Microwave Caramel Popcorn

I am a big fan of caramel popcorn. When ever I’m in the mood and want some, this is my go to recipe because it is quick, easy and good. Much better than any packages of microwave caramel popcorn you can buy from the store.

The microwave makes this a breeze to make. This is a recipe I got from my mom. Now there are 2 types of caramel corn on my book. There is dry and there is gooey. This recipe fits in the dry category, but if you eat it warm it is a little on the gooey side. I like to it eat warm, but it’s still great when it’s cooled.

Growing up there use to be a caramel popcorn store in local malls. I think it was called Karamel Korn. This popcorn reminds me of their caramel corn. If anyone has a caramel popcorn recipe that would fall into the gooey category, I would love to have it. I haven’t been able to find one yet that I’m in love with.

Microwave Caramel Popcorn
  • 2-3 quarts popped popcorn (all just depends on how coated you want your popcorn)
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup light corn syrup
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  1. In a large microwave safe bowl, microwave butter, sugar, syrup, and salt on high for 21/2 to 3 minutes until bubbling. Remove from microwave and mix in baking soda.
  2. Put popcorn in a paper grocery sack and pour caramel over popcorn. Fold down top of grocery sack and put in microwave. Microwave on high for 1 minute and 20 seconds.
  3. Take sack out of microwave and shake to even coat the popcorn. Pour out on cookie sheet to cool.


27 comments on “Microwave Caramel Popcorn

  • Chewy Caramel Popcorn

    2 ½ C Brown Sugar
    1 Can (12 oz) Sweetened Condensed Milk
    1 C Corn Syrup
    ½ C Butter
    Combine above ingredients & boil to soft ball stage
    Add 1 Tbsp Vanilla
    1 Medium bag already popped popcorn (buttered)
    Place popcorn on cookie sheet. Place in over on lowest heat setting
    Pour Caramel over it. Mix/pour out on clean surface & finish Mixing.

    Now, I’ve had a hard time trying to find bags of popped popcorn anymore (there used to be large clear yellow bags of buttered popped popcorn).

  • When you add the baking soda it makes the mixture light and foamy.

  • What's the baking soda for? I'm seeing it in all the recipes I've searched for online. Thanks!

  • I made this tonight and it was delicious. I am going yo keep this recipe in mind for easy and economical holiday gifts. Thanks so much for the recipe!

  • Jerilynn,
    I'm sorry the caramel corn did not firm up for you. The instructions I have to microwave for 2 1/2 – 3 minutes for the caramel and 1 min 20 sec over the popcorn in the brown paper sack is correct. I do know that wattage of the microwaves can vary cook time, but we have had several microwaves and so has my mom and this has always turned out the same. I wonder if altitude has any factor in the cooking.

    • I will try this. My recipe is the same except for cooking times and since I hadn’t made it in years didn’t think how the wattage has changed. I burned mine to a crisp, but my original recipe called for a total of 4 minutes cooking in the bag.

  • hi – I really enjoy your blog and have tried several recipes. I just want to add that i think you may want to double check this recipe. I found a similar recipe on Allrecipes (same ingredients and measurements) It said to microwave the mixture twice 3 minutes- stir- and then microwave 1.5 minutes. It also has you microwaving the bag twice for 1 minute 10 seconds. This may explain why my caramel corn didn't firm up with your recipe. It was still delicious and we ate every bite.

  • Looks so awesome! We love caramel popcorn…will have to try this 🙂

  • I have the perfect gooey recipe. I like to call it cupa-cupa-two. And that's the recipe. One cup butter, one cup brown sugar, two cups marshmallows. Melt it all together in a big pot or the microwave and drizzle it on. Heaven!

  • Thanks for the recipe. My husband loves carmel corn, and my daughter will have fun making it for him.
    P.S. My name is Laura too!, but out in public…Mary's friends call me Mary's Mom.

  • Oh my gosh, I remember Karamel Korn! I used to pass it everyday on my way to work. I wonder whatever happened to that place.

    This look great!

  • I love how fast and easy this recipe is! My recipe is definitely gooey https://barbarabakes.blogspot.com/2009/01/caramel-corn-for-ultimate-super-bowl.html

  • Laura,

    I will definately try this one. I'm a popcorn fanatic. I love all kinds and I love a good carmel corn in the Fall.


  • What a fun idea to do with the kids!
    i am going to try it!!

  • I will have to try this one!

    My mother in law has the best recipe for gooey caramel corn! She usually makes it at Christmas time, and always has to send several batches with me when I visit my parents because my sisters all want some! But be warned, once you start eating it, you don't want to stop.

    popped popcorn (I don't know how much)
    1 cube of butter
    1 cup brown sugar
    1 can sweet milk
    1 cup Karo syrup
    1 tsp vanilla

    cook butter, sugar, milk, and Karo to a boil, then boil for 3-3 1/2 min. more stirring constantly, then take it off the heat and add the vanilla and mix well. Then pour it over the popcorn.
    Beware, this is very gooey!

  • Yum, yum, yum! I'm traveling back home soon and just emailed this to my sister – we'll be making thin at our girls sleepover night.

  • My mom used to make microwave carmel corn when I was a kid as a special treat. I think she gave me the recipe but I never tried it because it stated it needed air popped popcorn. I'm going to have to dig it out and see if it is the same as the one you posted cause now I've got a craving for carmel corn! (Thanks a lot! ;P )

  • Too funny. I have that camera and can't get a good pic no matter what the lighting! I'll try your hint. Thanks!

  • Laura, The camera I use is just a little point and shoot camera. It's a cannon powershot SD1000 digital with 7.1 mega pixels. I always use the macro and turn off the flash when I take my food pictures.

  • Hi Laura,
    I'm a Laura too! Can you tell me what type of camera you use to take your food pics, they look professional!
    Thanks for all the fab recipes

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