Southern Molasses Bourbon Caramel Corn

Smokey bourbon, bitter molasses, and flakey sea salt add intense flavor to this bourbon caramel corn perfect for your next party or night in

Did you watch the Kentucky Derby last weekend? Who were you rooting for? Do you think Nyquist can take it all the way or will he fold at the Belmont Stakes?

Fact: I spent several years working at a horse farm and used to compete in dressage shows. I love horses almost as much as bourbon and hats so I am naturally drawn to the Derby.

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This year, we celebrated at my dear friend, Katie’s, home. Mint juleps were pouring, biscuits were rising, and she made one of finest pecan pies I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet. To go along with all the southern fare, I fixed up some bourbon caramel corn seasoned with a little molasses and quite a lot of flaky sea salt.


If you’re intimidated by caramel, this is a great recipe to get your feet wet. The sugar mixture boils for just a couple minutes and there’s no need for a candy thermometer. As long as you don’t allow the caramel to burn, you pretty much can’t fail.


Sweet molasses, smokey bourbon, and flaky sea salt makes for a mighty fine treat. Try it out and tell me about it in the comments below!

Southern Molasses Bourbon Caramel Corn

  • 6 Cups Popcorn (made from 6 tablespoons of kernels)
  • 3/4 Cup Pecans, chopped
  • 2/3 Cup Brown Sugar, packed
  • 2 Tbsp Corn Syrup
  • 1 Tbsp Molasses
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt
  • 1/2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Tbsp Bourbon
  • 1/2 Tsp Baking Soda

Mix your popcorn and pecans in a very large, heat resistant bowl and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 250. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil sprayed with cooking spray and set aside.

Melt the butter in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the sugar, corn syrup, molasses and salt and bring to a boil, stirring constantly for 2-3 minutes until the mixture reaches a caramel color.

Remove the pan from the heat and add the vanilla, bourbon and baking soda. The mixture will bubble up some, so be careful.

Poor the caramel over the popcorn. Stir until the popcorn and nuts are coated.

Spread the popcorn on the baking sheet in a flat, even layer and bake for 30-35 minutes, rotating the pans and tossing the popcorn every 15 minutes.