I was never a big fan of caramel corn but I think it's only because I always had the crappy store-bought stuff that tastes a little stale. But this salted caramel popcorn is made with air popped popcorn and baked to perfection with homemade salted caramel! Add in some nuts or pretzels for some extra crunch!
The easiest way to make good popcorn at home is with an air popper! It's quick, requires almost no cleanup and doesn't require extra oil to make popcorn. If you don't have an air popper, you can also easily pop it on the stove in a large pot!
- Popcorn - Regular popcorn kernels are all you need!
- Flaky sea salt - There's nothing better than sweet and salty caramel corn! I love using Maldon Flaky Sea Salt because it has the best flavor and texture.
- Salted caramel - This recipe works best with homemade salted caramel!
I've included how to make salted caramel in the recipe card below, but you can also check out my full post for how to make homemade caramel for more details and step by step photos!!
How to Make Stovetop Popcorn
The only downside to this method is that you have to use extra oil to pop it in which can add calories (if you care about that kind of thing). You can also opt for a cool old school stove-top popcorn maker, but a pot honestly works just as well.
For stovetop popcorn you just 2 simple ingredients!
- ½ cup popcorn kernels
- ¼ cup oil of some kind (olive oil, coconut oil, canola oil, ghee, etc)
- In a large stock pot or Dutch oven (with a lid) heat the ¼ cup of vegetable oil or coconut oil and 3 popcorn kernels over medium heat (don't forget to put the lid on). Once those kernels pop (about 2-3 minutes) add in the rest of the popcorn kernels and give the pot a shake to evenly coat the kernels in oil.
- Cover the pot and continue to cook the popcorn, giving the pot an occasional shake to ensure it doesn't burn. Once the kernels start to pop, watch closely until the popping sounds slow down to one pop every 2-3 seconds.
- Remove the lid and dump the popcorn into a large serving bowl.
**I cannot over emphasize how important it is to keep the lid on the popcorn while it's popping so that you don't end up with popcorn all over your kitchen**
How to Make Caramel Corn
Preheat the oven to 275°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Using an air popper, pop the popcorn according to manufacturer instructions (see notes for stove-top popcorn), then dump onto the parchment lined baking sheet.
Drizzle the caramel over top of the popcorn and toss until evenly coated. You can add as little or as much of the caramel as you want!
Bake at 275°F for 15-20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until the caramel has formed a semi solid shell on the popcorn.
Remove from the oven and let cool. Then sprinkle caramel corn with extra flaky sea salt if needed!
Store salted caramel popcorn in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week!
This caramel popcorn is super easy and delicious plain. But you can also add in some fun mix-in's if you want! Some of my favorites are:
- Pretzel pieces
- Chocolate drizzle (after the popcorn comes out of the oven)
The options are endless!
More Snack Recipes
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Homemade Salted Caramel Popcorn
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- ⅓ cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon flaky sea salt
- ½ cup popcorn kernels
- Warning: do not walk away from your caramel because it will probably burn the second you walk away from it (trust me).
- In a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat, add the sugar and stir every 1-2 minutes or so until it begins to melt (the sugar will start to clump up before melting).
- Once the sugar is completely melted and golden in color, immediately remove from the heat and stir in the butter until combined (don’t be scared if it bubbles a lot).
- Add in the heavy cream and salt and mix until fully combined and smooth.
- Pour the caramel into a glass jar to cool. Can be stored in the fridge for up to a month!
- Preheat the oven to 275°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Using an air popper, pop the popcorn according to manufacturer instructions (see notes for stove-top popcorn), then dump onto the parchment lined baking sheet.
- Drizzle the caramel over top of the popcorn and toss until evenly coated. You can add as little or as much of the caramel as you want!
- Bake at 275°F for 15-20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until the caramel has formed a semi solid shell on the popcorn.
- Remove from the oven and let cool.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week!
The nutritional information on this website is only an estimate and is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.