RecipeCaramel Popcorn

Nutrition Facts
Amount per Serving
  • Calories: 60
  • Protein: 1 g
  • Total Fat: 0 g
    • Unsaturated Fat: 0 g
    • Saturated Fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate: 14 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 2 g
  • Total Sugar: 6 g
    • Natural Sugar: 3 g
    • Added Sugar: 3 g
  • Sodium: 10 mg

Full disclosure: I’m a huge plain-Jane popcorn gal, but with the addition of this rich and velvety caramel coating…well, let’s just say it makes me not want to share. It’s sugary-sweet, subtly salty and totally addictive. The recipe calls for a large batch of pre-made light popcorn so feel free to either pop your own or use any store-bought brand on sale (you’ll need about 14 cups). To achieve an authentic flavor and sticky caramel texture, I use a combo of pureed dates, vanilla and maple extracts, and maple syrup. In fact, the sauce is so good it can also be used as a standalone caramel dip for sliced apples and bananas…or you can drizzle it on just about anything. Finger licking is most definitely encouraged!

  • Prep time
  • Total Time
This recipe makes 14 cups coated popcorn
  • • 1 heaping cup pitted medjool dates, firmly packed (~14 large dates)
  • • 1 cup boiling water
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • • ¼ teaspoon maple extract or maple natural flavor
  • • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 14 to 16 cups light popcorn 

Preheat oven to 250˚. Mist 2 baking sheets with nonstick oil spray and spread the popcorn out among them. Set aside. 

To make the caramel sauce:

Add dates and boiling water to blender and allow the dates to soak and soften for 15 mins. Remove ½ cup water and set aside (you can add some later for a thinner consistency, if preferred).

Add maple syrup, extracts and salt, and blend until velvety smooth. Stop and scrape down the sides if needed.

To coat the popcorn:

Drizzle 3 to 4 tablespoons of sauce over each baking sheet and using your hands, toss the popcorn around to evenly coat all the kernels as best as you can.

Place the baking sheets in the oven for 40 to 50 minutes to deepen the color and dry out the kernels. (Watch so it doesn’t burn.) Season with additional salt to taste.

You can store extra sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Nutrition provided for 1 cup

Try this Rosemary Parmesan Popcorn!