Gooey Vanilla Caramel Corn Recipe

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My friend Suzette has the most amazing caramel corn recipe, and I’ve since declared it Gooey Vanilla Caramel Corn because of it’s unique consistency and ingredients. She’s made it for me several times, and since I got the recipe over a year ago, I’ve made it quite a few times myself. I love it so much, I HAVE to share it! I am quite picky with my treats, so I only share the best of the best.

First off, it has Sweetened Condensed milk in it that contributes to the Gooey=YUM! Second, it has pure Vanilla mixed in=Double YUM! Add to that brown sugar, butter, and Karo syrup, and we’ve got some pure yumminess. I’ll let the pictures do the rest of the talking…recipe at the bottom.

gooey vanilla caramel corn

vanilla caramel corn


caramel corn vanilla

gooey vanilla caramel corn steps

Caramel Corn Recipe

5 from 3 votes
Gooey Vanilla Caramel Corn
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
15 mins
This Gooey Vanilla Caramel Corn Recipe is sure to delight kids and adults alike. I used microwave popcorn for ease, but popping your own is also fun!
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: caramel corn
Servings: 10 servings
Author: Kristen Duke
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 2 cups brown sugar not packed
  • 1 cup light Karo Syrup
  • 1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk 10 oz.
  • 1 teaspoon good pure Vanilla
  • 4 to 5 quarts popped popcorn 2.5-3 bags microwave popcorn
  1. Combine butter, sugar, Karo syrup in saucepan over medium heat and stir well. Keep stirring over medium heat until sugar has dissolved. When mixture comes to a slow boil, add your condensed milk – keep stirring. Stir constantly until mixture comes to a soft ball stage and test with a candy thermometer (*234-238 degrees). Stir in vanilla,pour over popcorn. Stir to coat.
  2. *If you don't have a candy thermometer to test the soft ball stage, you can test it in ice water by dripping some caramel from a spoon into ice water and once you can form a ball the Carmel is done.
  3. This batch treats my family of 6 plus some extra to give to friends


Now go ahead and make a batch for your next family movie night, or after school snack for the kids. Make sure you have a plan to share with someone you love, or you might just eat the whole bowl. ENJOY!!!

caramel corn

 Do you love caramel corn as much as I do?

If you’d like to see more of my favorite recipes, you can find them right here on my blog. If you want to see what treats I PLAN to make in my future, check out my Delicious~Sweet Treats Desserts Pinterest page and follow along as I pin!

pinterest and recipes on blog

 Linking up!

Join The Discussion



  1. Courtney says:

    Can you (or your friend) please recommend a good candy thermometer? I’m not looking for anything super fancy or expensive, since to date I have never used one and probably won’t use it often – but I do want to make sure it is one that will work accurately. Thanks!

    • Kristen Duke says:

      Courtney, I just got a cheap one from my grocery store and it seemed to work great!

  2. Yum, yum, give me some. Caramel corn is the best! Thanks for a great recipe, Kristen. You kick butt.

    • Kristen Duke says:

      ha, ha, thanks Mariel! Try it, you’ll fall in love, too!

  3. This look so delish, Kris! mmm!

  4. This looks so delicious! Would you believe that I’ve never made a caramel corn at home? I know, I can’t believe it either! Well, I’m about to change that! Thanks for sharing your friend’s fabulous recipe.

  5. You had me at gooey. This looks just like the caramel corn my mom made all the time for my gigantic family. Popcorn is cheap and we loved the stuff 🙂

  6. nicole says:

    This looks delicious! I guess I need to buy a candy thermometer.

  7. OMG I need to make this now 🙂

    • Kristen Duke says:

      It’s so delicious!!

  8. You have got to be kidding – this looks so so good. Vanilla is my favorite scent, favorite flavor. I can’t believe I’ve never had caramel, vanilla popcorn (I’ve had caramel, which is fantastic). It just looks…perfect.

    Did you take those pictures?? I need tips on taking food pictures! They look totally professional!

    • Kristen Duke says:

      Yes, I took the pictures and yes the caramel in it is delicious!

  9. Julia says:

    Oh my WORD, that looks so good! Wow! I might be able to treat myself to some of that popcorn once a year, but other than that…. yikes. 😀 I wonder if there is something you could use besides the karo syrup… hmm…

    Found you on the Nifty Thrifty things link-up! 🙂 You have a really cute blog! 😀

    Julia @ The Resourceful Gals

    • Kristen Duke says:

      I always plan to share a bunch with others when I make it–then I can’t eat it all!

  10. We just wanted to let you know that we featured this post at this weeks Wednesday’s Adorned From Above Blog Hop. Thanks so much for sharing with us.
    Have a great week.
    Debi and Charly

    • Kristen Duke says:

      wonderful! thanks for letting me know!!

  11. Oh my heck…this looks amazing!!! Pinning!!

  12. Okay, now you’ve got my mouth watering and it is too late to make this popcorn! I’ll have to try tomorrow!

  13. Those photos are mouth-watering Kristen! What a yummy treat! Definitely putting this on my to-do list ; )

  14. Seriously Kristen? This looks awesome! A great after school treat! Found this recipe on Pinterest! We’d love for you to come over to our newest link party over at The Inspiration Network: DELISH- a desserts only link party. Bring your desserts and let’s party!!

    Melanie and Diana
    The Inspiration Network

  15. Looks so crazy good, Kristen!!

  16. Oh my goodness, this looks absolutely amazing!!!

  17. Yum we love caramel corn, especially in the fall!

  18. I love homemade caramel corn; adding vanilla sounds delicious!

  19. Tiona Gorman says:

    I made this but didn’t have popcorn, so I used rice chex, multi-grain cherios, coconut and a handful of almonds. It was amazing!!! I am going to make this for Christmas gifts.

  20. Beth says:

    i make several candies for the holidays, caramels being the favored by most. These will be on this years list! Thank you for sharing!

  21. luis says:

    Hi, can i put in the oven the popcorns then you finish your instructions? i think they are a little sticky or iam wrong? sorry my english. kisses

  22. Laura says:

    While I found the flavor of the caramel awesome, it was almost too sticky and gooey to eat! Hard to chew. Would pulling it off before the soft ball stage help?

  23. CasSandra DeWeber says:

    By chance do you know the calorie intake for 1 cup or 1/2 cup or serving size? I need to track everything I make & eat bit it’s hard with no known calorie intake. Thank you

  24. Rae Sandberg says:

    Hi Kristen.. you don’t have to bake the covered popcorn in the oven? I really need to try this recipe. .. we love caramel corn… thanks!!

  25. Kristen Duke says:

    No oven needed!! Enjoy!!


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