Easy Homemade Caramel Corn & Kettle Corn Recipes (2024)

Popcorn two easy ways! Caramel corn & Kettle corn recipes you can make right in the comfort of your own home. Gluten-free and full of great flavor make these two recipes so good!

Easy Homemade Caramel Corn & Kettle Corn Recipes (1)

I have always loved popcorn. I think my love for it is genetic. My dad has consumed mass quantities of popcorn on a regular basis over his lifetime! He loves to eat air-popped, lightly salted popcorn while watching a sports game.

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When it isn't doused in butter, popcorn can really be a healthy and satisfying snack.

When I need something sweet to snack on I love to make a batch of homemade kettle corn or homemade caramel corn. It is a sweet treat that I like to indulge in for special occasions...or anytime really.

If you are intimidated about making homemade kettle corn or caramel corn you don't have to be any longer! My caramel corn and kettle corn recipes are super simple, quick, and DELICIOUS!

Easy Homemade Caramel Corn & Kettle Corn Recipes (3)

How To Make The Best Caramel Corn:

  • Preheat your oven to 315 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Pop your popcorn either in an air popper or in a traditional popcorn popper. Make 6-8 cups of popped popcorn then pour the popped popcorn in a large roasting pan and set aside.
  • In a medium size saucepan mix the following ingredients (below) - except for the baking soda and vanilla extract over medium high heat, stirring constantly.
  • Let boil for five minutes continuing to stir.Turn off heat and add the vanilla and baking soda stirring to combine.
  • Pour the caramel mixture over the popcorn in the roasting pan and stir to coat evenly. Put the roasting pan with the caramel covered popcorn into the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
  • Stir the caramel corn and bake an additional five minutes.
  • After it is done baking scoop the caramel corn into a large bowl (or two) and stir occasionally to break up the chunks as it cools.
  • Let the caramel corn cool for about 10 minutes and then enjoy!

Pour the cooled caramel corn into your favorite bowl and prepare to dig in! Be careful - it is very easy to eat it all in one sitting, I may or may not be speaking from experience!

Here is the printable recipe card for this amazing recipe!!

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Let's try my homemade kettle corn recipe. This recipe requires the popcorn to be made in a traditional oilpopcorn machine. If you don't have one (you should get one) you can use alarge pot with a lid to make the popcorn in instead.

* My all-time favorite popcorn popper is theWhirley Popper!! Trust me when I tell you this is the best because I have tried tons of different kinds of popcorn poppers and this is by far the best.

Homemade Kettle Corn Recipe

  • Pour 2-3 tablespoons of vegetable oil in the popcorn popper or pot along with 2/3 cup of popcorn kernels. ( I prefer yellow popcorn versus white but use whatever you like best. )
  • Next, sprinkle 2-3 tablespoons of granulated sugar (white sugar) over the un-popped kernels.
  • Over medium-high heat using a Whirley popperpopcorn machinebegin to pop your popcorn or if you are making it in a pot on the stove, put the lid on and turn the heat to medium-high. Shake the pot every few seconds to keep the kernels moving.
  • Once the popping stops remove the pot from the stove or turn off your popcorn machine and pour the popcorn into a large bowl. Lightly salt the kettle corn if you desire.

Here is a printable for the Kettle Corn Recipe:

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Since this post is all about popcorn I thought I'd share with you the tools I use to make the best popcorn.

My favorite traditional popcorn maker is the Whirley Popper Popcorn Machine.It is the most amazing popcorn popper. This popper can make 6 quarts of popped popcorn in 3 minutes! (I timed it and sure enough it only takes 3 minutes). You can make the kettle corn recipe (above) right in this popper too!

Easy Homemade Caramel Corn & Kettle Corn Recipes (7)

Since I am a popcorn junkie it would be a big tragedy if my popper broke and I was left popcorn-less! To make sure this never happens I keep a backup popcorn popper. My backup popper is this cute air popper machine from West Bend called the Stir Crazy Popcorn Maker.

click HERE

If you are really in a bind and don't have access to a popcorn machine you can just use what you have on hand like alarge stockpot with a lid. This method too can make a pretty tasty batch of popcorn. I got my large stock pot on Amazon.

Easy Homemade Caramel Corn & Kettle Corn Recipes (9)

I'm not overly picky about popcorn kernels however I do prefer yellow popcorn over white. I think yellow popcorn is bigger and has that fluffy appearance whereas white looks small and crumbles easier. White popcorn is the perfect kind to use when making popcorn balls though because of its size.

Did you know that there are blue popcorn kernels? The blue (or purple) corn tastes similar to standard popcorn and is fluffy with very little crunch. Some would say it has a sweeter taste with a milder popcorn flavor. I recommend this Amish Country popcorn that comes in a 3lbs bag. If you have never had it you should give it a try!

On a side note - did you know Home Depot sells popcorn? Weird (but totally awesome) right? I discovered this the other day when my husband and I were there shopping for some plumbing parts. I love wandering around the store just looking at things! That is when I discovered popcorn! Here is one of my favorites - a 4 lb. Yellow Popcorn in a plastic container with a screw-on lid! Keeps it fresh and 4 lbs should last a little while.

