Bacon Caramel Popcorn

If you have been looking for the perfect home movie snack, then this recipe is for you! This sweet and salty Popcorn snack is quick and easy and will not disappoint.

overhead shot of bacon caramel popcorn on sheet pan with text overlay for facebook


 

This Bacon Caramel Popcorn is the perfect blend of sweet and salty. Perfect for parties, a snack, or even dessert! Make it with a savory popcorn, like Masala Popcorn for a fun twist too.

Sweet and Salty Popcorn

I am a lover of snacks and more specifically a lover of popcorn. Coat it with butter, top it with cheese, or toss it with some spices, any way you make it, I am in love. Make it sweet and salty though, I nearly lose my mind.

overhead shot of bacon caramel popcorn in bowl

That flavor combination has been a winner for me every since I was a kid. I remember getting caramel popcorn balls as party favors or at a fair and tearing through them at breakneck speed. I find that combo absolutely addictive.

When I was thinking about making a snack for a movie at home recently, that snack came to mind. I knew I wanted that nostalgic flavor, but I wanted to give it a little twist and I couldn’t help but think bacon might amp it up a bit.

Let’s be honest bacon makes everything better. Salty coupled with the sweet, creamy caramel over crunchy popcorn puts the perfect new spin on an old favorite. This one is a sticky concoction that is truly finger-licking good.

straight shot of bacon caramel popcorn in white paper bag

What You’ll Need

  • Popped popcorn– Grab a big bag of pre-popped popcorn or pop your own. Four quarts sounds like a lot, but is actually just 16 cups, which after you add caramel too, will reduce in density even more.
  • Light brown sugar– Or if you desire more deep, rich molasses flavor, use dark brown sugar.
  • Light corn syrup– This helps the caramel stay soft and pliable instead of creating a hard candy coating.
  • Unsalted butter– If using salted butter, omit the additional salt topping and make sure the pre-popped corn is salt-free.
  • Baking soda– The secret ingredient to perfect caramel corn sauce.
  • Vanilla extract– To balance the flavors.
  • Bacon– Cooked and roughly chopped, I prefer thick-cut bacon with a little smoke on it, but you can use whatever is in the fridge or whatever strikes your fancy at the store.
  • Mini chocolate chips- I felt the little ones distributed better throughout the mixture. Regular size will work perfectly too, as will peanut butter or caramel chips. Or leave them out all together.
  • Fleur de sel – Optional, but nice for an even salt flavor and crunch.
overhead shot of bacon caramel popcorn spilled out of white paper bag

How to Make Bacon Caramel Popcorn

  1. Preheat the oven and line a large-rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper. These aren’t necessary, but help with the clean-up with such a sticky sauce.
  2. In a large, heavy bottom saucepan over medium heat, combine the brown sugar, corn syrup and butter, stirring constantly, until it starts to lightly bubble. A heavy bottom pan is best for distributing heat and preventing scalding.
  3. Keep it consistent at a low boil/simmer for 5 minutes, without stirring. Remove from the heat and stir in the baking soda and vanilla. It might spit and bubble, this is normal.
collage of how to make caramel
  1. Spread the popcorn onto the prepared baking sheet and pour the syrup over top, tossing gently.
  2. Bake for 35 minutes, which helps to seal it onto the popcorn.
  3. Remove and sprinkle the top with bacon, returning to the oven and cooking for another 5 minutes to marry it all together. Remove and allow to cool fully.
  4. After the popcorn has cooled, sprinkle with mini chocolate chips and fleur de sel, if desired. You can sprinkle with the chocolate chips straight from the oven, but they will get a little melty. Not the worst thing, just a little different.
collage of how to make bacon caramel popcorn

Storage

This should be made and eaten on the same day which I seriously doubt will be a problem. Bacon Caramel Popcorn is also a great party favor, potluck item or party munchie.

