Sea Salt Caramel Popcorn Clusters


The perfect combination of sweet and salty can be enjoyed in these dairy-free caramel popcorn clusters. They’re easy to make and wonderful for serving as a special treat at kid’s parties, holiday events, or game day gatherings.

These sweet and salty, dairy-free caramel popcorn clusters are perfect for kid's parties, holiday events or game day gatherings. The recipe is gluten-free, optionally vegan, or optionally corn syrup-free.The recipe and photo were shared with us by The Popcorn Board.

Special Diet Notes: Sea Salt Caramel Popcorn Clusters

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, peanut-free, optionally soy-free, optionally vegan / plant-based, and vegetarian.

For nut-free, dairy-free caramel popcorn clusters, you can certainly sub all popcorn for the nuts or use your nut-free add-ins of choice.

For corn syrup-free, dairy-free caramel popcorn clusters, note that honey is a suitable alternative because it is an invert sugar with a small amount of acid like corn syrup. From what I have read, other liquid sweeteners may not work the same in terms of preventing crystallization.

Sea Salt Caramel Popcorn Clusters
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 3 Quarts
  • 2 quarts organic popped popcorn
  • 1½ cups pecan halves
  • ½ cup almonds
  • 1⅓ cups sugar
  • 1 cup dairy-free margarine
  • ½ cup light corn syrup or honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  1. Line a large, rimmed 12x17-inch baking pan with foil and lightly grease.
  2. Lightly grease a large glass or metal bowl and add the popcorn and nuts.
  3. In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, margarine and corn syrup or honey. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil until the temperature on a candy thermometer reaches 290°F (about 15 minutes). Remove the candy thermometer and stir in the vanilla. Pour the mixture over the popcorn and nuts and quickly stir to coat well.
  4. Spread the popcorn mixture in an even layer on prepared baking pan. Sprinkle with the sea salt and allow to cool completely.
  5. Break into pieces to serve. Store leftovers in an airtight container.

About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Senior Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.


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  2. I would like to make these caramel popcorn clusters for my son. However, he is allergic to nuts. Any thoughts as to what I can substitute for the crunch and added 2 cups ingredients? Thanks!

    • Hi Susan, I’m a popcorn fanatic, so personally, I would just use more popcorn to make it nut-free! If you really want variation, I think your son’s favorite seed would go nicely. Since seeds are smaller, I would up the popcorn a bit, and use less seeds than the nuts call for. Some nice options would be shelled sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, or even a smattering of hemp seeds.

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