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Homemade Salted Caramel Popcorn

  • Author: Sloane
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 12 cups 1x
  • Category: popcorn
  • Method: baking
  • Cuisine: American


  • 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


  1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. 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.
  3. While the popcorn is popping, make the caramel. In a medium saucepan, combine the brown sugar, butter, heavy cream, and 1 tbsp salt.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Spread the popcorn back into an even layer, then bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
  7. Once the popcorn comes out of the oven, mix in the reserved plain popcorn and 1/2 tbsp salt.
  8. 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