Sweet Hot Caramel Corn

I got the bug. The bug to make caramel corn. This time of year makes me want caramel corn. Growing up my mom would make popcorn balls, but our neighbor, Delia Burnett, made the popcorn balls I craved and I couldn’t wait to go to her house on Halloween to get them! Her popcorn balls were sugary crispy sweet. Not gooey, stick to your teeth sweet. They were the kind that didn’t feel like your teeth wanted to pull out while eating them.


This caramel corn reminds me some of those popcorn balls. Its not chewy but its sweet and crunchy and it is oh so addicting. Once you start, you have a hard time stopping until it is all gone. Isn’t that right Auntie Marlene? 😉

Sweet Hot Caramel Corn

Grumpy was grumpy because I made this caramel corn – not because he doesn’t like it, but because I also had candy pumpkins and candy corn in the house. We both have a tendency to not stop eating those items until we are either 1. Sick or 2. They are all gone. However, I HAD to have those pumpkins and caramel corn for my candy dishes. It wouldn’t be Halloween decorated if I didn’t….right?!! In any case my Aunt Marlene, friend Amanda, and my son Justin with his Wife Kristina and last but not least my son Christopher all got bags of this treat. Hope you enjoyed everyone! I know I did. I kind of want to make some more!

Sweet & Spicy Caramel Corn
Adapted from Allrecipes.com: My Friend’s Amish Caramel Corn

1 cup butter
1/2 cup corn syrup
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon grey sea salt
2 pinches (or to taste) of red pepper flakes
1 cup unpopped popcorn
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Pop corn with air popper. Place the popped popcorn into large roaster pan.

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Combine the brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, pepper flakes and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring enough to blend. Once the mixture begins to boil, boil for 5 minutes while stirring constantly.

Remove from the heat, and stir in the baking soda and vanilla. The mixture will be light and foamy. Immediately pour over the popcorn in the pans, and stir to coat. Don’t worry too much at this point about getting all of the corn coated.

Bake for 1 hour, removing the pans, and giving them each a good stir every 15 minutes. Line the counter top with waxed paper. Dump the corn out onto the waxed paper and separate the pieces. Allow to cool completely, then store in airtight containers or resealable bags.

About the Author: Shelby Law Ruttan

Shelby is the author/owner of Grumpy's Honeybunch. Established in 2007, she shares and preserves family recipes as well as recipes for cooking light and keto. She is an experienced, self-taught home cook who loves to share recipes with others. You can see her work on websites such as Veal Made Easy, Parade, Community Table, SoFab Food, Yummly, and FoodGawker.


  1. Lisa September 29, 2009 at 12:39 am - Reply

    Wow, that looks good!

  2. Linda September 29, 2009 at 12:47 am - Reply

    OH WOW! Let me say that again…OH WOW! I am going to make a batch of this for the weekend. I love the ingredients in this!
    I laughed about you and the candy corn, etc….I know that so well in this house!

  3. Jenny September 29, 2009 at 12:49 am - Reply

    You and I must share a brain, I have candied popcorn ready to make tomorrow! Yours looks beautiful my dear. Just stumbled for you 🙂

  4. Coleen's Recipes September 29, 2009 at 12:52 am - Reply

    Halloween treat??? It is still September!! (wink) This looks delicious…..addictingly delicious.

  5. Barbara Bakes September 29, 2009 at 12:53 am - Reply

    I like all kinds of caramel corn, sticky and crunchy, but I haven't tried spicy yet!

  6. Devan Geselle. N September 29, 2009 at 1:04 am - Reply

    nice! sweet and salty combo never fails!

  7. Mags September 29, 2009 at 1:27 am - Reply

    Love the addition of the spice! I'm with you on not liking the sticky kind of caramel corn. My godmother made the best and she'd give me my own big bag of it every year for Christmas. No one could make caramel corn the way she did.

  8. Andora September 29, 2009 at 1:53 am - Reply

    This looks really good and easy to make..and I know what you mean about the candy in the house,don't stop until it is all gone..LOL..
    I am gonna give this a try…

  9. Gera @ SweetsFoods September 29, 2009 at 1:54 am - Reply

    Kids and adults love this combo. I adore this explosion of sweet and spicy flavor in my mouth!



  10. Diane C September 29, 2009 at 2:34 am - Reply

    Sounds wonderful, never thought of adding red pepper flakes to carmel corn. Will have to try it out.
    My household loves white chocolate popcorn, especially at Christmas time.