Other Popcorn Toppings

Since I am a huge fan of popcorn it won't surprise you that I've tried a variety of different toppings as well. Right now my favorite flavors are white cheddar, cheddar and ranch. I've lost count as to the number of times I've ordered these flavors on Amazon but I haven't tired of them yet.

What is your favoritepopcorn topping? The fact that you can put just about anything on popcorn as a topping makes this treat so much fun!

Enjoy your popcorn, I know I will.

Easy Homemade Caramel Corn & Kettle Corn Recipes (2024)


What is the difference between kettle corn and caramel corn? ›

Difference in Preparation Methods

Kettle corn is made by placing kernels in a metal bowl, covering them with oil and sugar, and then cooking the mixture on the stovetop until it reaches a high temperature. Caramel corn is made by combining sugar, butter, and corn syrup in a pot over low heat.

Why is my homemade caramel corn soggy? ›

Make sure to allow your caramel corn PLENTY of time to cool before packaging it up into ziplock bags or an airtight container. Otherwise, condensation will form and the moisture will cause the popcorn to become soggy. And no one likes soggy caramel corn!

Can I substitute honey for corn syrup in caramel corn? ›

These days, I prefer using honey to sugar or corn syrup whenever I make my caramel corn. In our house, we've been working through a gallon of local raw raspberry honey, which definitely has a stronger flavor than a mild clover honey, but still works perfectly in this recipe.

What is the best oil for kettle corn? ›

White granulated sugar and organic cane sugar both work well in this kettle popcorn recipe. I do not recommend making substitutions for granulated sugar. Coconut oil. Coconut oil tastes the best in this kettle corn recipe, but canola oil also works very well.

What's so special about kettle corn? ›

Kettle corn stands out for its unique flavor profile, combining sweetness and saltiness in a way that appeals to a wide range of tastes. The preparation process, involving popping the kernels in a kettle with oil, sugar, and salt, creates a satisfying snack that is both nostalgic and delicious.

Why put egg in caramel popcorn? ›

While some people said that she added the egg to absorb extra heat, others had different views. "Whole eggs absorb excess heat so it's an easy way to regulate the temperature balance of the other ingredients," a user wrote.

Why is my caramel corn not crunchy? ›

If you prefer chewy caramel corn, let it sit until the caramel has hardened. If you prefer crunchy caramel corn, Preheat oven to 250 F. and bake for 30-40 minutes, tossing occasionally. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Once cooled, break the larger clumps into smaller pieces if desired.

How do you make Martha Stewart caramel popcorn? ›

In a small saucepan, bring butter, sugar, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 2 tablespoons water to a boil, stirring constantly. Working quickly, drizzle popcorn with sugar syrup, and toss. Spread popcorn evenly on prepared baking sheet. Bake, tossing occasionally, until golden and shiny, about 40 minutes.

What happens if you forgot the baking soda in caramel corn? ›

The sodium bicarbonate allows it to achieve the 'brittle' texture you are looking for in carmel corn. Without it the stage at which you stop cooking the caramel would result in a very sticky consistency.

How do you make homemade popcorn fluffier? ›

A good lid is important when making popcorn, but there's a bit of a strategy here. For the best results, and lowest number of un-popped kernels leave the lid open just a hairline amount. It allows any steam or moisture to get out as well, resulting in fluffy kernels.

What is a substitute for Karo syrup in caramel corn? ›

The best corn syrup substitutes for baking are brown rice syrup, maple syrup, agave, tapioca syrup, honey, golden syrup, and black treacle.

Is Karo syrup the same as corn syrup? ›

Karo syrup is a popular brand of corn syrup, which is obtained from corn starch that is derived from maize. It is a concentrated solution of several sugars, such as glucose (dextrose), derived from corn starch. Because of various sugars, corn syrup has a naturally mild sweet taste.

What is another name for caramel corn? ›

Caramel corn or caramel popcorn (toffee popcorn in the UK) is a confection made of popcorn coated with a sugar or molasses based caramel candy shell that is normally less than 1mm thick.

Is caramel kettle corn healthy? ›

In general, caramel corn is a snack item that is heavy in calories, sugar, and carbs but poor in important elements like vitamins and minerals. It can offer some energy in the form of carbs, but because to its high sugar content and poor nutritional value, it is not regarded as a nutritious food.

What makes kettle corn different? ›

Kettle corn gets its name from its preferred method of preparation, which is in a cast-iron kettle. Another key difference is kettle corn's use of sugar. Along with oil and salt, sugar is added to the kettle and requires constant stirring to avoid burning the sugar. A little bit more work for a little sweeter treat!

What's the difference between kettle corn and regular corn? ›

Unlike traditional popcorn, which is typically seasoned with salt or butter, kettle corn is coated with a sweet glaze made from sugar, oil, and salt. The glaze caramelizes during the cooking process, resulting in a golden-brown color and a tantalizing combination of sweet and salty taste.

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