Caramel Popcorn: Dairy Free and Really Good!

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Caramel popcorn is just one of those snacks that makes me smile. I’m always excited about learning how to make something new. I’ve eaten lots of caramel popcorn but never tried to make it at home. Made with simple ingredients, I swapped out traditional butter for a vegan butter. If you are leaning away from dairy products, this plant-based version is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Popcorn is a favorite in my house. Sometimes we add olive oil, salt and pepper. Sometimes we sprinkle onion and garlic powder over the popped kernels. Learning to make caramel popcorn has been so much fun. You can also save money by making it at home. The store bought versions are usually labeled as gourmet popcorn. The word gourmet can rise the price tag significantly! Lol.

Caramel Popcorn is NOT Kettle Corn

We can thank Dutch settlers in Pennsylvania for bringing kettle corn to North America. It’s usually made by adding corn, oil, sugar and salt to a large pot. Everything heats up and cooks together. That’s what gives it a salty/sugary crunch. On the other hand, caramel popcorn gets a kiss of buttery caramel after the corn is popped.

The History of Cracker Jack Popcorn

I used to love Cracker Jack popcorn as a kid. That combo of caramel and peanuts did it for me every time. Searching for the little toy in the box was a joy. It was just the best of both worlds. The caramel popcorn formula was created somewhere in Chicago. It’s kind of a mystery. Charles Frederick Gunther was a confectioner among many other things. Known as “The Candy Man”, he might have created it.

Others credit Rueckheim Brothers, Frederick and Louis who introduced the molasses covered popcorn. Their popcorn was “Cracker Jack” which at the time meant top rated or world class. They introduced their snack at the World’s Fair in 1893.

Have fun making this yummy caramel popcorn treat and let me know how it goes!

LA Dunn is a plant-based advocate who enjoys finding new ways to make new magic in the kitchen. Here are three ways to stay connected: