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Susan's Caramel Popcorn In a Paper Bag

Two half-sheet metal baking pans filled with a single layer of caramel popcorn

After the popocorn is coated with the caramel, spread it out onto baking sheets too cool and crisp up. (Susan Mintert/Indiana Home Cooks Podcast)

If you love caramel corn but think it's too tricky to make a home, try this simplified method that utilizes a paper grocery bag and the microwave oven. 

Susan Mintert of Indiana Home Cooks Podcast walks through all the steps on this episode of Earth Eats

Caramel Popcorn in a Bag


8 quarts of popped popcorn (unseasoned)

1 C. brown sugar

½ C. butter

¼ C. light corn syrup

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. baking soda 

One paper grocery bag 


Note: All microwave cooking instructions are for HIGH POWER, 1100 watts

Put popped popcorn in paper grocery bag and set aside.

Have 2-3 large baking pans ready to cool caramel corn.

Combine brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, and salt in a microwave-safe bowl.  (1-2 qt capacity)  

Note:  caramel mixture will expand and rise during cooking so make sure your cooking vessel is large enough. Set aside the baking soda. 

Microwave caramel ingredients together for 2 minutes.  

Stir mixture, and then microwave for 2 more minutes.  

Add baking soda and stir.  Mixture will become foamy.  

Pour caramel mixture over popcorn in paper bag.  Fold closed and shake bag to distribute caramel.  Keep bag closed at all times during cooking and shaking.  Place bag in microwave oven. If your microwave does not have a turntable, pause a few times during cooking to move bag around. 

Microwave for 1.5 minutes, then shake bag.  

Microwave for 1 minute, shake bag.

Microwave for 45 seconds, shake.

Microwave for 30 seconds, shake.

When done, open bag carefully away from your face. Pour caramel corn out onto baking pans to cool.  

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