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Salted caramel popcorn

Written By Reena on 11 Jun 2010 | 05:00

Steve and I have fallen in love with the award winning sea salted caramel chocolates by Paul A Young.  They are expensive but incredible to taste being both sweet and salty at the same time.  Fortunately for me Paul's shop in the Royal Exchange is around the corner from my office and so I make regular lunch time trips to buy supplies for my afternoon chocolate break.  The shop wouldn't be out of place in one of the Harry Potter books; it is tiny and is crammed with unusual truffles with a soup kettle of dark, smooth hot chocolate bubbling in the corner.

We can never decide between sweet or salty popcorn and so Paul's sea salted caramels inspired me to make salted caramel popcorn.  I have yet to come across someone that hasn't come back for more once they have tasted them.

Serves 4 -6 (or 2 greedy ones)


  • 1 tablespoon light tasting vegetable oil
  • 120 grams unpopped popcorn maize
  • 75 grams uncooked nuts (I use peanuts and cashews but I'm sure pecan nuts would be great too)
  • 60 grams light brown muscovado sugar
  • 60 grams light corn syrup
  • 35 grams butter
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
Note: I make popcorn on the hob. However I am sure that microwave popcorn would work just as well. Use the instructions on the packet to make the popcorn and then continue with the recipe from step 6 onwards.  Most microwave popcorn has added salt so you might want to reduce the amount of salt in the caramel.

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 130 degrees centigrade.
  2. Place the oil in a large pan and heat on a medium heat.
  3. When hot add the popcorn maize and place a lid on the pan.
  4. Shake the pan vigorously (with the lid still on) every few minutes to prevent the kernels from burning. after a few minutes you should hear the kernels popping.
  5. When the popping subsides, switch off the heat and wait a minute or two.
  6. Empty the popcorn into a large mixing bowl discarding any unpopped kernels.
  7. Add the nuts to the popcorn.
  8. Heat the sugar, corn syrup, butter, water and salt in a small pan on a medium heat. Stir well.
  9. Once melted, keep heating and stirring for another 3 to 4 minutes.
  10. Immediately pour the hot caramel over the popcorn and nuts.
  11. Use a spatula to gently fold the caramel into the popcorn and nuts as evenly as possible.
  12. Line a rimmed baking tray with parchment paper.
  13. Pour the popcorn and nuts onto the lined baking tray and spread them out.
  14. Place the tray in the oven and bake for 40 minutes stirring the popcorn after 20 minutes to stop them sticking together.
  15. After 40 minutes, remove from the oven.  You can either serve the popcorn immediately or cool and then store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

About Reena


  1. I just wonder what I could use instead of corn syrup. This is something I don't get here. The recipe sounds really great!

  2. Hi Karin. I would try golden syrup or a very light tasting honey. I've never tried either in this recipe but I can't see why they wouldn't work as all it is doing is adding sweetness without flavour. Hope this helps. Reena p.s. how was the chicken?

  3. the chicken curry was simply great!

  4. Glad you liked it Karin. Have a good weekend. Reena

  5. Reena I love salt + caramel. I will have to tell you about this great recipe you make with crackers, melted caramel mixed with sea salt and then a layer of chocolate. It sounds weird but it is soooo good! This looks delicious as well. Will definitely have to try it. We are a household of popcorn addicts. Some preferring salty and some sweet. So this seems like an excellent compromise.

  6. Hi Heather. Lovely to hear from you - your cracker recipe sounds great - odd but great! I'd love to give it a go. Reena

  7. Hello Reena, lovely to meet you at FBC last weekend, sorry we didn't get to chat much. I recognise these pop corn boxes, I picked a couple up at the prop swap - I am wondering whether you got yours there too or whether you were the person who brought them?

    My Italian flat mate years ago used to make pop corn all the time. I like to have a mix of sweet and salty!

  8. Hi Sarah, it was lovely to meet you too. The popcorn boxes are marvellous aren't they? They were my prop swap give away. Speak to you soon. Reena

  9. Lovely blog Reena and great recipes. We are similar in the fact that we both have cocktails creeping into the mix! Re: your question on my blog, feijoas to have an unusual taste and maybe I have always been fond of deep heat... no honestly, they don't really taste like that. Alli

  10. Hi Alli. Glad to hear that the feijoas don't taste of deep heat! Keep cooking - and drinking! Reena

  11. aaaargh - nooo, I don't want to hear there is a Paul Young chocolate shop within walking distance of my office!! Salted butter caramel is a HUGE weakness of mine, as is popcorn. A fatal combination - but so delicious!

  12. Hi Jeanne - it is a nightmare! I have good intentions and then find that I "need" a little something to get me through the afternoon! Oh well, life could be worse... Take care. Reena

  13. Have you seen this recipe already: http://www.davidlebovitz.com/archives/2010/01/salted_butter_caramels.html
    I've just found it while searching his blog for some ice cream recipes.

  14. Hi Karin

    That recipe looks fantastic! I'm going to have to give it a go. Thank you for sharing! Reena