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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.
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!
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.
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.
3 – Prepare the caramel popcorn: Lay plain popped popcorn on the lined baking sheet, then drizzle the caramel mixture over the popcorn.
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.
5 – Break up and serve: Once the popcorn is cooled, break up any large clusters and store them in a zip-top bag.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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
- 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
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.
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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.
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