring.
  4. Remove the caramel from the heat and quickly whisk in the baking soda. The mixture will start to foam up and become light in color. Whisk vigorously for about 10 seconds.
  5. Pour the caramel over the popcorn and quickly but gently fold it in.
  6. Pour the caramel coated popcorn over the prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Bake at 200F for 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes.
  7. Remove the caramel corn from the oven after 1 hour and immediately sprinkle generously with kosher salt and toss. Allow the caramel corn to cool on the baking sheet. You can break apart the large chunks if desired. It will become crispy as it cools.
  8. Store cooled caramel corn in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

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6 comments on “Salted Caramel Corn”

  1. How did you know I was planning on making caramel corn for Xmas gifts? Now I can try your recipe! Hooray!!!

    Good for you for keeping up with eating the greens while you bake up all the goodies! 🙂

    Happy Holidays!

  2. om nom nom nommmm I would gobble that caramel corn RIGHT UP!!!!

  3. Made caramel pop-corn many years ago, what I don’t remember is ‘baking in the oven’ after adding the caramel.
    Is this step essential & why please?
    What I do remember is a small amount of uncooked, corn kernels may look tiny in the packet they certainly ‘explode’ everywhere, once that dry corn hits the heat & begins to ‘pop’, boy does it go!
    Yes, I heard it popping in the huge pan hitting the lid as it cooked & being me I couldn’t resist lifting the lid to see what was happening, you’ve guessed it.
    I ended up with popped corn everywhere in the kitchen, that was the first & last time that I ever made popcorn!!!
    I made a basic caramel by boiling together sugar & water to make a syrup, then adding butter until it reached a golden, caramel color, which I then mixed into approx 1/4 of the popcorn that I had originally started off with & even then could have fed a cinema full of people with it.
    I can’t remember adding any bicarb to caramel as have always thought this was used just to make ‘Cinder Toffee’, which I’ve made many times before.
    Please can you clarify the addition of bicarb & why the caramel corn requires baking in the oven
    All of your recipes are great, I’ve never had one that didn’t give superb results so I know that this is the correct way to achieve the ‘Perfect Popcorn’ without a doubt…
    ‘A reason for everything’ behind the way in which you collate the ingredients & methods behind all of your recipes which is why I love them & they never fail thanks to you!
    Love your blog & scientific tips which explain everything perfectly…
    Only I can make ‘Popcorn’ appear so difficult to cook, apologies in advance.
    I really like the idea of adding toasted Almonds to the mix, Pecans will be nice also…
    Cheddar Cheese Popcorn does sound awesome, I would enjoy that.
    Adding cheddar & bacon to baking makes it gorgeous for me, imagine me on ‘healthy eating’ regime? lol
    Well done to you for managing to stick to it, especially with all those tasty treats & goodies you’ve have been making for us for the Holidays, I’m full of admiration on your determination & stamina, wish I had it…
    Many, many thanks,
    Odelle Smith. (U.K.)

    • Hi Odelle!

      Great questions! Ok, so the baking soda addition is because the alkaline property of the baking soda will react with the acidic properties in the brown sugar and create carbon dioxide bubbles. It will foam like crazy when you add it in! It isn’t absolutely necessary, but it will create a softer caramel after baked so that it isn’t super hard when you bite into it. (I will add this science piece into the post 😉

      As far as the baking goes, it also is not 100% necessary. You could just fold the caramel into the corn and then lay it out on some parchment paper to cool and set. The reason a lot of recipes call for baking it, and the reason I bake it, is because it gets the corn super crispy. I like my caramel corn to have super crispy corn with a bit of a soft caramel coating!

      Hope that helps!

  4. This recipe looks amazing! Question, about how long will this stay fresh? If everyone doesn’t eat it on day 1

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