Maple Pecan Caramel Corn Recipe (2024)



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Celia Regan

Melissa, you mention this is a good holiday gift - yay! - but I don't see anything in the recipe about storing it and/or how well it actually keeps before it gets soggy/stale. Any tips before I start?

Eric Leif Peters

Two words: chipotle chili powder. You’re welcome.


Sad Cook it is possible that your thermometer is not calibrated. When I first got mine, everything came out wrong. Then I learned that the sensor rod, which can be pushed up or down, must be in the correct place. To do this, place the whole piece into boiling water and adjust the rod so that the reading is at 212 degrees F. This may be your problem and if so, hope this helps.

Rob Craig

You may want to try dissolving your brown sugar in a little warm water and 1/2 to 1 tsp of lemon juice first, then proceed with the recipe (dissolving the sugar crystals in water is MUCH easier, and the lemon juice helps prevent recrystallization). You don't need much water, and it should cook out by the time the recipe is done. You may also be heating it too quickly. Good luck!

Mary C

My family has made a simplified but absolutely delicious version of this for years. No nuts or maple syrup. 3 TBLS oil for 1/3 cup kernels. Melt 1/3 cup packed brown sugar in 1/3 cup butter and 1/3 tsp salt. Let it bubble a few minutes until completely dissolved. No candy thermometer required. Pour over corn and toss with large forks frequently as it cools. I used to bake it in the oven but was in a hurry one time and skipped that step. It was just as delicious - never baked it again.

Sad Cook

I just made this twice and it's nowhere near right. I don't know if more notes should be included about cooking time and temperature for the coating, if my candy thermometer is messed up, or what. Mine comes out gritty and particulate, nowhere near the glossy shattery coating described. I've wasted most of a container of expensive maple syrup and a bunch of time on this. Flavors are delicious, but that's a looot of stirring caramel time to have it come out like... raw brown sugar on the popcorn.


In place of popping the popcorn on a cooktop in a pan, add oil to a large bowl, add popcorn kernels and microwave. Great popcorn texture. Alternately, use a hot air popper. No oil is used, less calories same great taste and texture. Then do the coating. One can also use walnuts in place of pecans.


For those complaining about the time involved, it's not "Popcorn"—it's "Caramel Corn." There's a difference.


Super recipe! Followed recipe as written and results were spot on. Not sure why people are harping on fat content of grapeseed oil when you have butter, maple syrup and brown sugar...eye roll. Used mesh screen and shook pan frequently when popping corn. Sure this is a new experience for a lot of people use to throwing a bag in the microwave and hitting a button. Next time I will increase syrup by half for a little more coating. Great flavor. Good to use with kids and grandkids for entertainment.


I just made this, and it's delicious. However, my pecans all ended up on the bottom. Perhaps next time I'll add them to the caramel, then toss with the popped corn.Also, before putting the mix in the oven I sprinkled Maldon salt all over the top. It's worth it.

Kim Doner

Sad Cook, I have a very small confection business and make toffee all the time. Candy "sugars up" under certain conditions, mostly involving not cooking it fast enough. When not heated fast enough, crystals are stirred back in from the sides of the pan, and they cause mix to crystalize into crumbles like you've described. The challenge is not to cook so fast you burn it, but achieve the caramelizing you want when the fats and sugars unite perfectly. Hope this helps.

A Pollack

Just a note when dealing with the mixing of the cooked syrup. I (finally) learned to grease my mixing bowl and whatever I use to stir the popcorn-syrup amalgam. The bad news is you won't have a lickable spoon afterwards; the good news is there will be two fewer things to soak (or bring to a boil to dissolve the syrup) before washing them.

Allison P

Would also love some tips on storage so that I can send/gift it - anyone have any thoughts about how long it would keep at room temperature?


