- 40g (3 tbsp) olive oil
- 162g (3/4 cup) corn kernels
- 213g (1 cup) brown sugar
- 113g (1/2 cup) salted butter
- 113g (1/2 cup) heavy cream
- 1 1/2 tbsp kosher salt, divided
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large pot, add the olive oil and corn kernels. Place over medium heat and cover with a tight lid. The kernels will start popping after a few minutes. Once popping slows, check to make sure most of the kernels have popped, then place the lid back on and remove from heat.
- While the popcorn is popping, make the caramel. In a medium saucepan, combine the brown sugar, butter, heavy cream, and 1 tbsp salt.
- Place over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Continue boiling until it reaches 250 degrees F. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Allow to cool for a few minutes.
- Remove two heaping cups of the popcorn and set aside. Spread the rest of the popcorn onto the prepared baking sheet. Pour the caramel on top and use a rubber spatula or your hands to gently mix until evenly coated.
- Spread the popcorn back into an even layer, then bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
- Once the popcorn comes out of the oven, mix in the reserved plain popcorn and 1/2 tbsp salt.
- Allow to set for about 15 minutes, then break apart & enjoy!
- Use kosher sea salt. Not all salt is made equally! Some are saltier than others and may have additives, like anti-clumping and anti-caking agents. I highly recommend using a coarse kosher sea salt, like Celtic Sea Salt.
- Reserve some plain popcorn.To balance out the sweet & salty flavors, reserve two cups of plain popcorn and mix it in with the finished batch!
- Use a candy thermometer.To ensure the caramel sets up to the right consistency, use a candy thermometer to bring it to the exact temperature of 250 degrees F.
- Bake the popcorn at a low temperature. Baking the popcorn at a low temperature and stirring often ensures that the caramel bakes slowly and evenly without burning.
- Break up the baked popcorn. Allow the popcorn to cool just a few minutes after it comes out of the oven, then use your hands to break it up (unless you'd like giant clumps of caramel popcorn!).
Keywords: homemade caramel popcorn, salted caramel popcorn