Honey Caramel Corn

by Ann Marie Michaels on October 21, 2011

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Candy Apples - Carmel Corn

It’s that time of year! Who doesn’t love a big bowl of caramel corn while you’re snuggled under a blanket watching a scary movie? (OK maybe not a scary movie — I prefer romantic comedies. But let’s be realistic — these days it’s SpongeBob 24/7.)

I always make a big batch of this caramel corn and bring it to Halloween parties. The kids love it!

I love this caramel corn recipe because it’s so easy to make and it is nutritious. Yes, nutritious! It’s made with coconut oil, rich in healthy lauric acid and medium-chain triglycerides. And that’s not all — you’re also getting lots of grass-fed butter, which contains vitamins A, D & K2 — important for heart health and strong teeth and bones.

Most caramel corn recipes are way too sweet, in my opinion. They have more than double (and sometimes triple) the sugar than the fat. They typically call for brown sugar in addition to corn syrup.

My version is not as sweet — but I’ve never had anyone complain. In fact, I was talking to my friend’s son about the Halloween party coming up. I brought this caramel corn to the party last year. His eyes lit up and he said, “Are you going to bring that caramel corn again?”

This recipe actually has more fat than sugar, which makes it very satisfying and it doesn’t taste like a sugar bomb went off in your mouth. If you like it sweeter, you can add more sweetener, but I don’t think it is necessary, and we try to go lighter on the sweeteners as much as possible.

The only sweetener is my version is honey, an all-natural, unrefined sweetener, full of vitamins and minerals. Even though brown sugar looks like an unrefined sweetener, it is refined, just like white table sugar. There are no vitamins and minerals in brown sugar.

If you don’t have honey, you can substitute maple syrup, another excellent choice for an unrefined sweetener.Coconut (palm) sugar or sucanat would also work fine.

Where to Buy Coconut Oil and Unrefined Natural Sweeteners

Honey Caramel Corn


Popcorn, organic (1 cup unpopped)
Coconut oil (1/3 cup) — where to buy coconut oil
Honey, raw and local if possible, or you can use maple syrup, sucanat or palm sugar (1/4 – 1/3 cup) — where to buy honey; where to buy maple syrup; where to buy sucanat
Butter, unsalted, from grass-fed cows (1/4 cup) — where to buy butter
Sea salt (A few pinches — to taste) — where to buy sea salt


Large stockpot


1. Put the popcorn and coconut oil in a large stockpot.
2. Turn the heat up to high and put the lid on.
3. After a few minutes, the popcorn will stop popping. Listen closely and when the pops slow down, remove the pot from the heat. Act quickly and pour the popped popcorn into a large bowl (you might need two bowls). If you leave it in the stockpot, the popcorn at the bottom will get burned.
4. Put the stockpot on low heat and add the sea salt, honey and butter. Stir until blended and completely melted.
5. Pour the butter, honey blend on the popped popcorn. Toss in a few pinches of sea salt and mix it all together until everything is well-incorporated. If you have trouble getting it mixed together in the bowls, you can put it back into the stockpot to mix it.
6. Serve in bowls.

Photo credit: Carmel Corn by ellenm1, on Flickr
Disclosure: cmp.ly/4 and cmp.ly/5

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Joani October 21, 2011 at 7:29 AM

This sounds absolutely delicious! I will definitely have to make this.


deb October 21, 2011 at 12:18 PM

Oh AnnMarie… this is just what we need right now! I have Dracula and the Wolfman classics taped for Sam’s first viewing. This will be perfect!


FreshGreenKim October 21, 2011 at 12:55 PM

I cannot wait to make this… I have a class of little ones I teach one hour/week and this week’s lesson has a carnival theme! How apropos! Thank you :)


anna October 21, 2011 at 1:22 PM

Going to try making this for my 3 year old today! Thanks!!


Homebirth Mama October 21, 2011 at 1:40 PM

Yum! We have movie & popocorn night on Fridays and this would be a very welcome change-up to my standard home-popped-organic-popcorn-and-sea-salt routine. Thanks! By the way, Broccoli Soup was a hit the other day. Everyone loved it, especially the baby.


Leesie October 21, 2011 at 6:23 PM

Mmmm, thanks, AnnMarie!


Emily @ Butter Believer October 21, 2011 at 7:03 PM

Aaaand… this is why I haven’t started GAPS yet.



samW October 22, 2011 at 5:24 AM

sounds yummy – I will definitely be trying….maybe today :)


Jenn@ Leftover Queen October 24, 2011 at 9:57 AM

This sounds so great!


Heather @ Nourishing the Heart October 24, 2011 at 7:30 PM

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I LOVE caramel corn, but hadn’t found a recipe without corn syrup.


Sarah @ Real Food Outlaws October 29, 2011 at 2:57 PM

So excited to have found this recipe! I was looking for a honey caramel corn recipe specifically with no sugar to bring to my Holistic Moms Network potluck tomorrow. Yay!!! Thanks so much!!! Cheeseslave to the rescue!!


Joyce December 3, 2011 at 4:41 PM

I just made this, for the first time, for my son to take with him to a friend’s house so they can have a snack while watching a football game. It is soooooooooo yummy. I am “glad” the bowl is leaving the house because I would eat it all up if I could :)


Joan December 11, 2011 at 6:38 PM

YUM!!!!! Do you use refined coconut oil for making popcorn (because of the heat factor) or just stick with the cold pressed/virgin? Thanks!


Charlotte February 10, 2012 at 4:17 PM

This is wonderful!!! We loved it!


Laura February 25, 2012 at 6:45 PM

Is popcorn legal on the full GAPS diet? I can’t find an answer to that anywhere, but I’m going to guess that it isn’t just because it seems starchy… do you know??? We LOVE popcorn around here, but just started the GAPS program. It’s Day 5 and I am missing my favorites really badly right about now!


Jane Hinrichs January 9, 2013 at 9:47 AM

Just made this and I LOVE IT!!! I added 1/2 cup of butter and 1/3 cup of honey instead of what is mentioned and it is delightful. My kids are gonna love it (now if only I can stay away from the bowl all day until they get home from school).


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