I kind of hate that this vegan caramel puff corn is in my cupboard right now. Mind you, it’s because it’s absolutely delicious and I have no self control around regular puff corn, so when it’s encased in butterscotch-y goodness it’s all over.
A word of warning I should have thought about when I tested this recipe: Make it when you can give a lot of it away. Because if you have a bunch sitting in your cupboard like I do, you’ll just be doing dishes and be like, “I wonder how that caramel puff corn is doing?” and then you’ll go eat it. Or you’ll just be minding your own business doing whatever it is you do and it will beckon you from the pantry when you least expect it. They’re crunchy on the outside and when you bite in it’s like they melt in your mouth. Drool.
Alas, sometimes you’ve just got to treat yo self!
To be honest, I wasn’t really confident this recipe would work. GeniusKitchen.com told me not to substitute the butter in their caramel puff corn recipe, but I went against their wishes anyway. I really am so glad I did!
A few notes about this vegan caramel puff corn:
- This is ridiculously easy to make. I had never made caramel puff corn before this. The regular kind, I mean. I had just eaten copious amounts of it when other people made it. If I can develop this vegan version on my first try, you can certainly make it.
- In researching how I wanted to develop this recipe, I found out a few things: 1). People have tried this with maple syrup instead of the corn syup called for in the original recipe and it works. I used brown rice syrup because that’s what I had on hand (and I wanted to test it), but if maple syrup is more accessible for you, go for it. 2). Some people use vanilla but most recipes I found don’t. My advice: do. 3). I used a mixture of half vegan butter and half coconut oil and yet this caramel puff corn has no coconut flavor whatsoever. I imagine it would work with all vegan butter or all coconut oil. If you try either one, please comment to let me know how it went!
- Because it’s encased in sugar, I imagine this would last for at least a month in my pantry. If there’s still some left over in a month, I’ll let you know about the taste and texture!
- Let’s be real, just because I’ve made this vegan doesn’t mean it’s healthy! Fair warning.
- Caution: The caramel mixture will be very hot. Be careful!
How to Make Vegan Caramel Puff Corn *
*Dat’s right. Dairy. Free.
- 1 bag (8-9 oz.) Puff Corn*
- ½ c. vegan butter**
- ½ c. coconut oil
- ½ c. brown rice syrup (or maple syrup)
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- Spray a large roasting pan lightly with cooking spray. Pour puff corn into roasting pan. Heat oven to 250 degrees F.
- In a small or medium size saucepan over medium-high heat, melt vegan butter and coconut oil. Add brown sugar and syrup and whisk to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring frequently for 2 minutes.
- Turn off the heat, stir in the vanilla and last, the baking soda. The baking soda will react, causing the mixture to foam up. Immediately pour the mixture over the puff corn and stir to coat. It may not completely cover every piece of puff corn, but it will still be delicious!
- Place the roasting pan in the oven and bake the caramel puff corn for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.
- Lay out parchment or waxed paper and pour the caramel puff corn out to cool. It will cool and harden quickly. Store in an airtight container in the pantry.
**I used Earth Balance. You could try doing 1 full cup vegan butter OR 1 full cup coconut oil and if it works please let me know!