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cinnamon bun caramel corn in a teal bowl

Cinnamon Bun Caramel Corn

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
  • Yield: 7 cups
  • Category: Snack
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


A recipe from Sally’s Candy Addiction: crunchy caramel corn inspired by sticky sweet cinnamon buns. The true definition of addicting.


  • 7 cups (56g) air-popped popcorn*
  • 1 cup (215g) tightly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup (114g) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 ounces (170g) white chocolate, coarsely chopped


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°F (93°C). Spread the popcorn out onto 2 large baking sheets– or 1 if it all fits! Set aside.
  2. Combine the brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, and salt in a medium heavy-duty saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until butter has melted. Next, bring to a boil while stirring occasionally. Once boiling, stop stirring. Allow to boil for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and quickly stir in the baking soda. The caramel will immediately foam and bubble (see above for why!). Stir in the vanilla and cinnamon. Pour the caramel over the popcorn and toss gently until all of the popcorn is coated.
  3. Bake caramel corn for 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes. Allow to cool on the pan(s), then break apart any large clusters. Melt the white chocolate in a double boiler or microwave (stop and stir every 10 seconds if using a microwave), then drizzle over caramel corn. Allow to cool.


  1. Make Ahead Instructions: This caramel corn tastes great for up to 2 weeks if stored in an airtight container. Wonderful recipe to make ahead of time for holidays and entertaining.
  2. Popcorn: If you do not have a popcorn maker at home, you can simply add 3 tablespoons of popcorn kernels to a brown paper bag. Seal the bag tightly by folding over the top.  Microwave the popcorn for approximately 1 minute, 45 seconds on High, or up to 2 minutes, depending on your microwave.  This method will make 5 cups, so you’ll have to do it twice. Alternatively, you can use natural-style microwave popcorn that has no butter added to it.
  3. Special Tools: 1-2 large baking sheets, wooden spoon, a sturdy pot (I like Anolon Nouvelle Copper and Crestware), double boiler (always recommended for melting chocolate- I like this one and this one).
  4. This content is copyrighted to Sally’s Candy Addiction cookbook.

Keywords: caramel corn, cinnamon bun caramel corn