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Caramel Popcorn Snack Mix

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Move over puppy chow; this caramel popcorn recipe with pretzels and cereal mixture is addictingly delicious.

A perfect snack for movie night, a birthday party, or a game night, every bite of this sweet caramel popcorn is worth the calories. 

bowl of caramel snack mix .

Why you will love making Party Snack Mix!

One of our favorite snacks—this is GOOOD! It’s better than Christmas crack. I can’t stop eating it! GAH! Great for gifts and isn’t overly sticky, which is what I love about it.

It stays crispy, too, and doesn’t get stale super quickly.

Make Ahead: This caramel snack mix needs time to cool before being enjoyed, so it’s a perfect dessert snack to make ahead and enjoy the same day or the next day.

Ingredients:

  • popped popcorn – make sure all popcorn kernels that didn’t pop are removed
  • rice cereal squares (plain Chex Mix or Crispix)
  • mini pretzel twists
  • pecan halves
  • brown sugar
  • butter
  • light corn syrup
  • vanilla
  • baking soda
ingredients.

IMPORTANT – Anytime you work with sugar, it’s very hot. Take precautions not to let any heated sugar caramel mixture touch the skin.

This recipe is not kid-friendly to make – just to eat!

How to make Homemade Caramel Popcorn Snack Mix.

  1. Preheat oven to 300 and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Pop microwave popcorn and remove any un-popped kernels. 
  3. Mix popcorn, rice square cereal, mini pretzels, and pecans in a large mixing bowl and combine; set aside.
caramel snack mix being made in the oven.
  1. In a saucepan, add brown sugar, butter, and corn syrup and heat over medium heat, stirring and bringing the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low and continue to boil for 5 minutes. Do not stir.
  2. Remove the pan with caramel sauce from the heat and carefully (it’s very hot!) stir in vanilla extract and baking soda. The sugar butter mixture will begin to lighten in color and double in size.
  3. Pour the sugar mixture onto the popcorn mixture in the large bowl to coat the snack mix evenly.
  4. Spread snack mix between two prepared baking sheets and spread as evenly as possible.
making stovetop caramel for popcorn.
  1. Bake for 15 minutes; remove from oven, stir/flip the mixture, and rotate baking sheets (top rack onto the lower rack and vice versa) before returning to the oven.
  2. Bake for an additional 10-15 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand to cool completely before enjoying or placing into a sealable bag or air-tight container and storing at room temperature.
popcorn chex mix with homemade caramel sauce going into the oven.

Variations for caramel corn snack mix

Remove the pecan pieces in exchange for peanuts, almonds, cashews, or walnuts. 

Instead of pretzels, try dry Asian noodles (or add some in!)

If you want a little sweet bite, add in mini M&M or Reese’s candies. 

To turn this into a holiday snack, add holiday-friendly candies like red and green M&Ms, chocolate chips, candy eyeballs, and baby candy pumpkins.  

Drizzle white chocolate or milk chocolate over the mix. 

easy caramel snack mix with popcorn.

More of the Best Snack Recipes to Munch on!

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Caramel Popcorn Snack Mix (with Chex!)


Prep Time 7 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Homemade caramel sauce over fresh popcorn, Chex cereal, and pretzels is a deliciously addicting snack mix that the entire family won't be able to get enough of!

Ingredients
 

  • 8 cups popped popcorn make sure no un-popped kernels get in mix
  • 4 cups rice square cereal Crispix or Chex Mis
  • 2 cups mini  pretzel twists
  • 1 cup pecan halves can be substituted for other nuts like honey roasted peanuts, almonds, or walnuts

Caramel Sauce

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup butter equal to 1 stick
  • ¼ cup light corn syrup
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp. baking soda

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 300 and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. 
  • Mix popped popcorn, square cereal, mini pretzels, and pecan halves in a very large mixing bowl and mix well; set aside. Remember that this bowl will not only need to hold the ingredients but mix with caramel sauce so use the largest one you have.
  • Add brown sugar, butter stick, and light corn syrup into a saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring and bringing the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium low and continue to boil for 5 minutes. Do not stir during this time.
  • Remove the saucepan from heat and carefully stir in vanilla extract and baking soda. The mixture will begin to lighten in color and double in size.
  • Pour caramel sauce into the popcorn mixture bowl and combine to evenly coat all of the snack mix.
  • Spread the snack mix between two baking sheets as evenly as you can. 
  • Bake coated popcorn mixture for 10-15 minutes in preheated oven.
  • Remove sheetpan from oven and stir/flip the mixture and rotate baking sheets (top rack onto the lower rack and vice versa) before returning to the oven. Bake for an additional 10-15 minutes.
  • Remove caramel popcorn from the oven and let it stand to cool completely before enjoying it or placing into a sealable bag and storing it at room temperature. 

Notes

Instead of pretzels, try dry asian noodles (or add some in!)
If you want a little sweet bite, add in mini M&M or Reese’s candies. 
To turn this into a holiday snack, add holiday friendly candies like red and green M&Ms, candy eyeballs, baby candy pumpkins.  
Drizzle white chocolate or milk chocolate over the mix. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 596kcal | Carbohydrates: 107g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 223mg | Potassium: 395mg | Fiber: 15g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 369IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 8mg

Nutritional Disclaimer: The nutritional data provided here is auto-calculated and intended for your convenience only. As it’s generated via automation, its accuracy may be compromised. For precise nutritional insight, please compute the values utilizing the actual ingredients in your recipe through your chosen nutrition calculator or application.

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