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Caramel Yogurt Dip

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healthy caramel apple dip

Everyone wants what they can’t have.

That guy who liked me for two years in high school? I took his phone calls, notes, and attention for granted, only becoming interested in him after he finally gave up and asked out another girl.

Healthy Caramel Sauce

Likewise, I never gave caramel a second thought until 7th grade when the braces went on, which warranted forbidden all things sticky and sweet. I suddenly found myself craving caramel like crazy, and no amount of chocolate consumption would alleviate this desire. (I did cheat a few times—come on, didn’t everyone?—both with caramel and chewing gum.)

The day the braces disappeared, I bought a container of Marzetti caramel dip and polished off the entire thing with Fuji apple slices, another restriction on the metal-mouth diet. I’ve been a caramel lover ever since.


Yogurt replaces the heavy cream in this healthier caramel dip without all the fat, calories, corn syrup, and artificial ingredients. The result is a lusciously thick dip perfect for sliced apples, bananas, graham crackers, pretzels, pineapple, or anything else you wish came covered in caramel.

It also tastes amazing served over ice cream or my recipe for Homemade Apple Enchiladas.

healthy caramel apple dip

Caramel Yogurt Dip

(makes about a cup)

  • 1 container plain yogurt (such as So Delicious coconutmilk yogurt) (170g)
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup (or agave) (30g)
  • 1/4 cup coconut brown sugar or regular brown sugar, sucanat, or date sugar (30g)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

(If you don’t have a stove, just stir all ingredients together. The cooking step just helps to dissolve the sugar more fully.) In a very small saucepan, combine all ingredients except the yogurt and vanilla extract. Heat very gently, stirring continuously until the sugar dissolves. Turn off the heat and stir in the vanilla extract and yogurt. Allow to cool. This gets thicker in the fridge if you let it sit overnight. Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Click for: Yogurt Caramel Nutrition Facts


Question of the Day:

Have you ever wanted something you couldn’t have?

Other examples I can think of in my life include my sister’s gorgeous wavy hair, my best friend’s perfectly tanned skin, and pretty much everything at Anthropology. (Technically I could buy the $200 dresses at Athropology; but it wouldn’t be very responsible of me. Instead I usually skip going in altogether. I know myself too well.)

Link of the Day:

vegan chili
..Easy Vegetarian Chili  –  {High in protein}

Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 
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  1. Danielle says:

    I used to feel that way about Anthro. Guess what the cure is!?! Give yourself a $300 budget to buy any dress that strikes your fancy and go try on a bunch of stuff. Notice the poor quality of the zippers and read the sad online reviews and realize that the dresses are simply not worth it! Sad but true. I was going to buy my wedding dress there, and it was going to be whatever gorgeous dress struck my fancy. Too bad I crashed into reality and got something from Jcrew instead.

    1. MGW says:

      Wow this is so true! I pined for their clothes until I bought a bunch and watch them fall apart! I still love their design and fit but holy cow the quality does not match the price at all!

      Katie’s recipes on the other hand…always worth it and never overpriced : )

  2. Oh man, I’ve got to try making this dip!!! I have been on the hunt for a delicious vegan caramel recipe that is low in sugar… I am so making it and drizzling it over a yummy apple crumble or baked banana. YUM! And I so agree about Anthropologie… debating on whether to splurge for the awesome printed sweat pants that I know I would wear every single night. I think I’m gonna do it 😉 xo!!

  3. a says:

    can you make this with Greek Yogurt too?

    1. Lauren says:

      I wonder if this can be done with regular yogurt instead of vegan yogurt. I very much doubt it. I think you should specify that this can only be done with non-dairy yogurt as, if you use real yogurt, you would most likely end up with a bizarre cottage cheese.

      1. Kelly says:

        Yeah, boiling dairy is a bad idea. Maybe if you brought it to a “near” boil? Greek yogurt is basically just strained yogurt, so if you were using a vegan Greek yogurt I imagine it’d work but you might need to add a splash of almond milk.

        1. Cari says:

          Should have read these comments first! Used Fage 2% Greek yogurt and its curdled. :(

          1. Alex says:

            I did the exact same thing. FAIL. Next time will use plain yogurt, NOT GREEK PLAIN. :)

          2. Olly says:

            I tried this in the microwave with dairy yoghurt – it curdled. Will definitely try again – but with non dairy!

