Salted Caramel Corn | Make Ahead Mondays


Update: The Pick Giveaway Winner plugin chose Christi P. as the winner of the Whirly Pop and Coconut Oil. Look for the email I’ve sent you, Christi! I can’t even wait for you to get to try these things. Congratulations!

My Grandma is one of my biggest cooking heroes. She has spent the majority of her life feeding people. My Grandpa, her husband, was a pastor who couldn’t walk away from someone who looked hungry, and everyone looked hungry to Grandpa. I’ve mentioned it before, but it bears repeating that one of my most treasured possessions is my collection of recipe cards handwritten for me by Grandma in my first years of marriage. There is just nothing to compare to road-tested recipes written by the hand of someone you love bigger than the bay. The only drawback? Well, maybe I get just a touch weepy whenever I make her recipes. In other words? I weep a lot.

The recipe I’m sharing today is a holiday staple. I only allow myself to make it from December first through January thirty first because otherwise I’d be the size of a house. We give bags of this to friends, Romans and countrymen. In other other words? We give it to EVERYONE. If you walk near my house in Advent, you’re getting a bag full of Salted Caramel Corn shoved in your hands. It’s just the way we do things, because it’s how Grandma does it.

And since we’re talking about Grandma, let me tell you, she was ahead of her time. Grandma was doing Salted Caramel WAY before anyone else. As in decades. When salted caramel hit the food scene I was all, “What? You mean other people DIDN’T salt their caramel?” Honestly. I was agog. Aghast. Alarmed. Arsey-versey. Shall I stop now? Please say yes. I’m all out of words that mean agape that begin with ‘A’. Oh, no I didn’t. Oh yes, I did… Astounded, awestruck, astonished, amazed…

We were, however, talking SALTED Caramel Corn. On the back of the recipe card, Grandma wrote about the final step of the process, “This is what makes it crisp and it does not stick to your teeth-” I’m neither an orthodontist nor have I played one on t.v., but many of my kids’ braces wearing friends are able to eat this with no issues! If you’re looking for a caramel corn that fits the bill for your favourite dental appliance sporting pals, this is the one!

Think of this as the ultimate in caramel corn. It’s perfectly caramelled (new word. I made it up), just a touch salty, crispy and not at all sticky and is totally simple to make. I promise you many accolades and much affection (more ‘A’ words!) if you make a batch of two of these to give away. Here’s where ‘Make Ahead Mondays’ comes into play. This caramel corn is good for about ten days after it’s made. One batch makes roughly eight quarts. Make a batch, bag it up and give it away for the next few days. If it starts softening a bit, crisp it up in a 250°F oven for a few minutes. This is a room-temperature storage item. You want to spread some joy? ” The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear” AND give them a bag of this stuff. I’m pretty sure Buddy would approve. (My final ‘A’ word.)

If you want to try a sample of this good stuff, I’ll be selling it as a fundraiser for Cookies for Kids’ Cancer at the 26th Annual Arts and Crafts Fair at Houghton College in Houghton, New York tomorrow (Tuesday, December 4th) and Wednesday the 5th. Come on down and see me!


Salted Caramel Corn | Make Ahead Mondays

Salted Caramel Corn | Make Ahead Mondays

There is nothing that can compare to Grandma's Salted Caramel Corn with its brown sugar, nutty browned butter and touch of salt. Grandma is a genius.


  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 8 quarts plain (unseasoned, unsalted) popcorn in a very large mixing bowl


Line 2 half-sheet pans with silpats, parchment paper or non-stick foil. Preheat oven to 250°F.

Combine brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, vanilla and salt in a heavy, medium-sized saucepan over medium high heat. Bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the pan from the heat and add the baking soda. It will foam up big time! Don't worry, it's to be expected.

Pour the molten caramel over the popped corn in the bowl and stir gently but thoroughly to evenly coat the popcorn. Split the popcorn between the two prepared pans and spread it out evenly. Bake in the oven for 1 hour, stirring well every 15 minutes. Grandma says "Watch it closely during baking to ensure it doesn't stick and burn. If it tends to do this, lower the temp a tad. This step is what makes it crisp and it does not stick to your teeth!"

Let the caramel corn cool on the pan (if it is sufficiently done, you'll hear it crackling as it cools!), then store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Now the GIVEAWAY! This one is sponsored by ME! Just me! No one else! Several years ago, my Aunt Molly sent my family a Whirly Pop. Have you ever heard of one of these? I hadn’t until she sent me one. It is, in short, the ULTIMATE popcorn popper. It’s a funky pan with built in stirring mechanism that makes up to SIX QUARTS of theatre style popcorn in under THREE MINUTES. I’m telling you, this is on the short list of things I would replace the same day if it broke, not that I see it breaking any time soon. Honestly, folks… it has a 25 year warranty on all moving parts. Can you beat that? We’ve put this thing through its paces for almost seven years and it’s still going strong! We seriously use this every. single. day.  Sometimes we eat three batches a day! Oh! And you can make the best kettle corn of all time in these bad boys, too!

It is so much more inexpensive and incredibly healthier to pop your popcorn this way. Plain bagged popcorn is FAR less costly than and contains none of the weird, nasty preservatives found in the microwave stuff. You can get away with using much less oil when using the Whirly Pop than you would using a big pot on the stove. It’s pretty much the best way ever to make popcorn.

