A Frozen Yogurt Recipe to Rival Pinkberry’s Recipe

The frozen yogurt recipe you're looking for. Easy, wonderfully tangy, not-too-sweet, creamy white cloud of perfect frozen yogurt deliciousness.

A Frozen Yogurt Recipe to Rival Pinkberry’s

Pinkberry Frozen Yogurt has nothing on the frozen yogurt recipe I just tried from David Lebovitz's new cookbook - The Perfect Scoop. In front of me was a book brimming with both exotic and classic ice cream flavors, so it might seem a bit peculiar to go the frozen yogurt route, I know. But Wayne has been gone all week and knowing how much he loves yogurt, I thought I'd chip the freezer burn off my ice cream maker and churn up a batch of frozen yogurt for him to enjoy when he gets home from the airport.

Let me tell you, I was expecting something good, but in all seriousness, I may never (ever) go back to ice cream. And before you can say it, I'm not just sucking up to David because he's a friend, his simple, simple recipe served as inspiration for a wonderfully tangy, not-too-sweet, creamy white cloud of perfect frozen deliciousness. And believe me, as a California native, I know good fro-yo when I taste it. It is a rare thing.

You might be tempted to add sweet swirls or chocolate-y chunks. I say don't - restrain yourself. Enjoy this one straight the first time around, and then decide.

I use a little Krups Ice Cream Maker, and it has served me well for years. Batch after creamy batch. David has some ice cream maker recommendations on his Amazon page as well.

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Vanilla Frozen Yogurt Recipe

Heidi notes: First off, remember it is important to use good-quality whole-milk yogurt. The version in David's book is Vanilla Frozen Yogurt. This time around I skipped out on the vanilla, opting for straight, bright white yogurt with the sweetness playing off the tang of the yogurt. I also used slightly less sugar than called for here, more like 2/3 cup - but you can go either way depending on what you like.

3 cups (720g) strained yogurt (see below) or Greek-style yogurt
3/4 cup (150g) sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)

Mix together the yogurt, sugar, and vanilla (if using). Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Refrigerate 1 hour.

Freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

To make 1 cup (240g) of strained yogurt, line a mesh strainer with a few layers of cheese cloth. then scrape 16 ounces or 2 cups (480g) of plain whole-milk yogurt into the cheesecloth. Gather the ends and fold them over the yogurt, then refrigerate for at least 6 hours. So, for the above recipe start with and strain 6 cups of yogurt.

Makes about 1 quart.

Prep time: 60 minutes

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whenever i get access to an ice cream maker, i plan on making this. in fact, i think i am going to try frozen shrikand, an indian saffron yogurt dessert. you take strained yogurt, add sugar, some saffron that has been soaked in a little milk, some cardamom powder, and some crushed up pistachios. i bet that would be awesome! i love shrikand and i bet this would be another great way to enjoy it.


Your recipe convinced me to buy an ice cream maker – weekend trips to Pinkberry are burning a hole through my wallet! Thanks so much!


I made it this weekend, and I say that this recipe is better than Pinkberry.


“Gorgeous – YUM – The Best!”
These were the reviews received when I set out the freshest batch of this frozen yogurt! I made a batch of nonfat organic yogurt (from the recipe highlighted on this site in June 2005), and imediately put the yogurt into the ice cream maker with mexican vanilla and raw sugar….30 minutes later, it was truly splendid. Cannot wait to try this with berries, lemons, nectarines this summer! Thank you Heidi for inspiring moms-who- are-beyond-exhausted-but-still-wish-to-serve-great-food.


I made this with 2 cups Greek yogurt (Fage); 1/4 cup DaVinci’s sugar-free banana syrup, 1/2 cup Splenda, and a teaspoon of coconut extract. It was fantastic!
I’m generally more a fan of frozen custard than frozen yogurt (don’t like the “tang,” actually) but this was really good and super simple in my Cuisinart ice cream maker.


