Lovely Lisa's Sweet and Salty Caramel Popcorn


Anyone that has been to the movie theatre with me has tasted popcorn and red licorice together and has appreciated the flavours as much as I have! I am definitely a candy novice, but this recipe is so easy and the results are fantastic! My guy and I have worked together to perfect this recipe and have given it for gifts to all our friends and family this year! Enjoy!

Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
15 mins
Additional Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
50 mins
32 cups


  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, or as needed

  • 1 cup unpopped popcorn

  • 1 cup chopped strawberry licorice twists (such as Twizzlers®)

  • 2 cups broken small pretzels

  • 2 ½ cups brown sugar

  • 2 cups butter

  • 1 cup light corn syrup

  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar

  • sea salt to taste


  1. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Measure baking soda and vanilla extract into separate small bowls; set aside.

  2. Heat vegetable oil in a large saucepan; add popcorn, cover, and cook, shaking often, until fully popped, about 5 minutes. Transfer popcorn to a large roasting pan using a strainer or your hands, leaving unpopped kernels in the saucepan. Distribute chopped licorice and broken pretzels evenly over popcorn.

  3. Bring the brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, and cream of tartar to a boil in a heavy pot, stirring constantly. Place a candy thermometer into the caramel mixture, and continue boiling, stirring constantly, until mixture reaches 265 degrees F (129 degrees C), about 10 minutes.

  4. Remove caramel from heat. Stir vanilla and baking soda into the caramel; it will foam and rise slightly. Pour hot caramel over popcorn mixture, stirring gently to coat evenly. Spread the popcorn mixture loosely onto the prepared baking sheets. Season to taste with sea salt; set aside to cool, about 20 minutes.

  5. Break popcorn mixture into chunks. Store in airtight bags or containers.

Cook's Note:

I packaged 6 gift bags (230 grams or about 5 cups each) with some left over for sampling!

Editor's Note:

You may want to pop the popcorn in batches. 1/4 cup unpopped kernels yields about 2 quarts of popped popcorn.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

266 Calories
13g Fat
39g Carbs
2g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 32
Calories 266
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 13g 16%
Saturated Fat 8g 38%
Cholesterol 31mg 10%
Sodium 249mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 39g 14%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 22g
Protein 2g
Calcium 22mg 2%
Iron 1mg 4%
Potassium 68mg 1%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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