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A close up of a bowl of Lemon Thyme Caramel Corn with lemons in the background and fresh thyme scattered in front.
Lemon Thyme Caramel Corn
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 10 mins

Tangy, sweet, and crunchy caramel corn flavored with lemon and thyme is a grown up twist on classic caramel corn. It makes a great starter for the holidays because it can be made well in advance and is easy to serve!

Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: caramel corn
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 552 kcal
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
  • 1/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 20 cups popcorn (simply salted microwave popcorn is a good option - use two 3.5 oz bags)
  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees and place popcorn in a large heatproof boil.

  2. Combine sugars, butter, and corn syrup in a saucepan over med/high heat and bring to a boil. Continue to cook until a candy thermometer reads 295 degrees, about 12-15 minutes.

  3. Remove from heat and stir in lemon zest, thyme, and salt.

  4. Pour caramel over popcorn and, working quickly, stir to coat.

  5. Spread caramel popcorn onto 2 parchment-lined sheet pans and place in oven.
  6. Bake 40 mins, carefully stirring once or twice.
  7. Let cool in pan, then break up any large pieces. Store in an airtight container. Popcorn will keep up to 5 days.

Recipe Notes
  • Keep a watchful eye as it approaches the 295 degree mark, and remove it from heat as soon as it hits the mark.
  • When you’re working with caramel you need to work quickly and carefully. Caramel will burn, so take precautions so it doesn’t splatter on your skin. Once the caramel is poured over the popcorn mixture, work quickly to stir and coat.
  • Allow the caramel to cool completely before you serve it or store it. The caramel popcorn will keep for several days stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
Nutrition Facts
Lemon Thyme Caramel Corn
Amount Per Serving
Calories 552 Calories from Fat 216
% Daily Value*
Fat 24g37%
Saturated Fat 14g88%
Cholesterol 61mg20%
Sodium 603mg26%
Potassium 139mg4%
Carbohydrates 84g28%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 62g69%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 805IU16%
Vitamin C 2.4mg3%
Calcium 37mg4%
Iron 1.2mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.