Classic Caramel Corn

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This ballpark favourite keeps well and is easy to make in large batches for bake sales, holidays, birthdays, movie nights or just plain snacking. Package the sweet kernels in decorative bags, boxes or small take-out containers and it’s sure to be a best-seller!


8 cups air-popped popcorn (about 1/3 cup kernels)
1 cup (250 mL) packed brown sugar
1/2 cup (125 mL) golden syrup or corn syrup
2 tbsp (30 mL) butter*
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla
1/4 tsp (1 mL) baking soda

*For those with milk allergies, use a milk-free substitute.


1. Preheat oven to 250°F.

2. Spray a large bowl with non-stick spray and put the popcorn in it.

3. Combine the brown sugar, corn syrup and butter in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook without stirring, swirling the pan occasionally, for 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and baking soda. It will foam up at first.

4. Quickly pour over the popcorn and stir to coat. Stainless steel tongs are heat-proof and work really well. Spread onto a cookie sheet or roasting pan and bake for 30 minutes, stirring once or twice. Cool and break apart.

Makes about 9 cups.


To make festive spiced caramel corn, shake some cinnamon and grated nutmeg over the popcorn-caramel mixture as you toss the two together.

196 calories, 2.9 g total fat (1.6 g saturated fat, 0.8 g monounsaturated fat, 0.2 g polyunsaturated fat), 43.1 g carbohydrate, 6.9 mg cholesterol, 0.9 g protein, 1.1 g fibre.

Originally published in November 2010. 

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