Homemade Yogurt

It's easier than you think to make your own Homemade Yogurt | The Baking Beauties
I never knew that yogurt was so easy to make. When I asked the question on The Baking Beauties Facebook Page, I received a number of replies, and none of them said “This is difficult, and expensive, so don’t even try it”. Instead, they were all similar, a very simple recipe & instructions. My kids & I eat quite a bit of yogurt, and we were paying about $10 per week for our yogurt. Making yogurt this way, is much, much cheaper. It does require you to be at home the day you make it, as it needs some tending to [Not anymore! See the Notes below for updated method], but not that you’d have to stand there and watch it for hour after hour. So, with the experiences that I’ve had (I’ve made a few batches), I think that as long as I have time to fit it in, we will definitely be making our own yogurt from now on. The flavour and texture are fantastic, it’s cheap, the kids love it, it’s very versatile, and cheap. Did I mention that it’s cheap? :)

This recipe is a compilation of all the recipes that I received on Facebook, and from information I gleaned while looking around at other yogurt recipes. Feel free to play around with it, and make it work for your family.

Homemade Yogurt
Things you will need (besides food items): microwave safe bowl, candy thermometer, heating pad, cookie sheet, 2 large bath towels.
  • 2L (8 cups) 3% milk (I've read that you can use any milk...just the end result may vary depending on the milk used)
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt with live active bacteria (very important, this is your starter)
  • 1/2 cup skim milk powder
  • 4-5 tablespoons liquid honey (optional)
  • 2 vanilla beans, split & scraped (optional, I made mine with a hint of vanilla)
  1. Pour your milk in a large microwave safe bowl (I used a Corning Ware casserole dish)
  2. Microwave on high for 10-12 minutes, stir occasionally. Using a candy thermometer to check the temperature, microwave the milk until it reaches 180 degrees F.
  3. Allow the milk to cool on the counter until it has dropped to 110 degrees F. When the milk is 110 degrees F, add the plain yogurt (your starter), powdered milk, and honey and vanilla bean, if you are using.
  4. Now you can either ladle your yogurt into glass jars, or just cover the casserole dish. (if using jars, just put plastic wrap over the top, not the lids)
  5. Place your heating pad on a counter, out of the way. Place the cookie sheet on top of the heating pad. Now place your yogurt container(s) on the cookie sheet. Wrap up in the large bath towels, you want to keep them warm. Turn the heating pad onto low heat (if you have a heating pad that has auto-shut off, you will have to keep checking it, and turning it back on).
  6. Allow yogurt to sit, undisturbed, for 6-7 hours. The longer your yogurt sits, the tangier & thicker it will be. We did not want too much tang, and found 6-7 hours worked well for us.
  7. Place yogurt in the fridge, to cool overnight. The next morning, you can blot the top with paper towels or a clean towel to remove some of the whey, if you want. After cooling overnight, I used a large spoon to transfer my yogurt to plastic containers.
  8. Serve as is, or top with fruit, gluten-free granola, honey, etc.
Update February 6, 2010
  1. The easier Method. After making this yogurt on and off for the past year, I have seen a few different methods of making yogurt, and I have found a new favorite! Instead of placing the yogurt on a heating pad to keep it warm, I place the towel-wrapped casserole dish into a slightly warm oven (I turn my oven on to 100° for 5 minutes, and then turn it off) with the oven light on. Be sure the towel is not touching the oven light, we do not want to start a fire in your oven. Now just leave it for 10-12 hours, and the end result is a beautiful, thick, tangy yogurt that did not require any of your attention. I like to microwave the milk about an hour before bedtime since it takes about one hour for the mixture to cool down to 110°. At that time, I add the rest of the ingredients, wrap it up, put it in the oven and forget about it until the morning. This way my oven is always available during the day. I do like to refrigerate the yogurt before eating it though, so I do not eat it that morning. This is truly, the easiest way to make yogurt, and dare I say, fool proof too.
Update September 12, 2013
  1. We're still making yogurt on a regular basis, and when you make something this often, things just get easier and easier. Here is my routine today: I now use a batter bowl to make my yogurt in. The heavy glass bowl with a handle, spout and plastic cover are perfect for making yogurt in. I microwave 2 liters of milk for 17 minutes (in my microwave), or until it reaches 180 degrees F. I let the milk cool on the counter for 1 hour (or until the temp drops down to 110 degrees F. Add in 3/8 cup granulated sugar, about 1/2 cup yogurt from the last batch, 2-3 tablespoons vanilla, and about 1/2 cup dry milk powder (it works fine without this too, so that's optional). Place the lid on the batter bowl, wrap in a towel, and place in the just-warm oven. Now, forget about it. Well, not totally, you don't want to accidentally turn the oven on with it still in there. I leave it for about 16 hours. Overnight, and then until about lunch the next day. Place in the fridge and serve the next morning. Now, when you scoop out of the batter bowl, start by scooping from the spout area. When you do this, that area will be full of whey the next morning, and you can just simply pour it off. Do this every morning, and by the last few servings of yogurt, you have effortlessly made a greek-style yogurt. Enjoy!
- The longer you let your yogurt sit on the heating pad, the tangier & thicker your yogurt will be.
- We found that using 2% gave a better texture yogurt than skim milk did.
- Once you have added fruit to the yogurt, it will stop it from setting up properly. It is best to add the fruit right before serving and just stir it in.
- Homemade yogurt will keep well in the fridge for about 7-10 days.
- When you want to make another batch of yogurt, you can use 1/2 cup of the last batch that you made as your starter. I have read that you can use your homemade yogurt as the starter about 5 times, and then it is best to use a new store bought yogurt as the starter.



