Vanilla Frozen Yogurt

Homemade vanilla frozen yogurt is a perfect summer treat. It is lighter than ice cream but still has all the creamy goodness and delicious vanilla bean flavor!

Vanilla Frozen Yogurt | #yogurt #recipe

Whoa, how is the summer almost over?  Some of my blogging friends have already started posting pumpkin recipes!  I’m not complaining – pumpkin is my second love (after peanut butter) and I bake with it year round.  But I have so many summer recipes I still want to make before the summer ends.   Things with corn and tomatoes and berries and peaches and zucchini… I have a lot of baking to do between now and Sept 1 :)

So since I’m not quite ready to embrace the pumpkin, today I have a perfect summer recipe for you – Vanilla Frozen Yogurt!

Vanilla Frozen Yogurt | #yogurt #recipe

Vanilla Frozen Yogurt | #yogurt #recipe

As I mentioned in this post, I don’t have an ice cream maker. I live in a one-bedroom apartment in NYC so we have very limited storage space. I made room for a Kitchen-Aid Mixer (necessity!) but there is just no room for an ice cream maker (or a blender, or a food processor, or a salad spinner, or a stock pot…the list could keep going forever). So when I visit my parents in St. Louis, I love to make things that I can’t make chez moi – like ice cream! Or in this case, frozen yogurt.

Vanilla Frozen Yogurt | #yogurt #recipe

My sister and I attempted frozen yogurt without a recipe last summer, and it failed miserably.  Ok it wasn’t the worst flop – it still tasted like delicious sweet raspberry yogurt, but it didn’t freeze at all! So this time around, I followed a recipe from the geniuses at Cook’s Illustrated – and of course it worked perfectly! Their secret is to use gelatin – it helps everything set up very nicely. This froze to the absolute perfect consistency. It was so thick and creamy!

I ate some of the yogurt when it was freshly churned – the texture was exactly like soft serve frozen yogurt!  But unfortunately that consistency doesn’t photograph well .  It just looked like a giant soft blob in a bowl, definitely not Pinterest-worthy!  So I froze the yogurt, that way I was able to get nice pretty scoops!

Vanilla Frozen Yogurt | #yogurt #recipe

Vanilla Frozen Yogurt | #yogurt #recipe

The flavor of this vanilla frozen yogurt is excellent. You get a hint of yogurt tang and the perfect amount of sweetness. And then there is the vanilla! I am a vanilla lover. Some people think vanilla is boring but not me – I can’t get enough vanilla flavor. I added some vanilla extract in addition to the bean to add even more vanilla goodness to my frozen yogurt.

Vanilla frozen yogurt is the perfect summer treat. It is much lighter than ice cream, but is still super creamy and tastes decadent. It is delicious topped with berries, on a slice of cake, on top of a warm brownie…the options are endless for this delicious summer treat!

Vanilla Frozen Yogurt | #yogurt #recipe

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Vanilla Frozen Yogurt

Vanilla Frozen Yogurt

Homemade vanilla frozen yogurt is a perfect summer treat. It is lighter than ice cream but still has all the creamy goodness and delicious vanilla bean flavor!


  • 2 cups plain low-fat yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons gelatin (unflavored)
  • 1 3/4 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup granulated sugar, minus 3 tablespoons
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)


  1. Set a fine-mesh strainer over a glass measuring cup. Place yogurt in in strainer, and place everything in the refrigerator. Let the yogurt drain 1 - 2 hours, until it releases 1/2 cup liquid.
  2. Sprinkle gelatin over 1/4 cup of the milk in a small bowl. Stir frequently until gelatin swells, about 10 minutes.
  3. While the gelatin is thickening, heat remaining 1 1/2 cups milk, sugar, and vanilla bean in small saucepan, stirring occasionally to dissolve sugar. Remove pan from heat and remove vanilla bean.
  4. Add gelatin to milk mixture, stirring until completely dissolved. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean and whisk into milk mixture. Discard vanilla bean. Whisk in vanilla extract (if using). Cool the mixture to room temperature, then mix with drained yogurt.
  5. Refrigerate mixture until it cools to at least 40 degrees. Pour into canister of an ice cream machine, and churn until frozen. Eat as soft frozen yogurt, or let it harden in the freezer in a sealed container.


Recipe from Cook's Illustrated

If you’re looking for ice cream, here are some great ones.

No-Churn Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream
No-Churn Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream |

Cinnamon Ice Cream
Cinnamon Ice Cream |

If you have a craving for vanilla beans now, try this Vanilla Bean Ricotta Cheesecake Cake
Vanilla Bean Ricotta Cheesecake Cake |

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  1. says

    This frozen yogurt looks awesome, Cate! I’ve started seeing people break out the canned pumpkin too, but I’m just not ready for it yet. This frozen yogurt is where it’s at! Pass me a spoon! :)

  2. says

    I can’t believe summer’s almost over! I will miss the frozen dessert part of summer, but I do love pumpkin, so I kind of enjoy fall eats. This looks like a great way to cap off the season!

  3. says

    I also live in a small apartment so I can totally relate to you about having a lack of space to store kitchen gadgets. Anyway, I never realized frozen yogurt was so easy to make! This looks so refreshing and is perfect to enjoy in the warm summer weather!

  4. says

    This sounds so tasty! I’m sad I don’t have an ice cream maker. :( I did hear the attachment for the Kitchen Aid stand mixer is pretty awesome. Maybe someday! Enjoy the rest of summer, it’s still here until at least the end of the month, and then we can get serious about pumpkin. :)

    • says

      Thanks, Katie! Maybe next summer I’ll take the plunge and get the Kitchen Aid attachment. Until then, I’ll have to make ice cream in St. Louis!

  5. says

    I feel ya girl with the love and admiration for pumpkin season, but I want to get through Summer first lol! We’re always living so far ahead of ourselves. This vanilla frozen yogurt looks delightful especially with the beads of vanilla running through it..I would put fresh fruit on it YUMMY!! I never ever make homemade ice cream :( I need a darn ice cream maker! I need to invest!! Thanks lovely!

  6. says

    OMG ME TOO! I have so many summer things I still want to try! Ice cream and crumbles and pies and now this absolutely amazing froyo — you’ve just reminded me that frozen yogurt has been on my to-make list forever and ever. Yours looks incredible. I love the gelatin trick for such a dreamy consistency (and those vanilla flecks get me every time). I’m veto-ing September 1st until I can try this!

  7. says

    I know what you mean about not having many kitchen gadgets, Cate! I’m using my mother-in-law’s kitchen at the moment and all I have is a stick blender that my husband found in his cupboard. No food processor, mixer, ice cream maker etc. etc. :-(
    I love that you combined yoghurt with vanilla bean here. It looks very professional!

  8. says

    I can’t believe how fast this summer is going by too! I am still in the summer dessert mode and love this frozen yogurt! It looks gorgeous with the vanilla bean specks!


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