How to Make Frozen Yogurt as Good as a Froyo Shop Right at Home

Looking for a sweet treat that's a bit better for you? Our Test Kitchen shows you how to make frozen yogurt with an ice cream maker right at home.

Anyone in my family will tell you I’m an ice cream addict. I love ending my days on a sweet note with a dish of chocolate ice cream topped with a bit of caramel and a touch of sea salt—it’s pure heaven. (Psst! You don’t need an ice cream maker to make it at home.) Sometimes though, ice cream is a little too rich and heavy. To lighten things up, I like to switch to frozen yogurt. It still provides that creaminess I love but with fewer calories and less fat.

Even more tempting is scratch-made frozen yogurt. With only a few simple ingredients, you can make a delicious treat that you can feel good about eating. Our Test Kitchen shows you how to make this easy dessert with only five simple ingredients. Let’s get churning!

How to Make Frozen Yogurt

To make this frozen yogurt recipe with an ice cream maker, you only need a few ingredients—most of which you probably have at home already.

  • 3 cups reduced fat plain Greek yogurt (full-fat works, too!)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin

Special equipment:

  • Cheesecloth
  • Ice cream maker (Be sure to pop the insert in the freezer the day before you make your froyo!)

Step 1: Strain and Stir

Lined strainer filled with Greek yogurtTaste of Home

Begin by lining a strainer with four layers of cheesecloth and placing it over a bowl. Fill the lined strainer with the Greek yogurt, covering the yogurt with extra cheesecloth. Refrigerate for two to four hours. This step will help remove any extra liquid from the yogurt, which will help create a creamier, richer final product. If you don’t have cheesecloth on hand, feel free to use a single coffee filter. Just be sure to cover the yogurt with a bit of plastic wrap, waxed paper or a reusable wrap (I love mine!).

Once thoroughly drained, discard the extra liquid. Then stir in the sugar and vanilla extract until the sugar is dissolved.

As tempting as it is, do not skimp on the sugar! You may want to remove some of those less healthy ingredients when making better-for-you alternatives, but the sugar in this recipe serves an important purpose besides adding sweetness. Sugar helps give frozen yogurt its soft, creamy texture. Too little sugar and you’ll end up with rock-hard froyo—yikes!

Test Kitchen tip: Traditional yogurt also works in this recipe, but it does have a higher water content, so you’ll have to wait a little longer for it to drain. Also, avoid using flavored yogurts as a base. Due to the extra ingredients (namely stabilizers), these options won’t drain fully and you’ll end up with an overly icy end product.

Step 2: Let It Gel

Gelatin mixture in a small glass bowl beside an empty measuring cup, squeezed lemon and empty gelatin packetTaste of Home

In a small, microwave-safe bowl, combine cold water and lemon juice; sprinkle with gelatin and let stand for a minute. Once the gelatin has absorbed a bit, pop into the microwave for 30 seconds on high. After heating, give the mix a stir and let it cool slightly. Along with sugar, gelatin helps keep your frozen yogurt soft and scoopable.

Step 3: Cool Off

The gelatin mixture, now combined with the yogurt, being covered in plastic wrapTaste of Home

Stir the gelatin mixture in with the yogurt and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until completely chilled—at least 40 minutes. The colder your frozen yogurt base, the silkier the texture will be.

Step 4: Churn, Churn, Churn

Person scooping their yogurt mix into an ice cream makerTaste of Home

Before starting, make sure the cylinder of your ice cream machine is completely frozen. With your canister ready, add the yogurt mix to your ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. You’ll want to keep the yogurt mixing until it becomes thick and the temperature drops to 22ºF.

Test Kitchen tip: Making frozen yogurt is infinitely easier with an ice cream maker (we love this model from Cuisinart).

Step 5: Ice It Down

Now finished, the frozen yogurt is being removed from the ice maker and put into tuberwareTaste of Home

When the yogurt is done churning in the machine, transfer your frozen yogurt into a freezer container (if you’re serious about homemade ice cream and frozen yogurt, invest in containers made specially to hold them). Freeze for two to four hours, until it’s firm enough to scoop. If you’re antsy like me, you can definitely give your froyo a test right away, though it will have a texture more like soft serve. But having patience pays off. Once frozen, this dessert is craveably creamy.

Frozen vanilla yogurt in a dish and topped with colorful sprinklesTaste of Home

This frozen yogurt tastes great served on its own, but I love it topped with fruit, nuts and even a few sprinkles. If this has got you in the mood for something frosty, check out 30 more frozen desserts.

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Lisa Kaminski
Lisa is an editor at Taste of Home where she gets to embrace her passion for baking. She pours this love of all things sweet (and sometimes savory) into Bakeable, Taste of Home's baking club. Lisa is also dedicated to finding and testing the best ingredients, kitchen gear and home products for our Test Kitchen-Preferred program. At home, you'll find her working on embroidery and other crafts.