food 4 tots

Caramel popcorn



Source: Adapted from Big Snacks, Little Meals by Rose Dunnington


  1. Prepare a large pot/ pan (26-28cm) with lid. Preferably use a glass cover so that you can watch the corn popping.
  2. Pour enough oil into the pot/ pan to coat the bottom and heat on medium-high heat until the oil shimmers. That’s mean it must be hot enough to pop your kernels.
  3. Add enough popcorn kernels to make a single layer on the bottom of the pot. Reduce the heat to medium, and put the lid on the pot/ pan. When you hear the kernels start to pop, hold on to the handles, shake the pot/ pan over the heat source (by moving in back and forth across the heat source) while the popcorn pops.
  4. When the popping slows down to the point that you don’t hear a pop for 10 seconds, take the pot/ pan off of the burner, let it rest with the lid still on for a few seconds, and then turn off the stove. Don’t worry if you hear a few more pops coming from the pot.
  5. Take off the lid, and dump the popcorn into the serving bowl. Don’t be surprised if you find a few late poppers. Remove any unpopped kernels if any. Refer to tip no. (1) below on how to save these unpopped kernels.


Source: Adapted and modified from Annabel Karmel Family Cookbook

Serves: 4-6

½ cup corn kernels (refer to photo)
½ stick (or 110-120g) butter
½ cup soft light brown sugar
2 tbsp golden syrup
2 tbsp water
Pinch of salt
2-3 tbsp neutral-flavored oil, such as sunflower or olive oil for popping the corn kernels


  1. Preheat oven to 150°C.
  2. Line a large baking sheet with foil and lightly grease with oil.
  3. Pop the corn as per the method above.
  4. Prepare the caramel. Combine butter, sugar, syrup in a saucepan with two tablespoons of water and a pinch of salt. Heat gently until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Then bring the syrup to the boil and remove it from the heat.
  5. Let the syrup cool slightly, then drizzle over the popcorn. Toss the popcorn carefully using two large wooden spoons or salad servers.
  6. Spread onto the prepared baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven and carefully stir. Bake for a further 15 minutes, watching closely in the last five minutes.
  7. Remove the popcorn from the oven and cool on the baking sheet for five minutes, then transfer to a bowl and serve warm (check temperature before serving as the caramel coating can stay hot for a while) or leave to cool completely (it will crisp up as it cools). Refer to tip no. (2) on how to store popcorn.


1)      Saving unpopped kernels (aka “Old Maids”)

“Old Maids” is a term for kernels that fail to pop and are often found at the bottom of the popcorn bowl. They can, however, be rejuvenated. The water content in the kernels is what causes popcorn to pop, so all you need to do is re-hydrate the dried kernels.

David Woodside, author of What Makes Popcorn Pop? suggests filling “a one-quart jar three-quarters full of popcorn and adding one tablespoon of water. Cover the jar with an airtight lid and give it a few good shakes every few minutes until the popcorn has absorbed all the water. Store the jar in a cool place.”

Woodside says in two or three days you can test-pop a batch of kernels. If you still get old maids, add a few more drops of water to the jar, shake it, and let it sit for a few more days. (Source: Popcornica

2)    How to store popcorns

Store popcorn in airtight containers (either plastic or glass) as it is to avoid moisture loss especially when stored in a cool place like a cupboard. Avoid the refrigerator. Then again, if it is so easy to make, why make so much that you need to store them. Make an amount that is enough to satisfy your craving. Freshly made popcorn tastes the best. More often than not, there is not much leftover anyway as munching popcorn can be infectious.

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  1. peachkins says:

    me and my kiddo loves caramel popcorn!

  2. Pei-Lin says:

    Wonderful post!! Your son just cracked me up!! Hahaha!! He is so adorable!! Could tell he was super excited about home-made popcorn!

    Hey, you know what, in the U.S., popcorn with salt and butter is THE choice. Caramelized popcorn can’t even beat that! Surprised, huh!? At least, it was for me. I just told my American friends that popcorn normally means “movies/cinema” to me. And, my American friends even have popcorn for meal!! Geez …

    Btw, it’s easy to buy popcorn popper in the U.S. I don’t know about S’pore & M’sia though because I don’t miss eating popcorn. So, I won’t think about getting everything for making popcorn. Perhaps, you can try looking for one!! It really makes making popcorn a breeze!! Everything is done via microwaving!!