I made this with Earth Balance vegan butter in the same ratios as written. It tastes great, but doesn’t look like the food styling shot with this article. I didn’t quite have enough to coat every kernel of popcorn, and the coating was really liquidy rather than sticky, so the nuts all fell to the bottom of my baking sheet and never ended up sticking to the corn. Just reporting back to my fellow vegans in case you were wondering. :)


While the consistency of the coating was a bit runny the first time I made it, it was really terrific the second time. Made it with Miyoko’s vegan butter the second time rather than Earth Balance, which may be why it turned out better. Delicious!


Only criticism I have is toasting the pecans- they end up tasting slightly burned if you toast them beforehand - better to just put them in raw and they will be toasted in the oven during the final step.

not entirely sure about it

I also used vegan butter (organic melt) and the nuts sank. I didn’t realize that wasn’t right until reading the other reviews. I only had bagged popcorn. I tried the pot method first and it did not work. I ended up just popping another bag to use. The caramel came out fine but the caramel corn tasted burnt overall. I’m not sure what I did wrong. It was still delicious still. I am unsure about toasting the pecans and then putting it all back in the oven. I also could’ve used more caramel.


A tablespoon of bourbon or your favorite spirit instead of vanilla is delightful.

Angela Skeie

Made this as my first time making caramel corn. Turned out perfectly and did not disappoint! I have a simple but accurate digital thermometer so I had no issues with making the caramel. I used extra salty butter and omitted the salt, perfect. A tip for making popcorn in a pan: do not use a pan with a tight fitting lid, such as a glass lid. This allows for condensation to build up and falls back onto the popcorn. I get perfect results from a cheap IKEA stainless pot, with a metal lid.


This recipe lends itself to lots of variations. This time I added ~ 6 cups of toasted puffed rice, since I find that using only 1/3 cup of popcorn, popped, makes for a very rich snack. I have subbed mixed toasted nuts with a tasty result, and also when I didn't have quite enough maple syrup, topped off the 1/2 cup with a couple of tablespoons of brown rice syrup. To counter the intense taste of the small amount of brown rice syrup, I doubled the vanilla to 1/2 tsp.


This is amazing. Compared to commercial caramel corn it is light, crispy and wonderfully buttery tasting. I made it for a gift but am tempted to eat it all myself.


Celia, your questions are answered in the paragraph adjacent to the photo.


Made this as written but omitted the nuts and it was delicious. Very rich for me v though I don't eat sets very often and I think next time I will make double the popcorn and sprinkle extra salt before I pop it in the oven. But it was very good as is!


I made this last October and mailed it to family and friends in wax paper inside tin containers wrapped in plastic wrap and sealed in a box. I advised them that if it arrived soggy to bake it in the oven for 3-5 minutes. No one had to do that and they arrived crunchy after 4 days in the mail! I also found that the best way to get the covering is using large paper bags for mixing nuts and caramel—-kept the nuts from sinking to the bottom. People are already asking when they can get theirs!


This recipe for jazzed up popcorn far surpassed one I had that called for honey and cashews. The maple syrup and toasted pecans added a depth of flavor that couldn't be beat. This is definitely a make again recipe.

Audrey Gross

First batch came out with burnt flavor, nuts were completely burned. Second batch, I only toasted nuts for 10 min., used insulated buttered pan, reduced temp to 325 and cooked for 18 minutes - perfect.


Did not add pecans. Forgot the baking soda. Delicious. Three adults and two kids ate the entire batch while watching the televised Fireside Nutcracker Production by the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre


This is super delicious. I used Spanish peanuts and a regular candy thermometer was fine. I stirred everything once it slightly cooled out of the oven to make sure it didn't stick. Super crunchy and tasty!!! I also lightly salted once pulling out of the oven. SO GOOD! Will make it again, thank you!


So good! I used hazelnuts because I love them. The result was incredible. Reminded me of the dessert my grandmother used to bring us from her Brooklyn bakery in the 1970s, which I think was called Teiglach.


Fantastic!!! Would like to know nutritional info to judge how sparingly to aportion this wonderful treat!!!

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Maple Pecan Caramel Corn Recipe (2024)
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