Brown Butter Caramel with Maple Syrup Fro-Yo

A soft and smooth–no, SILKY–frozen yogurt that tastes and smells like caramel popcorn. Hello lovah! It goes really well with OR in coffee, between two pieces of Oreos, with rooibos tea, with hot chocolate or chocolate syrup, but I haven’t tried it with caramel popcorn. Hah.


I thought this post would never published, or if it would it would just be the photo with a sorry note attached to it.  For a couple of days I could not find (or remember) where I wrote the recipe for this magnificent (ok, I’m completely biased) frozen yogurt my brain spit out (glamorously said…). I made this two nights before the party when I began the flurry of cooking, and I put everything away during the clean up. Oops. That’s why it’s always a good idea to create a draft in WordPress of the recipe right after making something in the kitchen. I’ve lost many recipes  just because I didn’t write them down immediately or worse, lost them. Does that happen to you?

I made two flavors of frozen yogurt for my birthday: the raspberry one for something light and summer-y, and this for something sweet and creamy. It was interesting to see how our guests reacted to them. Some found the raspberry too tart for their taste, others find it welcoming on that hot summer evening. I also found out that one friend has an aversion to maple syrup because of a cleanse we both did. Go head, name that cleanse!

I love feeding a lot of people and hearing their feedback in one evening. The truth is–but I hope this won’t tarnish my “street cred” (haha!)–I don’t think my family or close set of friends have ever used any of the my recipes. Not a lot of them cook, and some just zone out when I start to talk about how to cook something. So really, cooking for friends and family is the best, if not only, way I will get to hear what they think about the dishes I make. Sadly. Thank god really, for my “online support group” called Twitter and this blog. Then again, I’m thankful for this spice of life! It wouldn’t be an adventure if you can find everything you need in one store, right? ;-) Always the positive thinker….and my glass is always half full–of something good:

Brown Butter Caramel with Maple Syrup Frozen Yogurt

Oh, yeah. A soft and smooth–no, SILKY–frozen yogurt that tastes and smells like caramel popcorn. Hello lovah! It goes really well with OR in coffee, between two pieces of Oreos, with rooibos tea, with hot chocolate or chocolate syrup, but I haven’t tried it with caramel popcorn. Hah.

People started calling it the Butterscotch ice cream at the party, and then later asked what exactly is in the butterscotch. Or if I put scotch in it. And caramel, too? Oh god, such a fun night of friends and family coming together to eat and laugh…

On a food geeky note: What is the difference between butterscotch and caramel? I wanted to know after being stumped at and after the party. According to, the difference is in the sugar used:

The flavor of butterscotch is a blend of butter and brown sugar.

Caramel is a mixture produced when granulated sugar has been cooked (caramelized) until it melts and becomes a thick, clear liquid that can range in color from golden to deep brown. A soft caramel is a candy made with a caramelized sugar, butter, and milk.

Basically the difference is the type of sugar used.

According to, the difference is in the cooking temperatures:

Q: What’s the difference between caramel and butterscotch ?

A: Caramel is produced when sugar has been cooked (caramelized) until it melts and becomes a thick, clear liquid that can range in color from golden to deep brown (from 320° to 356°F on a candy thermometer).

The flavor of butterscotch is a blend of butter and brown sugar. It is popular for cookies, ice-cream toppings, frostings and candies. (Soft Crack Stage 270 to 288 degrees F)

Now, if you really want to complicate things (ah, research), here are the differences between caramels, butterscotch AND toffee from

* Butterscotch and toffee are made by combining sugar, butter and water.
* Classic English toffee has no other ingredients than those—no vanilla, no chocolate, no nuts.
Toffee, made in a slab and broken up. Commercial toffee is made in a mold.
* Butter toffee is a redundant term: Toffee is made with butter, except in situations where mass marketers substitute cheaper fats.
* Butterscotch and American-style toffee, as opposed to English toffee, can add vanilla and other flavorings. Butterscotch is then boiled to the soft-crack stage (270°F to 290°F on a candy thermometer), toffee to a hard-crack (295°F to 310°F).
* Caramels add milk or cream (and sometimes, flavors) and are cooked at a lower heat, to the firm-ball stage (248°F). Both of these factors make them softer and chewier.
* If it’s soft, it’s caramel. There are numerous candies on the market called “toffee” that are actually caramel. More than a few caramel apples are erroneously called “toffee apples.” Feel free to point out to the vendor that if, in fact, there were toffee on the apples, you wouldn’t be able to bite into them.

Why did I even start to look these up? After talking to people, I wasn’t sure what to call this baby. Is Brown Butter Caramel correct? I’d hate to call it Brown Butter Butterscotch (tongue twister!). Why do I even insist on using “brown butter”? The brown butter makes this fro-yo The Fro-Yo. I eventually stuck with the first name that came to mind while I was making it, because it reminds me of caramel popcorn, with lots of brown butter. It tastes AND smells delicious! Yummy!

Finally, recipe time!

Brown Butter Caramel with Maple Syrup Frozen Yogurt

Ingredients:Download print-ready PDF file

  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup milk (cold)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup (cold)
  • 500 grams of Fage 2% greek yogurt (it’s the big/tub container) (cold)
  • pinch of salt


1. In a small saucepan, cook butter in medium heat until it’s fully melted, the solids turn golden brown and the scent you can smell from it is not milky-buttery, but nutty — then you have brown butter. Immediately add the brown sugar and a pinch of salt, and wait for it to boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set it aside on a trivet to cool, about 20 minutes.

