Fancy Caramel Popcorn

Published December 22, 2011. Updated October 26, 2023

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This Fancy Caramel Popcorn is sure to get everyone reaching for a handful. It’s easy to make and a holiday staple for most families. Try it this holiday season!


Alas, I have finally decided what treat to gift this year (it’s about time,  I seriously spent way too much time stressing about what to give).  Here it is, Fancy Caramel Popcorn.  This popcorn is my favorite caramel popcorn and my new favorite holiday treat!  I think I ate about 10 cups of it in one sitting, so be warned, it’s addictive.

And you wouldn’t believe the caramel is made in the microwave, so it’s very simple to make. Instead of multiple hours of baking complicated recipes, this one is fast and easy. You’ve got to love that! I combined the ideas of many recipes to create just what I was looking for.

This is the perfect last-minute treat to give to family, friends, or neighbors.  It’s also the perfect crowd-pleasing snack for parties (it’s likely you won’t see one piece of this delicious caramel-covered popcorn left in the bowl at the end of the party).

I love the combination of flavors in this popcorn.  You get salted crunchy pretzels, lightly salted nuts, and chewy popcorn covered in sweet, silky, not too gooey caramel and it’s finished off with a generous drizzling of decadent melted milk chocolate and white chocolate. There really is every delicious flavor profile!

Try this popcorn out and I believe it’s likely to become one of your new favorite holiday treats as well.  Have a wonderful Christmas everyone!  I hope one of my recipes makes it to your holiday table, bringing your family and friends together.  Merry Christmas!

16 Quick & Easy 30 Minute Recipes! (plus weekly recipe updates)

5 from 1 vote

Fancy Caramel Popcorn

Caramel popcorn upgraded pretzels, nuts and chocolate! The perfect treat for holidays and parties.
Servings: 12
Prep15 minutes
Cook10 minutes
Ready in: 25 minutes


  • 1/3 cup un-popped popcorn kernels
  • 2 ½ cups mini pretzels , broken into pieces*
  • 1 cup lightly salted peanuts or chopped almonds
  • ½ cup salted butter
  • 1 cup firmly packed light-brown sugar
  • ½ cup light-corn syrup
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ cup milk chocolate chips
  • ½ cup white chocolate chips


  • Pop popcorn kernels in a popcorn popper into a very large bowl. Be sure to remove any un-popped kernels (so no one breaks a tooth). Add in crushed pretzels and peanuts and gently fold mixture together, set aside. In an large microwave safe bowl, melt butter, it should take about 50 seconds. Stir in brown sugar, light corn syrup and salt. Mix well. 
  • Microwave mixture for 2 minutes, then stir and immediately return to microwave and cook 2 more minutes. Remove from microwave, add in vanilla and baking soda and stir until frothy, about 10 seconds (don’t be tempted to dip your finger in and taste test, it is HOT). 
  • Pour caramel over popcorn mixture and gently stir until evenly coated. Pour caramel coated popcorn mixture onto a parchment or wax paper covered cookie sheet (if you don’t have either paper you could even just butter the cookie sheet).
  • Melt milk chocolate in a microwave safe bowl, on 50% power in 30 second intervals stirring after each interval until melted and smooth. Pour melted chocolate into a piping bag or ziploc bag and cut the tip off and drizzle melted chocolate over popcorn. Repeat this step with the white chocolate chips.
  • Place chocolate covered popcorn in refrigerator until chocolate hardens, about 20-30 minutes. Remove from refrigerator and break popcorn into pieces. Store popcorn in an airtight container.


*I just take a handful of the pretzels and crush them in my hands, the size is probably one pretzel broken into 3-4 pieces, in case you were wondering =).