Cranberry Orange Caramel Corn*

A day late and a dollar short. It’s the story of my life.

Halloween was, of course, yesterday…and I had a post written talking all about Halloween. I talked about how much I love that America condones going out and asking strangers for candy. I wish Halloween was every day of the year. Wouldn’t it be nice to stop by houses of people you don’t know, on a random Tuesday, and ask them for a Kit Kat? I think I might try it out tomorrow…if I don’t show back up here in a few days please call the police.

But instead of the post going live on Monday morning like it was scheduled to do…it sat hidden from everyone. My love of Halloween still not voiced…and  the best damn Caramel Corn ever, still not shown to all of you. While I should have noticed that the post never went up yesterday…I spent the day recovering from an overnight flight back from San Francisco.

And by recovering, I mean buried below 40 pounds of fur. While most people come home to family or kids, I returned to 4 lonely cats and one extremely tired dog from his stay at Poochies. So we slept and forgot all about Caramel Corn. I actually didn’t even remember it was Halloween until around 5pm yesterday when I saw the best Halloween movie ever, Hocus Pocus, come on.

I quickly dressed and hurried to the store and bought a few bags of some candy I don’t like…so I wasn’t tempted to eat it all before the trick or treaters showed up. I rushed home expecting to have a line of princesses, buzz lightyears, and harry potter’s at my door demanding candy. But as of 10 pm last night, I had all of 1 trick or treater.

Brody sure does make one adorable Cowardly Lion! And while he may not have said Trick or Treat, he totally got a Twizzler. I still have 3 bags of candy sitting by my front door waiting to be handed out. I am considering placing it outside of the apartment where I know a little girl lives…would that be creepy? Do you think her parents would let her have it? Should I leave a note? And then what would the note say?…

Hey Apartment 305,

I’m not a weirdo or anything. And this candy is totally drug and needle free…but no kids came by my house and I Trick or Treated with my dog instead. So um anyways, this candy is for the little girl that lives here. 

I swear I am not creepy, 

Apartment 205


Again…if I don’t show back up in a few days, please call the police. I was arrested for being a creeper and giving the little girl above me candy. Please show the police this post so they can see that I totally just wanted to rid myself of the candy, that I don’t even like, but that still keeps calling my name.

While Halloween may have already passed, you should still try out this Cranberry Orange Caramel Corn! It’s one of the best Caramel Corns I have had in a long, long time. Growing up my Mom used to surprise my baby sister and I as we came home from school with homemade caramel corn balls. They were warm and sticky and one of my favorite parts of Halloween.

So last year when my Mom brought me a bowl of caramel corn instead of a ball, I was already disappointed. Then when I looked in the bowl and saw she had added cranberries and nuts…I questioned her sanity. You just DO NOT mess with my caramel corn! It is supposed to be popcorn and caramel only, Mom. That’s it. What is wrong with you?

And then I tried it. Five or six gigantic handfuls later, I told her it was freaking amazing and that I needed the recipe. Make this tonight, I promise you will fall in love.


Cranberry Orange Caramel Corn

Yield: Makes 6, 1 cup servings

Total Time: 30 minutes

While the traditional caramel corn will always have my heart, this Cranberry Orange Caramel Corn is a wonderful surprise. The crunch of the pecans and the tart bites from the cranberries help to make this caramel corn truly outstanding.


  • 6 cups popped popcorn (about 1/4 cup kernels)
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped pecans
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup light-colored corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda


Preheat oven to 275 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet with Pam or grease with butter.

In a very large bowl combine the popped popcorn, cranberries, and almonds; set aside.

In a small saucepan stir the butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup over medium heat until butter is melted. Stir in orange juice. Bring to boiling over medium heat. Boil at a moderate, steady rate for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla and baking soda (mixture will foam up).

Pour the syrup mixture over the popcorn mixture in bowl; stir to coat well. Transfer to a large baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, stirring twice. Transfer caramel corn to a large sheet of waxed paper or parchment paper; cool.


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32 Responses to “Cranberry Orange Caramel Corn”

  1. 1

    Kristina @ spabettie — November 1, 2011 @ 4:03 pm

    oh, my STARS I bet that’s good. I love cranberry orange. Mmm.

    we have no trick or treaters, we live way out in nowhere (with no streetlamps). we always buy candy, “just in case”… and this year we didn’t, we risked it! still nobody.

    our dachshund dressed up as a turtle, though. :)

  2. 2

    Paula — November 1, 2011 @ 4:40 pm

    Poor you with only 1 trick-or-treater. I thought it was a slow Halloween for us with only 31. Your caramel corn may be a day late but it sure looks wonderful. Leave the candy and the note for the little girl in Apt. 305 or better still take your dog in his adorable costume to their door and knock on it and deliver the candy in person.

  3. 3

    The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh — November 1, 2011 @ 4:59 pm

    Hmm, I’m a caramel corn purist. Approaching with caution…LOL!

