Caramel apples are a quintessential aspect of the mid-fall experience, along with striped candy corn, spooky corn mazes, and jack-o-lanterns. But how many people actually enjoy the experience of eating a bland and grainy apple, sickeningly sweet caramel, and toppings that would sooner fall off the caramel apple than into your mouth? But at the same time, who wants to give up the entire concept of a caramel apple? 

This recipe for caramel apple popcorn is the solution—sweet without being sickening, crunchy without gambling on the apple's texture, and creative without giving up on traditional seasonal flavors.  It is great as a snack to pack in your lunch bag, as a dessert for a Halloween or Thanksgiving potluck, or for any midnight munchies post trick-or-treating. Plus, all of the ingredients are cheap and easy to find at your local supermarket.

If you don't want to pop your own popcorn, feel free to use your preferred brand of plain, microwaveable popcorn. I've found that Newman's Own's plain microwaveable popcorn works well for this recipe. But keep in mind you'll likely have to use more than one bag for the amount of caramel this recipe makes. 

#SpoonTip: If you want to try your hand at pumpkin spice caramel popcorn instead, replace the dried apple, apple juice, and spices with the pumpkin spice mix from this pumpkin spice cookie dough. You can also leave out the apple-based ingredients and spices entirely for a plain caramel popcorn recipe. 

Caramel Apple Popcorn

  • Prep Time:15 mins
  • Cook Time:10 mins
  • Total Time:25 mins
  • Servings:0
  • Medium


  • 1 cup popcorn kernels
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup apple juice or cider
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup apple chips crushed
Dipa Halder
  • Step 1

    Heat canola oil and 3 popcorn kernels over medium high heat on stovetop.

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  • Step 2

    Once kernels have popped, add remaining popcorn kernels. Remove pot from stove, shake to coat all kernels in oil, and place pot back onto stove until timing of pops is approximately 3 seconds apart.

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  • Step 3

    Place popcorn in a large bowl and set aside.

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  • Step 4

    In a small pot, combine honey, brown sugar, vanilla extract, apple juice, and butter.

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  • Step 5

    Cook over medium high heat until thick and dark golden brown, stirring constantly. Then add cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and crushed apple chips and stir into caramel.

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  • Step 6

    Spread popcorn onto a lined baking sheet and pour caramel over popcorn, then mix until popcorn is evenly coated.

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  • Step 7

    Bake 7 to 10 minutes in oven at 350°F or until popcorn becomes golden brown.

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  • Step 8

    If you want popcorn clumps, let caramel popcorn cool on the baking sheet. Otherwise, mix around with a spatula to allow pieces to cool separately.

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  • Step 9

    Once completely baked, enjoy immediately or store in an airtight container for up to 3 to 5 days.

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This simple recipe will allow you to enjoy the sweet, nostalgic flavors of a childhood caramel apple with a creative twist. Give caramel apples another try and allow their flavors to shine with this caramel apple popcorn recipe.