So here’s what I’m giving away. ONE WHIRLY POP…



Believe me, you haven’t had popcorn until you’ve had it popped with coconut oil in a Whirly Pop.

Here’s how to enter! (Be sure to leave a separate comment for each entry method you use so each one is counted!)

Mandatory Entry:

What’s your favourite popcorn topping? Hot sauce? Plain old salt? Sardines? (What? Could happen!) Nutritional yeast? Talk to me!

Optional Entries:

Like Foodie with Family on facebook.

Follow Foodie with Family on Instagram.

Follow Foodie with Family on Pinterest.

Follow Foodie with Family on Twitter.

Tweet the following, “I want to win a Whirly Pop and coconut oil for the perfect popcorn from @foodiewithfam ”

Disclosure: This giveaway is sponsored by me and paid for by me. Sadly, I can’t ship this package outside of the continental US, so this giveaway is only open to residents of the aforementioned!



  1. When I make popcorn at home I either grate some parmesan cheese on top or eat it plain and dip it in sriarcha sauce for a kick!

  2. Butter and salt

  3. How funny that you should mention nutritional yeast. I never heard of it and a friend used it recently as a topping on her kale chips. My favorite popcorn is kettle corn, salty and sweet. If I had to top it, it would be for Hurricane Popcorn, Hawaiian style, using a sprinkling of Furikake! Yum! AND I have not popped with coconut oil before.

    • I’ll tell you, our favourite popcorn of all time is popped in extra virgin coconut oil the sprinkled with salt and Nutritional yeast flakes! It sounds crazy, I know, but it’s sublime!

  4. AND I like you, I like you on facebook. =)

  5. I love caramel corn the best. I also like it drizzled with chocolate…yummy!

  6. Like you on FB.

  7. I follow you on Pinterest.

  8. I also follow you on Twitter.

  9. Normally, just a little light salt will do it for me.

  10. FB fan here!

  11. Following you on Pinterest!

  12. Following you on Instagram

  13. Lorraine Ferguson says:

    Butter & Salt, Parmesean Cheese & Chives!

  14. neonmoon10 says:

    Really good olive oil and salt

  15. neonmoon10 says:

    I follow on FB

  16. neonmoon10 says:

    I follow in Twitter

  17. All depends on the day. I like it plain with butter and salt most of the time, but I’ve been known to dip into some sweet kettle corn too.

  18. i follow in facebook

  19. i follow on twitter

  20. Salt, butter and fresh ground black pepper

  21. Salt and butter….

  22. I can’t believe you just posted this! I searched your site this morning for a caramel corn recipe!! Anyway, I like plain old butter and salt.

  23. I follow you on twitter

  24. Follow on Instagram

  25. Follow on Pinterest

  26. I like foodie with family on Facebook

  27. Butter & salt are my faves, but I’ve also been known to scarf down kettle corn at the summer fairs. Thanks for the tip using coconut oil – I’ll have to give it a try!

  28. I like mine with Parmesan cheese and smoked paprika. I also TOTALLY agree with the coconut oil. It is the only way I pop popcorn!

  29. I’m a purist (or maybe just boring), just butter and salt.

  30. Liked on Facebook

  31. Butter! Yum!

  32. Following on Instagram

  33. Following on Pinterest

  34. Following on Twitter

  35. Tweeted!

  36. Butter, salt, pepper and finely grated parmesan. (We usually use the rinds I keep in the freezer for popping into soups-just pull one out and grate a little off; it goes a long way).

  37. Favorite is plain salt, but I have a thing for kettle corn that just won’t quit!

  38. I’d have to say salt and butter. Boring, I know.

  39. I follow you on FB.

  40. I follow you on Twitter.

  41. I follow you on Instagram.

  42. I mostly love it with just butter and salt. I’m really intrigued about the nutritional yeast though. Have to give it a try.

  43. Judy in CA says:

    An old girlfriend of one of my sons used to make popcorn that was sweet and salty – don’t know how she did it, but man was it good!

    p.s. I’ve followed you on fb and twitter for a long time, and now also on pinterest, instagram and I tweeted. ;-)

  44. I love it with butter, nutritional yeast, and Penzey’s smokey salt. Very taco-esque.

  45. I follow you on Facebook.

  46. I follow you on twitter.

  47. Aaaaaand…. Pinterest.

  48. Aaaaaaaaaaaaand…. Instagram.

  49. We eat a lot of popcorn, and we just do butter and salt, or sometimes Greek or Creole seasoning. I’ll have to branch out. I make mine on the stovetop but I’d love a whirly pop!

  50. I always go back to plain old butter and salt! It’s just good!! I am excited to give coconut oil a try, too. Am slowly trying to wean my family from the evil microwave stuff. I am sure a whirly pop would help!


  1. [...] Foodie with Family shares her grandma’s recipe for salted caramel corn that won’t stick to your teeth. [...]

  2. [...] that Grandma gave me in my first years of marriage. (You can read a couple of those posts here and here.) I cannot even find the words to say what my Grandma means to me.  Every single one of those [...]

  3. […] one of my Grandma’s recipes were the way to go. I poured the caramel coating from her famous Salted Caramel Corn recipe over a mixing bowl full of rice Chex and salty, skinny pretzel sticks and stirred carefully. This […]

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