      2. Sophie says:

        I poured the hot sugar mixture into low fat natural yogurt while stirring and it turned out perfect and smooth…

    2. Grace :-) says:

      So I’ve made this twice now with regular, dairy filled plain yogurt. It has turned out fabulous both times! What I did is put brown sugar, honey, and vanilla extract on the stove, let it melt (but not come to a boil) and then stir in plain yogurt while still on the heat. I let the yogurt combine with the sugary syrup and then take it off the heat. When it’s in the pot, I whisk it until any yogurt lumps are gone. It turns out very smooth and liquidy so I refrigerate it and it thickens up a bit. Don’t try to boil the sugar and then add the yogurt like you were making real caramel. It will definitely curdle and chunk up and be not as fabulous. This is a quasi caramel dip, not your real boiled sugar and cream and science and stuff. For sure do not skip this recipe because it didn’t work the first few times with your dairy yogurt. Give it a go! It doesn’t really taste like caramel to me, but it definitely tastes like a very tangy, sweet, and creamy dip. Almost like a cream cheese icing glaze. I made a single batch last night, and finished it off by 11 o’ clock this morning. Now a double batch is chilling in the fridge which will most likely be consumed at the same rate as the first one. I could actually drink this stuff, and I have. Thank god it’s not as bad for me as cream cheese glaze. Thanks for the recipe and good luck to everyone! :-)

  4. Maria says:

    Sort of a deconstructed Halloween caramel/toffee apple in a way :)

  5. Livi says:

    EVERYTHING at anthropologie! I feel you girl!

  6. Peggy says:

    Ooooo, I LOVE caramel! I like the idea of a healthified version.

  7. I’ve always wanted long legs. And I’m like you, I skip the expensive stuff altogether. It’s better not to tempt myself :)

  8. Jaime says:

    This sounds SPECTACULAR!
    Is it possible to use honey instead of syrup or agave?

    1. Grace :-) says:

      You can for sure, and I have. It turns out great. Take care :-)

  9. Hey, I never cheated with caramel and chewing gum! Okay, so I didn’t do exactly what they said when it came to avoiding foods, but I think I took good care of my braces.

    Basically my reasoning was this: If something is bad for my braces and bad for my body, I shouldn’t eat it. If it’s bad for my braces but good for my body, I can eat it, but it must be eaten with care and followed by a vigorous brushing or a thorough toothpick usage.

    So I never had caramel or gum, but I did sometimes bite into whole apples when I didn’t have a knife to cut it into pieces, and I ate nuts. I think my ideas were reasonable! I never broke a bracket, and my orthodontist always complimented me on taking good care of my braces.

    Anyone else had any personal rules of what they’d eat and what they wouldn’t?

  10. Cookies n' Creme says:

    Finally a caramel dip that doesn’t call for dates! Yay! Thanks so much!

  11. Sacia Ashe says:

    Will the yogurt taste funny?

  12. Dawn says:

    Hi Katie,
    I am SO glad I stumbled upon your blog! I am a new blogger and I was blogging about my love for candy corn and your recipe came up when I was searching for images. I would LOVE to use your picture of a heart shaped candy corn in my post, with your permission and I will link it back to your super awesome blog! Since I ate an entire bag, I should probably use your recipe, too!

  13. i love anything caramel related – this is just genius Katie.

  14. Kelly says:

    Hi! can you use non fat Greek yogurt (or what types of yogurt can you use, for that matter?), sugar free syrup, and stevia in this recipe? I’m especially curious about the yogurt, because last time i heated Greek yogurt the sauce broke, but the sugars may keep the consistency? idk. i have diabetes, so if any of these subs you think would work, lmk! thanks!

    1. Cari says:

      I just tried Greek yogurt and it curdled.

      1. abby says:

        I also tried non-fat plain greek yogurt and it curdled :(. Katie- what type of yogurt did you use?

        1. Lex says:

          I cooked the syrup, sugar and salt together for a few minutes and then took it off the heat and quickly stirred in the greek yoghurt. Worked beautifully! Try it on popcorn- Amazing!

    2. Maggie says:

      If you are diabetic this recipe has too much sugar – I wish too that I could have it!

      Boiling the yogurt kills all the health benefit. Have you been able to find a non-dairy yogurt that does not have carrageenan? SoDelicious coconut yogurt has it – boo :(.

      Maybe try full-fat coconut milk?

  15. Oh this sounds good! I love having tasty dip for apples, and this sounds much healthier than the typical carmel sauce.

  16. Amy says:

    Does this have to stay refrigerated?! I want to use it for a dessert that will be sitting out. It’d be absolutely perfect.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Are you sure this can be done with dairy yogurt? What kind did you use? (So Delicious Plain?)

  18. Allie says:

    I was just going to say ohhhh this looks so delicious, but now some of the other commenters have got me worried about dairy yogurt … so I’m also curious about that. (As for what I want but can’t have … I wish I could tolerate having long long long hair, and I wish it looked like Gisele’s. Whenever it gets barely past my shoulders, I decide it takes too long to blow-dry and just cut it off.)

