Homemade Cracker Jack Popcorn

Take me out to the ball game! Have you ever bought your kids come Cracker Jack? Share teh nostalgic memories you enjoy today by making them a batch at home. It’s easy-peasy!

home-made cracker jack recipe

Child-hood memories of red and white boxes filled with crunchy, sweet popcorn and peanuts flood your memory bank when you hear the name “Cracker Jack”. Don’t forget the added bonus of a mystery surprise toy inside the box. Now you can pass on memories with your kiddos using this recipe that tastes even better than Cracker Jack — it really does!

One of my girls absolutely despises peanuts, almonds, pecans — anything in the nut family! To make her happy, I just leave out the peanuts. If your child has a peanut allergy or just doesn’t like those yummy crunchies, you can easily omit the nuts and still have a yummy, caramel popcorn.

Always be careful when making caramel popcorn that you are patient and watch carefully. You want to cook the candied mixture long enough where it is sticky enough the the sugar is thoroughly dissolved. However, you do not want to burn it. Yuck! Burned caramel is NOT yummy!

These are also cute to use at a baseball themed birthday party. Large batches of this recipe can be made easily by doubling and tripling the recipe. Plus, you can make it one or two days ahead to save on time and clean-up for a party or get together.

I also use this snack as a fun, Friday night movie snack. It’s fun to offer the kids a sweeter popcorn instead of the traditional buttered popcorn. Everyone likes a change once in a while!

Cracker Jack Popcorn


2 1/2 cups white sugar
6 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons pancake syrup
1 cup shelled peanuts, unsalted
1/2 tsp. salt
16 cups popped popcorn, unpopped seeds removed


In a small saucepan, combine salt, sugar and butter. Cook on medium-high heat and stir constantly for about five minutes. Then, add pancake syrup and continue to cook. If sugar begins to burn, turn down heat and add some cooking oil or additional butter. Keep stirring and cooking until mixture becomes sticky and caramelized; approximately 15 minutes. Once it has reached the caramelized state, remove from heat and stir in peanuts. Let mixture stand for about 5 minutes. Then, pour over popped popcorn and mix thoroughly. Yields 16 servings. Enjoy!

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12 thoughts on “Homemade Cracker Jack Popcorn”

  1. I gotta try this! Every time I think about cracker jacks, it brings back such childhood memories. This would be wonderful to make with my kids. Visiting from Duck ‘n a Row. Just had to stopped by and check out the popcorn…

  2. Oh, I loved Cracker Jacks as a kid. Haven’t had them in years. I so going to try this recipe out soon. Pinning this!! Visiting you from TFT party, hope you stop by for a visit too.
    Have a wonderful day!

  3. Alison, thank you for sharing this recipe. I love Cracker Jacks and now I have a way to make my own at home. I am now following you on Twitter.

  4. KC @ The Real Thing with the Coake Family

    Yum! This would be fun to make and I could leave the peanuts out so I could eat it, too. Fun!
    Thanks so much for linking up at the Real Family Fun link party! Hope to see you next week.

  5. Carrie @ Frugal Foodie Mama

    Oh, this looks great! And with baseball season here, this is perfect! I just may have to whip up a batch of this soon. :)

    Thank you for sharing at Marvelous Mondays this week!

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  7. Pingback: Yummy Popcorn Treats for Your Next Family Movie Night

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