Snacks

Homemade Microwave Caramel Corn

4.7 from 39 votes
Learn how to make my Homemade Microwave Caramel Corn recipe which will deliver you a sweet and crispy result without buying those store-bought packages.
Homemade Microwave Caramel Popcorn made in Minutes! the best kind of fast food. It is low-fat, gluten free, inexpensive and a great snack food.

Hi Bold Bakers!

Homemade Microwave Caramel Corn, who knew that was possible? Not me until recently. You will have to see it to believe it but trust me. Out of a brown paper bag comes crunchy Caramel Corn that is covered in a crisp shell of caramel that you would only imagine would have to be baked to get those results. I have created a lot of crazy recipes in a microwave (like my Mug Pizza & Chocolate Molten Lava Cake in a Mug) but I think this Microwave Caramel Corn has to be one of the craziest! And by crazy, I mean awesome!

When making fresh Popcorn at home you usually have to buy those store-bought microwave packets. They are a fast convenient solution, right? But did you know you can make it yourself in just 2 MINUTES in the microwave with only a brown paper bag and some popcorn kernels? It sounds crazy but when you try it you won’t believe the results.

Popcorn can be a delicious blank canvas for you to add your favorite flavors and seasonings to.

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Homemade Microwave Popcorn is the best kind of fast food. It is low-fat, gluten free, inexpensive and a great snack food.

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The best thing about making your own is that you get to control the ingredients that go into it, like real butter instead of a “butter-like substance” and so on.

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Make a simple caramel in the microwave and pour it all over your popcorn in the bag.

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Out of the microwave in a few minutes you will have this gorgeous Homemade Caramel Corn.

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100% made in the microwave, no fuss and it is crispy and crunchy just like baked Caramel Corn, go figure!

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Find my other Homemade Microwave Popcorn flavors here.

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Watch The Recipe Video!

Microwave Caramel Popcorn Recipe

4.7 from 39 votes
Learn how to make my Homemade Microwave Caramel Corn recipe which will deliver you a sweet and crispy result without buying those store-bought packages.
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 1 -2
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 2 mins
Total Time 7 mins
Learn how to make my Homemade Microwave Caramel Corn recipe which will deliver you a sweet and crispy result without buying those store-bought packages.
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 1 -2

Ingredients

  • cup (60g/2oz) popcorn kernels
  • 5 tablespoons (2 ½ oz/ 75g) butter
  • ½ cup (3oz/90g) dark brown sugar
  • 2 ½ tablespoons (1 ½ oz/45g ) maple syrup (or golden syrup but not honey)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda

Instructions

  • Put the popcorn kernels in a medium brown paper bag. Roll the top of it closed nice and tight. This will keep in the steam while cooking
  • Place the bag upright in the microwave and cook for roughly 1 minute 35-50 seconds or until the kernels stop popping at the rate of at least 1 per second. Keep an eye on it (my microwave is 1200 watts so your cooking time may vary depending on your microwave)
  • To make the caramel: In a medium microwave-proof bowl add the butter, brown sugar and maple syrup.
  • Microwave until it begins to bubble up (approximately 1 minute 30/ 2 minutes)
  • Remove from the microwave and stir in the baking soda, vanilla extract and salt and stir until the mixture is foamy and the soda is well-dissolved.
  • Pour the syrup over the popped corn in the bag. With a spatula get down to the very bottom of the bag and make sure the caramel is really well distributed throughout the corn.
  • Microwave for 1 minutes. Remove the bag and with a towel holding the bag run your spatula all around and to the bottom of the bag mixing up the caramel corn really well. Mixing it really well will prevent your popcorn from burning.
  • Repeat the microwave process for another 30 seconds or so and stir well again. Continue for short intervals until you have reached a lovely golden brown caramel color.
  • Pour out into a large tray or surface and cool, stirring occasionally to break into individual kernels
  • store in an airtight container for 4 days.

Recipe Notes

*make sure there are no holes in your brown paper bag
* stay close by the microwave while cooking so you can hear it pop, the popcorn can burn if cooked too long
*Place bag standing upright, not on its side
*store popcorn in an airtight container for 2 days.

 

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Sasu

125 thoughts on “Homemade Microwave Caramel Corn

  1. if youre still active on this platform, is there a reason why we cant substitute maple syrup or golden syrup with honey? i dont have those so can we just skip it out or is there a function for maple syrup?

    1. Hi Shan,
      I am always active on this platform – eagle-eyed!
      There is no good reason not to substitute honey for any liquid sugar. This is high in fructose and this will caramelize just like any sugar.
      Give it a go, light honey will be best,
      Gemma 🙂

  2. Hi Gemma!
    This taste SO AWESOME! I am so addicted to it and can’t stop eating 🙂
    Thank you Gemma for the easy and convenient recipe 🙂
    I replace the maple syrup with my left over hotcakes syrup from McD and it taste as awesome!

