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3 Caramel popcorn recipes

Karen Miner is the Food & Travel Assignment Editor for SheKnows, ChefMom and FabulousFoods. She is a freelance writer, recipe developer and is also the cook, author and photographer behind the food blog, Tasty Trials, a collection of ori...

Celebrate National Caramel Popcorn Day

April 6 is National Caramel Popcorn Day and these popcorn recipes will have you celebrating in style with a variety of decadent homemade popcorn.
Caramel popcorn

If you’re anything like me, you were very disappointed the last time you cracked open a box of that iconic caramel corn with the prize inside. It seemed so much better as a child, didn’t it? But now you can easily make your own caramel popcorn at home and throw in chocolate, candy, nuts, dried fruit and more with these popcorn recipes. The possibilities are endless with a basic caramel recipe. Try one of these indulgent, chocolaty recipes and you’ll never go back to the box.

Coffee-chocolate caramel popcorn recipe

Makes 4 cups

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups popped plain popcorn
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup chocolate covered espresso beans, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips

Directions: 

  1. In a large metal bowl, mix popcorn, chocolate covered espresso beans and chocolate chips.
  2. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In a saucepan over high heat, bring sugar and water to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium, swirling the pan occasionally. Mixture will darken and turn deep amber after about eight to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and immediately whisk in instant coffee and butter, until butter is melted and coffee is mostly dissolved.
  4. Pour caramel mixture immediately into bowl with popcorn and quickly stir together. Dump popcorn onto lined baking sheet and spread out.
  5. Allow to cool and dry.

Butterscotch-chocolate caramel popcorn recipe

Makes 4 cups

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups popped plain popcorn
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup butterscotch chips
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips

Directions: 

  1. In a large metal bowl, mix popcorn, butterscotch chips and chocolate chips.
  2. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In a saucepan over high heat, bring sugar and water to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium, swirling the pan occasionally. Mixture will darken and turn deep amber after about eight to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and immediately whisk in butter until melted.
  4. Pour caramel mixture immediately into bowl with popcorn and quickly stir together. Dump popcorn onto lined baking sheet and spread out.
  5. Allow to cool and dry.

Chocolate-cherry-almond caramel popcorn recipe

Makes 4 cups

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups popped plain popcorn
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup roasted and salted almonds, chopped
  • 1/3 cup dried cherries, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. In a large metal bowl, mix popcorn, almonds, cherries and chocolate chips.
  2. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In a saucepan over high heat, bring sugar and water to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium, swirling the pan occasionally. Mixture will darken and turn deep amber after about eight to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and immediately whisk in butter until melted.
  4. Pour caramel mixture immediately into bowl with popcorn and quickly stir together. Dump popcorn onto lined baking sheet and spread out.
  5. Allow to cool and dry.

Tips for making caramel popcorn easier:

  • A metal bowl results in the least amount of stuck-on caramel.
  • Stir the caramel and popcorn together with a wooden spoon.
  • Get another person to help, if possible. The caramel sets quickly and the sooner you can start stirring, the more evenly the popcorn will be coated.
  • Soak the bowl, pan and utensils immediately in very hot water. (If pan is still hot, it will sputter when water is added.)

More popcorn recipes

How to make popcorn balls
Sweet, savory and spicy popcorn snacks to feed a crowd
Spicy popcorn recipe

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