Vegan Caramel Corn

I have been making this simple but delicious recipe for several years and it is amazing! There are only six ingredients and you do not even have to use a candy thermometer! Here is what you need to make your own vegan caramel corn:

You will also need a large roasting pan, parchment paper, and some non-stick spray:

Spray the roasting pan with the non-stick spray, then wipe off any excess. You just want a thin film to keep the caramel from sticking:

Air pop popcorn until you have 120 g (20 cups) of popped popcorn. I like to use a paper bag and pop mine in the microwave, but you can use any air popping method that you like. It takes about 165 g (3/4 cup) of popcorn kernels to make that much popped popcorn. I pop 55 g (1/4 cup) at a time in a paper bag with the top folded over:

The following cooking times work in my microwave, but you may have to adjust them for your microwave. Cook on high for 1 minute 30 seconds, then remove the bag. Hold the bag from the top, and shake to get all the unpopped kernels to go to the bottom. Carefully open the bag, and scoop all the popped popcorn into a large bowl. Be careful not to touch the unpopped kernels as they are burning hot! Fold the top of the bag over again, and put it back in the microwave. Cook on high for another 50 seconds, then add the rest of the popped popcorn to the bowl. Repeat two more times, then weigh or measure 120 g (20 cups) to use for your caramel corn. Add the popcorn to the prepared pan and spread it out evenly:

Preheat your oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. Add the vegan brown sugar, Karo syrup, and salt to a medium-sized saucepan. (I like the flavor of half light brown and half dark brown sugar, but you can use all of either one and the caramel corn will still be delicious!)

Then add the vanilla and vegan butter. I use Earth Balance Buttery Spread and I do not like the flavor of the sticks for this recipe. If you live outside of the USA, use your favorite vegan butter.

Heat on low until the vegan butter is melted:

Next, put the pan of popcorn in the oven to get it warm. This makes it easier to coat it evenly with the syrup in the next step. It is helpful to have another person available to get the pan out of the oven right before the syrup is ready. (If you are making the caramel corn on your own, remove the cooked syrup from the heat and then get your popcorn out of the oven.)

Increase the temperature on the syrup to medium (I use 280 degrees on my induction cooktop) and bring the syrup to a boil while stirring constantly:

Boil for four minutes, then pour the cooked syrup over the warm popcorn:

Immediately begin stirring and gently tossing the popcorn until it is evenly coated with syrup and all of the syrup is off the bottom of the pan:

Place the pan in the hot oven and bake at 275 degrees Fahrenheit for one hour and fifteen minutes. Stir three times during the baking time (about every 18 minutes) and again after removing the pan from the oven:

Here is a close-up of the baked caramel corn!

Slide the caramel corn onto a piece of parchment that is a little bigger than the size of your roasting pan. Spread it out a bit and allow it to cool:

As soon as your caramel corn is completely cool, transfer it to an airtight container, Ziploc bag, or treat bags. Any humidity in the air will make the caramel corn sticky so you don’t want to leave it out. I like to make up treat bags and add curly ribbons for holidays and parties!

Enjoy!

 

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Vegan Caramel Corn

This delicious vegan caramel corn is easy to make and is the perfect treat for fall holidays and parties!

Course Dessert, Snack
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings 10 Servings
Calories 320 kcal
Author Deborah Mesdag

Ingredients

  • 120 g (20 c) Air Popped Popcorn
  • 110 g (1/2 c packed) Vegan Light Brown Sugar
  • 110 g (1/2 c packed) Vegan Dark Brown Sugar
  • 125 g (3/8 c) Light Karo Syrup
  • 4.8 g (3/4 tsp) Salt
  • 15 g (1 TBS) Vanilla Extract
  • 210 g (15 TBS) Earth Balance Spread

Instructions

  1. Spray a roasting pan with non-stick spray, then wipe off any excess. You just want a thin film to keep the caramel from sticking.

  2. Air pop popcorn until you have 120 g (20 cups) of popped popcorn. I like to use a paper bag and pop mine in the microwave, but you can use any air popping method that you like. It takes about 165 g (3/4 cup) of popcorn kernels to make that much popped popcorn. I pop 55 g (1/4 cup) at a time in a paper bag with the top folded over. The following cooking times work in my microwave, but you may have to adjust them for your microwave. Cook on high for 1 minute 30 seconds, then remove the bag. Hold the bag from the top, and shake to get all the unpopped kernels to go to the bottom. Carefully open the bag, and scoop all the popped popcorn into a large bowl. Be careful not to touch the unpopped kernels as they are burning hot! Fold the top of the bag over again, and put it back in the microwave. Cook on high for another 50 seconds, then add the rest of the popped popcorn to the bowl. Repeat two more times, then weigh or measure 120 g (20 cups) to use for your caramel corn. Add the popcorn to the prepared pan and spread it out evenly.

  3. Preheat your oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.

  4. Add the vegan brown sugar, Karo syrup, and salt to a medium-sized saucepan. Then add the vanilla and vegan butter. I use Earth Balance Buttery Spread and I do not like the flavor of the sticks for this recipe. If you live outside of the USA, use your favorite vegan butter. Heat on low until the vegan butter is melted.

  5. Next, put the pan of popcorn in the oven to get it warm. This makes it easier to coat it evenly with the syrup in the next step. It is helpful to have another person available to get the pan out of the oven right before the syrup is ready. (If you are making the caramel corn on your own, remove the cooked syrup from the heat and then get your popcorn out of the oven.)
  6. Increase the temperature on the syrup to medium (I use 280 degrees on my induction cooktop) and bring the syrup to a boil while stirring constantly.

  7. Boil for four minutes, then pour the cooked syrup over the warm popcorn. Immediately begin stirring and gently tossing the popcorn until it is evenly coated with syrup and all of the syrup is off the bottom of the pan.

  8. Place the pan in the hot oven and bake at 275 degrees Fahrenheit for one hour and fifteen minutes. Stir three times during the baking time (about every 18 minutes) and again after removing the pan from the oven.

  9. Slide the caramel corn onto a piece of parchment that is a little bigger than the size of your roasting pan. Spread it out a bit and allow it to cool.

  10. As soon as your caramel corn is completely cool, transfer it to an airtight container, Ziploc bag, or treat bags. Any humidity in the air will make the caramel corn sticky so you don’t want to leave it out. I like to make up treat bags and add curly ribbons for holidays and parties!

Recipe Notes

I like the flavor of half vegan light brown sugar and half dark brown. You can use all light or all dark brown sugar if you prefer and the caramel corn will still be great!

8 thoughts on “Vegan Caramel Corn”

    1. Where do you live, Satya? I will look up where you can buy Karo syrup, or what you can use as a substitute if it is not available where you live.

  1. Wonderful recipe!! I haven’t had caramel since becoming a Vegan! I had no idea it could be done. I am bringing the caramel corn to a tailgate party this weekend and suspect no one will have any idea its vegan! Thank you for the great recipe! I did sneak a few tastes so I already know it tastes grand!

    1. I am so glad you like it, Julie! I will be posting my caramel recipe soon as well, so keep an eye out for it. Vegan caramel apples and chocolate covered caramels are also possible and wonderful!

  2. Hi Deborah I just tried your Carmel popcorn 🍿 so yammy it took sometime but the end results was great .Got demolished in minutes thanks again xx

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