    1. Hi Pooja,
      maple syrup is natural sugar syrup, drawn from a particular maple tree. It is difficult to mimic the flavor, or indeed the texture of this fabulous thing.
      It really depends on the purpose of it, and certainly you can use a dark sugar syrup, a simple syrup, on the way to a caramel. This may be a poor relative (https://www.biggerbolderbaking.com/molasses-substitute/) and does not have that great flavor, but it depends on what you wish to use it for,
      Gemma 🙂

  3. Instead of maple syrup we used 2 Tbsp corn syrup and 1 1/2 tsp molasses. We followed the paper bag technique and it is fabulous and very quick compared to using an oven. Thanks so much! I just found Gemma on YouTube and look forward to trying more of her recipes!

  4. Hi Gemma, recipe #2 of yours, for me tonight, I used your granola recipe earlier.😊

    This caramel corn was so easy to make! I’ve never made it before and I liked using the microwave instead of the stovetop method. I think it just made everything so much easier to control , particularly the caramel part.

    I altered your recipe a bit first of all I used a large glass casserole to pop the popcorn. I find it’s much easier than using a bag in general but especially for this recipe (and I was able to store the popcorn in it when I was done making it. Bonus!) And, after last round in the microwave to cook the caramel, I stirred in some almonds and then put it on a cookie sheet to cool. I also used about a quarter teaspoon less salt.
    Overall a very delicious and easy recipe to use , next time I will double it! 😀😁🍭💗
    Thank you

  5. Just made this for hubby and I. Oh so yummy! Instead of trying to mix syrup into full bag of popped corn, I poured some of the popcorn in a bowl, mixed some syrup into what was left in bag and than poured the rest of popcorn back into the bag with the rest of the syrup. Made it easier to mix.

    P.S. Bought your cookbook and love, love, love it. I love to sit and look at the pictures, not to mention all the great recipes!

  6. Gemma- First, I LOVE your recipes! Second- I have an air popping machine that I make popcorn with, would this recipe work if I made the popcorn into a bowl and then did the microwaving to make the caramel set on the popcorn, or would that make it burn?

    1. Hi Jackie,
      I think it worth a try! I think you will need to monitor it, but it should work well for you. Try a little sample, that will tell all.
      Thank you for being in touch, do let us know the results,
      Gemma 🙂

  7. I made the popcorn on the stove top and baked the caramel corn for 20 minutes stirring a few times. It is incredible. I like using the maple syrup instead of corn syrup that I’ve seen in some recipes. This recipe is a keeper!

  8. After you pop the popcorn and make the caramel can you mix it all together in a bowl instead of in the brown paper bag? I’m from Northern Ireland but live in Canada. We used to buy popcorn in Belfast called Butterkist. Delicious. I love your website and videos and all your recipes. You are a genius.

  9. Hi gemma, i was wondering i have a popcorn machine and i make popcorn in it so can i make the test of the ingreadients in the microwave with a safe-microwave bowl ?

    1. Hi Lily,
      If I understand you correctly then I think you should just carry on and make it in the microwave, not too sure what you want to do in the microwave, if it the caramel, then yes! no problem,
      Gemma 🙂

  10. Thank you for this recipe Gemma, I’m Edem from Ghana, butter costs so much here, can I use hard margarine instead?, secondly, what do you think if I add powdered milk cream to the sauce to give it that milky taste ?

    1. Hi there,
      I do not think that it will work for you Edem. Margarine is hydrogenated vegetable oil, and it does not do exactly as butter does.
      You could try it with a little, just a test, and do let us know how you get on too.
      I think you could use a powdered cream, but it is best to reconstitute it first.
      not much help, but you can experiment a little,
      Gemma 😉

  11. Hi Gemma!

    It’s amazing that the popcorn tastes so crunchy and lovely! Although some popcorn was overcooked, but overall the result was just fine 😀 Thanks Gemma for sharing this delicious recipe!

    Sasu

  12. Hi Gemma!
    I’ve been following you on youtube and i love your recipe & ideas !!! Im a big fan of your!! I love caremel popcorns anyhow i have 1 question to ask you, after pour the caremel sauce and mixed it do i need to roll the top back nice & tight? Or shall i leave it open? Thank you!! Cant wait for your new recipe!! Cheers

    1. hi there, I do not know if this will work as I do not have it where I am. Do try it though, a small amount so as not to waste it, and let the other bold bakers know how it worked for you, Gemma 🙂

  13. Hi Gemma! I just made the caramel corn and it was so quick and easy! I was wondering though, it was a bit diffucult to evenly coat all of the popcorn with the caramel in the bag, so would it be possible to pop the corn in the bag, pour it into a bowl, and brown the caramel in the bowl?

