{Simple Short-Cut} Homemade Caramel Popcorn


I was invited to a friends birthday party to be held at her sisters pool over the weekend and I kept debating on what to bring.  I hate showing up empty handed and my signature “dish” at family parties is usually a fruit tray or salad (living on the edge, aren’t I?!)  But I wanted to bring something a bit more fun for my friends (birthday/pool) party.  

After going back and forth on what to bring and not having time to hit the grocery store I decided to raid my own pantry.  I pulled out a mix of things but nothing seemed to go together.  Then I pulled out some microwave popcorn and a jar of caramel sauce.  Hmm I thought… could I just pour the sauce onto the popcorn and make some (faux) homemade caramel popcorn?   

I wasn’t quite sure but I gave it a shot, and I must say this was fabulous and the guests ate it up very quickly.   This recipe is a simple, short-cut one and if you’re someone like me who has attempted homemade caramel before you know it’s one of those things where you have to stand by the stove, stirring and stirring.  This one doesn’t take nearly as much (mixing or stirring) time (or patience.)

TraderJoesCaramelSauceAnd if you haven’t tasted the Trader Joe’s Fleur de Sel Caramel Sauce – well this stuff is the best caramel sauce I’ve ever had – it is not healthy by all means – so definitely something that has to be eaten in moderation. 

As I was making the caramel popcorn I remembered I had some small popcorn party bags leftover from a few years ago and I thought about how fun it would be to do a popcorn bar.  As I was short on time and ingredients I quickly made sweet & salty popcorn (using coconut oil, sugar, and salt) and nacho cheese popcorn (using a store-bought popcorn seasoning jar which I also had no idea was hiding in the back of my spice cabinet.)  

I loved the way the popcorn bar turned out!  The caramel popcorn was delicious (as well as the others,) and I also loved that they were all made by using items I already had at home on-hand – extra bonus!


Have you ever taken a short-cut like this and did it turn out much better than expected? 

{For this one, I opted out of including step-by-step photos… it is so easy to make.  You’re simply opening up a can of already made caramel sauce, heating up, pouring onto the popcorn, baking, and voila.}

Just follow the simple 2 ingredient step-by-step recipe below to make your own and enjoy!

{Simple Short-Cut} Homemade Caramel Popcorn
A simple way to make homemade caramel popcorn when you're short on time or patience.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
  1. 1 jar of Trader Joe's Fleur de Sel Caramel Sauce (or another brand as per your liking)
  2. 1 bag of microwave popcorn (I used Newman's Own Unsalted)
  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
  2. Pop popcorn in microwave as per directions on box.
  3. Remove from microwave, open and pour into a large bowl. Let stand.
  4. Empty caramel sauce into small stovetop pot.
  5. Heat on low, stirring until sauce gets thinner (about 5 minutes.)
  6. Once thinner, remove from heat and stir caramel into the bowl of popcorn. Be sure to do this gently and mix until popcorn is covered in caramel.
  7. Transfer popcorn to ungreased cookie sheet.
  8. Bake in over for 1 hour, stirring & flipping every 15 minutes.
  9. Remove caramel popcorn from cookie sheet and transfer onto wax paper.
  10. Once dry (approx 10-15 minutes) break popcorn into pieces and serve or store in an airtight container for up to a week.
  1. *note: this recipe does include milk (as an ingredient in the caramel sauce)*
Busy Bee Kate http://busybeekate.com/
Love, Kate

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