Spiced Caramel Corn with Pepitas, Almonds & Pecans

Uros Krstic

Spiced Caramel Corn with Pepitas, Almonds & Pecans

Smarties! This is the time of year where all I want to do on weekends (and okay, all the time), is snuggle up on my comfy couch with a good book or a good movie and a big steaming cup of hot cocoa. A perfect snack like popcorn doesn't hurt either, especially this jacked-up caramel corn recipe that is basically an explosion of flavor and texture. So it's almost Wednesday, which is halfway through the week and, therefore, almost Thursday, which is only one day before Friday! Weekend, here I come!


10 – 12 c fresh popcorn, popped by any method

1 c packed brown sugar

1/4 c light corn syrup

6 T salted butter, melted

2 T water

1/2 t salt

1/2 t baking soda

1/4 t – 1/2 t cayenne pepper

2 t vanilla extract

1/3 c pepitas

1/3 c pecans, roughly chopped

1/3 c almonds, roughly chopped

1/2 t flaky sea salt


Preheat oven to 250F. Once you’ve popped your popcorn, remove all unpopped kernels. Dump popcorn into your biggest bowl – if you don’t have a big bowl, try your biggest stock pot. In a medium saucepan, melt butter, brown sugar and corn syrup together along with 2 tablespoons water. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Continue to simmer for 3-4 minutes, whisking often. If you’ve got a candy thermometer, it should read 250°F. Immediately remove from heat and stir in the baking soda, vanilla and cayenne pepper. Quickly pour the hot caramel over the popcorn along with the nuts. Use a rubber spatula to distribute the caramel evenly by folding it gently. Transfer the popcorn onto 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper or silpat mats. Sprinkle with sea salt if desired. Bake for 1 hour, stirring often and turning the pans to make sure that the heat is evenly distributed, as the popcorn can burn if not watched closely. Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes. Gently break up popcorn and store in a tightly lidded container. Keeps in a tightly lidded jar for up to 2 weeks (or more).

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