  11. noble pig September 29, 2009 at 4:27 am - Reply

    I'm not sure who will like it better…me or the kids?

  12. Susie September 29, 2009 at 4:57 am - Reply

    Awesome! Who'd have thought to put a spice in it – yummy! I'm gonna remember this to take to the office at the holidays. It'll surprise everybody!

  13. Fallon September 29, 2009 at 5:19 am - Reply

    I loveee caramel corn. I know what you mean when you start you can't stop. 😉

  14. Alexandra Proctor September 29, 2009 at 6:49 am - Reply

    hey shelby,
    you want that flavour combo super easy with no work????
    Melt 2 Tbsp of your Red Pepper Spice Blend from http://www.madewithlove.ca with 1/4 cup butter stir together 3-5 minutes and pour over a batch (1/2 cup kernels)of air or kettle popped corn, scraping all the yummies out of your pan….amazing. We are all addicted!

  15. Jessie September 29, 2009 at 12:51 pm - Reply

    Oh I loveee caramel popcorn, I never had it with red pepper flakes though. I can imagine it tastes even better

  16. Jamie September 29, 2009 at 1:11 pm - Reply

    This is so funny Shelby. I was just thinking of how I need to make some caramel popcorn and bam!, there it was on your site. Also, we've already gone through our first bag of candy corn, the autumn mix kind. My husband loves candy corn. Like you said, I have to fill my candy dish with something.

  17. Ingrid September 29, 2009 at 4:07 pm - Reply

    Well, you know I like caramel corn as I just made a batch not too long ago! Yours looks good and has me wanting more!

  18. Patsyk September 29, 2009 at 5:04 pm - Reply

    caramel corn is one of my downfalls… so hard to resist and only take one handful!

  19. averagebetty September 29, 2009 at 5:05 pm - Reply

    Perfect for Halloween! I love Caramel Corn… might like to add some cashews too 🙂

  20. CookiePie September 29, 2009 at 5:19 pm - Reply

    Oh my gosh, I love popcorn so much — this looks like a perfect treat!

  21. HoneyB September 29, 2009 at 6:04 pm - Reply

    Hey all, my son Christopher called to ask me if I used a spoon for something else I was making to stir the pot. he he. He could taste the heat and thought I had goofed up. He could feel the heat in his mouth. 😉 He also said it was the best caramel corn he had ever had! Love my kids!!

  22. Katy ~ September 30, 2009 at 12:02 am - Reply

    Gosh, I love caramel corn; I've never made it though. Silly me! But I'd have to eat it until 1. it was gone or 2. until I was sick, LOL!!!!

  23. Cinnamon Girl aka Reeni♥ September 30, 2009 at 1:20 am - Reply

    Sounds yummy! I like the more crispy type too.

  24. Karine October 1, 2009 at 1:53 am - Reply

    If I had this in my house, I would eat it too quickly!

  25. Carol Peterman October 1, 2009 at 5:49 pm - Reply

    Now you've got me craving caramel corn. I have never tried the baking step after coating the popped corn. Very interesting.

  26. Shelly W October 2, 2009 at 1:53 am - Reply

    Salty, sweet, and spicy…perfect!

  27. Kevin October 3, 2009 at 6:25 pm - Reply

    That caramel corn looks so good! I like the sound of adding some heat to it!

  28. Hugging the Coast October 5, 2009 at 12:04 pm - Reply

    I make a lot of popcorn for the people at work, so I'll definitely be keeping this recipe in mind!

  29. Amanda October 11, 2009 at 2:49 pm - Reply

    Spicy sweet?? I bet that's good!

  30. Maria July 22, 2010 at 2:00 pm - Reply

    This looks addicting!

  31. jodie April 21, 2014 at 10:51 pm - Reply

    This sounds really good and like all my family would like that!

  32. […] I’m super happy. These Sweet and Salty Popcorn balls do the trick as well as this recipe for Sweet Hot Caramel Corn and Chocolate Drizzled Kettle Corn with Almonds! The textures, sweet, heat, salt and crunch have me […]

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Shelby Welcome! I'm Shelby, author of Grumpy's Honeybunch. I have been sharing family favorite recipes since 2007. I started the Keto Diet in October 2017 and since then I have been creating Keto ... read more

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