Homemade Caramel Corn for the Big Game

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Making homemade caramel corn is easy and quick and it’s perfect for that Big Game! All you need is popcorn, butter and sugar to make a delicious snack.

big game

It’s that time of year when football season is, sadly, coming to an end.  But that also means it’s time to throw a fun party for the big game! My husband starts planning our party for the big game about six months ahead of time.  There is much discussion about food, of course.

Big Game

I usually put out a nice set of snacks for the first half of the game and then serve hot food during half-time.  At the snack table we always have chips and dip and veggies and dip.  This year we decided to do chips and dip with homemade caramel corn as part of our snack spread.

homemade caramel corn

After finalizing the menu with my husband, I headed to Smart & Final to pick up our supplies.  Smart & Final is a great place to do a one stop shop for  everything I needed for our party from napkins to popcorn.  Smart & Final carries warehouse size items and regular size items without a club fee, making shopping easy, less expensive and less daunting to shop in than a big warehouse store!  I was able to buy bulk sizes of Simply Value napkins, forks, spoons, and plates at great prices.  I also spied these Simply Value brown paper lunch bags and thought they’d be great for snacking on caramel corn during the game.

homemade caramel corn

Caramel corn is surprisingly easy to make.  It’s just a matter of popping some popcorn, making the topping and then letting it bake for awhile in the oven.   All you need is about an hour and you will have a sweet snack ready to go.  Someday I’m planning to play around with some other toppings like nuts and chocolate!  You start with 16 cups of plain popcorn.  I used 1/2 cup of popcorn kernels in my air popper and got just under 16 cups and called it good.

homemade caramel corn

Then you make your caramel mixture on the the stove.  Once the caramel is ready to go, coat the popcorn in it by stirring it on.  Bake the sheet in the oven for an hour.  You can make the caramel corn ahead of time or take this time to set up your big game snack spread.

homemade caramel corn

I have these really cute containers to hold napkins and paper plates for the spread, but I have no idea where I put them.  Somewhere really safe! So I decided to use the Simply Value lunch bags to corral the napkins but cutting off the top half. It works great!

caramel corn

When the caramel is done cooking, break it apart.  Fill up a few Simply Value lunch bags for guests to pick up and snack on during the big game!

Homemade Caramel Corn
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 stick butter
  • ¼ cup honey (or corn syrup)
  • A pinch of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 16 cups of popped popcorn (approximately ½ cup un-popped popcorn kernels, popped in an air popper)
  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
  2. Put popcorn in a very, very large bowl.
  3. Measure out salt and baking soda in to a small bowl and set aside.
  4. Get out a jelly roll or rimmed baking sheet and set aside.
  5. In a saucepan, bring the brown sugar, butter and honey to a boil, stirring constantly.
  6. Once the mixture is boiling, continue to stir continuously for 5 minutes.
  7. Turn off heat and add baking soda and salt.
  8. Quickly pour mixture over the popcorn and stir well to coat the popcorn in the caramel.
  9. Pour popcorn on to the large baking sheet (I put parchment or a baking mat down in case the honey sticks but have never had a problem).
  10. Bake at 200 degrees for 1 hour.
  11. Take the cookie sheet out of the oven and quickly begin breaking apart the popcorn. The caramel will harden as it cools and if you don't break the popcorn apart, you'll have popcorn balls or sheets.



  1. Barbara says

    I like Carmel corn but can I use a bag or two of microwave corn since I don’t have an air popper. How important is it to have season/oil free popcorn to make a successful batch.

    • says

      I’ve only made it with plain popcorn, but I would think it would be fine with butter or seasonings on it. It just may change the flavor a bit. Microwave popcorn is just fine, though!

  2. says

    We just love Caramel Corn, this is a great recipe. Thanks for helping us celebrate Three Years at Full Plate Thursday. Hope you have a great week and come back soon!
    Miz Helen
    Miz Helen recently posted..Man CookiesMy Profile


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