When I was a kid, I used to eat Cracker Jacks but mostly because I wanted the prize inside. I liked the roasted peanuts, but the popcorn was always way too sweet for me. So, I took this opportunity to make my own caramel popcorn where I could control the level of sweetness and the ingredients. Most caramel corn you buy isn’t vegan because it usually contains butter in the caramel. I used vegan butter in my recipe.
Vegan Caramel Popcorn [Gluten-Free]
- 8 cups popcorn
- ½ cup vegan butter
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 2 Tbs. agave nectar
- A pinch of salt
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp. baking soda
- Roasted nuts, dried fruit, chocolate chips, etc. (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Put the popcorn on the baking sheets.
- Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Mix in the brown sugar and raise the heat to medium-high. Stir often and bring the mixture to a boil.
- Add in the agave nectar. Let the mixture boil for 3 minutes and then reduce the heat. Simmer the mixture for 5 minutes, stirring often, and then remove from the heat.
- Add the salt, vanilla and baking soda. The mixture will get very foamy. Keep stirring.
- Pour the caramel over the popcorn while someone mixes the popcorn by flipping it with a spatula. Make sure all the popcorn is coated with caramel.
- Smooth it out on the baking sheets and bake for 1 hour, flipping it every 15 minutes. Bake until it is as crispy as desired.
- Let cool completely before serving. Mix in any extras like nuts or dried fruit.
- Store in an airtight container.