I have a big tub of Trader Joe’s Greek Style Yogurt in my fridge. I have sugar. I have vanilla. I am so making this fro yo this weekend. Thank you!


Yipee! I have one of those KitchenAid Ice Cream attachments and it’s bomb. A little too bomb….delicious ice creams & sorbets…I had to give my waistline a break. It’s sitting patiently in my freezer and I think I’ll put it back to work! I am so excited to have a good yogurt recipe…and right as the weather is heating up. Thank you!!


I was so enthralled by your post, that I immediately went online and ordered a Krups Ice Cream maker – very similar to yours. And it JUST arrived last night at my doorstep! This weekend, most likely tomorrow, I’ll be making some frozen yogurt and some sorbet and I cannot wait!


This is good. you can do this without the ice cream maker.After it is strained and the sugar is added keep in a plastic/aluminium container in your freezer.After about 2 hrs remove and whip (while it is still semi frozen) for about 2 minutes and keep it again in the freezer for another 2 hours.Whipping this way for about 3 to 4 times makes it fluffy and soft at the same time frozen without the ice cream maker.


I use Panasonic BH-941P Ice Cream Maker. I love it because it’s small, and you don’t have to pre-freeze the bowl. You just fill the bowl with ingredients, snap on the lid (which has a battery operated stirring mechanism built in), turn it on, and place it in the freezer. You can make ice cream on a whim!


The fro-yo looks beautiful, and I am sure it’s much better than Pinkberry, perhaps even a rival to my personal favourite, Yogen Fruz. I don’t know if I’ll be able to resist mixing in some frozen raspberries when I make it.


Heyy!!! I just tried it with my hand-crank ice cream maker and it was WONDERFUL!!
A couple of revisions:
I only used a little over 2 cups yogurt.
So I ended up using a little over a 1/2 cup sweetener.
I used 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup agave syrup…sooo good!
And I omitted the vanilla for the ‘fresh tang’ that Hilary wrote about.
I ate a little plain and some more with fresh strawberries and I must say, after this experience I believe I’ll be making my own from now on! It’s so easy and 1,000 times more delicious than anything I can buy, most importantly because I made it myself!
ps. My version is healthier for a few reasons: agave syrup is a healthier sweetener than sugar because your body absorbs it slower…so it doesn’t spike your insulin levels (next time I’m using all agave) And goat’s milk is much better for you too, there’s next to no lactose in it, and it’s the easiest to digest, in fact it’s very close in composition to human’s milk. I prefer the taste too!
And pps. Don’t forget to keep the whey! Drink it with some stevia or agave, maybe some vanilla too…yummmm! And very hydrating and good for you as well!


OH… MY… WOW!!! Amazing!! As someone with a self-imposed ban on any less-than-super-premium ice creams, I was skeptical about how much I would like this recipe, but I figured, with only one hour’s time investment, I’d give it a try. Boy, am I glad I did! Fabulous texture, exceedingly creamy, and so refreshing! Perfect for a sticky-hot summer day! I used Greek-style yogurt and David’s recommended sugar and vanilla, but I can’t WAIT to try it again with add-ins. Oh, the possibilities!!


I find it hard to imagine you could give up ice cream forever with the Bi-Rite Creamery now open. I went there just this past March and man, that stuff is amazing. The salt caramel ice cream might be the best ice cream I’ve ever had. Then if you want creamier and less sweet, the Bombay ice creamery is right there, too. Impossible to really give up.
That said, that’s a pretty ringing endorsement of this frozen yogurt. Might motivate me to actually buy an ice cream maker (but what a novelty device; I’d use it maybe once every several months!)


Thanks so much for sharing the great recipe. I used Greek Gods greek yogurt with a bit less than 2/3 cup of sugar, the vanilla and about 1 T of honey.
It tastes delightful! So creamy, light and delicious. We added fresh strawberries and it was a big hit.


