In the Kitchen – Easy Caramel Corn

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As a little girl, I loved when my parents would take me to the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Circus. Two of my favorite Circus treats were Cotton Candy and Caramel Corn.

I’ve yet to figure out how to make Cotton Candy at home, however, I did find an amazingly easy Caramel Corn recipe, one that I have been using for about 25 years and I found it on the back of a bottle of Karo Syrup.

It’s an easy recipe with a WOW! factor – everyone will think you spent hours making this delightful and nostalgic treat.

Classic Caramel Corn

Total Time1 hr 5 mins
Servings: 4 Quarts
Author: mistymeadowshomestead


  • 4 Quarts Popped Popcorn
  • 1 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Karo®️Light OR Dark Corn Syrup
  • 1/2 Cup Butter OR Margarine
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt
  • 1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 Tsp Spice Island®️Pure Vanilla Extract

Optional Ingredients

  • Nuts, candies, chocolate drizzles, etc.


  • Spray large shallow roasting pan with cooking spray. Add popcorn and place in 250°F oven while preparing glaze.
  • Combine brown sugar, corn syrup, butter and salt in a heavy 2-quart saucepan.
  • Stirring constantly, bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil 5 minutes WITHOUT STIRRING. Remove from heat. Stir in baking soda and vanilla and mix well. (Mixture will foam) Pour syrup over warm popcorn mixture, stirring to coat well.
  • Bake for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from oven and spread on foil that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
    Cool; break apart. Drizzle with chocolate, add nuts and/or sprinkles. Store in tightly covered container.

You may have noticed the recipe has some really specific ingredients: Karo Syrup & Spice Islands Vanilla. These are just the ingredients that Karo recommends.  You’re welcome to use whatever brand you have. I’ve used generic brands before and it comes out just as delicious!

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Plain or drizzle with melted almond bark or chocolate to give your holiday sprinkles, funfetti, rainbow jimmies or chocolate candies something to stick to – let your imagination run wild to create a festive treat for your friends and family – they will love you for it!

Have you ever made caramel corn before?  What treat do you make for your family that reminds you of days gone by?

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