  4. 4

    Katrina — November 1, 2011 @ 5:16 pm

    Mmm I love caramel corn, and haven’t tried making it yet. This sounds lovely!

  5. 5

    Dianna @ The Kitchen Prep — November 1, 2011 @ 5:45 pm

    Once again, we’re totally on the same page. After a very busy weekend, I pretty much forgot about Halloween. Except you were nice and bought candy for potential trick-or-treaters, and I was mean and shut off the porch light, cracked open a cold beer {we had TONS left after an Oktoberfest party we threw on Saturday, otherwise I would have been having my go-to glass of Chardonnay}, and made like a recluse. We should def be friends. Or at the very least, pen pals. Now who’s the creepster?? Haha! Will definitely be trying the popcorn. Looks fab!

  6. 6

    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen — November 1, 2011 @ 7:53 pm

    Aw that looks like a nice welcome home, I think they missed you!

  7. 7

    Courtney @ The Granola Chronicles — November 1, 2011 @ 8:23 pm

    What a festive fall treat! The orange-cranberry combination is just perfect.

  8. 8

    Jeanette — November 1, 2011 @ 8:32 pm

    Love that photo of you vegging out with your cats and dog…and that costume on Brody is adorable. My kids would love to try your caramel corn!

  9. 9

    Alison @ Ingredients, inc. — November 1, 2011 @ 8:35 pm

    what an awesome idea!!

  10. 10

    Joanne — November 1, 2011 @ 8:45 pm

    I resisted going to buy on-sale post-halloween candy…BARELY. I came THISCLOSE to going into the nearest CVS. And now I’m glad I didn’t. Cause I’m gonna make this and eat the whole batch and not have a single ounce of guilt given that I resisted that candy!

  11. 11

    Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga — November 1, 2011 @ 9:13 pm

    I love caramel corn and i bet the orange and cranberries is AWESOME in this!

  12. 12

    JavelinWarrior — November 1, 2011 @ 9:43 pm

    Love the cowardly lion! And homemade popcorn is the best – I resist scarfing down all the popped corn and attempt this caramel corn. It looks heavenly!

  13. 13

    Kathryn — November 2, 2011 @ 5:34 am

    I’m pretty sure that the fruit & juice in this make it totally healthy. Actually, it’s probably one of those foods that put you in credit so you can eat a brownie afterwards. Love!

  14. 14

    Shannon — November 2, 2011 @ 8:10 am

    I have a severe weakness for caramel corn. This sounds intriguing to me. And hey, I can say it’s healthy right, because of the cranberries?! LOL!

  15. 15

    Amy (Sing For Your Supper) — November 2, 2011 @ 9:13 am

    Oh Jess, what a brilliant idea! I bet this stuff was AWESOME!!

  16. 16

    Lucie (Thursday Night Dinner) — November 2, 2011 @ 10:30 am

    looks delicious, I cant wait to try it. I love finding good homemade gluten free snack options!

  17. 17

    Lauren — November 2, 2011 @ 11:06 am

    HAHAHA! You’re too funny! The “I swear I’m not creepy!” line is killing me!

  18. 18

    Nutmeg Nanny — November 2, 2011 @ 1:05 pm

    Your welcome home looks a lot like mine. Those kitties sure do miss us :)

    Also I find the letter only mildly creeperish. To step it up a notch you would have had to say something like “I notice you like to eat a lot of candy” or “when I’m watching you you are always eating candy” hahaha I’m just kidding :)

    The candy corn looks out of this world! I love the addition of cranberry. One of my favorite flavors!

  19. 19

    brandi — November 2, 2011 @ 1:38 pm

    nights on the couch, being smothered by my puppy, are some of the best times :)

    and Hocus Pocus is my all time favorite Halloween movie!!! Love it.

  20. 20

    Kelly Senyei — November 2, 2011 @ 2:50 pm

    I absolutely LOVE your addition of dried cranberries. I make a similar Caramel Corn but never thought of the fruity addition. Will definitely be trying this recipe next time. Thanks for the inspiration!

  21. 21

    Rachel @ Not Rachael Ray — November 2, 2011 @ 2:55 pm

    Love this caramel corn idea, looks so delicious!

  22. 22

    Biana | Simple and Tasty Recipes — November 2, 2011 @ 3:57 pm

    Love the cranberry orange combination! Cranberries sound like a great addition to caramel corn.

  23. 23

    Katie from Katie's Cucina — November 3, 2011 @ 8:17 am

    This sounds & looks amazing & I’m loving Brody’s Halloween costume!

  24. 24

    Elina (Healthy and Sane) — November 3, 2011 @ 1:03 pm

    Hehe, hope you’re recovered from your flight. I hate when little things like that (like the post not going up by mistake) happen. This popcorn sounds incredible!!

  25. 25

    Teri Lyn Fisher — November 6, 2011 @ 1:31 am

    Ohhhhh this sounds and looks sooo yummy!

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