Salted Caramel Popcorn Bars

(1 vote)
5 Comments
3 minutes
September 30, 2022
Carole JonesJump to Recipe

Gooey and chewy salted caramel popcorn bars are a favorite fall dessert recipe! You can personalize them however your family likes. Some great suggestions are M&M’s, peanuts, or chocolate chips. The marshmallows that are added to the salted caramel makes these bars extra soft and indulgent!

salted caramel popcorn bars with pretzels and candy corn
glass pan with caramel corn bars

These caramel popcorn bars have been a fall recipe staple for over 10 years. This recipe is only one option of how to make them! We love to mix in any additional little yummy nuggets we have on hand so feel free to play with the mix ins to your own tastes.

up close picture of salted caramel popcorn bars with pretzels and candy corn

I know candy corn is a bit “controversial” but I don’t get it. Honestly, they are one of my favorite candies….only Runts and Sour Patch Kids out rank them. Since candy corn are seasonal, I have to resist my natural instinct to buy a year’s worth every fall.

salted caramel popcorn with pretzels and candy corn

If you feel like candy corn tastes like wax, then use something else! I once used raisins and I thought it was delicious as a mix in. My kids were not a fan at all, so maybe use raisins with a bit of caution 🙂

popcorn pretzels and candy corn bars

The key to this recipe turning out perfectly is to go against every instinct you have to stir the caramel. All you do is add the ingredients to the pan and let it come to a boil. If you stir it, your bars will end up grainy so just let the boiling process do the “stirring” for you.

Salted Caramel Popcorn Bars VIDEO

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One popcorn bar on a yellow plate

Salted Caramel Popcorn Bars

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5 from 1 review

Chewy salted caramel popcorn bars make an easy fall dessert recipe. Marshmallows make these extra gooey!

  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 12 bars 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 12 cups plain popped popcorn
  • 4 cups coarsely chopped small salted pretzels
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 1 cup candy corn candies

Instructions

  1. Spray a 9×13 pan with nonstick spray. In a large bowl, mix together the popcorn and pretzels.
  2. Add sugar, water and 1 tsp of kosher salt to a medium pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Do not stir the mixture at all! Allow the boiling action do the work for you! Allow to boil until the caramel turns amber in color, about 10-12 minutes.
  3. Remove from the heat and pour in the cream. The mixture will sputter so be careful.
  4. Swirl in the marshmallows. Stir with a rubber spatula until melted and combined.
  5. Pour caramel over the popcorn and stir all together.
  6. Stir in candy corn.
  7. Transfer to your dish and, with wet hands, press the mixture into your pan. Sprinkle with a few more pinches of kosher salt.
  8. Cool completely before cutting into bars.
  • Author: Carole Jones
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: No Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 bar
  • Calories: 278
  • Sugar: 45 g
  • Sodium: 302 mg
  • Fat: 3 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 0 mg
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 2 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Step by Step Salted Caramel Popcorn Bars

Carole Jones

Carole Jones is an Arizona-based cookbook author & food blogger. She's authored The 30 Minute Cooking From Frozen Cookbook and the self-published Take 5: Chicken e-cookbook. For the past 15 years, Carole has shared her culinary adventures cooking and baking for her six brutally honest children here on My Kitchen Escapades. Hot, crusty bread is Carole's love language, but her two adorable grandchildren are a close second. Yes, second. Don't judge.

5 comments

Chari
6 years ago

This looks fabulous. I just recently found your site and I’m loving your recipes. Thank you!
My daughter is getting married in the spring, and we’re trying to find non-chocolate recipes (because we’ve already got a ton of them) in order to have a variety on a dessert bar. Also, trying to find recipes like this one that you can make in a jelly roll pan or 9×13 pan to save on time, so this looks PERFECT! Could you please give me an approximate amount that you add of the ‘favorite mix’? I’m afraid I’ll add too much and it won’t stick together well.

Carole
6 years ago

Hi Chari! So happy to have you here 🙂 I would say around one cup or so. Good luck

Daniel
4 years ago

These were so yummy! I added M&M’s and peanuts like you suggested and my kids really loved them. I think I can make these into balls for Halloween treats as well!

Carole
4 years ago

So glad you loved them Daniel! Thank you for coming back and leaving a review. They make such a difference!

Barb
4 years ago

Do you use whipping cream or half and half?

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