Easy Caramel Corn Recipe with Karo Syrup

This easy Karo Syrup Caramel Popcorn recipe came from a fellow viewer that had almost given up hope on finding this recipe. Thanks to Jennifer we all can make easy Caramel corn.

Karo syrup caramel popcorn in a glass

Easy Recipe for Caramelized Popcorn

Caramel popcorn can be tricky to make, but you can use this super easy method. Corn syrup makes this recipe easier because you don’t have to make the caramel sauce which involves a lot of time and a candy thermometer. So you can enjoy caramel popcorn with ease. This is one of those great recipes you can use during the holidays.

Do you want an extra crunch in your caramel corn? It’s simple to do. Just add in mixed nuts. I know you are going to love this easy caramel popcorn recipe.

Why this is the best recipe for Caramel Popcorn with Karo Syrup

Are you looking for a recipe that is tried and true? This recipe has been in my family for over 45 years. This is the exact recipe we would make every holiday season to stuff in our boxes of goodies. This recipe is easy to make, and you will soon enjoy the best ever homemade caramel popcorn.

Recipe Ingredients

This is what you need to make Karo Syrup Caramel Popcorn:

  • Popcorn
  • Mixed Nuts (optional)
  • Brown Sugar
  • Karo Syrup
  • Margarine (or butter)
  • Salt
  • Vanilla
  • Baking Soda
Karo syrup caramel popcorn ingredients

How to Make Caramel Popcorn

All you have to do is make a simple caramel coating on the stovetop, toss coating over popcorn, bake, and then enjoy it!

Here are the recipe steps:

  1. Combine popcorn and nuts in a large shallow roasting pan.
  2. Place popcorn in the oven to warm at 250 degrees.
  3. Place brown sugar, corn syrup, margarine, and salt in a heavy 2-quart saucepan.
    Karo syrup, butter, and brown sugar in a pan
  4. Stirring constantly, cook until the syrup reaches the soft-ball stage (234–240°F).
  5. Stop stirring syrup, boil for 5 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and baking soda.
  7. Pour caramel over popcorn mixture, stirring to coat.
  8. Bake at 250 degrees in a large roasting pan for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  9. Cool and break apart with a wooden spoon.
  10. Store tightly covered.
a bowl of Karo syrup caramel popcorn

Frequently asked quesitons

What is Karo Syrup?

It is a brand of corn syrup. There are two varieties of Karo syrup, one is light corn syrup and it has a light color. Karo brand has a darker one that contains refiners sugar, which adds some lovely notes of molasses to the syrup.

Why is my caramel corn not crunchy?

If you have made your caramel corn, and it is not crunchy it means the caramel mixture did not cook to the right temperature. Be sure to buy a candy thermometer and use it when cooking. Your caramel mixture should reach 285 degrees F, at this point you will want to boil the mixture for about five minutes.

Is it necessary to bake the Caramel Popcorn?

Yes, this helps to caramelize the sugar, it also deepens the flavor. Upon baking the caramel popcorn you will get delicious notes of butterscotch, caramel, and it helps to crispen the popcorn.

How to store caramel corn

Moisture is the enemy of homemade caramel corn. After you remove it from the oven, make sure that you let it cool to room temperature. Then store it in an airtight container or a resealable plastic bag. If using a plastic bag be sure to squeeze out as much air as you can out of the bag.

If air and humidity get into the caramel corn it will become sticky and it will lose its crispiness.

How long will this Easy Caramel Popcorn last?

This caramel popcorn will last for up to 90 days. It may last a little longer, but it will depend mostly on how well you can keep air from getting to the caramel corn.

I hope you give this classic caramel popcorn recipe a try! I know you are going to love this nostalgic treat, it is perfect for when you have a sweet tooth.

Love popcorn? Try these recipes:

Favorite Snack Recipes

Check out more of my easy snack recipes and the best game day food here on CopyKat!

Karo syrup caramel popcorn in a glass

Easy Karo Syrup Caramel Popcorn

This caramel popcorn recipe came from Karo, the corn syrup company. We have been making it for years.
5 from 6 votes
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Karo Syrup Caramel Popcorn
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 24
Calories: 653kcal


  • 3 quarts popcorn popped
  • 3 cup unsalted mixed nuts (optional)
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup Karo light or dark corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup margarine or butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda


  • In a large shallow roasting pan combine popcorn and nuts. Place in a 250 degree oven while preparing glaze. 
  • In a heavy 2-quart saucepan, add sugar, corn syrup, margarine, and salt.
  • Stirring constantly, cook until the syrup reaches the soft-ball stage (234–240°F).
  • Stop stirring syrup, boil for 5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and baking soda.
  • Pour caramel over popcorn mixture, stirring to coat.
  • Bake at 250 degrees for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  • Cool, break apart, and store tightly covered.


Calories: 653kcal | Carbohydrates: 111g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 134mg | Potassium: 510mg | Fiber: 18g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 405IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 4.5mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home, and CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Christine

    5 stars
    Thank you for this recipe, Stephanie! The only thing I did differently was, I put the Popcorn in a very large bowl and poured the glaze in, mixed together until coated, then put it in the baking pan. It came out perfectly!!

5 from 6 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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