    • food-4tots says:

      Pei-Lin: Tks for your compliment on my son. I had tried the salty version but still prefer this caramel version. Like you, I’m surprise too. I also like to associate movies with cinema as this is how I ate my popcorn 1 decade ago. LOL! Tks for sharing the popcorn popper with me. Someone gave it to me last time but I didn’t use it because I don’t use microwave here. 😉

  3. anncoo says:

    Thank for showing us how to make popcorn 🙂 I never tried to make popcorn at home before because I always think this is too sweet. And now I know I can control the sugar level~~ will bookmark this.

  4. buzzingbee says:

    oh very nice 🙂

  5. tracieMoo says:

    I’ve never made popcorn. I might want to try them on my cny hols!

  6. LCOM says:

    Yummy! I love caramel popcorn! Still prefer this than the butter, salty popcorn.

  7. mycookinghut says:

    Popcorn is super yummy! I love your story! 🙂 And your son looks sooo cute!

  8. How cool! It has been AGES since I last had any popcorns! Caramel popcorns look just inviting!

  9. The only time I have popcorn is at the cinema. Maybe I should DIY and sneak some into the cinema =P

  10. Dora says:

    A long time favourite snack for movie lovers. 🙂

  11. tigerfish says:

    I prefer salty popcorn than sweet popcorn 😛
    Popcorn is actually a healthy snack if done right.

  12. noobcook says:

    hehe what a cute photoshoot – both your son and the bear posing with the popcorn! =)

  13. Oh my goodness you’re amazing.. Making your own popcorn? Haha I don’t think I have quite that much patience! Looks terrific though =)

  14. NKOTB says:

    Ooooo…. I love popcorn but then caramel isn’t it too sweet??

  15. Little Inbox says:

    A good homemade snack. Lovely!

  16. ck lam says:

    Great snack…misses those days when pop corn is a must buy before going into the cinema.

  17. Amy says:

    LOVE the picture with the stuffed dog and the one of your son. He is such a cutie.

  18. i love popcorn and know that it’s a lot healthier than alot of other junk food. but i think the type i like, buttery and salty is still quite calorific? So making it at home with less butter is probably alot better. Thanks for the recipe. We do love making our own homemade popcorn here 🙂

  19. hey big boys like us also love caramel popcorns! yummy delicious!

  20. Pam says:

    I could eat so much of this – it looks incredible. Great photos.

  21. allie says:

    I love lots of caramel in my popcorn! I like you use the teddy bear to hold the pop corn. Cute!

  22. homeladychef says:

    I saw Jamie Oliver making herbs popcorn in one of his series. Wanna give it a try?

  23. Alice says:

    😀 This was funny & I bet your son and his pet enjoyed the pop corns very much! I wouldn’t know it is so easy to pop the corns…. will definitely try it when I am free from “sore throat”! 🙂

    • food-4tots says:

      Alice: I think I enjoyed it more than him as he was just recovered from his sore throat. Just make some for your family now. You can still redo it any other time for your own consumption, right? 😉

  24. felicia says:

    MY FAVOURITE! yumyum.
    thanks for sharing.
    will absolutely make this soon!

  25. Sorry, I couldn’t concentrate on the popcorn because your son is JUST TOO CUTE!!!! Such a handsome boy! Pink-cheeked and happy, thanks to mommy’s wonderful cooking. Even his popcorn is good stuff. I’m jealous. And that teddy bear … what an adorable shot!

  26. Whink…beautiful caramel popcorn and beautiful smiles with satisfaction!

  27. peanutts says:

    POPcorn!!! yumm, hey i didnt know you werent supposed to give popcorn to kids under 4 my son and I love munching them while browsing around the supermarket , atleast he is sitting hehe

  28. I love popcorn, and it’s my #1 favorite snack! Your caramel popcorn sounds great, and your son looks so happy with it!

  29. My fave! I can never say no to this goodie!!

  30. Your son is so cute! 🙂 haha, I can imagine how u “wrestle” with your kid, just like how I “wrestle” with my girl 😀

  31. May I know what kind of corn kernels did u use?

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