You can save it in an airtight container or paper bag, but the popcorn can get a little soggy from the caramel sauce.

collage of bacon caramel popcorn for pinterest

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overhead shot of bacon caramel popcorn on sheet pan with text overlay for pinterest
overhead of bacon caramel popcorn in a white serving bowl

Bacon Caramel Popcorn

4.62 from 13 votes
This Bacon Caramel Popcorn is the perfect blend of sweet and salty. Perfect for parties, snacks and dessert!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4 cups

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 250° and line a large-rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  • In a large, heavy bottom saucepan over medium heat, combine the brown sugar, corn syrup and butter, stirring constantly, until it starts to lightly bubble.
  • Keep it consistent at a low boil for 5 minutes, without stirring. Remove from the heat and stir in the baking soda and vanilla.
  • Spread the popcorn onto the prepared baking sheet and pour the syrup over top, tossing gently to coat.
  • Bake for 35 minutes. Remove and sprinkle the top with bacon, returning to the oven and cooking for another 5 minutes.
  • Remove and allow to cool fully.
  • After cool, sprinkle with mini chocolate chips and fleur de sel, if desired.
  • If you've tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or star ratings.

Notes

This is best enjoyed the same day as making, but it can be stored in a paper bag or airtight container for up to a week. 

Nutrition

Calories: 276 kcal, Carbohydrates: 46 g, Protein: 5 g, Fat: 9 g, Saturated Fat: 3 g, Cholesterol: 15 mg, Sodium: 1506 mg, Potassium: 127 mg, Fiber: 2 g, Vitamin A: 70 IU, Calcium: 30 mg, Iron: 0.6 mg
Author: Jessica Formicola
Calories: 276
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bacon caramel popcorn, caramel popcorn, homemade caramel corn
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see your recipes – snap a picture and mention @savoryexperiments or tag #savoryexperiments!
Jessica Formicola in her ktichen

About the Author

Jessica Formicola

Jessica the mom, wife and chef behind Savory Experiments. You might see her on the Emmy- nominated TV show Plate It! or on bookshelves as a cookbook author. Jessica is a Le Cordon Bleu certified recipe developer and regularly contributed to Parade, Better Homes & Gardens, The Daily Meal and more!

Read More About Jessica

4.62 from 13 votes (5 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating




Questions and Reviews

  1. 5 stars
    I’m obsessed with putting bacon in everything, and this recipe is just genius. Obviously I ate the whole bowl and will never eat popcorn without bacon again.

  2. one more question, you don’t spread it on a cookie sheet and bake it? is there a reason? thank you

  3. 4 stars
    Wow, only 4 cups? Is that one serving? lol! I can’t imagine doubling the caramel ingredients though for 8 cups of popcorn. When I make popcorn (not microwave) the recipe is 3T oil and 1/2 cup of kernels. The nutrition statement says 3T of popcorn makes about 7.5 cups. Any ideas about adjusting this recipe for a party? Have you ever doubled or tripled it? I’d appreciate some suggestions and am dying to try it. A local restaurant has this on their menu and it is heavenly.

    1. Hi Mary! Thanks for reaching out! So I only used 4 cups from our popcorn machine, they come in pre-measured out sizes. You can certainly double the caramel or make the same amount and just have less per kernel. I would say to toss it in two separate batches or else it might not distribute evenly. This recipe will make a sticky, gooey caramel corn, which is the way I like it with bacon.

      I do not bake because the caramel is already hot and wet, it just needs to set onto the popcorn. Baking it will only make it melt more, seeing that this isn’t the kind that will produce a hard candy shell.

    2. And… I have made it for a party and as goodie bags for departing guests! Personally, I think it tastes better fresh and hot, so I suggest serving it that way 😉 Let me know how yours turns out!

  4. 5 stars
    What an unusual flavor combo! I love salty and sweet, although I’m not really a fan of bacon 🙂 Thanks for linking up with Let’s Get Real! Making your own snacks is way better than buying a bag of something at the store!

    1. Not everyone is a bacon person- but you could omit the bacon and add another salty treat- like pretzels.