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a bowl of homemade vanilla yogurt with blackberries on top

Homemade Vanilla Yogurt

Four ingredients, no fancy equipment. Easily prepare a thick homemade vanilla yogurt for a fraction of the price you’ll pay at the grocery store.


  • 8 cups whole milk (1/2 gallon)
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons vanilla
  • 1 single serving cup of all-natural vanilla yogurt


  1. Whisk together the milk, sugar, and vanilla in a stockpot.
  2. Insert thermometer and heat to 180 degrees (F), stirring frequently.
  3. Lower the heat and suspend the temperature at 180 for 20 minutes. This is the secret to thick yogurt! Remove the pot from the heat.
  4. Set your yogurt cup out to allow it to warm up a bit.
  5. Walk away and allow it to cool down to 110 degrees (F). Any warmer and you’ll kill the yogurt cultures, any cooler and they won’t activate.
  6. When you have reached to target temperature, give your yogurt in the cup a good stirring, then whisk it into the milk, stirring vigorously.
  7. Cover the pot with a lid. Wrap the pot up in the blanket to insulate and set it aside in a place where it won’t be disturbed for most of the day.
  8. Resist the temptation to peek in on your yogurt for at least 6 hours. If you like your yogurt a bit more tangy, let it sit even longer. The longer is sits, the tangier it gets.
  9. Ladle the finished product into your containers and chill completely prior to serving.
  10. If the yogurt still isn’t thick enough to your liking- perhaps you like Greek yogurt- you could always line a colander with a coffee filter and strain out some whey, but before you decide, remember it will thicken significantly after chilling, so maybe wait until your second batch.



  • I use a Dannon yogurt cup- I’ve tried other brands including Stoneyfield and Dannon’s my favorite. An accidental Greek yogurt made for the best culture- super thick- but it was full of garbage like maltodextrin. If I could find an all natural one, I would definitely use it.


  • Author: Reformation Acres