  1. Susan says

    This looks very appealing. Much cheaper than bought and probably healthier too. I'll have to give it a try…duh..wish I had kept my yogurt maker..but this seems to work well to..

  2. ~Chris says

    Had to laugh when I saw your post on the Footblogs Headlines. I just made my third batch in the past few weeks. Had never made it until then. No need to deal with the heating pad – just wrap it in a towel and throw it in your oven overnight. I was surprised how warm it still was when I unwrapped it! I read about a family who has been using the same batch/starter since the 1940s! Can't say I'll be making it THAT often, but interesting. :)


  3. Rhonda D. says

    We use fresh goat milk and love it. Have you tried making kefir? It's even easier than yogurt, and fizzy and delicious. I'll be happy to send you a start :)

  4. Barb says

    So good to have you back! I hope the time off refreshed you. Your site is the best and I'm glad you didn't let that nasty post stop you. Love those white chocolate cranberry cookies!

  5. Eliana says

    Thanks so much for sharing this. We eat a ton of yogurt at my house too so this is going to come in really come in handy.

  6. Kim-Cook it Allergy Free says

    I love making homemade yogurt!! We have made it using fresh goat milk many many times, like Rhonda. It is so so yummy and so much better than any store bought! I love your post and this fabulous recipe!! I love your method. And my favorite way to eat yogurt is when it is really really tangy! Yum!

  7. Jeanine says

    @Eliana Definitely worth making yourself. SO simple to do, and it costs at least 1/4 of what bought yogurt costs, and tastes way better (and has no other additives, which is nice).

  8. Carol@easytobeglutenfree says

    I made this a couple of days ago. I used whole milk and I strained it after it was chilled so that it is really thick. It's fantastic!! Thanks for the inspiration!

  9. Anonymous says

    ok…i have put off trying homemade yogurt because all the recipes i've tried loooked too complicated, but this looks easy and one reader's suggestion of wrapping in a towel and putting in oven is even more simple..going to have to try. we eat only goat milk/yogurt (which is crazy expensive) so i'm just wondering what i might substitute for the skim milk powder????? those of you who have made it with goat milk, what have you used??? Shelley Laspa (I'm choosing anonymous so i don't have to sign up for an account)…

  10. Jan says

    You don't need to wrap a towel. Just turn the oven light on and leave it in there. That's what I do. Have been making yogurt at home for the past three years this way.

