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How to Make Yogurt - This is the best yogurt recipe I have found AND you don’t need any special equipment or thermometers.

How to Make Yogurt (Bold Baking Basics)

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Hi Bold Bakers!

I’m going to show you how to make Yogurt at home without any special equipment or thermometers. There are a few simple steps to follow and once you do then you are on your way to delicious homemade Yogurt. Ok, let’s get started…

Heat the milk low and slow:  

This is called scalding the milk.  You want to bring your milk to a simmer over a low and controlled heat. It takes time, roughly 20 minutes. You will know when it is ready because it will have formed a skin and the bubbles will be trying to come up to the surface. Be patient as it is an important step. 

Let it cool down to the blood temperature:

You can test by placing your finger in there and if you can’t feel the milk around your finger then it is at blood temperature. Next step is to stir in some yogurt.

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Wait, I need Yogurt to make Yogurt?

Now I know what you are thinking, ”I don’t have yogurt, that’s why I’m making it.” With all the yogurt making you need to add a yogurt starter to make it “grow.” Yogurt is a living thing and you need to feed it to help it grow, just like bread. If you don’t have access to yogurt you can buy an inexpensive Yogurt starter online.

Wrap it up warm:

Here you are creating a little bed for your yogurt to hang out in for the next 14 hours. The more snug he is, the better and thicker your yogurt. Remember yogurt is a live culture so as a living thing he likes to be warm and comfy, just like bread.

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Adding flavor:

Once cold you can flavor your yogurt with honey, sweetener, vanilla or fruit. Keep in the fridge for 3 weeks.

When you make this yogurt, try it with my Homemade Granola or Microwave Granola.

5.0 from 3 reviews
How to Make Yogurt
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 2 cups
  • 2 cups (16oz / 500ml) Whole milk*
  • 2 tablespoons plain yogurt OR Yogurt starter
  1. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, over low heat bring the milk to a simmer. It will take around 15-20 minutes. The freshest milk will yield you better yogurt.
  2. Once it starts to bubble turn off the heat and set aside. You notice a skin has formed on your milk, that is normal.
  3. Let it cool down to the blood temperature. You can test by place your finger in there and if you can’t feel the milk around your finger then it is at blood temperature.
  4. Once cooled whisk in the yogurt or Yogurt starter. Pour into a sterilized jar and tightly close the lid. Note: You can sterilize your jars by placing some water in them and popping them into the microwave until the water steams.
  5. Line a deep bowl with a thick tea towel and place in the jar of yogurt. Wrap the jar up well in the towel and let it sit out in a warm part of your kitchen for 14-18 hours. (I use two tea towels to keep the yogurt warm and snug. Essentially you are creating an incubator for it to set)
  6. After this time, pop the jar in the fridge and let it get cold, roughly 2-3 hours. Once chilled your yogurt will be firm and thick in texture. (the thickness can vary. If yours did not thicken double check your steps and timing )
  7. At this point you can add sugar, sweetener, honey, fruit and vanilla.
  8. Keep in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.
You can make Yogurt using dairy free milk like nut, soy and coconut.



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Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I’m passionate about sharing my years of experience to show you how to make game-changing baking recipes with over-the-top results! Join more than 1 Million other Bold Bakers in the community for new video recipes every week!

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  1. Dan on October 5, 2017 at 9:27 am


    I would love to try your yogourt recepe but I have 2 questions for you:

    Is whole milk 3,25% fat milk? (where I live it is the fater you can get)
    If I want to make by exemple coconut yogourt may I infuse some coconut pieces into my milk while heating it up?
    I aslo love citrus yogourt but I guess that if I put some zest in it, the acidity will turn the milk into cheese?

    Sorry for my bad english, hoping that you will still get my questions.
    Thank you very much 🙂

    • Gemma Stafford on October 6, 2017 at 2:42 am

      Hi Dan,
      Yes, full fat milk is about 3.5% fat content at its’ highest.
      If you wish you can add shredded coconut to your yogurt when it is finished, this is a lovely thing!
      Adding the zest of a lemon/lime will give you the flavor, without curdling the mix.
      Straining the yogurt, through a cheesecloth, sterilized fine kitchen cloth, in a sieve, over a bowl, in the fridge, overnight, will give you a thick, ‘Greek’ yogurt, so lots you can do!
      you can use the whey/water as a marinade too,
      Gemma 🙂

      • Dan on October 6, 2017 at 5:29 am

        Thank you.
        I’ll give it a try

      • Brunella Brunet on January 9, 2018 at 4:40 pm

        you can also make yogurt using the whey. 2 tablespoons per quart.

