Nothing says it’s almost Halloween like a big bowl of Caramel Corn. Am I the only one that craves caramel corn in the Fall? In case you’re like me, I’ve got an awesome, Easy Brown Sugar Caramel Corn recipe to share today that you are going to love! This recipe will become your go-to caramel corn recipe because it’s so easy. The chewy, buttery, brown-sugar caramel flavor is soooo addicting! It’s the same simple caramel sauce I use for the super popular Caramel Corn Puffs recipe.
I prefer to use air-popped or stove-popped popcorn with this recipe. However, microwave popcorn works great and is a fantastic option if you don’t have an air popper. Microwave popcorn does however add extra calories, so bear that in mind if you choose to go with the microwave….who am I kidding? It’s not like we’re eating this caramel corn for the health benefits.
This recipe is a great option for those who are gluten-free. It can also be made dairy-free by substituting margarine in place of the butter.
The caramel sauce is made from simple ingredients you most likely have on hand. Surprise your family and whip up a nice bowl of this caramel corn for them. It’s quite the morale booster…especially on the more dreary fall days.
More of my favorite Morale Boosting Treats
- No-bake Peanut Butter Cornflake Treats
- Mini Cherry Cheesecakes
- The Best Rice Krispie Treats
- Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Cake
- Homemade Cake Mix Oreo Cookies
- Peanut Butter Cookie Pie
Step-by-step pictures for how to make Easy Brown Sugar Caramel Corn
Frequently Asked Questions for how to make Easy Brown Sugar Caramel Corn
Will this recipe work if I use GRANULATED sugar in place of the brown sugar?
If you have molasses, you can make a brown sugar substitute by adding 1 cup granulated sugar and 1 tbsp molasses.
Is it okay to use Margarine in place of the butter in this recipe?
Yes. Margarine will work fine in this recipe, making it a great dairy-free treat option. However, for the true caramel flavor, real butter is better when possible.
Can I use this recipe to make Caramel Popcorn balls?
This recipe can easily be turned into popcorn balls. It may be a little sticky to work with, but if you keep your hands buttered and use enough pressure, you can form this caramel corn into balls. Place them on wax paper or parchment paper to cool. Once they are cooled all the way, you can wrap them in plastic wrap or put them in individual bags.
How can I avoid getting the hard unpopped KERNELS in my caramel corn?
When I make caramel popcorn, I always pop the popcorn into one bowl and have another standing by. Once it is popped, I use my hands like a scoop and lift up and gently shake the popcorn to let small unpopped kernels fall through my fingers. I place the popcorn in the new bowl and repeat until I’ve gone through all the popcorn. This doesn’t always catch all of them, but it makes a big difference and helps eliminate most of them.
Do I need a candy thermometer to make Caramel Corn?
No, not for this Easy Brown Sugar Caramel Corn recipe. The instructions tell you how long to let it boil. If you follow the instructions, you will have delicious chewy caramel popcorn without using a candy thermometer.
- Popcorn Kernels
- Microwave Popcorn
- Hot Air Popcorn Popper
- Stovetop Popcorn Maker
- Microwave Popcorn Popper
- Wax or Parchment Paper
- ⅓ -1/2 cup unpopped popcorn kernels (or two bags of microwave popcorn) You want 8-10 cups of popped popcorn.
- ½ cup butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup light corn syrup
- pinch of salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- Pop the popcorn kernels into a large bowl. Sift any unpopped kernels out of the popcorn by following my tip in the frequently asked questions segment.
- In a 2-quart saucepan, melt the butter (until just melted), and then quickly add, brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt.
- Stir and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Once boiling, turn the heat to medium and start the timer, and boil for 1 minute 45 seconds.
- After 1 min 45 seconds, immediately remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and baking soda. (It will grow a little..that's why we add the baking soda, so the caramel will cover the popcorn easier.)
- Once combined, immediately pour over the popcorn and stir until well coated.
- If you are planning to eat it by the handful, leave it as is. If you want to make popcorn balls, let it cool for 3-5 minutes, and then butter your hands and firmly press it into balls. Let them cool on wax paper or parchment paper.
Candy Caramels You've Gotta Try!