Peanut Butter Caramel Corn

Snack time just got tastier with this homemade Peanut Butter Caramel Corn that’s salty and sweet and has peanut butter M&Ms folded in! Make a batch today!

Peanut butter M&M candies are the perfect addition to our M&M Brownies. Or toss a handful into our easy white trash candy!

Peanut butter caramel corn served in a white bowl.


Why This Recipe is Best

Who doesn’t love snacking on some microwave popcorn while watching a movie or hanging out with friends?

I love popcorn. Salty, buttery popcorn, sweet kettle corn, cheesy popcorn, you name it. But my true love is caramel corn. I adore it.

And today’s recipe starts with my favorite homemade caramel corn as a base. Then I take it a step further by coating the crunchy caramel corn with a white chocolate and peanut butter coating (they really do go together!).

AND then I folded in some M&M’S® Peanut Butter candies, giving this treat all the makings of an epic snack.

It would be perfect for game day get-togethers, picnics, potlucks, and lunches! It makes a great gift, too! Everyone will adore it!

  • Sweet and salty is taken to new levels with this snack
  • The favorite peanut butter + chocolate combo is here too
  • It makes a big batch so it’s perfect for sharing

White chocolate and peanut butter are a match made in heaven. You’ll love our peanut butter toffee recipe, made with crackers!

Ingredient Notes

Ingredients needed to make peanut butter caramel corn.
  • Popcorn – Use bags of microwave popcorn or homemade popped corn. You need 16 cups popped total. Be sure to remove any unpopped seeds before using the popcorn in this recipe.
  • Light Corn Syrup – I prefer Karo brand light syrup, but another brand is fine to use.
  • White Almond Bark – You can use this for more nutty flavor or you can substitute vanilla melting chocolates or white chocolates (I love Ghirardelli white chocolate melting wafers in caramel corn).
  • Peanut Butter – Any creamy style of peanut butter will work here.
  • M&Ms Candies – I highly recommend the peanut butter style of M&Ms for maximum flavor, but you can substitute regular M&Ms if you prefer.

PRO TIP- We love making our own homemade vanilla extract, but if using store bought, be sure it’s pure extract, not imitation (for best flavor).

Easy Instructions

Step by step photos showing how to make caramel corn.

Prep. Line two large baking pans with foil. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Remove any popcorn seeds and add popped popcorn to a large bowl.

  • Step 1. Mix. Combine butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and kosher salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium high heat.
  • Step 2. Boil. Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat then stir in the vanilla and baking soda. Mixture will become frothy. 
  • Step 3. Pour. Immediately pour the butter mixture over the popcorn in the bowl. Mix gently until the popcorn is coated. Divide the popcorn evenly between the two prepared baking pans.
  • Step 4. Bake. Bake at 250 for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Remove from oven and pour into a VERY large bowl.
Step by step photos showing how to make peanut butter coating for caramel corn.
  • Step 5. Melt. Combine white almond bark and peanut butter in a small microwave-safe dish. Microwave for 1 minute, then stir until smooth. (Add an additional 30 seconds if needed.)
  • Step 6. Pour. Pour the peanut butter mixture over the caramel corn, until evenly coated.
  • Step 7. Combine. Add in peanut butter M&M’S® and mix.
  • Step 8. Set. Pour mixture onto parchment paper (or wax paper) on the counter. Allow to set for about 10-30 minutes.
Peanut butter caramel corn with peanut butter M&M's.

Tips and Tricks

  • When making the popcorn, whether it be air popped or bagged, make sure after you have popped it all, you remove any seeds!
  • I prefer to line my broiler pans with foil. You can also use 15x10x1 inch pans or disposable lasagna pans. You’re going to need TWO pans. Pour your caramel corn onto the two pans and spread it out so it’s mostly in a single layer.
  • Bake for an hour, but after every 15 minutes, remove the pans and stir gently, spooning up the excess caramel on the bottom so it coats the popcorn.
  • After assembling and adding the M&Ms, it helps to transfer the mixture onto wax paper (or parchment paper) on the counter top. This allows you to spread it out and it will set up quickly.
  • Once it’s all set up (meaning the chocolate peanut butter mixture has dried) break into chunks and store in a couple gallon sized plastic bags. ENJOY!
Peanut butter popcorn in a white serving bowls.

Recipe FAQs

Why does the recipe call for baking soda?

I add baking soda to the caramel corn so that it will react with the brown sugar and corn syrup. It creates carbon dioxide air bubbles, making the caramel foamy. This helps to create a softer caramel and chewy, soft, melt in your mouth pieces of caramel corn.

How do I store caramel corn?

Once cooled and set, store the caramel corn in airtight ziplock bags at room temperature. The popcorn will keep for up to 2 weeks.

Why is my caramel corn so sticky?

If your caramel corn is sticky after being given time to cool and set up, it most likely hasn’t been cooked to the proper temperature. You may also want to check your oven temperature.

Peanut butter caramel corn on a baking sheet.

