This sugar-free caramel popcorn is unbelievable! It has all the flavor of butter and caramel along with a salty burst. This recipe took about seven years to perfect; yes, seven years! Trim Healthy Mama friends, you won't want to miss this one!
This page may contain affiliate links. To view my full affiliate link disclosure, click here.
Every year for as long as I can remember, the weekend after Thanksgiving (United States Thanksgiving), we spend it getting ready for Christmas. Our meals are more 'snacky' and we enjoy Christmas movies and traditions.
Black Friday has teetered between being a shopping day and a day to go get a Christmas tree. When I was younger my cousin, sister, mom, and I would hit the town and enjoy a girl's day. Then we would come home make chocolate-covered pretzels, holiday cookies like snowball cookies, enjoy snacks and watch Polar Express.
Inevitably there would also be caramel popcorn! Most of the time it was in those tin cans that we would buy at a store. I can only imagine the ingredients, GMOs, and chemicals we were most likely ingesting.
Yet, Christmas memories are still incredibly special!
It was not until 2015 when I started my THM journey that I ended up experimenting with a healthier version of caramel popcorn. Every year I would tweak and perfect the recipe and I think it is finally ready for you to enjoy too.
This sugar-free version is not sticky like your traditional caramel popcorn, and honestly, I LOVE that. It has a subtle salty flavor and is rich with butter and caramel!
- 16 cups of popped popcorn
- Unsalted butter
- Caramel extract
- Butter extract
- ¼ cup Gentle Sweet
½ cup Truvia Complete Brown Sugar or Swerve Brown Sugar
Pinch of mineral salt
See the recipe card for quantities.
There are only 4 basic steps to this recipe! It's fairly simple and kids can even help (as you can see in the instruction video)!
Pop popcorn to get 16 cups total
Combine the remaining ingredients in a saucepan. Cook on medium heat until the caramel gets just barely bubbly
Place popcorn on parchment sheets and drizzle caramel over top.
Transfer popcorn into a large pan and stir to combine. Enjoy.
Hint: the parchment paper is optional. I have found that spreading the popcorn over parchment paper and then drizzling the caramel over it helps spread out the caramel more evenly. If you are in a rush, you can always just mix everything together in a large bowl.
If you desire to make the butter lighter in this recipe (which will make it a lighter THM XO), you can reduce the butter to 4 tbsp and add 1 tbsp unsweetened almond milk. Increase your butter extract to 2 tsp. This will make it a lighter XO!
There are honestly many different ways you can vary this recipe. I have tried in the past some different extracts and most of them have turned out fabulous. Here are a few that you might enjoy.
Start with ½ tsp and adjust as needed.
For this recipe you will need:
Airtight container for storage or press and seal
Protip - this refillable cutter for press and seal is amazing!
This will store well, but it must be stored in an airtight container. Because of the moisture levels, it will turn stale faster than other popcorn. Press and seal or plastic will work fine, but it needs to be sealed.
Using the correct types of sweeteners is going to be key in this recipe. Although you certainly can experiment with your sweeteners, the ones that I have listed are the ones that bring out the best sweet flavor.
Can I pop my popcorn a different way?
Absolutely! I like using my dutch oven simply because a stovetop is a very healthy way to pop the popcorn, but ultimately how you pop your popcorn will not affect this recipe. We actually have this microwave popcorn popper and use it occasionally.
Can I use Different Sweeteners?
Yes, but the ones I have listed are simply the best for taste. In the past I have used 1 tsp of molasses with ¼ of Gentle Sweet to create a Brown Sugar substitute, however, it just doesn't have the right flavor. The measurements will be off too if you use an alternative sweetener. Feel free to experiment though!
- 16 cups of popped popcorn
- 8 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1-2 tsp caramel extract
- ½ tsp butter extract
- ¼ cup Gentle Sweet
- ½ cup Truvia Complete Brown Sugar or Swerve Brown Sugar
- Pinch of mineral salt
- Pop popcorn to get 16 cups total
- Combine the remaining ingredients in a saucepan.
- Cook on medium heat until the caramel gets just barely bubbly
- Place popcorn on parchment sheets and drizzle caramel over top.
- Transfer popcorn into a large pan and stir to combine.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Natural Burst: Caramel 2oz
Natural Burst: Butter 2oz
Watkins Caramel Flavor with Natural Flavors 2 Ounce (Pack of 2)
Truvia Sweet Complete Brown Calorie-Free Sweetener with the Stevia Leaf, 14 oz Bag (Pack of 1)
Swerve Ultimate Sugar Replacement Sweetener, Brown Sugar Substitute, Zero Calorie, Keto Friendly, Zero Sugar, Non-Glycemic, Gluten Free, 48oz
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 198Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 147mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 1g
Online nutritional calculators are estimates only. Use your best judgement when consuming.