March 22, 2017

Maple pecan caramel popcorn

Bowl of maple pecan caramel corn.

Take caramel corn to the next level with maple and pecans. This maple pecan popcorn is a delicious snack that is perfect for maple season or anytime you want a sweet treat.

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Caramel corn is a delicious snack that people often enjoy from store bought tins, but you can make it at home. One of my favorite ways to make caramel corn is using real maple syrup and pecans. 

Caramel corn is generally made with corn syrup, but you can use maple syrup instead for an extra flavorful caramel. Living in New York State, specially the western New York area, maple syrup production is a big deal around here.

Many people associate maple with autumn, but maple syrup season begins in March. When the sap in the maple trees begins to run from thawing, maple season is starting. Maple certainly goes with a lot of fall flavors and fall produce, but it is really a spring food.  

But, whenever you are using and enjoying maple syrup - it's the perfect time!

Whenever you are cooking or baking with maple syrup, you want to get the darkest maple you can. That maple has the deepest maple flavor. The final caramel not have a super strong maple flavor, but light (or fancy grade) maple syrups will have less maple flavor. 

Dark, or Very Dark maple syrup will be best (previously known as "Grade B" maple syrup). This is syrup made from the sap collected at the end of the season versus the lighter maple syrups which are from sap that is collected early in the season.

Close up of finished maple pecan caramel corn.

I use real maple syrup a lot in my cooking and baking. You'll find many recipes with maple in this blog. Some of our relatives run a small maple syrup production and our kids love to go help each spring. We always have some fresh and locally made maple in our cupboards.

Making caramel corn at home isn't overly complicated. It's very helpful to have a candy thermometer to make caramel so that it is the proper consistency. Other than that, it does take a bit of time, but it's worth the wait.

You'll need to pop plain popcorn first. We use an air popper for this since it doesn't need any oil and will have a plain flavor. Then you make the caramel and stir it onto the popcorn in a big bowl. After that, you need to bake it in a low oven for an hour and then let it cool. 

I like to add pecans to this recipe because they add more texture, flavor, and go so well with the maple flavor. Maple and pecans are a classic combination. You can use peanuts or walnut halves in here if you prefer, but i really like the pecans here.

Store this caramel corn in an air tight container for several days. It is a terrific snack for a movie or game night. You can also package this up for homemade gifts. It's perfect the bringing as a hostess gift or even holiday gifting. You can make this caramel corn year round.

Maple pecan caramel corn spread onto a baking sheet for the oven.

I hope you give this maple pecan caramel popcorn a try! Let me know in the comments below.

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Maple pecan caramel corn in a serving bowl.

This recipe was originally published in 2017 and has been updated in 2022 with new text, a recipe card, and more to improve reader experience.

Check out these other popcorn recipes:

Stovetop Kettle Corn 

Nashville Hot Popcorn from Palatable Pastime  

Rosemary Truffle Popcorn w/ Nuts from A Kitchen Hoor's Adventures

White Chocolate Cranberry Popcorn from Family Around the Table

Want even more maple recipes? Check out this post with  

40+ Maple Recipes for Maple Season!


  1. Love maple syrup! And sugar. And whatever. :-) I've had it in popcorn, but never made it myself. Gotta try this! Looks excellent -- thanks.

  2. Now that is really yummy looking. I had read that in some sections up north, the sugaring season had stopped for a while because of the recent cold. It doesn't sound like it has affected your area…that is good.

  3. I so have to make this for Dave who loves pecan pies, maple syrup and snacking. So an all in one for him :)

  4. There's been talk of a maple syrup shortage so I recently stocked up just in case. Love it and must have it...and I snack on some popcorn every night. This looks super tasty.

  5. Can I just tell you how much I LOVE maple? And popcorn :). This is soooo gonna be my March Madness snack this week. It looks so good!

  6. LOVE it. this is one of my favorite flavor combinations! i would eat this until there wasn't a kernel left.

  7. oh man, this sounds awesome! so much good stuff in this popcorn!!

  8. Oh Amy, these maple pecan popcorn sound and look addictive...I would love to try this...
    Thanks for the recipe, and I hope you are having a great week :)

  9. I love maple season! There's nothing like the flavor of it. Can't wait to try it with popcorn!

  10. Yum!!! What a scrumptious substitution!! I adore caramel corn and this version must be irresistible.

  11. This is a dangerous snack! With the maple syrup I could easier eat this whole batch in one sitting. Great recipe!

  12. I bet this is amaaaazing! Looks so good. Thanks for sharing on Foodie Friday!

  13. Mmmmm maple and pecans! Yes! PINNED :)

  14. Swoon. I think I could eat this whole bowl!


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