  14. Hello Gemma, I haven’t made it yet but I want to as a party favor for a baby shower. 2 questions. (1)how long you have to store in an airtight container? In the instructions one area states 4 days and at the bottom it states 2 days.
    (2) must you store it for a few days in order for it to come out right or are you stating that it will last that long in an airtight container?

    1. Hi Renee,
      it is best used up as soon as it is made, but it will keep well for 2 – 4 days in an airtight container.
      Do try it before you need it to be sure it will work for your need,
      Gemma 🙂

      1. I tried the recipe today and it tastes delicious! It is crunchy when I bite into it but then tastes a little soft and soggy . Is that the way the texture should be alright my doing wrong ?

  15. Hi Gemma! I have only been a subscriber for a short while but I stumbled upon your microwave videos when my kitchen was being remodeled and we could only eat microwave food. This recipe was AMAZING! I made the caramel corn. The only thing that I thought was a little off was that it was a little too salty for my taste but thank you anyways!!<3

  16. Hi Gemma I was wondering if you had a cook book on your microwave mug meals ,my niece is going off to college and has no idea on how to cook and I thought this would be the perfect gift. If not IAM so willing to sit down and write down every recipe you have. Love your recipes and your accent makes it more enjoyable to try them .please help me out by saying you have a book out. Thank you and lots of love ..Josie

    1. Hi Josie,
      I wish I had this ready, it is in the planning, but not ready for this year. I am heartened by your comment though, it is what I think will work, for lots of students. thank you for the encouragement!
      Gemma 🙂

  17. Hi gemma. I love your recpies but I have one question. In the caramel mixture can I put peanut butter inside it to make it more big and bold. So it will be peanut butter popcorn. Please answer

  18. Hi Gemma, my caramel popcorn turn a little bit salty its normal? It can be from the sugar because a used not so dark brown sugar…

    1. Hi Leandro,
      It should not be the sugar, I am not sure what went wrong here.
      This is the recipe:
      1/3 cup (60g/2oz) popcorn kernels
      5 tablespoons (2 ½ oz/ 75g) butter
      ½ cup (3oz/90g) dark brown sugar
      2 ½ tablespoons (1 ½ oz/45g ) maple syrup (or golden syrup but not honey)
      1 teaspoon vanilla extract
      1 ½ teaspoons salt
      ½ teaspoon baking soda
      Perhaps you added a little too much salt, or else it was not to your taste. Add less salt next time if this is so,
      Gemma 🙂

      1. Thank you for this recipe Gemma, I’m in Ghana and butter costs so much here, thinking of using hard margarine, secondly what do you think if I add powdered milk cream to the sauce to give it that milky taste?

  19. I didn’t put the 1 and a half salt that was recommended and it didn’t come out really sweet, which is okay with me. I feel that the one and a half salt makes it too sweet. Next time I’ll use the 1 tsp instead of the half only. Other than that, it came out okay.

  20. The recipe came out great, but the next time I use it. I plan to cut the recipe in half. I already wrote the recipe out to cut it in half. I’ve done that a few times with other recipes, because I’m only one person and I plan on eating it for a snack. Still it’s such a great recipe. I finally got all the ingredients to make a lot of your mug recipes.

  21. Okay it came out okay, not the greatest, since I didn’t use real butter and I use pancake maple syrup, but next time I’ll have the stuff I need to make it again. Until then I’ll eat what I made for a snack.

  22. I had to use pancake maple syrup and it came out okay. I’m waiting for it to cool. I’ll try the liquid maple syrup for cooking when I pick some up. I’ll let you know how it tastes.

  23. Hi Gemma! I Love your work! I make your recepie all the time!
    I have a question: I don’t eat any dairy, can I replace the butter in the caramel? if so’ to what?

    1. Hi Noa,
      A little oil, whichever you usually use, in the same quantity, or a little less,
      Gemma 🙂

  24. Best 6 min ever spent! Well maybe that’s a bit far lol, but this Carmel corn is perfect and so easy! Thank you so much!!!!

  25. Hi Gemma, Thanks alot for wonderful superb vids, you are really a big inspiration to other chefs.

    My question. .what is the difference between corn syrup and golden syrup ? Since maple syrup is not available in Qatar.

    Thank you

    1. Thanks for your question. Corn syrup comes from corn but golden syrup comes from cane sugar or beet sugar. Hope this helps 🙂

  26. Making the caramel…Instead of pouring it into the bag can you not put the popcorn in the bowl stir it up good and cover to microwave again?

