Make Ahead

Sea Salt & Caramel Popcorn

August  6, 2011
4 Ratings
Photo by Ty Mecham
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 30 minutes
  • Makes 12 Cups
Test Kitchen Notes

Dessert’s On Me’s Sea Salt and Caramel Popcorn recipe is wonderfully indulgent and so easy to put together. You could probably drizzle this quick-caramel sauce on almost anything and it would be yummy, but it really does wonders for popcorn. I would recommend adding 1 or 2 teaspoons of the salt directly to the caramel sauce for even distribution and after the popcorn comes out of the oven, you can season with a little more to taste if desired. In any case, once you try this snack, going to the fair or the movies without it won’t be the same. - Annie "Smalls" —Annie "Smalls"

What You'll Need
  • For the popcorn
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels
  • For the sea salt and caramel topping
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 teaspoons sea salt
  1. Preheat oven to 300° F. Spray sheet pan with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a saucepan on stove top, add oil and corn kernels. Turn stove top heat to medium, cover saucepan with a lid left slightly a-jar.
  3. The corn kernels will begin to pop within a couple of minutes. Once the popping slows, almost coming to a stop, remove saucepan from stove top. Transfer popcorn to a serving bowl.
  4. In a saucepan on stove top, add sugar, 2 tablespoons salt, butter and cream. Turn stove top heat to medium, bringing ingredients to a boil.
  5. Reduce heat to a simmer and continue stirring for 5 minuets. Remove from stove top. Stir in vanilla and allow to cool. Pour over popcorn.
  6. Mix popcorn and caramel together. I found this easiest to do with my hands.
  7. Spread popcorn on sheet pan. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons salt. Bake on middle rack for half an hour, stirring once at 15 minutes.
  8. Cool and break caramel popcorn apart before serving.
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Karen Anderson
    Karen Anderson
  • lapadia
  • BlueKaleRoad
  • Donna

8 Reviews

Karen A. October 3, 2022
The ingredients call for 4 teaspoons salt. The instructions call for 4 TABLESPOONS salt. Just saying........
Donna October 30, 2021
I would agree there is a typo on the salt measurement. I cut it down to 1 teaspoon in the cooked caramel mixture since I used a salted, pre popped popcorn and it turned out Ahmazingly delicious. Easy recipe, came together quickly with ingredients on hand and so good!!
Darian March 2, 2019
I made this with some leftover dulce de leche, gently re-warmed. It is soooo good. Finished with a drizzle of melted dark chocolate.
Rkee February 27, 2019
The caramel is way too hot to mix with your hand, like 2nd degree burn too hot! If you let it cool down it wont mix as it begins to harden fast. Also better to use a thermometer to get the correct set temp. I mix mine with two wooden spoons.
Stephanie T. October 30, 2013
pretty sure recipe directions are saying tablespoons of salt and really means teaspoons.
R F. May 14, 2012
watch out - there is a typo in this recipe! the description/instructions call for 4 tablespoons of salt (instead of 4teaspoons - which I think would still be a bit much and I love salt). I never added th sprinkling on top, but it's still a bit much.
lapadia August 10, 2011
Yes, love caramel corn and can picture the Ferris wheel too! :)
BlueKaleRoad August 9, 2011
Decadent is right! Yum!