Yoghurt Ice Cream

Yoghurt Ice Cream
Yoghurt Ice Cream recipe

This yoghurt ice cream is made with buttermilk instead of yoghurt. But before you leave to find another recipe which actually uses yoghurt, give yourself one minute and keep reading, for there are good reasons for doing so.

What we do in this recipe, is heating heavy cream with sugar and then adding buttermilk. Technically speaking, this is actually yoghurt, as yoghurt is made by heating milk and then adding a fermented or cultured product, like buttermilk which thickens the milk and gives it the distinctive sourness. The difference lies only in the fat content, for we need fat here. Because we are making ice cream. And without fat, ice cream is icy.

And here is the reason for not using yoghurt mixed with heavy cream, like most recipes do. The resulting ice cream mix is too thick; and when poured in the ice cream maker, it is more likely that the machine will very soon find it hard to revolve and thus, will stop churning.

This means that your final ice cream will be one that has not expanded to its fullest volume and is not properly aerated. Aeration is crucial for ice cream making, as incorporating air into the ice cream means that it has a pleasant mouth-feel, a lovely body and does not get icy in the freezer.

By using buttermilk we control the thickness of the ice cream mix. And so, we have an ice cream mix that is fluid enough to fully aerate, while thick enough to melt uniformly when eaten.

Although adding two egg yolks in the process would ensure that the ice cream’s creaminess is protected in the freezer, I decided not to do so, to retain the simplicity of original yoghurt ice cream recipes.

Yoghurt Ice Cream

You will need cultured buttermilk for this recipe. 

Special Equipment needed:

Ice Cream Machine


  1. Freeze your ice cream machine’s Removable Freezer Bowl at least 24 hours before the time you plan to churn the ice cream.
  2. Make the Ice Cream Mix 12 hours before the time you plan to churn the ice cream.
  3. Let the freshly churned ice cream sit in the freezer for 3-4 hours after churning, before you serve it.

This batch is for an ice cream maker of 1.5 liter/quart capacity.


( you can find more about the ingredients in the footnotes )

  • 400 ml cultured buttermilk ( about 13.5 oz.; 1 and 3/4 cups )
  • 500 ml heavy cream, around 35%-38% fat ( about 17 oz.; 2 cups and 2 Tbs. )
  • 180 gr raw cane demerara sugar (or regular white sugar, see footnotes) ( about 6.5 ounces; 1 cup )
  • 20 gr skimmed milk powder ( about 0.7 ounces ) (optional but highly recommended, see footnotes)
  • pinch of salt

Step 1 – Prepare the Ice Cream Mix

In a medium saucepan, put the heavy cream and skimmed milk powder (if using) and heat over medium heat, stirring with a whisk until the skimmed milk dissolves. Add the sugar and salt and heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves and the cream is hot and steamy. Do not let it boil. (If you do not use skimmed milk, put the sugar and salt in the heavy cream, from the beginning). Check the bottom of the pan, to ensure that the sugar has dissolved.

Put a mesh strainer over a large bowl and pour in the hot cream. Let it sit for 10-20 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer reads around 55°C (115°F). If you do not have a thermometer, check the temperature with your small finger -wash hands, please!- the temperature after 10 minutes. It should feel hot but comfortable enough to leave it inside for 10 second before it starts burning. Pour in the buttermilk. Stir with a wooden spoon to combine.

Let it sit for two hours at room temperature, during which time it will thicken. Do not worry about letting it at room temperature for so long, as the buttermilk contains lactic acid which prevents the growth of unwanted bacteria.

Step 2 – Cool the Ice Cream Mix

Put it in the fridge and leave it overnight, for 12 hours, and up to 3 days.

Step 3 – Churn the Ice Cream

Prepare the ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Give the ice cream mix a good stir to homogenise it, as it will most likely have separated.

With the machine running, pour the chilled ice cream base through the canister and into the ice cream machine. Leave to churn until nice and fluffy.

Remove the machine from the container and place the container, covered with a lid, into the freezer. Leave for 3-4 hours for the ice cream to set properly, before serving or removing to another, sealable container and store.

Tip: if you are using a metal container to store the ice cream, put it in the freezer along with the ice cream maker, to freeze for 3-4 hours. This will prevent the ice cream from melting when you transfer the ice cream there from the ice cream bowl. If you put it in the freezer for less than one hour, it will not do the trick.

Storing the Yoghurt Ice Cream

This ice cream, like all artisanal ice creams, freezes hard in the long term.

As it does not contain egg yolks, it’s texture will most likely suffer more than custard-based ice creams, so you may prefer to eat it fresh, within 12 hours of making it.

However, if you wish to eat it later you have to soften it before serving. Remove from the freezer and put it in the refrigerator for half an hour. It will not have the scoopable, creamy texture it had when it was freshly churned, but the taste will still be amazing and only a thousand times better than any store bought ice cream.

Discard after one month of keeping in the freezer.

Ingredients notes:

Demerara sugar : is a variety of raw cane sugar and gives depth of flavour. You may use any kind of raw cane sugar you like, as long as it its light brown in colour. Regular white sugar works well too, although it doesn’t help in building flavour.

Powdered milk : helps ice cream expand in volume while churning, by creating better structure. There are many kinds of powdered milk on the market; regular skimmed milk powder works best, plus it can easily be found in most super markets. However, you may use whey powder, whole milk powder or any other powdered milk as long as it consists solely of milk powder (no sugar, flavour or anything else listed on the ingredients)

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