Perfect for party favors, friends, and family; these ooey-gooey caramel popcorn balls are just DELICIOUS.
Making caramel popcorn balls.
As I’ve mentioned before we love family movie night! AND we love popcorn! We tend to trade off between flavors (candied, kettle, butter) but the one we make the MOST often is Caramel Popcorn!
We make it three ways – these caramel popcorn balls, or more loose gooey popcorn or baked and crunchy popcorn!
The great thing about caramel popcorn balls is everyone get’s the same amount, no fighting… The BAD thing about it is they tend to be more messy… BUT hello… more CARAMEL!
I made a video showing how I create the caramel popcorn balls, they are actually super easy and a ton of fun, and something even the kiddo’s can help with.
And if your kids are anything like mine they LOVE to help in the kitchen. Sometimes the struggle is just finding something safe for them to help with!
So which way do you serve caramel popcorn? Gooey, caramelly, crunchy? There is NO WRONG ANSWER! The good news is you can have it both ways!
Go here to get the caramel popcorn ball labels (for neighbor gifts)!
Just take me to the popcorn ball recipe already!
If you’d rather skip my tips and tricks for getting perfect caramel popcorn balls, along with links to other caramel recipes and get straight to this delicious caramel treat – simply scroll to the bottom of the page where you can find the printable recipe card.
How to make caramel popcorn balls
For the popcorn balls pour the sauce over 1 – 1/ 1/2 batches of popcorn. Stir then let the popcorn cool enough to touch it without burning your hands.
Speaking of sticking, you’ll want to spray your hands with cooking spray when you start forming the balls.
Some of the balls might need to be stuck back together, so keep checking on your cooling caramel popcorn.
How to make gooey caramel popcorn
If you just want gooey popcorn pour over 2-3 batches of popcorn stir and serve. The more popcorn the less messy.
How to make crunchy caramel popcorn
If you want crunchy popcorn use 3 batches of popped popcorn. preheat your oven to 250.
Spread the caramel popcorn out on a jelly roll pan and bake for 20-30 mins, stirring occasionally. Then let it cool and break up the chunks.
To make these popcorn balls you’ll need
- Candy thermometer (<- this one is my favorite)
- Popcorn popper
- Mixing bowl
- Nonstick cooking spray
- Jelly roll pan
Gooey caramel popcorn balls
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If you love caramel popcorn balls you’ll love these other gooey caramel recipes!
To watch me make this caramel popcorn play the video in the recipe card. There will also be a short teaser auto playing.
Caramel Popcorn Balls
- 1 C butter
- 1 C light corn syrup
- 2 C packed light brown sugar
- ½ C granulated sugar
- 14 oz sweetened condensed milk
- 1 Tbsp vanilla
- 15-30 C popped popcorn less will be messier, and gooier, but I like it, more for a looser caramel popcorn
- Bring the butter, syrup, and sugars to a boil, keep bubbling over med heat until it hits the softball stage (240 degrees – use a candy thermometer)
- Add the sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla and boil 1 more min – let it cool a few mins so it doesn’t shrink the popcorn.
- pour over the popcorn and stir
- use 1 – 1 1/2 batches of air popped popcorn for these balls
- spread the popcorn out and let it start too cool
- spray your hands with cooking spray and portion it out into 8 sections and ball up.
- Continue to check back and ball and turn until they cool enough that they stay in their ball forms
gooey caramel popcorn
- use 2-3 batches of air popped popcorn for this – serve immediately
crunchy caramel popcorn
- use 3 batches of popped popcorn for this – stir and coat as evenly as you can
- IF you want crunchy popcorn preheat your oven to 250 – spread it out in a pan and place in the oven and bake for like 20-30 mins, stirring occasionally, until it crisps up