Caramel Corn Recipe

Few foods stir up as many pleasant memories for me as caramel corn. In my mind, it is as much a part of Christmas as stockings. The sweet crunch of caramel corn brings back images of sitting around the living room putting lights on the tree and of gathering around while my dad read aloud the Christmas story.

Caramel corn is one of my favorite Christmas foods.

For years a jar of corn syrup sat in my cupboard for the sole purpose of making caramel corn. I don’t like using corn syrup, but giving up caramel corn was simply not an option. Then my friend Natalie shared a delightful discovery with me: you can substitute honey for corn syrup to make any recipe healthier! Voila.

My favorite caramel corn recipe was easily transformed into my favorite caramel corn recipe without corn syrup. Problem solved.

Sweet and crunchy, this homemade caramel corn makes a delicious Christmas dessert or gift. Plus, it is made without corn syrup!

My favorite caramel corn, “healthified” just a little

Caramel Corn Recipe, without corn syrup



  1. Preheat oven to 300. Lightly grease a 11×15 pan.
  2. Heat sugar, butter, honey, and salt until bubbly. (WAIT on the baking soda and vanilla!) Once the mixture starts to boil, turn to medium and cook for 5 min stirring. Do NOT stir. If it smells like its burning pick up the pot from the heat and roll it around a bit to cool.
  3. While waiting, mix the baking soda and vanilla.
  4. Remove from caramel mixture from heat and add soda & vanilla. Coat corn.
  5. Place in greased pan and bake for 15 minutes. Stir then bake 5 more minutes.
  6. Remove, cool slightly and remove from pan. Enjoy!

If you have leftovers, store tightly sealed to keep the crunchy caramely goodness from getting soft and sticky.

*Food rant: Have you noticed that brown sugar isn’t less processed sugar?! It’s just white sugar with molasses added that costs about twice as much as regular sugar!

Caramel spells Christmas to me as much as stockings do. This sweet and crunchy caramel corn is even made without corn syrup!

Enjoy your caramel corn!

Beautiful bowls full of crunchy homemade caramel corn make a lovely addition to any holiday spread. Caramel corn also makes a yummy handmade Christmas gift. Just pack it into a canning jar, close the lid tightly, and cover the lid with beautiful holiday fabric.

So pop up some popcorn and make up a big batch of caramel corn.

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  1. says

    Hi Anna! What a special Christmas tradition! I love caramel corn and wondered if honey could be substituted! Now I know! You can make brown sugar by adding 1-2 tablespoons of molasses to 1 cup white sugar. The more molasses, the darker the sugar. Sugar and brown sugar are bad ingredients I still use! I keep a jar of homemade brown sugar in the pantry at all times. Thanks for sharing the recipe! Have a wonderful holiday season! Blessings from Bama!

    • anna says

      I still use sugar too. My father-in-law calls them “Vitamin S” and I don’t think we’ll ever completely stop using them though it’s rarer than it used to be. 🙂

      Thanks for the brown sugar tip. I’ve never tried making it before and usually just dump in white sugar and add the molasses I want, but that would be really handy for times I want to sprinkle brown sugar on a food. Thanks!

  2. says

    Thank you so much. My family loves it. Our neighbors wanted the recipe when we shared it with them, and they are making a ton of it!

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