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Caramel Popcorn Recipe Without Corn Syrup

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This easy Caramel Popcorn Recipe is made without corn syrup and baked in the oven! This sweet and salty low-calorie snack is the perfect way to enjoy a treat while watching your calories.

caramel popcorn in a white bowl

There’s nothing like munching on a bag of caramel popcorn. The sweet and salty taste is so comforting that it’s hard to realize you’ve finished a whole bag! Not only is it way too easy to consume a lot of calories, but the popcorn is likely made with corn syrup when you buy it from the store.

This low-calorie version of caramel popcorn is made without corn syrup and is sweetened with a simple blend of coconut sugar and honey. The best part is that it’s made right in the oven which makes it easy and convenient.

Enjoy this healthy snack during movie night or when you need a quick pick me up during the day!

caramel popcorn in a white bowl

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • It’s made with natural sugars and without any corn syrup.
  • You can bake it in the oven instead of on the stovetop.
  • It’s much healthier for you than any store bought version.
  • Makes a great snack for both kids and adults.

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Unsalted Butter – Butter will help the caramel mix become nice and smooth.
  • Pure Honey – Adds a thick naturally sweet flavor.
  • Coconut Sugar – Gives the caramel sauce sweetness and helps the sauce to caramelize.
  • Salt – Balances out the natural sweetness in honey and sugar.
  • Baking Soda – Helps give texture to the caramel sauce while baking.
  • Vanilla Extract – Infuses the caramel with a light vanilla flavor.
  • Plain Popped Popcorn – Plain popcorn is the vessel for sweet natural caramel.
caramel popcorn in a white bowl

How To Make Homemade Caramel Popcorn

1 – Prepare for baking: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 250F.

2 – Make the homemade caramel sauce: Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Then add the coconut sugar, salt, and honey and stir until combined. Once combined, bring to a boil to create a caramel while constantly stirring. This will take about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and baking soda.

caramel popcorn syrup boiling in a pot

3 – Prepare the caramel popcorn: Lay plain popped popcorn on the lined baking sheet, then drizzle the caramel mixture over the popcorn.

caramel popcorn on a baking sheet with syrup drizzled on top

4 – Bake the popcorn: Bake the popcorn in the oven for 45 minutes making sure to stir occasionally. Once the caramel has hardened, remove it from the oven and let it cool.

caramel popcorn on a baking sheet

5 – Break up and serve: Once the popcorn is cooled, break up any large clusters and store them in a zip-top bag.

Recipe Tips

  • When boiling the caramel, make sure you are stirring constantly or it will burn easily. Remove from heat immediately to keep it from cooking further.
  • Make sure the plain popped popcorn you use is fresh before drizzling with caramel sauce.
  • Try to add the popcorn in a single layer on the baking sheet to make sure the caramel cooks evenly.

Variations

  • Add a pinch of cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice to the caramel for a fall-flavored treat.
  • Once out of the oven, sprinkle the popcorn with mini chocolate or white chocolate chips for a sweeter treat.
  • Chocolate or rainbow sprinkles on top make a great addition when added to the popcorn right out of the oven.
  • Instead of vanilla extract, try adding maple, almond or your favorite fruit extract to the caramel sauce for different types of flavor.
caramel popcorn in white bowls

Storing & Freezing

Storing: Popcorn will stay fresh for 2-3 days in an airtight container or zip top bag. Do not store in the refrigerator.

Freezing: Despite what it may seem, popcorn can hold up well in the freezer when placed in an airtight container or zip top bag for up to 3 months. Thaw on the countertop before serving.

FAQ

What if I can’t find coconut sugar? You can use light or dark brown sugar to replace the coconut sugar in this recipe.

Can I use agave instead of honey? Agave is a great substitute for honey in the caramel sauce.

What does baking soda do in caramel? Baking soda creates tiny bubbles that help aerate the sauce and give it more texture.

Calories per serving (1/2 cup): 180

Yield: 12 Servings

Caramel Popcorn Recipe Without Corn Syrup

caramel popcorn in a white bowl

This easy Caramel Popcorn Recipe is made without corn syrup and baked in the oven! This sweet and salty low-calorie snack is the perfect way to enjoy a treat while watching your calories.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes

Ingredients

  • 6 cups plain popcorn
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup pure honey
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 250°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread out popcorn, set aside.

2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Stir in the coconut sugar, honey and salt.

3. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil for 5 minutes on medium-low heat.

4. Remove from heat. Stir in baking soda and vanilla. Drizzle mixture over popcorn.

5. Bake for 45 minutes. Stir popcorn every 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.

6. Once cool, break up clumps and store in a zip top bag.

Nutrition Information:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 180Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 135mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 0gSugar: 25gProtein: 0g

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

More Healthy Snack Recipes

Sugar-Free Chocolate Sherbet

Air Fryer Zucchini Chips

Healthy Oatmeal Bites

Crispy Oven-Roasted Chickpeas

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Comment below or tag me on Instagram. And don’t forget to Pin it for later!

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Andrea Metlika

Friday 19th of March 2021

Wow! This caramel corn looks awesome! I've never cooked with coconut sugar but I am ready to try it!

simplylowcal

Sunday 21st of March 2021

Thanks, Andrea. I hope you enjoy it.

Megan Lehr

Friday 19th of March 2021

This homemade caramel popcorn was so simple and so delicious. Doesn't need to be a christmas treat any more!

simplylowcal

Sunday 21st of March 2021

Thanks, Megan! I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Claudia Lamascolo

Friday 19th of March 2021

I can tell just by looking at this caramel corn it will be totally addicting for me! YUM!

simplylowcal

Sunday 21st of March 2021

Thanks, Claudia!

Aimee Mars

Friday 19th of March 2021

Every Friday night in our house is known as "family fun night," which just means it's movie night with pizza and dessert. This would be a great addition to our night and I know my kids would enjoy making it too.

simplylowcal

Sunday 21st of March 2021

Thanks, Aimee. I hope you and your family enjoy it. :)

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