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Homemade Frozen Yogurt with Sour Cherry Jam

Homemade Frozen Yogurt with Sour Cherry Jam

Bright and tangy homemade frozen yogurt swirled with a mouth-puckering tart cherry jam for a combination that is utter perfection.

Frozen yogurt is the perfect way to satisfy that ice cream craving without the guilt. But making it at home isn’t as simple as throwing some yogurt in the freezer. I daresay I’ve cracked the code to homemade frozen yogurt that’s creamy, not icy, made from whole milk yogurt, sweetened to perfection and swirled (or drizzled!) with a tart cherry jam.

Homemade Greek Frozen Yogurt swirled with Sour Cherry Jam

This recipe was inspired by a particularly memorable cup of Greek frozen yogurt we enjoyed in San Francisco that was drizzled with this amazing sour cherry sauce (the place is called Souvla, for those wondering). I devoured mine, relishing this unexpected combination, and lamenting the fact that I couldn’t get anything comparable at home.

So when I heard about DeLallo’s new Sour Cherry Spread, I knew I had to try to recreate the frozen yogurt at home. I realize it was meant to be paired with cheese, on a gourmet cheese board for example (it’d also be great in a grilled cheese!), but I couldn’t resist the siren call of something sweet.

I have to say, sour cherry is one of life’s greatest pleasures. It’s tart and sweet and resoundingly fruity, all at the same time. And it makes for a FABULOUS jam. If we lived in a place where sour cherries thrived, I’d be buying them by the flat and making all manner of cherry jams and jellies, pies and pastries.

Alas, fresh sour cherries are exceedingly rare in this part of the country, so I have to satisfy my craving with store-bought. But in this case, DeLallo’s sour cherry spread will more than satisfy. Dare I say it’s even better than what I could make myself, with a chunky, rustic texture and a perfect sweetness that tastes homemade. This stuff is totally spoon-worthy. And paired with a tart and creamy frozen yogurt? Simply divine.

Frozen Greek Yogurt with Sour Cherry Jam

You’d think for a recipe with so few ingredients it would’ve been an easy one. But in reality, because of the lack of butterfat in yogurt (compared to ice cream) it’s actually really hard to get a creamy smooth consistency in consumer ice cream machines. I had to test this one 4 (count em, FOUR!) times before it got to the point where I was satisfied with it.

I tested it with plain yogurt vs greek yogurt, gelatin vs guar gum, swirled cherry vs drizzled cherry. I battled summer heat and freezer frost and waning daylight. But it’s all worthwhile to be able to share this recipe with you now!

Greek Sour Cherry Frozen Yogurt Recipe

The secret to creamy frozen yogurt at home

After various tests, I have concluded that the best way to get a creamy consistency is a combination of lower protein yogurt, invert sugar, and a touch of guar gum.

Low-protein yogurt: for whatever reason, lower protein yogurts make for a better texture when frozen. If you can find a low protein Greek/strained yogurt (>10g/cup if possible) you’re in business! If you can’t, get some regular whole milk yogurt (unflavored/unsweetened), and then strain it overnight in a fine mesh sieve lined with cheesecloth.

Invert sugar: I used golden syrup, which has a very mild flavor that doesn’t overpower the yogurt. You can also use light corn syrup here too, which is more easily available in the States.

Sugar: The sugar also plays a big role in the consistency of the yogurt, so don’t try to reduce it. We found that 3/4 cup was the perfect amount of sweetness without becoming cloying. The tart yogurt flavor still shines through.

Guar gum: Guar gum binds to the water molecules in the yogurt, preventing them from becoming icy as they freeze. Just 1/8 teaspoon is all you need for an entire batch, and it makes a HUGE difference. You can easily find this ingredient online or in health food stores.

I also tried a batch using gelatin (as per Cook’s Illustrated’s recipe), and while it was better than nothing, it wasn’t as good as the guar gum. (I also didn’t like the idea of frozen yogurt not being vegetarian, I feel like that could be an undesired surprise for someone eating it).

Homemade Frozen Yogurt with Sour Cherry Swirl

Once you’ve got your yogurt base prepped and chilled, you have two options for incorporating the sour cherry jam.

Plain frozen yogurt with the sour cherry spread spooned on top.


Churned and layered with the sour cherry spread, so the resulting scoops feature luscious swirls of cherry with the smooth white of the yogurt.

Or better yet, how about both? The intense punch of flavor from the sour cherry is the perfect compliment to the flavor of the yogurt.

Homemade Fro-Yo is creamy and delicious! Sour Cherry Frozen Yogurt - Easy to make homemade recipe!

