Frozen yogurt chains, with their cheery decorating schemes and adorably peppy names, are all over the place now, but it's hard to find one that's really serving yogurt. What's sold under the name is often sugared up beyond all recognition, dispensed at the pull of a lever, and buried under so many toppings, you'd hardly know it's there to look at a cup of it. That may indeed be what you want now and then. But if you miss the days when fro-yo was something other than a garishly colored soft-serve sundae, your best bet is to take matters into your own hands. Luckily, with little more than an ice cream machine, yogurt, and just enough sugar for balance, it's easy to make the good stuff at home. You can add flavors to that formula, but we advise you not to go crazy—the yogurt should always be the star. Keep reading for our basic fro-yo recipe and six cooling, not-too-sweet variations, including mango lassi, orange Creamsicle, and white wine.
The Best (and Easiest) Frozen Yogurt
Our simplest, purest recipe for real frozen yogurt has a mere three ingredients: full-fat yogurt, sugar, and a pinch of salt. Mix them all together and churn and you'll get a creamy, tangy frozen treat, whose clean, fresh flavor will reset your taste buds if you've OD'ed on candy-coated concoctions.
Strawberry Frozen Yogurt
This fruity frozen yogurt uses equal parts fresh strawberry purée and yogurt. A lower-moisture Greek yogurt will help balance out the water added by the purée, though the mixture still churns up quite firm—letting it sit for 10 or 15 minutes at room temperature should bring it to a perfectly spoonable consistency.
Mango Lassi Frozen Yogurt
Full-fat yogurt and a purée of sweet ripe mangoes combine to make this refreshing, Indian-inspired variation. A little lime juice, lime zest, and salt to taste perk up the mixture—the base should have just a lick of saltiness to it. You can fancy it up by adding a dash of cardamom if you like.
Orange Creamsicle Frozen Yogurt
This boldly tangy frozen treat is our grown-up rendition of the ice cream truck classic. We flavor the base with fresh-squeezed orange juice, but mix in orange zest along with it for a more pronounced citrus flavor. The zest also emphasizes the orange's bittersweetness so the yogurt doesn't wind up tasting one-note.
Blackberry Brown Sugar Frozen Yogurt
Replacing plain white sugar with brown sugar gives this frozen yogurt a molasses-like depth, while a pinch of clove further highlights the dark flavors of the blackberry. The resulting fro-yo is fruity but rich and caramelly, with just a little spice.
White Wine Frozen Yogurt
Send the kids to bed—it's time for a dessert that only adults will truly appreciate. The rich Greek yogurt in our simple fro-yo base helps to bring out the floral flavors in white wine, and a little lemon juice adds acidity. Because there's a decent amount of sugar in the base, too, make sure the wine you choose is bone-dry.
Raspberry Campari Frozen Yogurt
Raspberries have a tart, bitter, citrusy bite that tends to get drowned out when they're added to dairy-rich frozen yogurt. Our solution? Add bittersweet Campari and orange zest, which bolster those subtler flavors in the berries. Plus, the alcohol in the Campari helps this yogurt freeze up extra soft.