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Rich Homemade Caramel Popcorn

By: John Goins
Updated September 04, 2020
Rich Homemade Caramel Popcorn
Rich Homemade Caramel Popcorn

"A homemade caramel popcorn snack idea that shockingly buttery, rich, salty, sweet, and one of the easiest popcorn recipes you can think of. A homemade popcorn that is better than any store-bought snack at a fraction of the price! A delicious afternoon snack that you can serve to your family. There are a few common mistakes to avoid while making that popcorn you love. Many people want to be efficient when making popcorn. Hence, they tend to dump all of the kernels into one pan and let it pop. This technique causes a problem as it ends up burning the kernels that popped previously. "

NotesOil is another essential part of the cooking process. Choosing the right oil is key to successful popcorn. Oils such as olive oil, walnut oil, and other unrefined oils are a no-no for this recipe. High smoking point oils such as almond oil, corn oil, canola oil, grapeseed oil, peanut oil, safflower oil, and vegetable oil are the best to use when making popcorn

You can add different flavors to the caramel mixture. Adding a few cinnamon sticks or a teaspoon of anise seeds to the sugar at the beginning will add a nice kick that will elevate the flavor of the caramel and the popcorn. Lavender lover? Well, throw some dried lavender into the caramel to infuse flavor and aroma. Cardamom pods are also a great addition to the caramel sauce; just make sure to strain it after infusing.


Preparation Time5 min

Cooking Time20 min

Cooking MethodSkillet


  • 1 cup popping corn kernels
  • 1 cup barley
  • 8 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 3 cups unsalted butter
  • 3 cups water
  • salt to taste


  1. Put 1 tbsp of vegetable oil in a hot skillet.

  2. Heat until lightly smoking.

  3. Add grains by the handful to the hot skillet and cover.

  4. Let the popped grains cool.

  5. In a saucepan, bring sugar, butter, and water to a boil. Cook until sugar dissolves.

  6. To caramelize, continue to cook for 10 minutes. You may skip this step if you don’t want caramelized sugar.

  7. Remove from the heat.

  8. Add flavorings of your choice.

  9. When the mixture is cool enough to handle, quickly shape into 3-in. balls, dipping hands in oil to prevent sticking.

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