To “Always Write”… my parents live near a bloomingdales in Westchester, NY, and I had the frozen yogurt there for the first time a few weeks ago. It’s definitely the best frozen yogurt I’ve ever had, except maybe for this recipe, which I assume you’ve tried by now!
This was so simple and so good! I used FAGE greek yogurt (2% fat) and only 1/4 cup sugar, and in one batch I used a little bit of lemon juice to make a plain frozen yogurt that tasted an awful lot like the one at bloomies. Thanks for posting the recipe. In retrospect, it seems so obvious, but i never would have thought of it myself. I love it!


Another way to make ice cream/frozen yogurt without an ice cream maker is to rinse and recycle old coffee cans: one large can, and one smaller can.
Put your ingredients in the small can and seal it.
Place the small can into the large can, and fill in the larger can almost all the way with your salt and ice. Seal the larger can.
Find a friend (or your children) to sit on the floor with you and roll it back and forth to each other. It works quite well and is a great way to combine food with socializing 🙂


I made this last night with Stoneyfield Farms low fat yogurt(2 qts) and my old Donvier Icecream maker. It was just delicious with fresh strawberries. I had leftovers so we will see how hard it becomes after being in the freezer overnight. IF it is to hard I will thaw it a little in the frig. This is my new frozen dessert recipe for life!!


It’s good to hear that you can make a lower fat option than ice cream and still have a creamy and luscious result. I think this will be my next project.

Sarah Bell

Hi Heidi, thanks for your blog – its really lovely.
This yoghurt looks tempting yet simple, something I could attempt.
Do you mind telling me what sort of sugar should be used?
Is it ok to use artifical sweetener?


As if full fat Greek yogurt was not decadent enough… This concept is just over the top! I am already dreaming about drizzling it with honey and sprinkling it with lavender blossoms.


I just made a second batch of fro yo based on this recipe. The first time around I used fage 2 % and it was almost a little pasty. The second time around I used fage 0% and the yogurt was more fluid and airy! Definitely give it a try!


this is why I use yogurt so much in my plated desserts. when it’s wonderful it needs little gussying up!
this is such an excitable post. wondrous indeed.

shuna fish lydon

Stupid question about straining: when it’s all done, do you use the stuff inside the cheesecloth or the stuff outside of it?


i like whole-milk yogurt too~

YOYO's Food

I’m glad many of you’ve been enjoying the frozen yogurt and thanks to Heidi for sharing the recipe.
To those of you who’ve asked about reducing the fat in the recipe, I often make this with plain whole-milk yogurt which I don’t strain. Simply substitute equal quantities: 1 cup whole-milk yogurt per 1 cup strained yogurt.
In the book, I give instructions for making frozen yogurts both ways with plenty of fresh-fruit variations, including strawberry, peach, cherry, and berry.
The version Heidi made has a nice tangy yogurt flavor and is creamier than one made with unstrained yogurt. Low-fat yogurt can be used but the frozen yogurt will have a relatively firm texture once it’s deep-chilled in your freezer.
Happy churning!


I love the idea of starting with something simple and then deciding how to gussy it up. I should probably try my favorite yogurt in this recipe instead of always adding several different flavors.
Nae, I say try the saffron, then let us know how it turns out.
Ellie, I just made a rosewater, cardamom, and saffron frozen yogurt – it tastes great and looks outstanding (the recipe is on my blog).


“wonderfully tangy, not-too-sweet, creamy white cloud of perfect frozen deliciousness”
See, that is why I love your blog … That line is so … illustrative!! I am going to go out and buy an ice-cream maker just to make this recipe …
Thanks again Heidi
Michelle (Ottawa)


Wow, I have been looking for a simple recipe for frozen yogurt. I am wondering also if you could change some ingredients around to make it low fat????


Made it last night with Fage 2% and the vanilla, result was amazing, it got my roommate out of bed for more.


I am so happy to read this, for I just ordered an ice cream maker and “The Perfect Scoop”… every 5 minutes I’ve been checking the tracking and trying to guess when they will arrive.
I really want to try Greek yogurt, but I don’t think anyplace in my area sells it. I’ll have to check a couple of specialty stores.