      • Maria on January 9, 2018 at 8:27 pm

        Hi! Gemma,

        can I make yogurt using evaporated milk?

        P.S. love your recipes ❤️

        • Gemma Stafford on January 10, 2018 at 8:03 pm

          Hi Maria,

          no unfortunately not for this one.

          Glad you like my recipes 🙂

          • Maria on January 14, 2018 at 7:57 am

            hi Gemma,

            thanks for replying 🙂

    • Maureen on October 14, 2017 at 10:14 pm

      I tried this with Macadamia nut milk but it didn’t set. I’m sure it was something I did wrong. I used almond milk yogurt as my yogurt part. I will try with almond milk and see if that works better.

  2. Paradise Lilly on September 26, 2017 at 3:33 pm

    Hi Gemma, I have tried your recipe of Home made yogurt and every single time it turns out great, I’ve also tried it with lactose free milk and it still turned out good! Thanks for your time and efforts and sharing your experience XXX

    • Gemma Stafford on September 27, 2017 at 1:05 am

      Good! I am really happy to hear this.
      If you strain this you will have a ‘Greek’ thick yogurt, great for frozen yogurts and desserts. Good job!
      Gemma 🙂

  3. Lovely Queen on September 4, 2017 at 2:09 am

    Hi Gemma just wondering if i can use plastic jar? I have two glass jars but it’s big and the only small jar i have is made from plastic

    • Gemma Stafford on September 4, 2017 at 2:32 am

      Hi there,
      Yes, but do ensure that it is possible to sterilize it, that is really what matters,
      Gemma 🙂

      • Lovely Queen on September 5, 2017 at 12:14 am

        Thanks Gemma

        One more question, my starter say to use it (1 sachet) for 5 liter but the problem is i don’t have that much milk and don’t want to make that much for the first time, any suggestion?

        • Gemma Stafford on September 5, 2017 at 1:45 am

          Hi there,
          What weight is in the sachet? You can divide it down to match what you have, but you may find if the amount of milk you have available is too little the starter may not work so well. Give it a try though, it is fun to do!
          Gemma 🙂

          • Lovely Queen on September 5, 2017 at 1:49 am

            2 gr per sachet

  4. Cecilia on August 26, 2017 at 7:20 am

    Me and my friends are totally going to do this recipe for our science project, but I wonder, what kind of yogurt should we use as a starter?

    Btw, love your recipes!

    • Gemma Stafford on August 27, 2017 at 3:24 am

      Hi Cecilia,
      Great idea, and you can eat the results!
      Always use the best ingredients you can afford/find.
      For this look for a natural, organic yogurt, usually live/active for best results.
      If you can find a Greek one, or one labeled ‘strained’ it will not have extra ingredient to thicken it and will be perfect. to make your own ‘Greek’ style yogurt you can strain the one you make, this will reduce the water content and produce a thick natural yogurt. you do this through a sieve, lined with a sterilized cloth, over a bowl in the fridge, for about 8 hours.
      I fell top marks coming on!!
      Gemma 🙂

  5. Eli on July 10, 2017 at 5:19 am

    hi Gemma,
    should the yogurt must be a bio yogurt (i.e with active cultures) or I can use any plain yogurt?

    • Gemma Stafford on July 10, 2017 at 7:07 am

      Hi Eli,
      A good live active yogurt, usually organic will be best. The better the starter the better the result. then your own yogurt will be the starter for the next batch. good luck with this,
      Gemma 🙂

  6. Mom on June 27, 2017 at 12:09 pm

    Mom is how to make a yogurt

  7. Mee Mee on June 17, 2017 at 2:17 am

    Hi Gemma,
    Can I use sweetened yogurt for this recipe?

    • Gemma Stafford on June 19, 2017 at 12:00 pm

      Hi there Mee Mee,
      NO! I would not suggest this. You can add sweeteners, fruits etc to the finished yogurt, but you would not use it as a starter.
      Make the following batches from your own one, you can get this to go on for a really long time,
      Gemma 🙂

  8. Anggi on June 2, 2017 at 2:58 am

    Hello gemma, I’ve seen a lot of your amazing recipes. And Im interested to try this recipe. I tried it at 12.30 pm and now is at 5 pm. Im so curious about the yogurt, because i made it with uht milk. I try to check the yogurt, and its still like milk. Is it working ?? Or it is totally failed ?? If it isnt working , can i do something with that milk.