Now, I know fro-yo is usually soft serve, not scooped. And if you serve this immediately out of the ice cream machine, that’s exactly what you get. But I’m guessing you’re not going to eat the entire quart in one go, in which case storing the ice cream and retaining the soft serve consistency isn’t really an option. (One of these days some company will fill the hole in the market and come out with a home soft serve machine that’s actually practical. Hear that, appliance companies? Get on it!)

So we settle. But trust me when I say this scoopable fro-yo is by no means a compromise. Still, I recommend letting it sit at room temperature for 15 minutes or so to soften up slightly before scooping.

It’s simple and satisfying on its own, but swirled/drizzled with the sour cherry jam makes it all the more delightful.

Greek Frozen Yogurt with Sour Cherry

Homemade Frozen Yogurt with Sour Cherry Jam

Tart, tangy and creamy, this homemade frozen yogurt is divine on its own, but even moreso when swirled or drizzled with sour cherry jam.

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  • 2 1/2 cups (24 ounces) strained whole milk yogurt*
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon guar gum
  • pinch salt
  • 3 tablespoons golden syrup or light corn syrup
  • 1 jar DeLallo sour cherry spread


  1. If using regular yogurt, place in a cheesecloth-lined fine mesh sieve set over a large bowl. Let drain overnight in the refrigerator. Measure out 2 1/2 cups of yogurt.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together sugar, salt and guar gum until evenly incorporated. Add to yogurt along with golden syrup and whisk until smooth. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled (the colder this is when you start churning it, the better). It should measure under 40 degrees F if you test it with an instant read thermometer.
  3. Churn in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions until it reaches the consistency of soft serve.
  4. Transfer to a freeze safe container. If you plan to swirl with cherry, spread about 1/4 of the yogurt in the container, then spoon a few dollops of jam on top. Repeat with another layer of yogurt and a few more spoonfuls of jam. You’re really just layering the yogurt and the jam, which will appear ‘swirled’ once it is scooped. Don’t actually swirl the jam in as it’ll mix it too much.
  5. Freeze overnight or until completely firm. Let sit at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes before scooping and serving (drizzled with cherry jam as desired).

*Look for a whole milk Greek yogurt that is low in protein (>10g/serving) if you can find it. If not, get a good quality plain whole milk yogurt, and strain it overnight in the refrigerator in a cheesecloth-lined sieve set over a bowl. A 1 quart container of yogurt will yield about 2 1/2 cups of strained yogurt.

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  1. This ice cream is really very good for health and very easy to make.

  2. SF resident here! I have been searching high and low for the Souvla knock off frozen Greek yogurt recipe! Cannot wait to try this out. Question – which brand of “golden syrup” do you like? This ingredient is new to me. Are there any other acceptable substitutes – perhaps one with lower Glycemic Index? :-) Thinking something coconut/palm based?

    • Lyle’s is the only brand I’ve used, so I can’t speak to any others, nor any cane sugar alternatives (they don’t typically have same de-icing characteristics as other invert syrups, so your final product will not be quite the same). Corn syrup or glucose syrup is really the only direct substitution in this case.

  3. Can we use blackberries, strawberries or any other fruit in place of cherry??

    • Not fresh fruit, but another fruit jam or spread should work here. Lower sugar preserves will be icier when they freeze; the cooked sugar in preserves helps the fruit swirl stay soft even when frozen.

  4. Can’t wait to try this Frozen Yogurt with Sour Cherry Jam yummy dessert. You never fail to impress me with your yummy recipes whether it is desserts, soups, sausages, main dishes or chicken dishes.
    Keep spreading love via such amazing recipes:-)

  5. I like your website. No fluff, just helpful info. Great job.

  6. I can not read this through without salivating, I have to try it for sure

  7. Thanks for the lovely share. Bookmarked this page, let’s see if my family loves the recipe this weekend. Kudos!

  8. This is really very amazing for everyone

  9. The soft and sweet texture of yogurts have been one of the reasons why I love it. I really had bought lots of it from the market and when I saw this, it really helped, Lindsay and Taylor! Just exactly as how a yogurt bought from the market taste like, and to top it all, it has cherries on it too! I haven’t tried using other flavours of jam, but I will do it some time soon! Thanks for this!

  10. very good. Thank you for sharing

  11. This is really very good for health and very easy to make. Thanks for sharing this homemade recipe.

  12. very good. Thank you for sharing!………………………………..

  13. Thank you for a beautiful homemade frozen recipe. Made this tonight for my family and the kitchen smells divine. It tastes even better.

  14. Thank you for a beautiful homemade recipe. Made this tonight for my family and the kitchen smells divine. It tastes even better.

  15. thank you for doing so much work to get this right, I would never has guessed some of those ingredients and thank you for the tips to make it correctly, also even for the sour cherry!

  16. This looks SO good. I love frozen yogurt so I’m bookmarking this for when summer arrives in South Africa.

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