This Vegan Pumpkin Spice Caramel Popcorn is a simple to make wholesome sweet treat! Gluten-free / Refined sugar free
It’s National Popcorn Month, guys – why did nobody tell me?!
Popcorn is hands down one of my favorite foods. It’s funny [or maybe sad, actually] but during my ED I completely gave up popcorn. Far too many carbohydrates, right? Well, I suppose I’m making up for lost time now cause I can eat the stuff by the bag! It is actually one of my favorite parts of going to the movie theater – I get popcorn [sans butter] while Ninja gets a large slushy and I go to town on that stuff!
I try to keep my popcorn splurges for special occassions [aka the movies] but every now and then I get the urge for a bag of the stuff, and who am I to deny my body’s cravings? 😉
And apparently I’m on a caramel kick [see Peanut Butter Caramel Latte] because when I was planning out a popcorn recipe for the blog all I could think about was caramel. But because it’s fall and pumpkin spice has taken over the blog world for the next few months, I decided to give my caramel popcorn a makeover by turning it into Pumpkin Spice Caramel Popcorn.
I know. Shocking, right?
Which, sort of funny considering Friday’s post about searching beyond the pumpkin spice goodness, but let’s just leave the past in the past for now. Why focus on any of that when we’ve got this beautiful popcorn sitting in front of us right now?
So popcorn – first off, have any of you ever used the stovetop method to pop your popcorn? Like the horrible adult I am I actually hadn’t until recently. Can we say life changer?! What is it about taking kernels from a pre-made bag and popping them yourself on the stovetop that makes the end result so.much.tastier? I mean seriously, who knew?
Anyway, point is that while this pumpkin spice caramel popcorn doesn’t require the stovetop method [you can just use a regular old bag of popcorn if you’d like!], I personally feel the end result is 100x better if you pop the darn stuff yourself. Just my opinion though – you do you.
But the real star here isn’t the popcorn at all, it’s that pumpkin spice caramel.
Made from a combination of coconut oil, maple syrup and spices, this caramel sauce is vegan and 100% delicious. I won’t lie – I sort of just wanted to drink the stuff, but in the end the food devil on my shoulder couldn’t steer me to the dark side 😉 Thankfully [most] of the caramel sauce made it to the popcorn, however I won’t admit how much popcorn never made it into the photos.
I literally couldn’t keep my grubby fingers off the stuff! Thankfully this stuff is crazy simple to make, so whipping up another batch for the photos took no time at all. I also may have eaten more carbohydrates than any other macronutrients combined for two straight days while I hammered this pumpkin spice caramel popcorn down. In the end though I’d say it was a success on all fronts. 😉
- 8 cups freshly popped popcorn
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a medium pot, add the coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Allow mixture to come to a boil and add the salt and baking soda. Turn heat to low and whisk continuously until mixture has thickened and darkened in color. Once thick, remove from heat and stir in pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon.
- Place popcorn in a large bowl and toss with caramel sauce to evenly coat. Spread popcorn over baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Allow popcorn to cool completely to let caramel crisp up.
- Serve or store in a sealed container.
Are you a popcorn lover?
Have you ever made stovetop popcorn?