TOTAL TIME: Prep: 10 min. + cooling
MAKES: 8 servings


  • 6 cups popped popcorn
  • 3/4 cup salted peanuts
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Nutritional Facts

1 cup: 237 calories, 15g fat (5g saturated fat), 15mg cholesterol, 314mg sodium, 25g carbohydrate (17g sugars, 2g fiber), 4g protein.


  1. Place popcorn and peanuts in a large microwave-safe bowl; set aside. In another microwave-safe bowl, combine the brown sugar, butter, corn syrup and salt. Cover and microwave on high for 30-60 seconds; stir. Microwave 1-1/2 minutes longer.
  2. Stir in vanilla and baking soda. Pour over popcorn mixture. Microwave, uncovered, on high for 2 minutes, stirring several times. Spread on greased baking sheets to cool. Store in an airtight container. Yield: about 2 quarts.
Editor's Note: This recipe was tested in a 1,100-watt microwave.
Originally published as Crunchy Caramel Corn in Taste of Home's Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2001, p188

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Stefiann User ID: 1510721 95729
Reviewed Nov. 13, 2009

"I made four batches of this caramel corn today. The flavor its awesome! However, after trial and error, I found with my particular microwave, I needed to double the amount of time that the popcorn was in the microwave (the last step). 4 minutes instead of 2 was perfect! (After two minutes, the caramel corn was still too soft after it cooled, 3 was better, but 4 was just right. I also experimented with the amount of the vanilla and found about 2 teaspoons instead of 1/2 was perfect for me! It really enhanced the flavor. Super easy recipe, it will be a staple in my house for years to come! Thank you so much!!!"

mandyt User ID: 1451461 101811
Reviewed Dec. 20, 2008

"This is so easy, I feel like I'm cheating. Oh if anyone is watching their cholesterol, the new Smart Balance sticks that are half butter, half Smart Balance, work just fine in this recipe."

ohcanada User ID: 503161 34109
Reviewed Dec. 1, 2008

"Does anyone know why my caramel popcorn turns sugary instead of crunchy when I put it in the over to finish it?"

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