Caramel Popcorn

Oh, this sweet, yummy goodness! I’ll claim to make the best caramel popcorn in existence, but I can’t take claim for the recipe. I inherited the recipe when I got married, and over the years it has become a family favorite of ours, with many memories built around it.

I used to only think of fall when caramel popcorn was mentioned, but now I think of… after school snacks, Sunday evening treats, and Brazillians. What?!? Short story — well, it could be long.

While hosting students from Brazil, David and I spent the evening around the table with our new houseguests eating caramel popcorn. They were teaching me Portuguese; David already speaks it. I got really good. I can say things like reptile, real, excellent, kiwi, lemon (for those of you that don’t know, these words sound close to the same in English).

Caramel Popcorn

Shortly after heading to bed, we heard some noises in the kitchen.  It was apparent that they were trying to be sneaky. So in good fun, David decided to surprise them. And surprised they were when they turned the corner to see David. If you could only have seen the sequence of events that followed ever so quickly.

There at the top of the stairs stood Gabby and Camila with popcorn very strategically piled in their hands as high as they possible could get it. Who needs a bowl? Popcorn sticks together. The startle they had at seeing David sent both girls falling down the stairs (luckily only about 5 stairs), with much laughter. And to everyone’s surprise, the popcorn tower survived. This was quite the running joke for the following weeks they were with us. We did show them where the bowls were.

I’m glad the girls loved the popcorn! And I’m glad they became part of our lives!


Caramel Popcorn


½ cup of butter

¾ cup granulated sugar

¾ cup packed brown sugar

½ cup Karo or corn syrup

¼  cup water

⅛ tsp cream of tartar

¼ tsp baking soda

1 cup uncooked popcorn, popped


Combine the first 6 ingredients and cook until soft ball stage (240 F). The key is to cook it just right! I use a candy thermometer. The caramel popcorn will be soft and sticky when finished. Remove from heat and add baking soda. Stir rapidly, mixing in soda. Caramel will begin to foam up. Pour over popped popcorn and stir.


Feel free to ask any questions about how to make this the perfect treat for your family.


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