Healthy Caramel Popcorn Recipe

4.66 from 38 votes

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A Healthy Caramel Popcorn Recipe, can you believe it?! Made with real maple syrup and coconut oil, this healthier snack won’t last long.

Caramel Popcorn

Caramel Popcorn

I don’t know about you, but Caramel Popcorn (also known as Caramel Corn) and I are BFF’s.

I don’t usually snack on anything late into the night these days, but sometimes I make exceptions and today is that day.

When my friends Christie and Claudia told me about their Clean Eating Caramel Popcorn Recipe, I couldn’t believe how good it was. Not only is this recipe super simple, but it is also:

  • gluten-free
  • vegan
  • unprocessed
  • contains no sugar

Sound a little too good to be true? Well, believe it friends! Give it a try and you be the judge!


Caramel Popcorn Recipe Ingredients

Coconut Oil – There are a ton of articles out there saying that coconut oil may or may not be healthy for you. All I know is that it is way better than plain ol’ butter and that this is what this recipe calls for. You be the judge of this and make this recipe with coconut oil or an oil of your choosing. It’s your body people, you decide what goes in it.

Popcorn Kernels – You can’t make popcorn without those kernels. Freshly popped popcorn just cannot be beaten. No matter how convenient the microwave kinds are.

Vanilla – What good, sweet treat recipe doesn’t have vanilla in it. It adds tons of flavor and the aroma of it just kills me every time.

Maple Syrup – Ok I know maple syrup has sugar in it. By healthy, I mean that this recipe is healthier than the traditional recipe because I don’t use processed sugars in it. Do yourself a favor and buy REAL maple syrup. It is SO good. And that is not just the Canadian speaking in me.

Sea Salt – What is more perfect that sea salt to top off this tasty recipe. It is the perfect compliment to all the sweet.

Looking for more delectable snacks to munch on? Check out these recipes: Deviled EggsChewy Chocolate Chip Granola BarsSmoothie Bowl Recipe for Kids, and Cream Cheese Fruit Dip Recipe.

How to Make Caramel Popcorn

Start with 1/2 cup of popcorn kernels.

Kernels in Coconut Oil

Place them into a hot pan with some melted coconut oil and…

How to Make Caramel Popcorn

…pop the top on! Every 20-30 seconds shake the pan back and forth to make sure the kernels heat evenly so they pop evenly.

Caramel Popcorn Recipe

After about 5 minutes, all your popcorn should be perfectly popped 🙂 Set this aside.

Coconut Oil and Maple Syrup

Now onto the caramel! In a small saucepan, measure out some REAL maple syrup and more coconut oil. I also added in my sea salt to this mixture too, but feel free to save it for the end.

Making Caramel

Lightly boil the mixture for 2 minutes until it thickens. Then add in some vanilla and pour over the popcorn.

Caramel Popcorn Recipe

Stir to coat and then eat immediately, or spread it out onto a baking sheet to set a little more.

Believe it or not, this doesn’t taste too coconutty or maply. The splash of vanilla that you throw in at the end makes such a huge difference! It’s seriously what makes this taste like caramel corn…so don’t forget to add it in 🙂

We scarfed this stuff down in no time and think your families will too. Plus it is practically guilt-free! Holla!

Print the recipe using the button below! Enjoy!

Even More healthy snacks you might like:

caramel corn
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4.66 from 38 votes

Healthy Caramel Popcorn Recipe

A Healthy Caramel Popcorn Recipe, can you believe it?! Made with real maple syrup and coconut oil, this healthier snack won't last long.
servings 8 cups popped, approximately
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 38 minutes


  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil divided
  • 1/2 cup popcorn kernels
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla


  • Place 1 tablespoon coconut oil into a deep pot or pan with a tight-fitting lid and melt over medium-high heat. Add in popcorn kernels and cover. Shake the pan back and forth every 20 seconds or so to heat kernels evenly. After about 2 minutes, kernels should start to pop. Once popping slows, remove popcorn from heat and pour into a large bowl.
  • In a small saucepan, place remaining coconut oil with maple syrup and salt. Boil 2 minutes, then remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Drizzle over popcorn and toss to coat evenly. Spread out onto some parchment paper to cool 30 minutes or so. Serve.