    • Gemma Stafford on June 3, 2017 at 3:04 am

      Hi there Anggi,
      You should be able to make yogurt with UHT milk, it is highly pasteurized but can still be inoculated with the bacteria.
      By now you may have found this out! I would prefer to use whole dairy fresh milk, organic, raw or pasteurized, it will have a better flavor, but the UHT should work for you.
      What did you use as a starter? this may be the problem,
      Gemma 🙂

  9. Rahila on May 17, 2017 at 4:25 am

    Hello gemma ! I love your recipes. Can we make frozen yogurt with this home made yogurt?

    • Gemma Stafford on May 19, 2017 at 3:41 pm

      Hi Rahila,

      Yes you can :). I’m glad you like my recipes. Good luck with your frozen yogurt.


  10. Nur Sholecha Ruseani on May 5, 2017 at 11:46 pm

    Hi Gemma,
    I followed your Youtube page for sometimes and I tried some of your recipes, including this homemade yogurt. It’s a great recipe, easy to follow and taste good as well. Is it possible to make greek yogurt from this recipe? How to do it?

    • Gemma Stafford on May 6, 2017 at 1:06 am

      Hi there,
      thank you for your kind words, i am happy that this recipe is suiting you.
      YES! Yogurt can only be called Greek yogurt now if it is made in Greece!! What it is though is a strained yogurt. that is the water content is reduced by straining the yogurt, hence the thick milk solids characteristic of Greek yogurt. If you buy it in the store look for the word strained on the pack, some Greek style yogurts have been thickened in some other way! So that is the story, now to do it!
      Find a really fine cloth, like a cheesecloth, make sure it is perfectly clean, even sterilized in boiling water. Line a sieve with this. Pour in the yogurt and allow it to stand, in the fridge over a bowl for about 8 hours. The whey can be used in marinades if you wish, and the yogurt will be thick and creamy, and the protein concentrated.
      Gently remove it from the sieve, put into a sterile container, and store it in the fridge.
      It sounds like a chore, but it becomes second nature once you have the idea and the right cloth!
      Gemma 🙂

  11. Ina Nurjannah on April 13, 2017 at 1:34 am

    Hi Gemma, I just join the bolder baking club 3 days ago… I like your video so much.. this homemade yogurt recipe is awesome… I am new in baking and cooking, your blog and video help me a lot.. I wish a great success for you..

    • Gemma Stafford on April 14, 2017 at 3:58 am

      Hi Ina,
      Thank you for being with the Bold Baking community! I am delighted to have you with us. I am also really happy that you are finding the recipes useful,
      Gemma 🙂

  12. Shreyashi on March 10, 2017 at 11:16 pm

    Gemma all I want to know is if I can use probiotic drink for the yoghurt started.
    I would be very delighted if you let me know this information. N also let me know the amount of it.

    • Gemma Stafford on March 11, 2017 at 3:34 am

      Hi there,
      I would not be inclined to do this. I suspect the bacteria will not survive the process, and the yogurt will fail. it would be better to use a really good organic yogurt, which will develop probiotics as it ferments, especially if you are using a good local milk. That is what I would do! If you strain this you will then have a Greek style yogurt, ideal for frozen yogurt.
      Gemma 🙂

  13. Finaz on March 4, 2017 at 5:29 pm

    hi Gemma!! thanks for recipe, it easy and details.. you did say before about live culture can buy online.. can i know how you buy it online? even tho i was another country or far away, can i still can buy it online or just your state only? sorry for my english, still learning.. huhu xD

    • Gemma Stafford on March 5, 2017 at 1:45 am

      Hi there,
      I do not know where it is available in every country, i get it from, perhaps you have a local provider, you should google it.
      For you the best way may be to use a good organic, local yogurt to start yours. Once you have it going you can use a portion of your own to start the next batch, that way you can keep one batch going for many years! Do try it,
      Gemma 🙂

  14. adilahabubakar on January 12, 2017 at 7:58 pm

    gemma, can i use full cream milk to do this?

    • Gemma Stafford on January 13, 2017 at 2:11 pm

      Sure you can, it will be delicious,
      Gemma 🙂

  15. Sathi on December 11, 2016 at 6:29 pm

    You mention in your recipe that we can use nut milk, coconut. Can you make a video of that. Nutmilk yoghurt!

    • Gemma Stafford on December 12, 2016 at 1:30 am

      Hi there Sathi,
      Nearly any non-dairy milk can be cultured, including legume, nut, seed, grain, or coconut milk. What is impotant is that it is as natural as possible, too many additives will interfere with the culture. May I suggest you research this particular subject online, it is worth getting a deep understanding of it,
      Gemma 🙂

  16. mpellet on December 4, 2016 at 5:30 am

    This recipe couldn’t be easier and the yogurt was absolutely delicious. I normally add some kind of sweetener, like stevia to store-bought plain yogurt, but this didn’t need it. My family loves it! Thank you, Gemma!

