Recipes

Dairy Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Caramel Corn (Also Gluten Free, Vegan)

December 1, 2019  —  Written by Chris 

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Early in our marriage, I would make caramel corn every week or two. It started off pretty simple and straight forward, but I wanted to switch things up so I started experimenting. I landed on a combination of chocolate and peanut butter in the caramel, plus a mix of Chex and popcorn, finished with nuts, chocolate chips and sea salt.

Dairy Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Caramel Corn (Also Gluten Free, Vegan)

Of course our diets have changed and I went over a year without making caramel corn. That is, until I Googled “dairy free caramel corn” and was greeted with hundreds of recipes. I poured through them, found a few common denominators and combined it with my old reliable recipe, and that’s how this recipe came to be. It’s crunchy, sweet, salty, and an amazing treat that so many people can enjoy.

Dairy Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Caramel Corn (also gluten free, vegan)

Dairy Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Caramel Corn (also gluten free, vegan)
Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Dairy Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Caramel Corn (also gluten free, vegan)

This recipe is crunchy, sweet, salty, and an amazing treat that so many people can enjoy.
Course: Snack
Keyword: caramel, corn, dairy free, gluten free, snacks, treats, vegan
Servings: 8

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup popcorn kernels (or one bag of microwaveable popcorn) popped, unpopped kernels removed
  • 1 12oz box Corn Chex
  • 1/2 cup vegan butter or margarine
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1.5 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 oz nuts like peanuts, slivered almonds, cashew halves etc
  • 1/4 cup Lily's dark chocolate chips
  • 1 tbsp sea salt

Instructions

  • In a pan on the stove over medium heat, melt the butter/margarine and coconut oil. Whisk in the cocoa powder to ensure all clumps are worked out.
  • Add the brown sugar and corn syrup to the fats. Stir until just combined and bring to a bubble.
  • Once bubbling, turn off the heat and add the baking soda and whisk in. Then add the peanut butter and whisk in.
  • In a large bowl, combine the popped popcorn (with the unpopped kernels discared - very important) and the corn Chex. Pour the caramel over top and stir to gently to combine and coat evenly. Add the nuts, chocolate chips, and sea salt. Toss together to combine.
  • Pour out onto the counter on top of a layer of butcher paper and try not to eat it all immediately so it can cool off. But if you do eat it all immediately, who's gonna know, really?

What do you think?

  1. Christy says:

    Hey there! A lot of popcorn bags have butter— which did you use? Thanks for posting this!

  2. J. Reid says:

    Getting all the ingredients tomorrow. Which vegan butter did you use??

  3. Debra says:

    Real caramel corn requires oven baking. It improves the crunch and without baking the popcorn will not keep. It will soak up the moisture from the topping and become.chewy. After coating popcorn, bake at 250 degrees in a.convection oven for 1 hour tossing every 15 minutes. Then spread out to cool and store in air right container. It is a necessary step in making real caramel corn and one of the reasons.why it is a labor intensive endeavor. The popcorn should be popped from mushroom kernels. When popped at a high temp, it forms a ball. That prevents pieces from being broken off. It is the same kernels used for kettle corn.

    • Chris says:

      For real caramel, yes. But this caramel, due to the lack of butter, cools to a hard crunch and I wouldn’t recommend baking it.

  4. Shawna says:

    So excited to make this! I just had to start going dairy and soy free as I nurse my little one, and my husband is gluten free. I’ve been craving something just like this!

  5. Vicki says:

    This sounds great. Do you happen to have the original recipe with all the bad stuff in it. That is the one I am interested in. lol…no, seriously.

  6. Emma says:

    This sounds incredible, I’ll make it for sure! Do you think the corn syrup could be subbed with brown rice syrup? Our family has so many allergies, I’m so excited for this and the stuffing recipe!

  7. Amber says:

    Thoughts on using maple syrup instead of corn syrup or agave?

    • Chris says:

      Not sure how it would turn out, but it’s worth a try! I would maybe use a little less maple than corn syrup, and up the brown sugar. Maple syrup is a bit more fluid than corn syrup.

  8. Debora says:

    5 stars
    It sounds wonderful! I’m curious if you’ve ever been able to establish a shelf life? I was considering making/taking or shipping to friends several states away and wondered if it would hold up. Any thoughts?

    • Chris says:

      It’s never lasted long enough to tell! Shipping can be tricky but there’s not really anything to “spoil” in it, so I’d say it would be good for a week – and even then you’d only just get a little staling I would imagine.

  9. Jamie Marabillas says:

    I am totally making this! My kids are allergic to peanuts and nuts but I will sub sunflower butter for them. They will be ecstatic. Thanks for the great recipes!

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