Elevate your homemade popcorn game with this irresistible Pumpkin Spice Caramel Popcorn! Sweet, crunchy, crisp and buttery popcorn flavored with homemade caramel and pumpkin pie spice for a delicious fall kick everyone will love.
So for second there, the fall weather was here. Leaves were turning! The rain was coming! The temperature was decreasing dramatically! The sweaters were on!
But then summer decided to rear its SUPER HIDEOUSLY UGLY HEAD again and now we’re edging back toward 98 degrees. UGH! Doesn’t Mother Nature know this heat is cramping my fall aesthetic?
Today is the last day for a good week and a half of “good” weather – cool, crisp fall weather – before summer round 2 comes back for its crappy encore performance. Let’s just say I am summer’s least favorite fan and I can’t wait to kick its butt to the curb.
But the weather getting hotter isn’t going to stop me from indulging in all my fall favorites. I’ve already had my first pumpkin spice scone from Starbucks of the season and I’ve been eating butternut squash on a daily basis. Just try and pry my beloved squash out of my cold, dead hands.
This recipe for Pumpkin Spice Caramel Popcorn reminds me of the spiced nut stands at the mall during the fall and winter. You know the ones – you can’t be within a one mile radius of one without smelling that delicious aroma of spices and caramelized nuts. Our local stand also sells homemade caramel popcorn cooked kettle-style and it just permeates the air with that delicious, mouthwatering aroma of buttery caramel and sea salted popcorn. I’m basically drooling just thinking about it!
I wanted to create a caramel popcorn recipe that reminded me of those spiced nuts and the caramel popcorn fresh from the stands, so that’s where this Pumpkin Spice version came from! It is SO divine, simple to prepare and tastes amazing with that hint of pumpkin pie spice in every bite!
All you do is fill a large roasting pan (I like the disposable aluminum ones for easy cleanup and transport!) with popped popcorn (homemade or store-bought is fine!) and pour the glorious homemade caramel sauce over the top. Stir to combine and bake it for an hour, stirring after every 15 minutes to ensure every piece is coated in that rich, magnificent caramel sauce!
While there is technically no pumpkin in this recipe, if you’re a fan of pumpkin pie spice, you will LOVE this caramel corn!
*from my book, Out of the Box Holiday Baking
- 20 cups popped popcorn (homemade or store-bought is fine; aim for plain rather than flavored with tons of artificial butter flavor)
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 2 cups brown sugar
- ½ cup light corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice OR use the following mix: 2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1 tsp ground ginger, ½ tsp ground nutmeg and ⅛ ground cloves
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Place the popcorn in a large roasting pan (I like using a disposable aluminum pan). If using a metal pan, lightly grease the pan.
- Melt the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and salt together in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil and boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent scorching. Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla extract, baking soda, and pumpkin pie spice.
- Pour the hot caramel mixture evenly over the popcorn in the pan, using a spatula to toss and coat the popcorn evenly. Note that the caramel mixture may not cover all of the popcorn off the bat, but as you bake it, the caramel will thin out to coat nearly completely.
- Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes to coat the popcorn evenly. Cool the popcorn mixture in the pans completely before breaking into pieces to serve.
Buttery, spicy goodness in each crispy, crunchy piece of salty popcorn. Delicious!
Have a super sweet day!
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