Caramel Corn

I based this recipe off of a “crazy corn” recipe my aunt made over the holidays. Hers was sticky and sweet and utterly addicting — this version is crisp and crunchy, but just as dangerously good. Seriously, don’t make this unless you have loads of friends over to help you finish it off, or serious willpower (alas, I most definitely do not possess the latter).

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. Ours was spent in Michigan, where Woodley spent the first extended period of his life outside of New York since he was born, and was thoroughly excited to play in a real backyard and run through an actual home (not an apartment). We hosted Christmas Eve at my parents’ house. It was as all-vegetarian affair (vegan if not for a Greek salad with feta, which I admittedly cheated on). I took a picture of my cousin’s plate at her request, which only includes about half of what we had to offer. There was also crushed lentil soup, quinoa tabbouli, and vegan spinach dip.

I could really go on all night about our Christmas Eve menu (seriously, I could…) but we are heading back to New York tomorrow and have 10 hours of driving ahead of us, which means I should probably sleep at some point tonight. Therefore, without further ado, here’s the recipe for my new favorite addicting treat. This recipe is anti-candida diet friendly, if you’re on a diet that allows corn products. While the yacon can be quite expensive, I think it’s worth it here in terms of taste and texture.

Caramel Corn:

2/3 cup yacon syrup

4 1/2 tablespoons Sweetleaf Stevia Plus powder*

5 tablespoons soy-free Earth Balance Buttery Spread

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

4 quarts popped popcorn

3/4 cup pecan pieces (optional)


1. Bring first 5 ingredients to a rolling boil. Reduce to a simmer and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Drizzle over popcorn and pecans and toss to combine until popcorn is evenly coated.

2. Lay popcorn flat on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated 250 degree oven for 1 hour, tossing every 15 minutes. Let cool for about 20-30 minutes before serving, or until popcorn is crisp.

* Note that this amount will need to be adjusted if you’re using a different brand. See comments.


  1. says

    Girl! Caramel corn?! I’m a total goner with that stuff. Seriously. Thank goodness you’ve given me a healthier recipe. I have yacon, too. ;-)

    Love the plate of Christmas food. Christmases are meant for feasts of wonderful food. :-) Now we’re looking to New Year’s. I bet this caramel corn would make a nice New Year’s Eve indulgence!

    Shirley @ gfe recently posted..Review- Oskri Organic Bars

  2. says

    Thank you for this recipe! We love the idea of adding vanilla, salt and butter-flavored oil, but I have to say, I found it impossible to bring myself to put in all 4 tablespoons of stevia! I don’t know if the stevia we use (NuNaturals NuStevia) is WAY stronger than yours or what, but even the 2 tablespoons I was able to force myself to put in was HORRIBLE! We had to use that batch for mulch. However, after modifying the recipe and trying it with only 1/4 teaspoon, it was great :) But 4 tablespoons… that’s WHACK! ;) (is that brand really diluted or something?)

  3. Beth says

    Joe & Anne — nope, not a typo! Seriously, I know it sounds like a lot, but that brand is much, much, much less sweet than the NuNaturals one (believe me, I use both). I think you’re right. Either one is super diluted or the other super concentrated. At any rate, with 4 tablespoons of stevia, even then it shouldn’t be too sweet with the Sweetleaf, given that it extends over a quart of popcorn (I’d compare it to Crackerjacks in sweetness, though I am having trouble remembering what Crackerjacks taste like, to be honest).

    I’m so sorry you had to waste your previous batch! Those ingredients are not cheap. I tend to indicate brands when I really think it would make a difference (like here), but perhaps I should be more clear in this case. I have found the NuNaturals brand to be very, very intensely sweet and actually feared that someone might use it in this recipe (Doh! Why didn’t I listen to my instincts and warn against that??). I like to use their liquid stevia a lot in baking, though. At any rate, thanks for the feedback! I should make a note of your measurements for those using the NuNaturals.

  4. Wendy says

    I love this! I live in California and LOVE to adapt recipes for the microwave. But first, I substituted 3 tbsp of molasses for 1/3 cup of yacon syrup and increased the spread a little. I put it in a 2 qt glass bowl and cooked it for 3 minutes stirring half way through. I also added 1 tsp of baking soda after removing the mixture from the heat before adding it to the popcorn.

    Then, instead of baking it I put it in brown paper bag and folded down the top to fit in the microwave. I cooked it for 1 1/2 minutes on power level 8. Stirred it. Then 1 minute on power level 8 and stirred it. Finally, 1 more minute on power level 8 and voila! Pour on baking sheet or waxed paper to cool.

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