Microwave Caramel Corn

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

    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 in a blue carton

    Caramel corn is one of my favorite desserts to make. My mom always made this 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 pop your own 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.
    • 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:

    microwave caramel corn recipe

    Microwave Caramel Corn Recipe

    Course: Dessert
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: microwave caramel corn
    Prep Time: 5 minutes
    Cook Time: 5 minutes
    Total Time: 10 minutes
    Servings: 12
    Calories: 201
    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.


    • 10-12 cups popped popcorn , I used Skinny Pop
    • 1/2 cup butter , cut into pieces
    • 1 cup brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • Pinch of 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

      caramel corn

      microwave caramel corn

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