Calories: 115kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 147mg | Potassium: 50mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 0.3mg
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Caramel Corn, Caramel Popcorn, Caramel Popcorn Recipe, How to Make Caramel Popcorn

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Recipe Rating

91 Responses
  1. Opening Day: Baseball Snacks That Hit a Healthy Home Run | ThinkHealth

    […] containers make it easy to overeat, putting you in a real pickle. Try making and pre-portioning homemade caramel corn. This recipe only requires three ingredients. That means you can double the portion size. Not a fan […]

  2. Sherri

    5 stars
    So Good, I boiled it hard for 2 minutes, then added a pinch of baking soda and vanilla, coated the popcorn then baked it for 10 minutes in a 350 oven. It is hard to stop eating…Such a treat!!!

  3. Pam

    4 stars
    No sugar? Ok.. I like your recipes but I have to say, you got a couple things wrong here. You might want to update the article. If a diabetic who doesn’t know better comes upon this article and makes this recipe, they could go into a diabetic coma. I’m sure you didn’t understand this. This recipe isn’t Paleo, either. I do think it’s a good recipe, but I think you shouldn’t be afraid to admit your mistakes and correct them when you’re wrong. Natural sugar is still sugar. That’s why diabetics aren’t supposed to eat fruit, either. Thanks for all the great recipes.

  4. Britt

    5 stars
    Hi! I tried this and really loved it! The only thing is, the coconut oil separated from the maple syrup, so I basically had to pour out the coconut oil and the remnants was the nice caramel sauce. But then it was so sticky I could only coat a small bowl before it had set? Still incredible though!! Thanks so much for providing such incredible recipes!

  5. Easy Oven Baby Back Ribs - Lauren's Latest

    […] remember how I said I was addicted to Gossip Girl? Wellllllll, turns out that show just became too painful to watch. I’m sure if I was still in […]

  6. Lisa

    5 stars
    I just made this and it turned out amazing! Thankyou for sharing your recipe! I did add 1/4 t. Of B.S. which thickened it but next time I won’t add the salt as the B.S. adds enough salt flavor. I’m going to double the batch next time! With a family of 5 this didn’t make enough for everyone.????

  7. 38 Healthy Halloween Recipes: Perfect for Your Halloween Party! - Simple Pure Beauty

    […] 22.Healthy Caramel Corn | Lauren’s Latest […]

  8. J.T.

    About the teething ,If you get your child to chew on a green onion which will numb the gums or rub with your fingers a small amount of any sweet liquior which will do the same and if the teething is driving you Crazy a nice sized shot of it will help settle your nerves .I used this for 5 boys and always remember (I’d rather have abottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy ) Luck to you ,I’m trying your carmel corn tonite with kettle corn seed I got from a friend who sells it.

  9. Bourbon Paprika Pecan Popcorn | Healthy Nibbles & Bits

    […] for my taste, so I went looking for a healthier version. This recipe is loosely based on the healthy caramel corn on Lauren’s Latest with these tweaks: added bourbon, paprika, swapped maple syrup for […]

  10. Menu Plan Monday ~ Jan 4/16 -

    […] recipe that did turn out for me this past weekend though was this delicious recipe for Healthy Caramel Popcorn. Oh my goodness, was it ever good, I’m still thinking about it.  With no refined sugars or […]

    1. Lauren

      Real maple syrup is natural sugar from maple trees that is typically 3-4x more expensive than table maple syrup that is made with high fructose corn syrup and maple flavoring.

  11. Tito Fuentes

    I’m sorry, but I don’t see how this is a sugar free recipe. One tablespoon of maple syrup contains 20 grams of sugar. While it may not be cane or corn sugar, it still is not very healthy for diabetics and darn sure isn’t sugar free. It sure sounds delicious, but would most likely put me in a coma.

    1. Lissa

      Thank you for highlighting that – that it’s not sugar free. It’s misleading. As an athlete, this is not something my coach would recommend as a “health snack.”

