Homemade Vanilla yogurt

I jarred a little bit of my homemade jam and put yogurt on top, so Mom could take it to work like a parfait!

You can make your own yogurt too! It only takes about 20 mins hands-on!

For Mother’s Day my Mom loves yogurt, so after I made this she eats it every day for breakfast!

I love yogurt and I was so excited to find out how easy this was. All you need is some commercial yogurt and milk.

I’ve been eating this with homemade granola and strawberry jam.. So delish!



• 1/2 gallon milk – whole or 2% are best, but skim can also be used
• 1/2 cup commercial yogurt – be sure that the yogurt contains active cultures

  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract


• a sauce pan or dutch oven with a lid – large enough to hold 1/2 gallon of milk with a few inches of head room
• spatula
• thermometer – a candy thermometer that clips on the side of the pan is best, but an instant read thermometer is also fine
• small bowl
• whisk


1. Heat the Milk - In your saucepan or dutch oven, heat the milk to right below boiling, 200°F. Stir the milk gently as it heats to make sure the bottom doesn’t scorch and the milk doesn’t boil over. Add in the vanilla extract.

2. Cool the Milk - Let the milk cool until it is just hot to the touch, 112°F – 115°F. About 20 minutes.

3. Inoculate the Milk - Pour about a cup of the warm milk into a small bowl and whisk it with the yogurt. Once it’s smooth, whisk this back into the pan of milk.

4. Incubate the Yogurt - Now comes the long wait period where the milk actually transforms into yogurt. The trick is keeping the milk around 110°F until it has set. I pour the yogurt into a cast iron pot and cover it, then wrap it with a towel. Place it in the oven with the door closed and turned off and leave it for 8 hours.

(I usually make it at night after dinner and leave it until morning.)

5. Strain the yogurt- Take the pot out of the oven and pour the yogurt into a container set over a regular strainer. You’ll find that besides the whey (yellowish liquid that goes through the strainer) there will be thinner yogurt that strains too. After an hour of the initial straining, put the thickened yogurt that didn’t go through the strainer in a storage container and put it in the fridge. Then wet a paper towel and set it in the strainer and re-strain the whey mixture to get a little more yogurt.

Mine has gotten so thick, it looks like frozen yogurt!

7 thoughts on “Homemade Vanilla yogurt

    • I’ve made mine and stored it in the fridge for up to a week and a half. This doesn’t make a huge batch though so if you eat some every day you should use it up before then. With most dairy foods, look and smell are important here, but if you want a number I’d say 2 weeks max.

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