2. In a blender (I used a Magic Bullet because of the small volume), blend the brown butter mixture with milk, until the sugar is fully dissolved and you get a homogeneous mixture. You will notice at the beginning that the sugar settled down at the bottom of your saucepan. You don’t want to taste solid sugar crystals in your frozen yogurt, so blending might take a few minutes to dissolve the sugar but it will be worth it. Cool it in the fridge or freezer afterward, depending on how patient you are, and just before mixing in the next step, pulse it.

3. In a large bowl, blend all the butter and milk mixture, yogurt, and maple syrup with a beater until well-combined. Transfer the mixture your ice cream maker according to its instructions and churn for 20-30 minutes, until thick. Mine thickened quite a bit faster than my fruit frozen yogurt, so just keep an eye on it.

4. As always, I recommend letting it rest for 24 hours before serving. However, you can always lick the ice cream maker, paddle, and spatula clean! ;-)

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  • August 7, 2009 12:08 pm

    Oh my gosh you’re killing me! I try to give up dairy and then there’s brown butter caramel and maple syrup fro-yo in front of me. I thought I could *maybe* refrain until you said it goes well with or IN coffee! Holy moly, I am sold!
    I am now dairy free, except maybe once a week…. ;)
    .-= Emily´s last blog ..Smoked Salmon & Pea Salad. =-.

    • joy
      August 7, 2009 12:18 pm

      Haha! Dairy once a week sounds good to me! My friend actually wants me to experiment and come up with a vegan fro-yo. It’s just hard to find the ingredients unless I go all the way to the specialty food stores, but I will…one of these days. :)

      • August 7, 2009 12:49 pm

        A vegan fro-yo would be great! Maybe young coconut meat and it’s water blended together? *thinking* :)

        • joy
          August 8, 2009 6:11 pm

          Coconut meat with water might be too icy? Maybe coconut milk would make it creamy? I remember from when I was young that my grandma did something to it to make it curd, that it almost ends up like yogurt. Hmm…I’ll have to ask and do some research. I LOVE coconut meat in general, though! I used to feast on whole coconuts with juice, 3 at a time. LOL. The whole coconut is just so dang expensive, and I don’t have the grating ‘horse’ (I swear, that’s the direct translation) we use in the Philippines. Oh dear…the wheels are turning. I love when my friends inspire me. :)

  • August 7, 2009 12:49 pm

    After making the brown butter caramel cupcakes for Daring Bakers I am totally enamored with these flavours! looks amazing.
    .-= Katerina´s last blog ..Chia Gel Recipe =-.

    • joy
      August 8, 2009 6:18 pm

      Yumm! When did the DB have that? I only started March this year. I must dig into the archives! haha.

  • Susan
    August 7, 2009 3:41 pm

    Well..the name is a dilema! It’s butterscotch to be sure, but with maple syrup in the mix and the tang of’s a hodge podge of flavors. But I love each one and I’m sure the yogurt’s tang really helps to tone down any cloying sweetness that could come from the blending of brown sugar and maple syrup. Sounds delish!

    I’m with you on the browned butter. I absolutely love the nutty richness it gives to baked goods..and even savory foods too. I’m just obsessed with it lately! Great rock!

    • joy
      August 8, 2009 6:19 pm

      The yogurt’s tang definitely gave in to the sweet flavors. I find that the milk really tones it down considerably. I’m with you on the brown butter! I tried it before with gnocchi and some sage…yummy!

  • August 7, 2009 3:57 pm

    Honestly…we could just eat that caramel. It sounds oh so good.
    .-= The Duo Dishes´s last blog ..An Oddly Brilliant Inspiration =-.

    • joy
      August 11, 2009 10:18 am

      I agree! :)

  • August 9, 2009 9:53 am

    Yah, my family of course relies on me to do all the “fancy” cookin’! ;) Brown butter. Caramel. Maple syrup. Fro-yo. Dammit, there’s not a single entity in that title I can resist :)
    .-= Manggy´s last blog ..Barefoot Contessa’s Roasted Tomato Caprese Salad =-.

    • joy
      August 9, 2009 10:46 am

      I know…goodness overload! I’m going to make another batch now that the ice cream bowl has been in the freezer for more than 48 hours. :)

  • August 11, 2009 7:09 pm

    Be still my heart! This fro-yo looks dreamy! I would have never thought to pair all of these sweet ingredients with tangy Greek yogurt. I have got to try this one soon!
    .-= Susan at SGCC´s last blog ..Strawberry Marshmallows =-.

  • August 12, 2009 12:43 am

    What a lovely dessert & so damn tasty too!

    .-= Sophie´s last blog ..Ras El Hanout roasted carrots, red onions & beets =-.

  • August 12, 2009 2:00 pm

    I don’t know what you call it, but i think it sounds wonderful! Butterscotch, maple, some of my most favorite flavors!

    As for the vegan ice cream, I’ve seen some coconut milk ice creams around…I’m curious how they would turn out. I might experiment, and let you know!
    .-= Alta´s last blog ..Kids in the Kitchen: Smoked Pork Ribs =-.

  • Adam
    October 6, 2010 6:43 pm

    This sounds really good. I’m going to use the brown butter maple caramel concept, line a bowl with it, let the caramel harden, then unmold it and use the caramel bowl to hold a scoop of black walnut ice cream. At least that’s what I’ll try to do. /shrug No limit to trying new things!

    Could it be the MASTER CLEANSE?

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