More Easy Desserts

Easy Snack Recipes

See all Appetizers recipes

Peanut Butter Caramel Corn

5 from 2 votes
By: Aimee
Snack time just got tastier with this homemade Peanut Butter Caramel Corn that's salty and sweet and has peanut butter M&Ms folded in! Make a batch today!
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings: 16 cups

Ingredients 

  • 16 cups popped popcorn remove seeds
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups light brown sugar packed
  • ½ cup light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 16 ounce white almond bark or vanilla melting chocolate or white chocolate
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 package M&M'S® Peanut Butter (about 1 3/4 cup) 12.7 ounce

Instructions 

  • Line two baking pans with foil (preferably deeper pans like broiler pans, or disposable lasagna pans). Set aside. Preheat oven to 250F.
  • In a large bowl, add popped popcorn (make sure all seeds are removed) . Set aside.
  • In a small saucepan, combine butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and kosher salt. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Stirring constantly, boil for one full minute.
  • Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla and baking soda. Mixture will become frothy. Pour over popcorn. Stir by folding gently until all kernels are covered. Divide evenly and pour onto two prepared baking pans.
  • Bake for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Remove from oven, pour into large bowl.
  • In a small microwave safe dish, combine white almond bark and peanut butter. Heat for one minute, stirring until smooth (you may need to heat an additional 30 seconds if almond bark isn’t completely melted).
  • Pour over caramel corn, until evenly coated. Add in peanut butter M&M’S® and pour mixture onto parchment paper (or wax paper) on the counter. Allow to set (about 10 minutes.
  • Store in airtight container or plastic freezer bags. ENJOY!

Notes

  • When making the popcorn, whether it be air popped or bagged, make sure after you have popped it all, you remove any seeds!
  • I prefer to line my broiler pans with foil. You can also use 15x10x1 inch pans or disposable lasagna pans. You’re going to need TWO pans. Pour your caramel corn onto the two pans and spread it out so it’s mostly in a single layer.
  • Bake for an hour, but after every 15 minutes, remove the pans and stir gently, spooning up the excess caramel on the bottom so it coats the popcorn.
  • After assembling and adding the M&Ms, it helps to transfer the mixture onto wax paper (or parchment paper) on the counter top. This allows you to spread it out and it will set up quickly.
  • Once it’s all set up (meaning the chocolate peanut butter mixture has dried) break into chunks and store in a couple gallon sized plastic bags. ENJOY!
  • See blog post for more recipe tips and tricks.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cup, Calories: 246kcal, Carbohydrates: 22g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 11g, Cholesterol: 15mg, Sodium: 191mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 16g
Course: Appetizers
Cuisine: American
Did you make this recipe?Mention @shugarysweets or tag #shugarysweets!


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About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

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Posted on August 30, 2023

Comments & Reviews

  1. I’m abt a yr late discovering this site. Wish I’d found sooner. I LOVE Carmel popcorn & have been making it for yrs. I have a recipe passed dwn from my Mom. My boys used to beg me to make it.  Made it so much I know the recipe by heart. 
         Wish I’d thot abt adding M&M’s. It wld’ve made it a bigger hit for all of us. I love the Carmel corn & M&M’s as much as they do. 
        I can try it with my grandchildren now. 

  2. WOW!! I think I’ll have to make this over the weekend so Allison can take some back to school with her!  We have plenty of M&M’s in the house 😉 

  3. I am dying over this. Peanut butter M&M’s are totally my favorite variety. We have a weekly movie night and this is so happening.

  4. I’d be pretty nervous for an “interview” to join a social circle, but I’m glad you passed 🙂 I would give an A+ to anybody who arrived at my house with this caramel corn!

  5. That sounds like a fun group to be part of! We used to go to the theater regularly until we had children. Now it’s once a year, tops. We have to pick really carefully and get sitters five months in advance. But you give me hope that someday, we’ll do it more often again!
    And no wonder you nailed the “interview.” Anyone who brings this kind of crack is bound to be popular. It looks so good!

    1. Haha!!! You “crack” me up!! You’ll definitely get to make it out again, once the kids can watch eachother 🙂 There is fun at the end of the tunnel!!

  6. Peanut Butter M&Ms are the beeeeeest!!! I’ve been known to eat entire bags…the big ones. Oops. I need to try them in this caramel corn! Theater date nights sure sound fun, btw 🙂 

  7. If I invited you to date night will you bring me this deliciousness? Seriously. I’ll pay for your plane ticket 🙂 

  8. This is seriously like my dream snack! I adore caramel popcorn and white chocolate AND M&M’s – its heaven in a snack jar! 

  9. Oh, my. This would not last long in my presence! Popcorn is one of my weaknesses and with peanut butter and M&M’s???? Heavenly!

  10. Oh my gosh I love peanut butter caramel corn. And with M&Ms?????? I’d invite you over for life!

  11. My kinda caramel corn right here! Just give me a good movie and a big bowl of this, and I’m a happy camper! 😉

  12. There is no way I would be able to stop munching on this awesome caramel corn.  I love that you double coated it with the peanut butter chocolate!  And those peanut butter M&M’s are one of my favorites!  You are in with me…no matter what!!!  

  13. What a great idea for a party snack or movie night. And well, it has two things we all love – peanut butter and M&M’s. I’m sure it would be a hit with my people!

  14. Aimee, you are a girl after my own heart!  I am thinking since it’s my birthday week I should make this for myself…  and I’m not sharing!

  15. If you showed up to my house with a big bowl of that I would never let you leave…haha. I LOVE peanut butter M&M’s and thrown into caramel corn I’m totally down!

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