  11. Carley says

    Will this work with Soy milk… I need something lactose free? Is there another way to heat without a heating pad? I don't have one.

  12. Holly says

    Have you ever made frozen yogurt from your homemade? I love the tart frozen yogurt at all those froyo places, but I hate the price, and sometimes, I want it now! Thanks for any help.

  13. Jeanine - The Baking Beauties says

    @Carley, Carley, I've heard that it works well with many kinds of milk, I'm just not sure what you'd use for your starter then. You can make it in a slowcooker on warm, or even just put it in the oven with just the oven light on. I wonder if just putting it outside on a warm day wouldn't work well. Never tried that though.

  14. Jeanine - The Baking Beauties says

    @Holly, Holly, I haven't tried it, but I don't see why it wouldn't work! I'll give a frozen yogurt a try later this summer, and let you know how it worked. :)

  15. Gina D. says

    Making your own yogurt is so easy, and it is great to be able to make it the way YOU and your family like it. I always find the store bought to be too sweet, so I use a little less sugar in mine on the final mix. I’ve also made it with only powdered milk, made up following the package directions. I use my Crockpot to make my yogurt. Just do an internet search for the directions. They are all about the same. I’m going to attempt to make it this week with Almond milk. We will see how that turns out. Thanks for all your great recipes and tips! : )

  16. Dorothy says

    Just want to clarify something for myself. Do you leave the oven on low heat for the whole 10-12 hours? Or just heat it up, then turn it off?

  17. Stacey says

    I have never used skim milk powder in my homemade yogurt. Have you tried to make it without? I plan on making yogurt tomorrow in my slow cooker.

  18. says

    Well Jeanine, you smart little cookie, I’m intrigued! I’ve been making yogurt in the crockpot every week for quite awhile now and love it, but I’m going to try your use of the microwave to save some time!
    Love your tip on scooping from the spout and pouring off the whey. That will save me time too. I’ve been straining my yogurt (and it’s kind of a pain) then I save my whey and mix it into homemade mayo and baked goods.
    I warm my oven to 110, turn off, and then keep the oven light on while the yogurt incubates. I leave my yogurt in the oven for 18-24 hours.
    Thanks so much! Ali

    • says

      Thanks, Ali! I found that when I strained it, I ended up losing quite a bit of good yogurt (on the cloth from straining it), or I’d end up with some that lost a lot of whey and was REALLY thick, while some areas were still a little runny.This way it’s no fuss, no mess. :)

  19. Dave says

    Been using the oven method for years and it works perfectly.

    I heat the milk with a Nuwave PIC induction plate which gives far better control over the temperature with no risk of burning and then cool in an ice bath for speed.

    Oven on for a couple of minutes to heat it up and then leave the light on to maintain the temperature.

    Usually start it about 10pm, that way it’s ready by 6am the next morning. I’ve not really experimented above 8 hours but seeing some of you are letting it go for a lot longer than this I might give longer incubation a try on my next batch.

    Once incubated I refrigerate and in the evening transfer to a strainer. I wanted something that would easily accommodate 2-3 quarts or more so I made my own strainer from a large flat bottomed stainless bowl with a load of 1/8″ holes drilled in the bottom. I place a coffee filter paper over the holes and pour in the yoghurt. Straining through the filter paper is very slow but allows you to pick it off at whatever consistency you want without the risk of over or under straining. 24hrs gives a nice thick consistency, 36hrs for Greek and 48hrs or more for cheese. The strained yoghurt falls cleanly off the filter paper with no wastage.

    I often read that the starter should be replaced every few batches. This is simply not true, my current yoghurt is the offspring of a starter I bought over a year ago. I think the key is that it needs to be fresh so you need to be making a batch every week. If I know I’m not going to be able to keep to this routine e.g. vacation I make sure I freeze some freshly made starter for use on my return.

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