    1. Thanks for your comment, Lily. You can sigh-up for my weekly newsletter on the homepage of this website. Let me know if you have trouble finding it 🙂

      1. cannot log on says invalid email or password it is right can’t be bothered anyway was trying to cancel bloggers emails replies too many would like to get news letter though my email and password are correct not changing my password thankyou Lily

  27. Hi just wondering if you can substitute corn syrup for maple syrup been making popcorn in paper lunch bags they tend to leak hard to find any other paper bags thankyou Lily

  28. Gemma, I really love your recipes. For this recipe I don’t have brown sugar in my house right now, so I wanted to know if i could use normal sugar and by how much?

    1. Thanks for your question, Abigail. You can use regular sugar and you will need to use the same amount the recipe calls for. Hope this helps 🙂

  29. Hi Gemma!
    big fan of your work!
    And I have a question
    Can these be made on an special microwave Tupperware? Or the bag is completely necessary?

  30. Gemma, this popcorn is amazing! 😀 I used to make a similar caramel sauce using butter, sugar and some salt, and drizzle it over my popcorn, but I never though to then put it back in the microwave to create crispy toffee corn! Thank you so much for the recipe. : )

  31. I Just love the Caramel Popcorn. And its looks perfect in the video!!!! I definitely will give it a try.

    You have mentioned not Honey, is there any particular reason. Its pretty tricky and hard (also costly I might add) to find maple syrup from where I come.

    I generally have substituted Honey for most of your recipes, so curious on this one.

    Is there any other substitute I could use?

    1. Thanks for your question. I recommend to not use honey because it has a much stronger flavor. If you don’t have access to maple syrup, you can use golden syrup, just like it says in the recipe. Hope this helps! 🙂

  32. Hi Gemma, everything looks good but i just want to say that not all of us have microwaves, i got rid of mine 10 years ago after reading all the harm it does. Is there any other way of making your recipe’s without a microwave? I have tried most of your (non microwave) recipe’s and they all turned out fantastic! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    1. Thanks for your comment, Mila. You can use a regular oven or toaster oven. I believe it will be 6-8 minutes at 350oF. Every mug and oven is different, so be sure to keep an eye on it 🙂

  33. Hi gemma! I have been watching u since u had less then 100 subscribers and your channel had definitely grown and is now even more amazing! !! Could u show a recipe for something that can impress people. ( easy impreaive cookies or brownies) every week I make one of ur recipes and take them into school. Their favorite is your smore cookies!!!
    Thank you!!
    Subscriber from London xxxx

    1. Aw oh man, well then I owe you a thank you. You are very kind to still here along with me for the journey. And we are about to celebrate our 2 year birthday day :). I’m delighted you are trying my recipes and I’ll have lots more for you to bring to school.

      Best,
      Gemma.

  34. Golden syrup or maple syrup aren’t available where I live (or they are expensive ) was eagerly waiting for caramel popcorn. Isn’t there any substitute?

    1. Hi,

      the only other solution I can give is corn syrup (which i’m guessing is hard to find too) or honey. However the thing about honey is that it has a strong flavor and you would have to be careful not to let it burn because it will cook faster then maple syrup. honestly you can try it and just keep an eye on it. Also you can use golden syrup.

      1. I often substitute Agave for maple syrup, if I don’t have real maple syrup in the house. Agave doesn’t have as strong a flavor as maple syrup but it’s the right color and consistency. Also if you don’t have dark brown sugar, you can add 2Tbsp. of dark molasses to 1 cup white sugar with a wisk until combined.

        1. Hi Alyson,
          Yes, that is a great tip, thank you. I will shortly do a sugars chart, describing this method to make brown sugar. It is not available everywhere.
          Thank you for your contribution,
          Gemma 🙂

      2. Hi Gemma!! I have two blogs which are the first place I google trustworthy recipes and yours is one. Thank you for making things down to earth with tons of alternatives and explanation of difficult steps.
        QUESTION: Can you substitute the maple syrup for the homemade corn syrup substitute you have on your blog? See, I live in Uruguay and almost every kind of syrups is extremely difficult to find. (There is organic agave syrup which is easy to get though, but not the same…)

        Thanks indeed for your dedication and hard work, it usually makes my baking A LOT easier and less “panicking” LOL!

        1. Hi Maria,
          Thank you for your very kind remarks, I appreciate your support.
          in theory yes, though I am not sure it has sufficient sugar to caramelize, and that is what you need.
          The agave will caramelize however as it is high in fructose, being plant-based. You could try a little sample I think, but the agave should just do it, I think I would go for that,
          Gemma 🙂

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About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere! No matter your skills, I have you covered. Sign up for my FREE weekly emails and join millions of other Bold Bakers in the community for new recipes, baking techniques, and more every week!

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