Easy Caramel Puff Corn is just the perfect combination of flavors that are buttery, salty, and sweet. Our family loves this treat, so we always make two batches, yes, it is one of those recipes.
Holiday Baking Treat
We make this treat during the holidays and it is one of the first ones we make every year. We have a whole list of recipes that we hope to make each Holiday; however, sometimes, we just run out of time. Therefore, we make sure that this is one of the first recipes we get to.
This is one of those welcomed homemade gifts that I have made and given to many people over the years, family, friends, teachers, bus drivers, co-workers, and gift baskets.
Camping, Movie, and Game Day Snack
More recently, we have started making this more throughout the year. It takes about an hour to make and 30 minutes for the caramel to set up after it is removed from the oven and spread out on two baking sheets.
We go camping when the weather is nice out and we often go with a group of other campers. Everyone will have their mealtime chore to do. This is perfect to make at home ahead of time and put in some airtight containers for sitting around the campfire and snacking. It travels well and everyone just loves this and asks me to bring it again.
Serve this as a delicious snack for family movie night. They will thank you for it as it is the perfect combination of a crispy caramel crunch.
The next time you need to bring a dish to pass, whip up a quick batch of this caramel puff corn, bring it to the party and just watch it disappear.
Caramel Corn Recipe
This recipe combines a homemade buttery caramel sauce with a bag of simple Puffcorn. However, the same sauce can be used with regular popped corn. Today, I used an 8-ounce bag of the Puffcorn. Just swap that out for 8-ounces of popped corn and you are all set.
The Puffcorn is a nicer, as we do not have to worry at the corn kernels getting stuck in your teeth. We also like the buttery flavor combined with the caramel. The Caramel Puff Corn is truly irresistible with its crunchy outside and soft puffy, buttery goodness on the inside.
We made batches of this treat throughout the year.
What is Puffcorn?
You might be wondering what Puffed caramel corn is. In Wisconsin, this is available in our grocery stores. The Puffcorn that is used for this recipe comes from Minnesota and the Old Dutch company is the only brand that I have ever seen.
Puff Corn (Puffcorn) is a snack that is a tasty cereal‐based food product. It is baked under a certain amount of pressure. When the dough is extruded out of the high pressure, steam is created causing it to “puff.”
Our whole family loves this much more than caramel popcorn. Why? Because we don’t have to worry about unpopped corn kernels or popcorn hulls sticking to our teeth. We kind of refer to this sweet snack as caramel crack.
Easy Caramel Puff Corn Ingredients
Old Dutch Puff Corn. Just the normal butter flavor. The kind you find at your local grocery store in the chip aisle.
Butter. It is important to use real butter for this recipe, do not substitute margarine. It can cause the caramel to separate.
Brown Sugar. This can be dark or light. I have made it with both, and it tastes great.
Light Corn Syrup. Using this in the caramel sauce will ensure that all the caramel ingredients combine and stay together throughout the heating process.
Baking Soda. The caramel sauce will have a foamy appearance when you add the baking soda. This is normal.
Caramel Puff Corn Recipe Success
It is so easy to make this recipe. This is a wonderful homemade indulgence. Find out how to make it.
Start by preheating your oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. While this is heating, start the caramel sauce.
Combine the butter, brown sugar, and light corn syrup in a 2-quart saucepan. I just use a kettle for this.
Cook on medium heat until the mixture has melted stirring constantly until the mixture is boiling. Then stop stirring, turn the heat down a bit and let the caramel mixture boil 3 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the baking soda. Stir to incorporate.
Pour Puff corn out of the bag into a large roasting pan or a large stainless-steel bowl. (something that can be placed in the oven and will allow the Puffcorn to be stirred).
Spray the container and your spoon with a light coating of spray oil to reduce the caramel from sticking.
Pour the caramel sauce over the Puffcorn and stir to incorporate.
Place in the oven at 250 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for 45 minutes uncovered. Stir every 10-15 minutes. Baking helps even out the caramel coating. Each time the caramel corn is stirred, the caramel is distributed a bit more evenly.
Remove from the oven and divide between two large cookie sheets or two half sheet pans lined with waxed paper and let cool and the caramel set up. Once cooled, break apart and enjoy, bring to your next party, or give as a gift.
Variations to the Caramel Corn Puffs Recipe
Add 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract or other flavoring, such as almond, just before adding the baking soda.
If you like a salted caramel taste, sprinkle a bit of flaked sea salt over the Caramel Puff corn right when it is transferred to the cooling pans.
Add 1 Teaspoon of Cinnamon or ½ Teaspoon of Nutmeg when the baking soda is added.
Drizzle with melted chocolate once the Caramel Puffcorn has cooled.
Add 1 cup of raisins, craisins, nuts or other dried fruit to the Puffcorn mixture.
Cleaning the Equipment Hint
Clean up is quick if you let the equipment soak a few minutes in hot soapy water. The caramel will melt right off.
The next time you are craving a scrumptious snack, take a bit of time to make this sweet treat.
Easy Caramel Puff Corn
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- 8 Ounces Old Dutch Puffcorn 1 package
- 1 Cup Butter Not margarine
- 1 1/4 Cups Brown Sugar
- 2/3 Cup Light Corn Syrup
- 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
- Start by preheating your oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. While this is heating, start the caramel sauce. Combine the butter, brown sugar, and light corn syrup in a2-quart saucepan. I just use a kettle for this.
- Cook on medium heat until the mixture has melted stirring constantly until the mixture is boiling. Then stop stirring, turn the heat down a bit and let the caramel mixture boil 3 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and add the baking soda. Stir to incorporate.
- Pour the Puffcorn out of the bag into a large roasting pan or a large stainless-steel bowl. (something that can be placed in the oven and will allow the Puffcorn to be stirred). Pour the caramel sauce over the Puffcorn and stir to incorporate.
- Place in the oven at 250 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for 45 minutes uncovered. Stir every 10-15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and divide between two large cookie sheets or two half sheet pans lined with waxed paper and let cool and the caramel set up. Once cooled, break apart and enjoy.
Your Own Private Notes
Another Easy Snack Appetizer are the Elephant Ears. The mini version of fair food. You don’t have to wait for the fair to come to town to indulge in these goodies.
We love this unique combination of ingredients in this cherry cheese dip. We serve this during the holidays and whenever we have to feed a crowd like on game days. Everyone just gobbles it up.
A quick dessert is this Cottage Cheese Fruit Salad. A bit of healthy, and not so much, but it is ready in just a few minutes and it is another crowd pleaser. Perfect for an easy weeknight meal too.