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Instant Pot Caramel Popcorn


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Recipe Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings: 5 Servings
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Instant Pot Caramel Popcorn is the perfect sweet and salty snack. This recipe is easy to make and only takes a few minutes in the Instant Pot. This is a must-try snack!

If you love easy snack recipes then this is the recipe for you. It’s the perfect blend of sweet and crunchy, and will satisfy your sweet tooth.

Instant Pot Caramel Popcorn in a white bowl

Instant Pot Caramel Popcorn

It’s believed that the origins of Caramel Popcorn date back to the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, in which Cracker Jack was debuted. The inspiration for caramel popcorn is believed to be kettle corn which is a sweet but uncaramelized snack.

Why I Love This Recipe

Instant Pot Caramel Popcorn is the new king of snacking. This easy recipe takes just minutes to make and yields a bowl of delicious, salty-sweet goodness.

  • Ready in under 30 minutes
  • Easy to make
  • Fun to make
  • Fills the house with a delicious aroma

If you love caramel recipes, you may also enjoy this Air Fryer Caramel Apple Empanadas recipe.

Instant Pot Caramel Popcorn in  a white bowl.

Ingredients

This recipe only requires a few simple ingredients, which are all easy to find at your local grocery store.

  • whole kernel popping corn
  • coconut oil
  • salt
  • butter
  • milk
  • sugar 
Instant Pot Caramel Popcorn Ingredients

Substitutions

Oil: You can use canola oil in place of the coconut oil.

Milk: Dairy free milk can be used, but it will change the taste of the caramel.

Equipment Needed / Helpful Tools

You only need a few kitchen tools to help you make this delicious snack recipe.

How to Make Instant Pot Caramel Popcorn

If you’re looking for an easy and delicious snack, then this Instant Pot Caramel Popcorn is perfect for you. This recipe only takes a few minutes to make and is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Step 1: Melt the coconut oil

Set the instant pot to sauté and add the coconut oil.

Step 2: Add the kernels to the pot

Once oil has melted, add the kernels and stir until kernels are coated in oil.

popcorn kernels inside the Instant Pot coated with oil.

Step 3: Stir until popping starts

Stir until kernels start to pop, once popping put the lid on. Pop the kernels until you hear it stop popping.

Popcorn in the Instant Pot.

Step 4: Remove the popcorn

Turn off the instant pot and remove popcorn. Sift out the unpopped kernels. Set popcorn aside.

Step 5: Melt the sugar in a sauce pan

In a saucepan on medium heat, add sugar and 3 teaspoons of water. Do not stir, allow sugar to melt.

Step 6: Add the butter and milk

Once sugar looks light brown, add butter to melt. Once butter melts, stir and add the milk slowly. Cook for 5 minutes then remove from heat. Let caramel cool until it thickens.

Melted Sugar, butter and milk in a sauce pan.

Step 7: Pour half the caramel over popcorn

Once caramel thickens, pour half of the caramel on the popcorn and stir until popcorn is fully coated. Place popcorn in refrigerator for 1 hour.

Step 8: Top with remaining caramel

Remove and pour remaining caramel to coat the popcorn. Return the popcorn to the refrigerator until ready to serve. 

Instant Pot Caramel Popcorn in a white bowl.

Variations / Options / Add-Ins

Want to personalize your caramel corn? Here are a few tried and true ways to changing this recipe up.

Peanuts: Add peanuts before pouring caramel.

Chocolate: Drizzle chocolate over the top after it has cooled and hardened.

Almond Bark: Use almond bark to coat the popcorn in place of the caramel.  

Toppings Suggestions

Are you wondering what you can add to this caramel corn to take the flavors up a notch? Here are some of my favorite toppings for this recipe.

  • Chocolate Sprinkles
  • Shredded Coconut
  • Crushed candy canes
  • Toasted Marshmallows
  • Toffee bits
  • Flaked coconut
  • Nuts: almonds, peanuts or cashews
Instant Pot Caramel Popcorn in a white bowl.

Tips

Do you want to make sure that your recipe turns out well? Here are my best tips for this recipe.

  • While you are waiting on the kernels to start popping be sure that you stir constantly so that they don’t scorch.
  • When making the caramel sauce, do not stir the sugar mixture while it melts, this will cause your caramel to not become sticky.
  • If the caramel is too sticky for you to stir well when topping the popcorn, you can lightly spray the spoon with cooking spray.

FAQs

Do you have questions about this Instant Pot Caramel Popcorn recipe? Here are the answers to the most commonly asked questions.

How to store

Store in an airtight container. Will keep for up to two weeks.

I can’t find coconut oil, what should I do?

You can use vegetable or sunflower seed oil instead of coconut oil.

Can I freeze caramel popcorn?

Yes you can freeze caramel popcorn for up to three months.

Instant Pot Caramel Popcorn in a white bowl.

More Instant Pot Recipes

If you like Instant Pot recipes, give these recipes a try:

Instant Pot Caramel Popcorn Recipe

Ready to get cooking? Print off the recipe card below or toggle on Cook Mode to keep your screen from going dark while you follow along on your phone or tablet.

Instant Pot Caramel Popcorn

Corinne Schmitt
Instant Pot Caramel Popcorn is the perfect sweet and salty snack.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 1 hr 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 1 hr 35 mins
Course Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 5 Servings
Calories 312 kcal

Equipment

  • Instant Pot
  • Large spoon
  • Saucepan
  • Sheet pan

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup whole kernel popping corn
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 stick of butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar

Instructions
 

  • Set the instant pot to sauté and add the coconut oil.
  • Once oil has melted, add the kernels and stir until kernels are coated in oil.
  • Stir until kernels start to pop, once popping put the lid on. Pop the kernels until you hear it stop popping.
  • Turn off the instant pot and remove popcorn. Sift out the unpopped kernels. Set popcorn aside.
  • In a saucepan on medium heat, add sugar and 3 teaspoons of water. Do not stir, allow sugar to melt.
  • Once sugar looks light brown, add butter to melt. Once butter melts, stir and add the milk slowly. Cook for 5 minutes then remove from heat. Let caramel cool until it thickens.
  • Once caramel thickens, pour half of the caramel on the popcorn and stir until popcorn is fully coated. Place popcorn in refrigerator for 1 hour.
  • Remove and pour remaining caramel to coat the popcorn. Return the popcorn to the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Nutrition

Serving: 1ServingCalories: 312kcalCarbohydrates: 45gProtein: 4gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 478mgPotassium: 123mgFiber: 4gSugar: 21gVitamin A: 40IUCalcium: 30mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Need to run to the store for a few ingredients first? Don’t forget to pin this recipe so you can find it when you’re ready to cook!

a collage of a closeup shot and an overhead shot of caramel popcorn in a white bowl with title text reading Instant Pot Caramel Popcorn Recipe

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