This classic caramel popcorn recipe is a taste of tradition and nostalgia (1964)

Karo Crazy Crunch caramelized popcorn recipe from the 1960s

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Caramel popcorn — with its irresistible blend of sweetness and crunch — is a treat we’ve loved for generations. That rich, buttery flavor wrapped around light, airy popcorn creates a texture and taste that keeps us reaching for more.

Tracing back to the early 19th century, caramel corn started as a simple mixture of molasses and popcorn, but it wasn’t long before this humble treat soared in popularity. By the turn of the century, it had become a common sight at fairs, circuses, and eventually in the pre-packaged snack aisles of grocery stores nationwide. Innovations in packaging and preservation technology during the 20th century allowed caramel popcorn to be enjoyed all year round — not just during special occasions.

Caramel popcorn in a bowl - Vintage recipe at ClickAmericana com
Photo by bhofack2/Deposit Photos

Today, caramel corn is enjoyed in a variety of ways — from gourmet boutique blends to homemade batches whipped up in kitchen stovetops. Each variation offers a different twist on the classic recipe, whether it’s a sprinkle of sea salt, a drizzle of chocolate, or a dusting of cinnamon. The basic pleasure that comes from a good batch of caramel popcorn, however, remains unchanged.

And speaking of good batches, we’re excited to share a slice of nostalgia with you. We have reprinted a vintage recipe for classic caramel popcorn (nut mix optional) that will transport your taste buds back to a simpler time.

ALSO SEE: Old-fashioned popcorn balls: 16 delicious classic recipes, plus expert popping tips

Crazy Crunch caramelized popcorn: Great for your family and friends!

Karo Crazy Crunch — for a jolly good Christmas, made with corn syrup

Dig this crazy popcorn — it’s positively wild, all caramelized with Karo and crunchy with almonds, pecans or peanuts. (Great just caramelized, too.)

That’s Karo Crazy Crunch for you — just try to stop eating it! Always keep a batch on hand for family or guests, and pack some up in pretty, perky packages for gifts. Thanks to Karo, you can make it for peanuts!

Karo Crazy Crunch caramelized popcorn (1964)

Karo crazy crunch caramel popcorn recipe (1964)

Caramel popcorn in a bowl - Vintage recipe at ClickAmericana com

Karo Crazy Crunch caramelized popcorn

Yield: 2 pounds
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes


  • 2 quarts popped corn
  • 1-1/3 cups pecans
  • 2/3 cup almonds
  • 1-1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 cup margarine/butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup Karo Crystal Clear (light) corn syrup


  1. Mix popped corn and nuts on a cookie sheet.
  2. Combine sugar, margarine and Karo Syrup in a 1-1/2 quart saucepan.
  3. Bring to a boil over medium heat. stirring constantly.
  4. Continue boiling, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 15 minutes or until mixture turns a light caramel color.
  5. Remove from heat.
  6. Stir in vanilla.
  7. Pour over popped corn and nuts, mix to coat well.
  8. Spread out to dry.
  9. Break apart and store in tightly covered container.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 32 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 274Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 24mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 2gSugar: 25gProtein: 3g

Click Americana offers approximate nutrition information as a general reference only, and we make no warranties regarding its accuracy. Please make any necessary calculations based on the actual ingredients used in your recipe, and consult with a qualified healthcare professional if you have dietary concerns.

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