Fancy Caramel Popcorn


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.   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.   Yeah, all that in one, it would have to be incredible, right =)?  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!

Pretty enough to make a styrofoam bowl look fancy =)


Fancy Caramel Popcorn


  • 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


  1. 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).
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Recipe Notes

*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 =).


  • Joan: I have a file folder to recipes I want to make and it keeps getting larger and larger! This looks so good and pretty. December 23, 2011 at 4:09pm Reply

  • Lisa: Wow, that is fancy. December 26, 2011 at 3:37pm Reply

  • Katie: My boyfriend just called this the “best freakin’ snack” he’s had in his whole life! :) December 28, 2011 at 4:01pm Reply

  • Jaclyn: Thanks Joan and Lisa. And Katie I love that =)! Glad he enjoyed! December 29, 2011 at 1:53pm Reply

  • Anonymous: i just made this , i’m typing with random fingers bec mine are covered in chocoalte and caramel from eating the popcorn. it’s beyond amazing. i’m having company tomorrow night and i’m serving this as part of dessert. December 29, 2011 at 10:59pm Reply

  • Jaclyn: Thanks anonymous poster! I love when people leave feedback! I love to hear my recipes are being made, it makes blogging worth it =). December 30, 2011 at 9:41am Reply

  • The Wade’s: Hi! I made this last night for a baby shower and everyone raved about it! Seriously so good! Thanks for such a great recipe! September 23, 2012 at 6:36am Reply

  • Anonymous: Hi, I was just wondering how long this will keep? If you’re giving it away, should you make it that day or how far in advance could it be made without loosing any of the good crunchiness or the look of it? November 14, 2012 at 6:36am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I personally think it is best the day it’s made and the day following. This is not a very crunch caramel popcorn, other than the nuts and pretzels, if you wanted it to be crunchy you could bake it in the oven after preparing it (before covering with chocolate). Hopefully that helps! Happy Holidays! November 14, 2012 at 9:07am Reply

  • Anonymous: This looks delicious! I was wondering though, about how many people does this dose serve? I was thinking about making it for Thanksgiving for about 6 or more you think this recipe is enough or should I double it, etc.? November 15, 2012 at 7:29pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I think that it does make enough for 6 – 8 people. It’s so easy that if you happen to eat it all you can go whip up another batch in no time =). I don’t know exactly how many cups the recipe yields but if you keep in mind 1/2 cup kernals (a few tbsp more than the 1/3 listed) yields 16 cups popped popcorn then this should make around 12 cups. Hopefully that helps. Have a great Thanksgiving! November 16, 2012 at 9:28am Reply

  • Anonymous: Yes! That was very helpful! I am going to the grocery store now to get the ingredients. Ill let you know how mine turns out! :) Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. Can’t wait to taste it!
    Happy Thanksgiving!!! November 20, 2012 at 12:55pm Reply

  • Anonymous: Awesomely fun recipe but had a question. I made this, (first time making my own caramel sauce) and the caramel came out gritty. I am assuming because of the brown sugar. How do you get it so smooth?
    Thanks again for the recipe! December 1, 2012 at 9:04pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: If you find this to be a problem again in the future I would recommend giving it a good stir with a wire whisk after cooking it fully in the microwave until you no longer see any sugar granules on the whisk when lifted out, then add in the baking soda and vanilla and continue as directed. Hopefully that helps! December 1, 2012 at 10:37pm Reply

  • Anonymous: Do you think I could use microwave popcorn?
    December 12, 2012 at 5:26am Reply

  • Jaclyn: Yeah I think that would be fine, I would recommend using the tender white that doesn’t have butter flavor. Also it would probably be about 3 bags I think. I hope you enjoy this! December 12, 2012 at 9:30am Reply

  • Anonymous: Thanks for the recipe, it turned out great! I used one bag of microwave popcorn and it was just right. December 16, 2012 at 7:28pm Reply

  • Sheri: We tried to make this today and the coating didn’t harden. December 23, 2012 at 2:53pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: The coating isn’t really supposed to harden, its more of a sticky gooey caramel popcorn. What you could do is bake it on a low temp after coating it with the caramel and stirring ever 15 mins until it’s reached desired crunch. December 23, 2012 at 2:55pm Reply

  • Sheri: We tried to make this today and the coating on the popcorn didn’t harden. December 23, 2012 at 2:55pm Reply

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  • » Quick & Easy Oscar-Worthy Snacks » urbanebloc: […] powder or cinnamon sugar. To really get fancy, try out this fully loaded fancy popcorn recipe from It involves all of the good things in this world: caramel, chocolate, pretzels and more […] February 24, 2013 at 3:48pm Reply

  • Scarlet: Just found this recipe on Pinterest this morning. Made it this afternoon. Ate half while melting the chocolate. It’s heavenly delicious :) I will surely be making more for the holidays. Thanks! December 14, 2014 at 11:16am Reply

  • Jolene: How long will this recipe keep for? December 23, 2014 at 3:34pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I like it best eaten within a day or two since it might start to get stale. December 24, 2014 at 3:04pm Reply

  • Jean: This is my first time making any type of caramel corn and look at me… I start out with the best one. :)

    Everyone that tried it, loved it. I just got the recipe a week ago and I’ve made it 3 times. The last 2 times were for gifts. Thank you for sharing…. December 15, 2016 at 7:03pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for reporting back – glad you love it Jean! December 20, 2016 at 3:00pm Reply

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