Spicy Caramel Popcorn

I was snowed in yesterday evening, so I decided to get cozy in the kitchen and experiment with a new recipe. I received a cookbook for Christmas called The Craft of Baking and I love it! Lots of inventive recipes, beautiful photos, and easy-to-follow techniques. Today’s spicy caramel popcorn is based on a recipe from this book, however I made a few changes so that I could post the instructions without copyright infringement :-)

The Art of Baking


  • 2 Tbs canola oil
  • 1/2 cup popcorn kernels
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 3 Tbs unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 Tbs salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp chili powder


  • Heat the oil over medium-high in a large pot, add the popcorn kernels and cover with a lid.
  • Allow kernels to pop (about 3-4 minutes) while occasionally shaking the pot and moving it around on the burner.
  • Once kernels are done popping, dump them into a bowl that is sprayed lightly with cooking spray, remove any un-popped kernels.


  • Combine sugar, butter, salt, and water in a medium saucepan, cook over medium-high heat for 10 minutes. DO NOT STIR! The caramel is done when it is a medium golden brown.
  • While caramel is cooking, combine baking soda and chili powder in a small bowl and coat 2 spatulas with cooking spray.
  • When caramel is finished cooking, remove from heat, and stir in baking soda/chili mixture. Pour the caramel sauce over the popcorn and use the spatulas to make sure every kernel is coated.
  • caramel

  • Spread caramel corn on a baking sheet and allow to cool for about 15 minutes – break it up into small pieces while it’s cooling.
  • Caramel popcorn will stay fresh for 2 weeks in an air-tight container.
  • caramel popcorn

    caramel popcorn

    Caramel popcorn

    I love the various flavors and textures in this recipe – sweet, spicy, salty, crispy, crackly, yum! You can play around with the spice level, adjusting the heat to your taste preference. I also really like that this recipe isn’t full of scary ingredients. No artificial preservatives, colors, or additives. Yay!

    • http://feastytimes.wordpress.com Cole

      What a great popcorn recipe!

    • http://greensandjeans.wordpress.com Madeline @ GreensAndJeans

      oh man girl! that popcorn looks so tasty! I am such a popcorn fan!

    • http://www.myhealthypassion.wordpress.com Kelly Bruneman

      Awesome! I love that you can pronounce everything in it! :)

    • http://www.my29thyear.wordpress.com Kristilyn (My 29th Year)

      That looks amazing and delicious! I love that there are no preservatives or artificial things in it, too … although I’m sure I would eat the WHOLE bag! LOL!


    • http://sideofsneakers.com Heather @ Side of Sneakers

      Mmm yummy!!

    • http://www.thehealthyeverythingtarian.com Holly

      homemade popcorn is THE BEST! we used to make this back in middle school home ec class, and i have the recipe to this day! love it!

    • http://runnerwifelife.com katherine

      I can’t wait to make this this weekend!!!!

    • http://frontyardfoodie.com Diana @ frontyardfoodie

      oh yummy! I love caramel popcorn, it’s totally the best of both the salty and sweet worlds. The crunch don’t hurt either!

    • Ellen

      Let’s say it together now: YUMMM! You’re always cookin’ up the best things. I’m always a fan of a savory AND sweet combo!


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    • Bobbie

      Okay, so, I just made this but left out the spicy b/c I made it with my girls. It is delicious and easy to make…only thing is my carmel never really turned golden brown. It still tastes great though! Wonder what I did wrong for the color?

    • http://www.runnerskitchen.com RunnersKitchen

      Bobbie – I’m never quite sure if I’m making homemade caramel sauce correctly. I think as long as it tastes good, you’re in business :-)

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2ytCZjnzfE Shawanda Leeming

      hey I read your blog every the time, you have many wonderful things to say. My reviewers would like your style, do you imagine you could be a invitee blogger for me?

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