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Microwave Caramel Corn

Easy and delicious microwave caramel corn that can be made in less than 10 minutes! Perfect for when you need a last minute treat.

Caramel corn in a blue carton.
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Easy Microwave Caramel Corn

You’d be surprised at the number of tasty desserts you can make in the microwave. This caramel popcorn recipe is one of the many, along with my microwave fudge and microwave caramel candies. They taste so amazing that no one would know just how easy they are!

Caramel corn is one of my favorite desserts to make. My mom always made this homemade caramel corn recipe growing up and it brings back such great memories of me helping her in the kitchen. She used to stir her caramel on the stove until it was ready, which is the only thing that I didn’t love about making it.

So I’ve created a new version that is made in the microwave and has more of a brown sugar flavor. It is seriously so easy to whip up and can be done in less than 10 minutes! I made this the last time we had friends over and everyone loved it.

Bowl of caramel corn in the microwave.

What You’ll Need

  • Popcorn: I use a bag of already popped popcorn (like Skinny Pop), but you could make your own stovetop popcorn and let it cool.
  • Butter: Cut the butter into pieces so that it melts faster in the microwave.
  • Brown sugar: Use fresh brown sugar for the ultimate flavor.
  • Corn syrup: Make sure to use light corn syrup instead of the dark kind.
  • Baking soda: This is mixed into the caramel and helps create a softer texture.
  • Vanilla extract: This adds to the caramel flavor and is mixed in once the butter and sugars have melted.

How to Make Microwave Caramel Corn

MICROWAVE. Make the caramel by microwaving the butter, brown sugar and corn syrup in a bowl for one minute. Stir and cook for another 2 minutes for a chewy texture. If you prefer a crunchier texture, cook an additional minute.

MIX. Remove from microwave and stir in the vanilla and baking soda. Then pour the caramel over the popcorn and mix gently until well coated.

COOL. Dump the caramel corn onto a piece of wax paper and let cool completely. Enjoy!

Pouring caramel into bowl of popcorn.

Chewy vs. Crunchy Caramel Corn

For chewy caramel corn: Only cook the caramel for 3 minutes.

For crunchy caramel corn: Add an additional minute. If you find it isn’t crunchy enough, simply place the whole bowl in the microwave once it has been stirred together and cook in 30 second increments until you reach the desired consistency. It will harden as it cools down, so don’t overcook it.


  • Try adding some mini chocolate chips or M&M’s for a hint of chocolate.
  • Mix in some mini marshmallows, similar to my marshmallow caramel popcorn.
  • Add in some slivered almonds or nuts of choice.
  • Take 1/4 cup of popcorn mixture and roll into popcorn balls to make an easy grab and go snack.

More Fun Popcorn Recipes

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microwave caramel corn recipe

Microwave Caramel Corn Recipe

5 from 8 votes
↑ Click stars to rate now!
Author: Jamielyn Nye
Easy and delicious microwave caramel corn that can be made in less than 10 minutes! Perfect for when you need a last minute treat.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 12


  • 10-12 cups popped popcorn , I used Skinny Pop
  • ½ cup butter , cut into pieces
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup light corn syrup
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch salt

Optional mix in’s: chopped nuts, m&m’s


    • Place popped popcorn in a large bowl. Lay a piece of wax or parchment paper on the counter. Set aside. 
    • Place butter, brown sugar and corn syrup in a microwave safe bowl. Cook for one minute. Stir and cook two additional minutes for chewy caramel corn. If you like hard caramel corn, cook an additional minute. 
    • Remove from microwave. Stir in vanilla and baking soda. 
    • Pour caramel over popcorn and stir until well coated. Dump onto wax paper and allow to cool. Store in a zip top bag or airtight container. 


    Calories: 201kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 123mg | Potassium: 60mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 260IU | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 0.5mg

    Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.

    Course: Dessert
    Cuisine: American

    Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!

    Caramel corn.

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