  12. Jennifer

    5 stars
    I love caramel popcorn and a coke zero on Sundays. So I wondered if there was a paleo version of caramel corn (other than the kernels). I seriously doubted I’d find one! I’m so excited. Thank you! !!!

  13. Lisa

    5 stars
    Thank you! Thank you! THANK YOU!!! WOW, made this last night. Everyone was sooo happy. We all loved it! Due to health issues I cannot tolerate white sugars and this made me especially sooooo happy. What an amazing treat! Thank you so much for sharing!

  14. ss

    Syrup needs to be boiled longer or it makes popcorn soggy. I had to bake for 10 min at 350to crunch it up. Also very oily. I halved the coconut oil on second batch.

  15. Sweet Monday - Coast To Coast Central™Coast To Coast Central™

    […] corn. So naturally, when we came across this [semi] healthy recipe for the yummy kernels from Lauren’s Latest, we were all ears. […]

  16. Vanessa

    5 stars
    Ohhhh my goodness….just made this recipe and it is DELICIOUS!! And I am a caramel popcorn nut! So glad to have found a healthy recipe, because I had given it up!! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!! 🙂

    1. Lauren

      I’m not sure because whenever I make this it lasts less than 24 hours! You might want to make a sample batch and see how it tastes after 3 days.

  17. roberta johnson

    In my whirly handle stovetop popper I place 1/4 cup canola oil. 1/2 cup poping corn and 1/3 cup of white sugar. Place over medium high fire and stir continuously by turning the handle on the popper. When the poping stops remove from the heat and dump into a bowl immediately. This is like the sugary corn we buy at the fair ! When cooled it can be stored for days in plastic food storage bags

  18. Melissa @ Bless this Mess

    5 stars
    Finally made this today and it is fabulous! I was so surprised at just how unmapley and uncoconuty it was… very much a caramel corn. Loved it!

  19. Jenny @ BAKE

    This recipe looks amazing! I love popcorn in pretty much any form, much like I do gossip girl! I watched the whole show over about three months a little while back, such a guilty pleasure!

  20. Katelyn

    This recipe looks tasty but you should probably remove the statement about this being Paleo… Corn isn’t Paleo (as it’s a grain, not a vegetable) so it’s impossible for popped corn to be Paleo. Anyone familiar with Paleo understands this but for people just learning and searching who find your recipe it could be misleading. 🙂

  21. Christie Blake

    5 stars
    Thanks for the shout out friend! I am seriously addicted, like popcorn machine has become a permanent fixture on my counter, not sure I like that, but I can’t get enough!!

  22. Easy Oven Baby Back Ribs | Lauren's Latest

    […] remember how I said I was addicted to Gossip Girl? Wellllllll, turns out that show just became too painful to watch. I’m sure if I was still in […]

  23. Lindsay Ann @ Lindsay Ann Bakes

    If you stir in 1/4 teaspoon baking soda after the vanilla, the mixture will foam up and make it soooo much easier to coat the popcorn perfectly! I make this all the time 😉

    1. Kelly Phan

      Hey there! I tried this, but my coconut oil separated when I made the caramel. Is this supposed the happen? any tips? thanks!

  24. Celeste edwards

    Is there a different oil I could use?? My 3yr old is severely allergic to peanuts and tree nuts. Which coconut and coconut oil is a tree nut so we can’t use them. Thanks!

      1. Aly

        I would use grapeseed oil. It is much healthier than the other two mentioned. Make sure it is 100% Grapeseed oil though. It is healthier that way. Grapeseed oil has a very mild taste.

    1. Maggie

      While many people with tree nut allergies are also allergic to coconut, it is not actually a tree nut and not the same allergy. My aunt is deathly allergic to tree nuts and mildly allergic to coconut — but *not* to coconut oil. (And not at all allergic to peanuts, which are of course legumes.)
      It’s reasonable to not want to risk it, but I still have to object to claiming that a fruit is a nut.

  25. Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness

    I seriously want to marry you for this. I LURVE caramel corn, but really just can’t justify it…until now! Hello dinner 🙂 Pinned!