  19. Tala says:

    Oh my goodness Katie you’re a pure genius !!! I can’t wait to get back from holidays to make this (did I just say this???). 1 question though, do you think I can use a low fat yogurt or does it have to be full fat? Thanks!

  20. I can’t wait to try this! As far as something I want but can’t have…This is probably super-immature but I’d always hoped I would grow up to have gorgeous naturally-occuring breasts, and that just didn’t happen. Though I accepted adult life as an A-cup a long time ago, sometimes I get boob-envy. Ah well. Pros & cons.

  21. Yes to caramel-covered everything! That’s a great idea, Katie.
    Sigh, yes, I have definitely wanted what I couldn’t get more often than I care to admit. But then again there were also enough times when I did get what I longed for so it all balanced out in the end.

  22. Denise says:

    A friend of mine told me about your blog and also “Cooking With Mr. C.” on Facebook. (also a blog) I just “Liked” his Facebook page and just came to see your blog. I’m so happy that people are sharing blogs. Denise

  23. Karen w. says:

    Is this caramel dip as sticky as traditional caramel? Because I currently have braces and now I think your making me want what I can’t have!

  24. Lizzie says:

    I’ve tried this with plain yoghurt and it’s just runny, it doesn’t go thick :( I don’t know if our UK ingredients are different…? Plain yoghurt is literally yoghurt with no flavourings, right? I saw some people saying it should be vegan yoghurt… Ah well, I’ll keep trying with various flavourless yoghurts because I NEED to have this caramel!

  25. Angie says:

    If you heat up and melt the sugar with a little almond milk, then take it off the heat and let it cool a bit before you add Greek yogurt, it works great!

  26. Hannah says:

    For all who are wondering, I tried this with plain low-fat dairy yogurt, honey, and the other ingredients. I put all the ingredients in a small pot and heated until the sugar dissolved, but I DID NOT bring it to a boil. Watch it very carefully because it will be done in very quickly. I did not a problems with curdling at all. Yes, it turn out to be runny and it still had a very slight tangy taste from the yogurt; however, even though it was runny, it still stuck to apple slices pretty well and when you eat the caramel with apples you cannot taste the tanginess at all. Overall, this recipe tasted close to but not the same as caramel. I really recommend that you try this recipe, but DO NOT expect it to taste like “normal” caramel.

  27. OMG! You’re BRILLIANT!! –GlutenNaziMom

  28. Laura Miller says:

    I was the exact same way with braces. I liked caramel beforehand, and would eat it if it was given to me, but I never really craved it. Then all of a sudden braces went on and bam all I wanted was a caramel apple. I was actually a good girl though and didn’t eat anything I wasn’t supposed to. (Seriously, I had friends trying to shove popcorn in my face trying to get me to cheat, but I didn’t buckle once)

    But the braces have been off for a while now, so I can enjoy all the yummy caramel I want! I love yogurt and apples and I love caramel and apples so combining the two sounds like a marvelous idea.

    Also, I think as humans we always want what we can’t have, no matter what it is. Tell somebody they can’t have it and they will want it all the more.

  29. Lauren Stovall says:

    Can this be used to make caramel corn rather than the recipes using butter and corn syrup? Looks yummy!

  30. eatsmypleasure says:

    In a small saucepan, combine all ingredients except plain yogurt and vanilla extract. Slowly bring to a boil or just until the sugar is all dissolved. Remove from the heat, cool a little then stir in the yogurt and vanilla extract. No curdling :-)

  31. Andrea says:

    This looks awesome! My kids love to dip their apples in a yogurt, honey, and cinnamon dip, so they will probably love this as well. I’ve always wanted a nice tan, but I have a weird allergic reaction when I’m in direct sunlight :( Have you ever heard of I think it’s similar to Anthropologie, but slightly less expensive.

  32. Liz says:

    this is so awesome!
    ugghhh i remember those braces days.. >-<

  33. Rhonda says:

    Please explain, why is coconut brown sugar and where can it be found. I’ve never heard if it. I can’t wait to try this recipe.
    And, about how much is 17 gram serving size?

  34. haridelle says:

    I always want something I can’t have. Isn’t everybody like that? Well, at least caramel is something I can have whenever I want it.

  35. Ana says:

    Hi Katie, I’m with you on the caramel obsession. I love your blog, I just love this healthy Caramel Yogurt Dip!

  36. Julie says:

    My mom emailed me this a few days ago knowing that I often make caramel sauce in the fall for apple dipping. Fortunately, I didn’t get around to trying it until this morning. I saw the comments about dairy yogurt curdling just in time (the pan was on the heat when I double checked recipe!). Did not allow mixture to boil, just warmed enough to become smooth & the mixture did not curdle at all. Mom liked it very much. :-)

  37. Christina Schwalbauch says:

    Could I omit the vanilla? is it essential? I tend to react to it sometimes, especially if it in an unbaked item, so I like to avoid it. But I love caramel and apples!

