Homemade Caramel Corn

I LOVE handmade/homemade/crafted gifts.  When someone takes the time to make me something, I feel so cared about, honored and loved, may be that’s my love language.  As a kid, my mom has been making and gifting homemade caramel corn with rave reviews.  She only ever made it at Christmas time but each year, she’d gift it our teachers, pediatrician, neighbors and friends.  People truly looked forward to getting this as a gift from my mom.  As an adult, I’ve continued the tradition, gifting this delicious stuff to anyone special enough to get it ;-).  

I’ve decided to SHARE this recipe with you all and show you how to make it into a beautiful gift for just about anyone.  I usually gift this to teachers, neighbors, our pediatrician, my OB, hairdresser, or anyone else that deserves a handcrafted gift.   Making the caramel corn has definitely become a family tradition that I’ve carried with me to my own children.  They know it’s almost Christmas when I get out the caramel corn ingredients. 

If you want to make it at home, here’s what you’ll need.   Large saucepan or pot for the stovetop, roasting pan, cookie sheets for cooling.  

caramel corn in cookie tins with printable tag

Ingredients include:

1 8oz bag of butter Oke-Doke popcorn  This is a VERY specific item but it truly makes the BEST caramel corn.  If you’re in a pinch or can’t find it at your store, make 8oz of air popped popcorn and spray with butter flavored cooking spray.  If you cannot or do not want to go through that much trouble, try to find some kind of butter popcorn in the store, do NOT be tempted to by movie theatre popcorn, this will NOT work.  You need it have butter flavor, but not be greasy.

2 c. LIGHT brown sugar.  I’ve used dark brown sugar in a pinch, but it’s not the same

1 c. butter, I’ve used salted and unsalted without much difference in taste

1/2 c. light Karo syrup

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda


And here’s how you throw it all together. Preheat your oven to 250 degrees while you gather your ingredients. Empty bag of popcorn into large roaster.


In large saucepan or pot, combine butter, sugar, Karo syrup and salt over low heat.

Allow to melt together and bring to a boil.  Boil together for 5 minutes, yep, set a timer and stir occasionally. 

Because you are making caramel sauce, you need to keep an eye on it.  It can go from okay to burned, it like 2 seconds.  Once it has boiled together for 5 minutes, add baking soda and stir vigorously for 1 minutes. Pour caramel sauce over popcorn and gently stir to combine. 



Bake in oven for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes.  



 To give as a gift, add to a decorative tin and wrap with ribbon or twine.  Add a cute holiday tag (free printable here) and you’re set!

caramel corn in cookie tins with printable tag


To print, open this FREE Printable and print onto cardstock!  Cut out, punch a hole using a hole punch and add to your gift.  


  If you decide to gift, please tag me on Instagram so I can see!!