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This Microwave Caramel Puffcorn is an easy sweet and salty snack that’ll be a hit at any party!

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Small bowl of caramel puffcorn.

If you’ve never had Caramel Puffcorn (aka Beaver Nuggets, Puffed Caramel Corn, Caramel Crack, etc!), let me tell you….you’re in for a real treat!!! This stuff is ADDICTING.

It’s truly such a good sweet treat….like traditional caramel corn recipe but with no hard kernels and a lot less work! That’s a win-win in my book!

Why I Love this Caramel Puff Corn Recipe

  • Great for any occasion!  It’s the perfect snack for game day, movie night, holiday parties and everything in between!
  • Quick!  It takes just 10-15 minutes to whip this up.
  • Sweet & Salty!  The combo of sweet caramel flavor and savory buttery puff corn is so delightful!
Ingredients on a countertop for microwave caramel puffcorn.

Ingredients Needed

  • Puffcorn – Old Dutch and Chester’s are two common brands of puff corn. Depending on the brand and options available, I use the regular or butter flavor.
  • Brown Sugar – Light brown sugar or dark brown sugar will work great.
  • Butter – I use salted butter. (Be sure to use real butter rather than margarine for this recipe!)
  • Corn Syrup – Light corn syrup or dark corn syrup will work great.
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Salt
  • Baking Soda

How to Make Caramel Puffcorn

Start by lining a baking sheet or two with wax paper or parchment paper and set aside.

Pour the puffed corn into a large microwave-safe bowl so it’s ready when the caramel is ready to add.

Brown sugar, butter and corn syrup in a large clear bowl.

Next up, you’re going to mix the ingredients for the caramel coating. Add the brown sugar, butter and corn syrup to a large microwave-safe bowl. It needs to hold at least 6 cups so it doesn’t boil over.

Caramel being mixed with a wooden spoon.

Cook the mixture on high for 2 minutes and give it a good stir. Heat for another 2 minutes (watching closely so it doesn’t boil over the edge of the bowl) and stir.

Then add the vanilla, salt and baking soda and stir. The mixture will have a foamy appearance at this point.

Caramel mixture that looks foamy after the baking soda is added.

Pour over the bowl of puffcorn and use a large spoon to evenly coat the puffcorn.

Caramel being poured over a large purple bowl of puffcorn.

Then we will microwave the mixture on high for 2 minutes. Give it a stir and heat for another 2 minutes. Stir once more.

Pour the puffcorn mixture out onto the lined baking sheets and spread to an even layer. Let the puff corn cool completely and you’ll have a crunchy rich caramel coated puff corn!

Puffcorn spread out on a waxed paper lined sheet.

And there you have it! The perfect combination of a crispy caramel crunch and savory puffcorn….the perfect easy snack for any occasion!

Can I Bake It Instead of Using the Microwave?

You sure can. Though I find the microwave to be a quicker, easier way to make it, the oven is another option. You’ll use the same ingredients and amounts, but here’s how the heating process will change….

You’ll add the brown sugar, butter and corn syrup to a large saucepan and cook over medium heat until it’s boiling. Once it’s reached a rolling bowl, let it continue to boil for 2 minutes. Stir in the vanilla, baking soda and salt.

Pour the caramel over the puff corn and stir to evenly coat. Pour the mixture into a large roasting pan coated with cooking spray. Bake in a 200F oven for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Then pour onto a large sheet lined with wax paper and let cool.

Overhead view of a metal bowl filled with puffcorn.
What is puffcorn?

Puff corn is a snack with a buttery flavor made out of cornmeal and puffed into airy bite-sized pieces. It’s made to taste like popcorn, but without the kernels and hulls.

Is Caramel Puffcorn gluten free?

Yes!! The brands of puff corn that I’ve looked at are in fact gluten free as well as the ingredients in the caramel mixture.

Where can I find the puffcorn?

You can find it at the grocery store in the chip aisle. The Old Dutch Puff corn is one popular brand.

How to Store Caramel Puffcorn

I recommend storing the puff corn in an airtight container or in resealable baggies.

I make several batches of this treat each year during the holidays! It’s a sweet and salty snack I know the whole family loves and is a hit anywhere we take it.

Metal bowl with puff corn.

Other Easy Snack Recipes

Spicy Goldfish

Ranch Snack Mix

Churro Bites

Cookies & Cream Puppy Chow

Caramel Puffcorn in a metal bowl

Microwave Caramel Puffcorn

Author: Kelsey
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
15 1 cup servings
This Microwave Caramel Puffcorn is an easy (and addictive!!!) sweet and salty snack that'll be a hit at any party!


  • 7 ounces puffcorn
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda


  • Line two baking sheets with waxed or parchment paper and set aside.
  • Pour the corn puffs into a large microwave-safe bowl; set aside.
  • In another large microwave-safe bowl (6+ cups), add the brown sugar, butter and corn syrup.
  • Microwave on high for 2 minutes; stir until the butter is melted.
  • Microwave for another 2 minutes on high, watching closely to make sure it doesn't boil over.
  • Add the vanilla, salt and baking soda and stir well. The mixture will look foamy at this point.
  • Pour over the corn puffs and stir until evenly coated.
  • Microwave on high for 2 minutes; stir. Repeat.
  • Pour onto the lined baking sheets and let cool.
  • Break apart and store in an airtight container.


Calories: 229kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 0.6g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2.6g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 246mg | Potassium: 35mg | Fiber: 0.5g | Sugar: 19.4g | Vitamin A: 273.3IU | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 0.1mg
“Dance Around the Kitchen” is not a dietitian or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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  1. Which brand of puff corn are you using in this recipe? Looks delicious!

    1. I typically use Chester’s but this time I had to use an off-brand (Chester’s was gone at my grocery store). However, either one works great! 🙂 -Kelsey