I have also tasted frozen yogurt bliss which is even better than pinkberry. While I was in Toronto at Yogen Fruz, I tasted heaven.


Oh yeah Heidi, this is awesome!!
I cant wait to make this and top with mochi and Fruity Pebbles!! Yummy!


OK, I guess it’s time to chip the freezer burn off my ice cream maker canister, too! I love frozen yogurt, and this recipe looks delicious.


…and here i was, alternating between splurging on pinkberry & sticking whole containers of fage yoghurt in my freezer in an effort to save $.
thanks, heidi!
can’t wait to try this with simple, maybe with kiwi slices. however, i’m tempted to play around with extract flavors (in place of the vanilla). has anyone else experimented similarly?


This recipe is simple and sounds delicious like the taste i bet..
But i don’t have an ice-cream maker. so any other alternatives?
Heidi: In India yogurt is staple diet food..:) you must be knowing. One of the methods we use is preparing yogurt in this earthen pots…which gives equally thick and tasty YO. Put a little sugar and back in fridge and then whip it…Guess its simple version of Fro -YO. 🙂


i make this very often… you could also add freshly ground cinnamon and a teeny pinch of saffron.. also tastes great with plain wheat crackers. : )


Heidi – this is awesome, thanks. Had my first taste of pink berry not too long ago – I forwarded the recipe who might have the accoutrements necessary to execute the recipe!


You can’t use low fat to make the yogurt, but you could get away with 2% – that much I have done but I’ve never made into an ice cream. I have however, made this middle-eastern side dish called “lebanae” (leb-an-ay). It’s great with some sprinkled mint, olive oil and pita bread. This ice cream looks very rich and I can only image how awesome it tastes!


drooling. drooling. must buy ice cream maker. and david’s book.


I have easy access to Fage yogurt so this will be done immediately!


We just got rid of our seldom-used ice cream maker, but maybe I can come over for a scoop.

RookieMom Heather

We love the David!


I wrap my ice crema maker in a plastic bag and that helps prevent the freezer burn. ;>


I’m working my way through David’s book but haven’t tried this yet. It is on my list…it is sooo hard to decide which one to make. It is a scrumptious book.


You’re right yoghurt is much better than ice-cream. In Tuscany, there are many kiosks serving frozen yoghurt, usually they top it off with fresh seasonal fruit. And sometimes the frozen yoghurt is mixed up with blended fruits! Delcious!


finally! my friend and i love pinkberry but thought it was just too expensive and i have been searching all over for a good frozen yogurt recipe and here it is. i can’t wait to try it this weekend!


My goodness, that’s so simple … it’s … it’s … irresistable! I’m going to finally have to get that Ice Cream maker my Michael has been waxing nostalgic about. And just in time for the 80 degree weather!


I’m constantly jamming bags of frozen endamame down inside of my ice cream maker insert or rescuing it from the top shelf of the cupboard where my husband stashed it (because who knows when you’ll want to whip up a batch of ice cream–you have to be ready!).
And yet I rarely make it because ice cream’s a custard and you have to stir it over low heat for, like, you know, FOREVER. This recipe looks so easy and so elegantly simple, it might even rescue my ice cream maker from it’s status as the least loved small appliance in my kitchen.


Ever tried making soy milk ice-cream? or an alternative to milk?


Am racing right down to put my cylinder in the freezer and tomorrow it’s “Frozen Yogurt here I come!”
So simple, who’d of thought!


Ever since Bloomingdale’s in D.C. got rid of its 40 Carats restaurant in the 1980s, I’ve craved the frozen yogurt that’s still popular in NY and Miami, and I assumed it could be recreated this way if only I wasn’t too cheap to buy an ice cream maker. But you know… $50 for a Cuisinart is less than train fare to Manhattan. Thanks for the zetz 🙂

always write

Wonder if you could use lowfat…


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