Mom’s Famous Soft Caramel Corn

October 16, 2019Brianna

A few days ago I posted a recipe from my mother-in-law. Today I’m posting a family favorite recipe from my own mom! This caramel corn is so so so easy, stays soft, and tastes amazing. You don’t even need a candy thermometer and you’ll still get perfect results every time. This is coming from someone who’s cooking and baking nemesis is caramel. If I can make this caramel corn well each and every time, then you can too!

The worst part of caramel corn is when you bite down and you about break a tooth from biting into an un-popped kernel. My mom’s trick to this is to wash both sides of her sink super well, then dry both sides. She wraps plastic wrap and then foil around the sink stoppers so no popcorn will go down the drain and then air pops popcorn into one side. Then she scoops the popcorn with 2 hands and kind of bounces it so any kernels fall between her fingers. Finally she tosses the kernel free popcorn into the other side of the sink. Then she pours the caramel literally into that pile of kernel-free popcorn in the sink and stirs it as if the sink were the bowl. It makes for easy clean up.

My sink in Finland isn’t the kind that has a stopper and the sinks are super small so I can’t do it this way. If you would rather, use the same method but instead use 2 big bowls or pots. ***DO NOT use plastic bowls or the caramel will melt them!***

I love this caramel corn recipe and know you’re going to love it too.


Mom’s Famous Soft Caramel Corn

Soft, easy, and perfect caramel corn with tips to having no un-popped kernels in the final product!

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 minutes
  • Total Time: 18 minutes
  • Yield: 6 quarts of caramel corn 1x



2 1/2 cups of light brown sugar

1 cup butter

1 cup of light corn Syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 can of sweetened condensed milk

About 6 quarts of air (or stove top) popped popcorn


Spray 2 cookie sheets with cooking spray and set aside.

Cook popcorn and place in a very large metal or glass bowl or one side of a cleaned and dried sink (not plastic, the caramel will melt it). Or a large metal pot works too.

In a large sauce pan combine the brown sugar, butter, and corn syrup. Mix on medium to medium high heat till mixture reaches a rolling boil. Set timer for 5 minutes and continue to boil (do not stir at all during this 5 minutes).

Remove from heat and add the vanilla and sweetened condensed milk and stir till combined. Pour over the popcorn and stir with a wooden spoon until evenly coated. Pour out onto the prepared cookie sheets and let cool a bit. Best enjoyed warm. Once cooled, place in air tight containers. Eat within the first 2-3 days for best results.


Once the popcorn is popped, toss the popcorn in the large bowl allowing the un-popped kernels to fall to the bottom of the bowl because they are heaviest. Then with 2 hands grab a handful of popcorn and kind of jiggle a bit allowing any remaining old maids to fall. Put that popcorn in a separate bowl and repeat till the bowl you started with has only un-popped kernels. This drastically reduced the chances of biting down on a hard piece of popcorn.

Keywords: caramel corn

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