Key lime season is now through August, and we can’t think of a more fun way to munch on them then these Key Lime Pie Popcorn Clusters. You can use regular limes (also known as Persian limes) in a pinch, but key limes have a slightly bolder, aromatic flavor. They just beg to be used in treat recipes like this.
Ingredient Tips for the Perfect Popcorn Clusters
These sweet, crunchy bites are great for potlucks, barbecues, and summer afternoon treats. Here are a few ingredient tips to ensure they are well received.
Popcorn – Use fresh air-popped popcorn for the tastiest results. In a pinch, you can pop it in a pot, but try to avoid microwave popcorn and pre-popped popcorn. Both lack the light taste and texture of freshly made air-popped popcorn.
Graham Crackers – Most brands of graham crackers are dairy-free, but check carefully. A few brands sneak a little dairy in. Strict vegans will want to watch for honey. Several store brands are honey-free. For gluten-free, we really like Kinnikinnick graham crackers, but there are several brands available.
Marshmallow Creme – Despite the name, most plain brands of marshmallow creme are dairy-free. But check the ingredients – particularly if you have other dietary concerns like eggs, corn, or soy.
Buttery Spread – We actually like to swap in coconut oil, but sometimes reduce the amount to 3 tablespoons. Buttery spread or margarine contains water, which can cause the clusters to become stale more quickly. Coconut oil keeps it crunchier.
Limes – As mentioned above, key limes bring a special tart flavor, but regular limes can be used in a pinch. If you do stick with key limes, you will need 1 to 2 of them for this recipe.
This Key Lime Pie Popcorn Clusters recipe with photo was shared with us by The Popcorn Board.
Special Diet Notes: Key Lime Pie Popcorn Clusters
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, optionally gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, and optionally soy-free.
For egg-free and vegan key lime pie popcorn clusters, you will need to use a vegan marshmallow creme, which could affect the results (the vegan versions don’t tend to be as soft and elastic). If you are strictly vegan, look for honey-free graham crackers too.
- 8 cups popped popcorn
- 4 whole graham crackers, finely chopped (gluten-free, if needed)
- 1 (7.5-ounce) jar marshmallow creme
- ¼ cup dairy-free buttery spread or sticks (can sub coconut oil)
- 2 tablespoons grated key lime peel
- 1 tablespoon key lime juice
- Line a 9-inch square pan with foil or parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, stir together the popcorn and all but 2 tablespoons of the graham cracker pieces.
- In a medium microwave-safe bowl, microwave the marshmallow creme and buttery spread or sticks on high for 1 minute. Stir until the "butter" is melted. Stir in the lime peel and lime juice.
- Pour the marshmallow mixture over the popcorn and quickly but gently stir until the popcorn and crackers are evenly coated.
- Using a slightly damp hand or a piece of parchment paper, firmly press the mixture into your prepared pan. Sprinkle with the reserved graham cracker pieces. Refrigerate for 2 hours, or until firm.
- Lift the foil or parchment from pan. Break the popcorn mixture into clusters.