Big Batch Caramel Corn
Cuisine: North American
Author: Charmian Christie
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 50 mins
Total time: 1 hour 10 mins
This recipe can be halved, but why?
  • 1 cup popcorn unpopped (makes enough to fill a Dutch over or about 6 quarts)
  • 1 cup butter
  • ½ cup corn syrup
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  1. Pop popcorn using your preferred method. Place popped corn in a very large bowl. If you don't have a big enough bowl, use two bowls. You will need lots of room to toss the corn when coating it.
  2. Preheat oven to 250F.
  3. In a 2-quart saucepan, over medium heat, gently melt the butter. Stir in the corn syrup, brown sugar and salt. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the sugar mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil for 5 minutes. (Some recipes say to stir constantly, other say not to stir at all. I've tried both methods and the caramel coating is smoother if you don't stir.)
  4. Remove from the heat, stir in the baking soda and vanilla. The mixture will foam and become frothy. Pour the caramel sauce over the popped corn and toss to coat throughly. Don't worry about clumps as the caramel will remain spreadable while cooking and the coating can be evened out. Spread the popcorn evenly onto 2 large rimmed baking sheets. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so.
  5. Spoon cooked popcorn onto waxed or parchment paper and allow to cool before breaking apart.
  6. Keep grubby handed scavengers at bay with a wooden spoon while you seal cooled caramel corn in an airtight container -- Or serve immediately.
Recipe by The Messy Baker at