This Easy Vegan Caramel Corn is crunchy, sweet and slightly salty. It’s easy and requires just 5 plant based ingredients. The perfect healthier movie snack!

My trip to Tokyo Disneyland reminded me of how much I used to love popcorn. They had tons of popcorn carts with 5 different flavours: soy butter, curry, BBQ, chocolate, and caramel corn. I was so excited when I found out that the BBQ, curry & caramel corn was vegan! Since then, I’ve been on a huge popcorn kick. I’ve been using my old popcorn maker and eating it as a snack every night putting on different spices and flavours. It’s super easy to just sprinkle on some seasonings, but I’ve been craving caramel corn for the longest time so I became super keen on making it on my own.

A lot of caramel corn recipes and ones sold in packages contain milk, butter and/or corn syrup. To make this healthier, vegan and corn syrup free, I decided to stick to my all time favourite caramel recipe of just mixing maple syrup, coconut butter, sea salt and vanilla together.

Why Baking Soda in Caramel Corn?

In my first attempt (no baking soda) the caramel corn came out a bit more candy like, very crunchy and not as spread out. Adding in the baking soda changed the texture of the finished product, ever so slightly but I highly recommend adding it in- it makes the caramel corn more flakey, light & melt in your mouth texture vs. super hard caramel candy.

Incase I haven’t yet convinced you to try this Easy Vegan Caramel Corn recipe, heres why I love them and think you will too! It’s:

  • crunchy

  • sweet & salty

  • way healthier than store bought caramel corn

  • corn syrup-free

  • gluten free

  • oil free

  • dairy free

  • but still so damn tasty & addicting!

Tips and Tricks to making Easy Vegan Caramel Corn

  • It’s important to work quickly when making your caramel corn and watch the caramel as you’re making it on the stove. It can easily burn or bubble over so keep a close eye on it!

  • I highly recommend adding in the baking soda and not skipping out on this as it yields a much flakier, light, crispier & melt-in-your-mouth texture.

  • This corn syrup free caramel corn is best eaten right out of the oven but if you do have left overs, store in an air tight container.

If you recreate this Easy Vegan Caramel Corn please share it and let me know what you think by tagging me on Instagram @okonomikitchen, I love seeing all of your tasty recreations!

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Easy Vegan Caramel Corn

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This Easy Vegan Caramel Corn is crunchy, sweet and slightly salty. It’s easy and requires just 5 plant based ingredients. The perfect healthier movie snack!


Units Scale
  • 1/2 cup popcorn kernels, popped // 10 cups popped popcorn (105g)
  • 3 tbsp coconut butter (45g)
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar (48g)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (78g)
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda


  1. Preheat oven to 150 °C. Line two baking trays with silicon baking mat or parchment paper.
  2. In a small saucepan, add in the coconut butter, maple syrup, coconut sugar and water over medium high heat. Stir frequently and allow bubbles to form. Once at a boil, add in the vanilla and salt and stir for 1 minute. Add in the baking soda and stir vigorously just until the colour starts to change.
  3. Remove from the heat and quickly pour the caramel over the popped popcorn in a large bowl. Toss using a large spatula until popcorn is evenly coated with the caramel. Spread over the baking tray, making sure the popcorn pieces do not over lap and bake in the oven for 5-8 

  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 5
  • Category: snacks

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how to make vegan caramel corn

About Lisa

I'm Lisa, a home cook, recipe developer and founder of Okonomi Kitchen. Here, you'll find a mix of classic and modernized Japanese recipes, and creative, plant-forward meal inspiration using seasonal ingredients. I hope to share more about Japanese cuisine and culture through food and recipes.

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  1. I made this over the weekend and it was THE BEST!!! My son and I consider ourselves popcorn connoisseurs (maybe just popcorn snobs?) and this was one of the best popcorn recipes we’ve ever made. Honestly, it was better than those expensive “gourmet” popcorns. We loved the crispy crunch added by baking it… who would’ve thought? I could only find “coconut spread”, (not coconut butter) and it worked out fine. Next time, I’ll just use Earth Balance butter and also drizzle some chocolate over the top after it’s cooled. Thank you for a wonderful and delicious (vegan) recipe.

  2. The directions mention coconut sugar but I don’t see the quantity or items listed on the ingredients.