Caramel Cheetos

This is a bizarre recipe that is really tasty. I found it from a friend, and had to try it. Even my skeptical hubby asked for some in his lunch.


  • 2 cups light brown sugar
  • 1 cup margarine (not butter, must use margarine)
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
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  • 1 - 21 oz. pkg. Crunchy style Cheetos (check the size of bag, reg. size is 10 1/2 oz.)


Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Mix sugar, margarine and corn syrup in pan. Bring to a boil, boil 5 minutes, stirring often. Spray with baking spray a deep roasting pan, 10x14 inches. Put Cheetos in pan, spread out. Remove pan from heat, and add soda. Use a sieve if the baking soda is lumpy. Stir until light in color.

Pour the mixture over Cheetos and stir, coating each piece. Place in oven. Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Immediately pour onto wax paper, or cookie sheets sprayed with baking spray. (This is the hard part.) Very quickly spread out as thin as possible. If this doesn't happen, the mixture will harden into a huge blob.


After about 5 minutes, pull/break these apart even more and loosen from the pan/wax paper. If you don't, you have wax paper stuck to them.

It's best to make a batch at a time, or stagger the baking times, because of how quickly you have to work when they come out of the oven. This stores easily in a Ziploc bag, if you have any left. ;o)

Source: I asked my friend for the recipe and she told me to Google it. There are several hits on this recipe, I got mine from

By Kim from Crawford, CO

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September 29, 20090 found this helpful

This does sound strange but it also sounds like it might be yummy and at the very least fun to try :-) I would like to try it but I refuse to use margarine so what would the consequence be if I used butter instead?

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September 29, 20090 found this helpful

Sounds awesome and unique. I love sweet and salty together; fries, potato chips or crackers with vanilla ice cream.


This shall be added to my to-try list. Thanks!

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September 29, 20090 found this helpful

I don't know about using margarine, but did it anyway. Try it and let us know! I will also use the store brand of 'crunchy Cheetos'.

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September 30, 20090 found this helpful

KLJohn, will try and will let you know but will reduce the amount of ingredients just in case using butter is a disaster ;-) Am not a big snack eater and need to eat up the snacks already on hand so will let you know in a couple of weeks :-) Oh, and crunchy cheetos are a fave of mine so that's what I'll be using ;-)

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September 30, 20090 found this helpful

Looking forward to seeing your results, Deeli, as I, too, refuse to use margarine.

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October 1, 20090 found this helpful

Gotta try this one. Sounds incredibly yummy (and easy, always a plus)!


Sounds like a great way to enjoy Cheetos without getting orange all over our fingers. Thanks for sharing it with all of us.

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October 3, 20090 found this helpful

I made these tonight, they were indeed tasty! Very unique! One thing I did, though, was half the recipe and make the other half using my tried-and-try caramel popcorn recipe. That one, ironically, calls for butter and says "don't use margarine" just as this one says the opposite! But other than that the recipes differ only in the amount of baking soda (and, obviously, the popcorn recipe calls for popcorn instead of Cheetos!). So I tried the popcorn glaze on the Cheetos at the same time I tried this recipe.

The results were almost identical. The butter-based recipe had a slightly darker coating and barely perceptible richer taste. I was pleased that I now know that I can use whichever ingredient I have on hand! I used Imperial margarine for this, by the way, and also substituted Brim's brand crunchy cheese curls instead of Cheetos.


They are just $1 per 10 ounce bag. The end product for both recipes was obviously very sweet, and the sweetness overpowered the salty/cheesy so much that in the future I think I might mix the caramel cheetos with regular ones so I can have that "contrast" I crave. This would also stretch it out a bit.

As for the haste needed to spread out the product after cooking, this wasn't as bad as I envisioned. I lightly sprayed wax paper with cooking spray, and transferred the hot sticky Cheetos from pan to wax paper one big spatula-full at a time. I still had to move quickly, but because I didn't dump them all out at once, the ones left in the pan stayed pliable because the pan was still hot. They also didn't stick to the wax paper at all, probably because it was sprayed.


Overall, a winning recipe! I just wonder why it warns not to use butter.?

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October 12, 20090 found this helpful

Okay, I finally tried it last night with butter and it was great !!! But, the experimenter in me, couldn't resist using Crunchy Cheddar Jalapeno Cheetos ;-) If you like heat or the combination of sweet and heat you simply have to give it a try :-)

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October 24, 20090 found this helpful

I tried this with butter and a 4 oz bag of Cheetos (I just used 1/4 of each ingredient). They tasted great! I will be making this recipe again with butter.

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