Cherry Frozen Yogurt

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Every year about this time my neighbor Pat comes by with a bag of fresh Bing cherries from her tree and a plea to come pick more before the birds get them. That’s the thing about cherry season, the trees seem to ripen all at once and for a week or two you have bucketloads.

This spring the season is kind of funky. The cherries have come late, and with all the rain, they’re not lasting long. Last week I made cherry ice cream and this week cherry frozen yogurt.

What I love about the frozen yogurt is that the yogurt is naturally tart. Bing cherries are sweet and they need something tart to intensify their flavor (which is why you typically use sour cherries for cherry pie). Also frozen yogurt is a lot easier to make than custard-based ice creams, but can still be quite creamy and smooth.

This frozen yogurt will last several days in the freezer without getting too hard (which happens often with homemade ice creams).

Cherry Frozen Yogurt

Cherry Frozen Yogurt Recipe

  • Yield: Makes a little more than 1 quart

A cherry pitter comes in handy when making dishes with fresh cherries. You can also use a paring knife to cut out the pit.


  • 3 cups pitted fresh cherries
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup sugar (more or less depending on how sweet the cherries and how sweet you want your frozen yogurt to be)
  • 1/4 cup whole milk (can substitute half-and-half or cream for creamier version)
  • 1 1/2 cups full fat yogurt (if you are using non or low-fat yogurt, add 2 Tbsp heavy cream)
  • 2 Tbsp almond liqueuer such as Amaretto (optional)


1 Place the pitted cherries, lemon juice, and sugar in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved. While the mixture is heating, use a potato masher to mash up the berries in the pot which will release some of their moisture. When all of the sugar has dissolved, remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes. Place contents in a blender and pulse until smooth.

2 Mix cherry purée, milk, and yogurt together in a bowl. Chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour; the longer the mixture chills the better (can chill overnight).

3 Right before processing in an ice cream maker, add the almond liqueur if using. The alcohol in the liqueur will help keep the frozen yogurt smooth, but it is not necessary. Process the mixture in your ice cream maker for 25 minutes.

You can eat it right away (it will be rather soft) or put it in the freezer for a few hours to harden up a bit.

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How to make ice cream without an ice cream maker - tips from David Lebovitz

Coconut Pinkcherry Yogurt from Deb of Smitten Kitchen

No recipe cherry jam - from David Lebovitz (no recipe because it's that easy)

Showing 4 of 13 Comments

  • Adria

    Just made this this afternoon and it was wonderful for dessert tonight. The kids loved it and I don’t think I’ve had such creamy homemade ice cream/frozen yogurt before. So good, thanks for the recipe. (I only had non-fat yogurt in the house, but also heavy cream so I just replaced the milk with the heavy cream.) Have you tried a similar recipe with other fresh fruit? I’m tempted to try a few.

  • Amanda

    Very delicious!

  • Kirstin

    We made this recipe today but aren’t sure what kind of cherries we were using…cherries don’t grow here, so we bought whatever variety the grocery store sold us. :D

    The consistency of the frozen yogurt turned out perfectly, but it was very very sweet. Can we lessen the amount of sugar added, or will that change the properties of the end product?

    I haven’t tried it with less sugar, but I’m guessing that it will turn out fine. ~Elise

  • Ronnie

    Can I use skin/fat free milk in making frozen yogurt?

    Yes, but it will taste better if you use whole milk. Better yet use 1/4 cup of cream. ~Elise

  • Karen

    This is the third recipe I’ve tried from your site (mint julep ice cream and almond cookies previously, YUM!) Double YUM on this one! DH will not eat this, and I didn’t want to eat the whole tub myself, so I took it to work today as the “frozen treat of the day”. Everyone loved it. Not enough to go around. I will have to make more ;-) Will also try the blueberry. More, more, more frozen treat recipes, PLEASE!

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