Pumpkin Spice Caramel Popcorn
What's better than the best caramel popcorn you'll ever taste? The best caramel popcorn you'll ever taste, with a dash of pumpkin spice. Please tell me you love pumpkin spice! But if you're not a fan, no worries, we've got you covered too!
Welcome to our recipe & craft tutorial blog - your online resource for everything we share to help you make your home more full of things that bring you joy. Today we're making crunchy, sweet, salty, pumpkin spice caramel popcorn. If you are making it any other time of year or don't prefer the pumpkin spice flavors, just omit those seasonings. We've been making this recipe without them for over a decade. It doesn't disappoint.
Here are a few tips before you get started, and, disclaimer, as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases, at no expense to you of course. Product links are paid. Nevertheless, these are the products I use and love:
1. Start with the right tools:
This receipe calls for the stirring of high temperature sticky sugar. A high heat silicone spurtle set is a must. These spurtles are rated for 600F unlike most of the other silicone kitchen tools in your kitchen, so they won't melt. And unlike wooden utensils, your caramel won't stick to them. And they're not just for caramel popcorn! From separating eggs and getting that last bit of dough out of your bowl to stirring your instapot and lifting that delicate omelette off your non-stick cookware pan, this set does it all. Seriously. We love it. You can purchase your set of Open Road House silicone spurtles in blue or gray here:
An air popper is the healthy popcorn equivalent of an air fryer. You can add your kernels to the popper without any oil and you'll have perfect fluffy popcorn in two minutes or less, no risk of burnt kernels on the stove, and literally zero mess to clean up. We have been using our Presto air popper on a very regular basis for about 10 years now for popping up a healthy afternoon snack. Here's the air popper we recommend:
A kitchen scale is one of our daily basic tools and this recipe is no exception. From measuring out ingredients precisely (and without the mess of measuring cups to wash out), to portioning food for calorie tracking, to weighing out your portions of cookie dough for uniformly-sized cookies, our kitchen scale sees a lot of use! We've tried many kitchen scales over the years but this is scale by Nicewell is our favorite, and the one we currently use. Unlike most of the other scales available, it can handle weights up to 22lbs., which is critical for some of our recipes, the sleek design is easy to wipe clean, and it doesn't take up a lot of visual space in the kitchen. You can find the Nicewell kitchen scale here:
2. Stir your caramel continuously until it comes to a boil, and don't touch it for 5 min once it reaches a boil! If you want your caramel smooth and fluffy, not full of crystals and hard, that's the secret. Stir it the entire time it is heating up to avoid burning. And don't touch it even once while it's doing it's magic. Trust it!
3. Make your own pumpkin pie spice blend. It's not rocket science, it's made from spices you probably already have in your cabinet, and you can customize the blend to suit your own personal taste! Hate nutmeg? Take it out and add a little more of one of the other spices! Don't like ginger? It doesn't have to be in there at all! Our spice blend below uses 4 of the 5 common ingredients. The 5 most common in order of largest portion to smallest portion are: cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, and clove.
4. Watch our tutorial Video! Seriously, we explain it all and walk you through every step of the process. Watch and subscribe to our new YouTube Channel - "On Wednesday We Bake." We'll be posting helpful videos showing you the details of each receipe, every Wednesday. See you there and happy baking!
1 Can of cooking spray
1 c. Unpopped popcorn kernels
1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 c. (488g.) packed light brown sugar
1/2 c. (164g) light corn syrup
2 t. Salt
3 t. Pumpkin spice mix (we use 2 t. Cinnamon, 1/2 t. Nutmeg, 1/4 t. Allspice, 1/4 t. Ground clove)
1 t. Vanilla
1/2 t. Baking soda
Spray inside of large turkey roaster with cooking spray and set aside
Pop 1c. Popcorn Kernels (1/2c. at a time) in air popper or on stovetop and add to roasting pan
In large saucepan over medium high heat, melt butter, adding brown sugar, corn syrup, salt, and pumpkin pie spices as soon as butter begins to liquefy
Bring butter mixture to boil stirring continuously
Once boiling, turn heat down to low and simmer without stirring 5 min
After 5 min, stir in baking soda and vanilla
Pour caramel over popcorn in small portions, stirring thoroughly between each caramel addition
Place popcorn in 250F oven and bake 1 hour, stirring every 15min
Remove from oven and spread on baking sheets to cool before transferring to an air tight container
Please let us know how it turns out and let us know if there's any other recipes you'd like to see!