Payday Caramel Corn

Peanut butter caramel corn made even sweeter by the addition of caramel corn. This easy Halloween treat tastes just like a Pay Day candy bar.

Caramel corn is one of my favorite treats to make to give as a gift or party favor. I was craving Peanut Butter Caramel Corn recently and decided to make it a little more festive by adding in some candy corns.

Those little morsels didn’t just add color–they made the popcorn taste like the Payday bars I loved as a kid!

Caramel corn with peanuts and candy corn in a metal bucket.

What is a Pay Day?

A Payday is a candy bar made with peanuts, nougat and a candy coating. Something about combining candy corn and peanuts together recreated the flavor almost perfectly.

I’ve been munching on bowls of peanuts and candy corn for years, especially when it’s Halloween season and there’s candy corn everywhere. That snack inspired payday truffles and this payday cookie recipe!

So adding candy corn to my peanut butter caramel corn to make Pay Day Caramel Corn was a no-brainer.

Ingredient Notes

Good caramel corn starts with freshly popped corn. Use your favorite microwave popcorn, make it on the stove top, or use your popcorn popper. Make sure to remove the unpopped kernels after the popcorn is popped.

This is a little tedious, but 100% worth it to avoid the unpleasant surprise of biting into a hard seed when you’re enjoying your caramel corn. You’ll need about 5 quarts of popped popcorn.

Peanuts in this recipe should be roasted and salted for best flavor.

Wooden bowl filled with homemade caramel corn with peanuts and candy corn.

Step by Step Instructions

STEP 1. Pop the popcorn

Pop according to package directions or using your preferred method for homemade popcorn from scratch. Transfer the popped popcorn to a large mixing bowl being careful leave the seeds behind.

STEP 2. Make the caramel

Melt butter with sugar, corn syrup and salt. Bring it to a boil. Remove from heat. Stir in baking soda and vanilla. Pour over popped corn and mix well to coat every piece of popcorn with the caramel.

STEP 3. Bake

Divide caramel corn mixture evenly into two foil lined broiler pans. Bake in a 250 degree oven for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes. After stirring each time, rotate the pan 90 degrees so the popcorn bakes evenly.

STEP 4. Add candy corn and peanuts

Remove the caramel corn from the oven and return it to a clean mixing bowl. Melt your vanilla bark according to package directions and then pour over the caramel corn.

Add peanuts and candy corn, mix together and pour out on to a strip of parchment paper. Allow to set until the vanilla coating is firm, about 30 minutes. Transfer to large ziploc bags and seal to store. Enjoy!

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Tips and Tricks

  • Storing: This popcorn lasts about 2 weeks if stored sealed tightly at room temperature. In my house, we always eat it up long before!
  • Not a fan of candy corn? You can make this without to have a delicious peanut caramel corn recipe.
  • Broiler pans lined with foil are perfect for baking the popcorn. Disposable lasagna pans work too!
  • Store the caramel corn in individual portions by dividing it between sandwich bags instead of larger gallon sized bags. Easy to grab and go or hand out as a Halloween party favor!

Treats like this Pay Day Caramel Corn might just be my favorite thing about Halloween! This one is definitely part of our regular rotation, along with M&M’S® Peanut Butter Caramel Corn and Fluffernutter Caramel Corn.

More Snack Recipes

Yield: 16 servings

Payday Caramel Corn

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes

Caramel Corn that tastes like a Payday candy bar! With peanuts and candy corn!


  • 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
  • 2 ½ bags of popped corn (remove seeds), about 5 quart popped
  • 16 ounce package vanilla bark (or Ghirardelli vanilla melting wafers)
  • 21 ounce bag candy corn
  • 1 ¼ cup salted, roasted peanuts


  1. Pop popcorn according to package. Place popped corn into a large mixing bowl (make sure to not add any seeds). Set aside.
  2. In small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter with sugar, corn syrup and salt. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Stir in baking soda and vanilla. Pour over popped corn. Mix well.
  3. Divide caramel corn mixture evenly into two foil lined broiler pans (or large disposable lasagna pans would work too) Bake in a 250 degree oven for one hour. Stir every 15 minutes, and rotate in oven.
  4. After one hour, remove from oven and pour into a large mixing bowl. Melt vanilla bark according to package directions and pour over caramel corn. Add in peanuts and candy corn. Pour onto parchment paper (I lay a big strip down on my counter top) and allow to set, about 30 minutes). Once chocolate is set, fill two large gallon sized ziploc bags and seal. ENJOY!


    • Once chocolate is set, fill two large gallon sized ziploc bags and seal. Store for up to one week.
    • See blog post for more recipe tips and tricks.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 513Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 253mgCarbohydrates: 73gFiber: 1gSugar: 68gProtein: 3g

*Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

I love the bright pop of orange and yellow color mixed in with the white candy coated popcorn kernels. The salty crunch of peanuts and the buttery caramel make this Pay Day popcorn a must try!

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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 October 8, 2020

Comments & Reviews

  1. Paydays were my favorite candy bar as a kid. I have not had one in forever. I love this candy corn version. This will be perfect for Halloween. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Oh this looks fabulous, and I will make it for Halloween for sure. Another great win for the Shugary Sweets Candy book!

  3. I hear you about the costume stress. My kids change their minds a million times so I just wait until last minute and they get what they get, haha! Loved this sweet and salty treat! One of my favorites to snack on while watching movies.

    1. As long as you keep the seal on your ziploc bag (and nobody leaves it wide open, like my kids sometimes do) I have had it for two weeks. Usually doesn’t last as long though cause it gets eaten up! but two weeks for sure!

  4. YUM! This sounds delicious. Would you consider linking this up at my Pinworthy Projects Party? I hope to see you there!

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