Caramel Cheetos

Candied Caramel Cheetos – crazy good! Only 5 ingredients! You won’t be able to stop eating these! Cheetos tossed in a homemade caramel sauce made with brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, and baking soda. The flavor combination sounds weird, but they are OH SO GOOD! Reminds me of Chicago Mix Popcorn.

bowl of caramel cheetos with text overlay

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Candied Cheetos Recipe

This might be the craziest recipe I have ever tried.  I stumbled on this recipe while surfing the internet, and I knew that I had to give it a try.  Caramel and Cheetos?  It was too crazy not to try. The verdict?  It was surprisingly good and very addictive. You can’t taste the cheese once the Cheetos are covered.  You just get the crunchiness from it.  The best part about these Caramel Cheetos is that you don’t get orange fingers from eating them!  The caramel seals in the orange coating and keeps your fingers clean.  

What’s in a Name?

I’ve seen this recipe called by several different names – Coyote Droppings, Candied Cheetos, Caramelized Cheetos, and Caramel Puff Corn. No matter what you call this, you will call it delicious!

How to Make Caramel Cheetos

This treat is super easy to make with only 5 simple ingredients. In a large pot, mix together brown sugar, unsalted butter, and corn syrup. Bring the sugar mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and add baking soda. Stir until light in color and foamy.

Pour Cheetos into a large bowl. Pour the caramel mixture over the Cheetos and stir, coating each piece. Transfer the Cheetos to a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven. Pour the Cheetos onto a large piece of parchment paper and spread out into a single layer. Cool completely. Break into pieces and store in an airtight container.

Helpful Tips & Frequently Asked Questions

  • I prefer regular Cheetos. You can use any flavor that you enjoy.
    • Flaming Hot Cheetos will make a sweet and spicy treat!
    • You can use Cheese Puffs.
  • Use a large saucepan when making the brown sugar/corn syrup mixture. The mixture will bubble up when you add the baking soda. 
  • What does baking soda do? The baking soda makes the sugar mixture light and airy – perfect for caramel corn.
  • How Long do Caramel Cheetos Keep? This will keep for several weeks in an air-tight container. I place the cooled caramel Cheetos in gallon ziplock bags. Great for storage and easy snacking.
  • Are Caramel Cheetos gluten-free? Yes! This is a delicious gluten-free dessert.
  • Store popcorn in an airtight container at room temperature.

How to Serve Caramel Cheetos

This treat has quickly become a family favorite. It is reminiscent of Chicago Mix Popcorn – caramel corn and cheese popcorn. The flavor combination will leave you craving more! This is a great snack for Christmas parties, NYE parties, and game day. They taste delicious and are guaranteed to be a conversation starter!

bowl of candied cheetos

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bowl of caramel cheetos with text overlay

Caramel Cheetos

Yield: 8 people
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Caramel Cheetos – crazy good! Only 5 ingredients! You won’t be able to stop eating these! Cheetos tossed in brown sugar, butter, corn syrup and baking soda. Sounds weird, but they are OH SO GOOD!

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 250ºF.
  • In a large pan, mix sugar, margarine or butter and corn syrup. Bring to a boil. Boil 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and add soda. Stir until light in color and foamy.
  • Pour Cheetos in a large bowl. Pour caramel mixture over the Cheetos and stir, coating each piece. Transfer to a large roasting/jelly roll pan (15×10). Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and spread out into a single layer on some non-stick aluminium foil. Break into pieces once it has stared to cool.

Steph

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Comments

  1. I made these last night for a new years eve/holiday party. So easy to make but I think next time I will double the Cheetos for 2 batches. I won't last long. They are almost like a toffee. In fact my friend named them "cheetos toffee",
    Thanks for posting this!!

    K

  2. I think 5 minutes is too long to boil the caramel. It set up so quickly and not able to fully coat the cheetos. Then again I cut the ingredients in half since my bag of Cheetos was ony 10 oz or so. Maybe that affected the boil time. Next time I'm going to boil a shorter time and see what happens. Since it bakes an hour, I'd think the syrup continues to caramelize.

  3. Cheese puffs DO stand up! I have tried that and will try this as well as the Fire Cheetoes. BUt when I made the caramel cheese puff..they looked like smooth brown logs…these look like they are more orange?

  4. This is one our favorite holiday treats. I particularly like taking them to friends' houses, and they look at me like I'm crazy for bringing them a bag of brown carrots. Also, the cheese puffs work fabulously in this recipe! That's all I've ever used.

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