This vegan caramel popcorn will keep you coming back for more. The crunchy sweet flavor is so good and the perfect sweet treat!
We are a popcorn loving family. Ok, maybe it’s a little more than loving. Obsessed is closer to the feelings we have. So when I created this caramel version and left it on the counter, let’s just say it didn’t last more than a few minutes!
Caramel popcorn is one of the best sweet and salty treats! Airy popcorn coated in caramel sauce, what more could you ask for? Oh, you want it plant based? Done!
You’ll wonder how so few ingredients can make such an amazing flavor! Here’s what you need:
- Stovetop vegan caramel
- Baking Soda
- Nuts – optional but highly recommended!
How to Make Vegan Caramel Popcorn
The hardest part of this recipe is not eating it all while you’re making it! Here are the simple steps to take:
- Make the caramel.
- Mix popcorn with caramel and nuts if using.
- Spread it out on a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake.
- Let it cool, break apart, and dig in!
Mix In Suggestions
We love adding extra flavor and texture to this recipe. Get creative and try something each time!
- Chocolate chips
- Dried fruit
Tips and Tricks
- Your favorite popcorn will work for this recipe, but I do recommend choosing a salted popcorn for the best flavor. And, make sure you pick a vegan one if needed.
- Only cook the caramel recipe on the shorter side, for about 5 minutes. Once it is thickened remove from the heat and add in the baking soda with the vanilla and salt. You will see it bubbling but this is what helps spread easily.
- Spread it as evenly as possible on the baking sheet so that you don’t end up with clumps too big to break apart.
- Don’t forget the parchment paper! This will help to keep everything from sticking.
- Bake the popcorn as soon as the popcorn is mixed with the sauce to avoid it from getting too mushy.
- During the baking process carefully mix everything around every 15 minutes.
- Let the popcorn cool before breaking up otherwise it will just stick together.
- Seal in an airtight container and store at room temperature for up to a week. The fresher the better as the popcorn will start to get a little stale over time.
It is if you like being happy! In all seriousness, caramel popcorn isn’t exactly a health food due to the higher amount of fat and calories. However, eating what makes you happy is an important part of mental health, just make sure your diet consists of more than just caramel popcorn. (As appealing as that may be!)
If the caramel has not cooked enough it will not harden properly which can result in soggy popcorn. Also, try baking the popcorn as soon as it is mixed with the sauce for the crispiest texture.
Baking soda reacts with the ingredients in the caramel to create little bubbles (think baking soda and vinegar reaction but with a lower intensity). These bubbles create a more airy consistency that will spread easier over your popcorn.
Baking the caramel coated popcorn at a low temperature and letting it cool completely will result in perfectly crispy popcorn.
More Vegan Dessert Recipes
Dessert, snack, meal, all of these terms can be used interchangeably if you ask me! Whenever you want a sweet treat, try out these tasty plant based recipes:
- Vegan Millionaire Shortbread
- Ooey Gooey Rice Krispie Treats
- Vegan Trifle with Berries
- Gluten-Free Brownies
- Healthy Peanut Butter Cookies
- Vegan Jello
Homemade Vegan Caramel Popcorn
- Preheat the oven to 250 F/ 120 C
- Make caramel according to the recipe but only thicken on the shorter side (about 5 minutes). Once thickened remove from heat and add in the baking soda with the vanilla and salt. You will see it bubbling but this is what helps it be more spreadable.
- Add popcorn to a large bowl, with the caramel and nuts (if using). Mix around to coat well.
- Spread popcorn mixture out on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
- Bake for an hour, mixing around every 15 minutes.
- Once done, remove from the oven and allow to cool. Once cool you can break it apart.
- Serve! Stores crisp in an air tight container!
- The baking soda helps the caramel be smooth and easy to spread over the popcorn.
- Nutrition facts do not include nuts.
- Serving size is 2 cups.
Recipe by Veggies Don’t Bite, visit our site for more great plant-based recipes.