  38. gloria alexander says:

    I love this site. I thought I was on my own trying to make tasty food with alternative healthier ingredients than the norm. However, my experiments haven’t always turned out edible so these delicious recipes are a life saver. Knowing the correct amount of ingredients to combine in order achieve the desired result would take me another lifetime. This site has saved years of throwing food away to the birds who very often also can’t eat what I offer to them! Due to health problems I can’t eat chocolate or wheat/gluten products so any more recipes without those would really help. Cooking programmes on tv are so unhealthy I am sure its all a secret plan to kill everybody off! Also ready made non -gluten products without sugar is impossible to find in the UK, so your recipes are a revelation. How about some savoury titbits too.

  39. Jaime says:

    Great taste – but mine turned out really liquidy. I used Nancys soy yogurt and didnt boil (to keep the strains alive). Maybe thats why?

  40. Verda says:

    I just made this sauce and it is wonderful. I have a couple of suggestions. Katie mentioned yogurt of choice but her suggestion was a non-dairy coconut based yogurt. If regular yogurt was used there is a good chance it would curdle. I didn’t have plain Coconut So Delicious yogurt available so I used Vanilla So Delicious and cut the vanilla in half. If the sauce is thin 1/2 tsp guar gum can be added with the brown sugar and agave and it will thicken up the caramel sauce very nicely. I also used my emersion blender on the warm sauce to make sure there were no lumps. It was perfect!

  41. Susan says:

    I am allergic to milk and corn products…So that cuts out many foods.
    I haven’t had carmels in years! I can’t wait to make this!
    Thank you!

  42. Sylvia Dewy says:

    Amazing Dip. It looks so perfect!! although i just got one question; I can use also Greek yogurt for this recipe?

  43. Amanda says:

    Hey, I didn’t look through all the comments so I don’t know if someone may have already mentioned this, but I believe you are supposed to “stabalize” yogurt first before cooking with it (unless you are baking with it). Google stabilizing yogurt for cooking and you should find it. I believe you mix cornstarch with a bit of water and add it into the yogurt in a saucepan? I think there are a few methods. Also, bringing it to room temp before adding it to recipes can help.

  44. Faith says:

    Once I was supposed to make caramel sauce and it turned out as caramel cake.

  45. evelyn says:

    i have to do it!!! awww!!!!1 <3

  46. Tianna Burroughs says:

    Could this be on low in a crock pot to stay warm during a party?

    1. Unofficial CCK Helper says:

      You can always experiment! If you do, be sure to report back!

  47. Kirsty says:

    I know a lot of these comments are a few months old now, but everyone talks about cooking the yoghurt when I’m pretty sure the recipe says not to do that (unless the recipe has been changed since then?). I used greek yoghurt and didn’t even bother heating the other ingredients, I just mixed them all together. I used maple syrup and regular dark brown sugar and it worked fine. It was quite rich though! I shouldn’t have eaten all the yoghurt after I used it as a dip for apple pieces!

    1. Jan says:

      I think it’s important to use the coconut sugar ’cause it already has the rich brown caramel taste AND color! I tried it with regular brown sugar and it’s just not the same…

  48. Jessica says:

    Can this mix well in coffee??

  49. Wendy says:

    I make this with Fage 0% Greek yogurt and it is delicious! I actually put in 300% of the yogurt, so maybe it is not as decadent, but every time I make it I laugh about the comment in the recipe that it will thicken in the refridgerator – in almost a year it has NEVER made it that far! For those asking about cooking the yogurt, you don’t. It goes in AFTER you’ve melted the sugar a bit. In fact, don’t wait too long or it might get a little clumpy. I add my yogurt right after mixing in the vanilla and it is smooth and creamy. Thanks for such a wonderful recipe!

  50. Jo says:

    I can’t wait to try this so I can add it to my bento lunch box and dip in popcorn and apple slices!

  51. Samantha says:

    Do you think this is too sticky for someone currently wearing braces? Might be a great alternative for my daughter who has braces now.

    1. Rose says:

      There are two reasons orthodontists don’t want people eating caramel when wearing braces – 1) the hard caramel can get stuck to the brackets, causing damage 2) teeth are more susceptible to decay and discoloration when wearing braces.

      That said, this looks more like a caramel sauce than a hard caramel. I think the recommendation is more for the taffy-like hard caramels than the sauces because the taffy-like candies will get stuck and possibly bend the wires and brackets. As for the sugars, she may just want to try to brush and use mouthwash more frequently to avoid the problems with decay… though, I can’t say that I did when I had braces. 😀

  52. Sharon Densmore says:

    Been looking for something good for my grandson he loves dipping, I know he will loves this. Thank you