    • Gemma Stafford on December 5, 2016 at 1:50 am

      Hi there, this is so good to hear, thank oyu,
      Gemma 🙂

  17. Sadia B. on November 17, 2016 at 11:07 am

    Hi Gemma

    I don’t have yogurt starter can I use sour cream? Lol or does that not have live cultures?

    • Gemma Stafford on November 18, 2016 at 6:30 am

      If you use sour cream you will get sour milk! this is a different thing, acids are not cultures, cultures are a bacteria really, Gemma:)

  18. Lisa on October 26, 2016 at 1:21 am

    Hi Gemma! Thank you so much for this recipe. I really needed this recipe for my biology class and I did it! Hope you have a good day!

    • Gemma Stafford on October 26, 2016 at 1:42 am

      Hi Lisa, that is great, I am happy to hear it, Gemma 🙂

  19. Sarita on October 7, 2016 at 8:14 am

    hello gemma,please how do I make a yogurt drink and also can I add an already made Greek yogurt to the milk instead of the cultures

    • Gemma Stafford on October 7, 2016 at 8:54 am

      Hi Sarita,
      Yes that is the idea! 🙂

  20. Sarita on October 7, 2016 at 7:37 am

    hello, thanks for the recipe,but how can I make a yogurt drink

    • Gemma Stafford on October 7, 2016 at 8:21 am

      Hi Sarita, if you add real fruit juice, with crushed berries this will make this more liquid, drinkable,
      Gemma 🙂

  21. Holly on October 4, 2016 at 8:55 am

    Hello Gemma! So glad to see this recipe as I live in a small apartment and do not want to purchase a yogurt maker that I don’t have space for! To confirm, it is ok to use non-fat milk for this recipe, correct? Thanks!

    • Gemma Stafford on October 5, 2016 at 3:06 am

      Hi Holly, yes! this is not fat dependent 🙂
      I am happy that you will find this useful, I loved making it too,
      Gemma 🙂

      • Holly on October 8, 2016 at 12:49 am

        Thank you Gemma! And a huge congrats for having over a million subscribers!! I’m not surprised.. your videos and approach to baking is so unique and simple. Love the positive and sincere energy you radiate when you talk about food 🙂

        • Gemma Stafford on October 8, 2016 at 2:48 am

          hi Holly,
          thank you, I could not do any of this without your kind support,
          Gemma 🙂

  22. Fay D. W. on October 3, 2016 at 2:06 pm

    Hi Gemma. Love your videos and recipes!.
    Love your confidence in all of us to make things from scratch. Things are so soo much better made at home with love and a little time. Thankyou for sharing .

    • Gemma Stafford on October 4, 2016 at 12:55 am

      This is so true, i cannot imagine buying everything ready made, it is nice to have input to flavor etc. Gemma 🙂

  23. Christian Craig on October 1, 2016 at 7:32 am

    Can 1% milk be used to make this yogurt?

    • Gemma Stafford on October 2, 2016 at 2:50 am

      Yes Christian, this is not dependent on the fat content 🙂

  24. Zarah Scott on September 30, 2016 at 11:19 am

    Can yogurt be substituted for buttermilk?

    • Gemma Stafford on October 1, 2016 at 2:03 am

      Depending on the recipe! Where you are looking for a reaction with an alkaline ingredient like baking soda/bicarbonate of soda, either will work! 🙂

  25. makua on September 29, 2016 at 2:00 am

    Hello gemma. Thanks for this recipe. I have never made a yoghurt before but with this I will
    definitely try it out. I am a Nigerian where you hardly get a good yoghurt. what will I use in place of a life culture since I have never made any before. getting the life culture in Nigeria would be so very hard. thanks gemma.

    • Gemma Stafford on September 30, 2016 at 2:15 am

      That is the idea, then keep it going. it is worth buying a good organic yogurt to start, then use your own as a starter for every batch. some families keep this going for years! 🙂

  26. Sue Phelps on September 28, 2016 at 9:08 pm

    Love all the recipes! They are easy to replicate as well as taste and look delicious.
    I’ve been making butter, ice cream, yoghurt and pizza monkey bread just in the last week!
    The only thing I’m having difficulty with is trying to find the link for the fruit pop
    moulds. Keep up the great work Gemma, I’m excited to see what’s new each week.

    • Kevin Kurtz on September 28, 2016 at 9:19 pm

      Hi Sue! Thank you for your lovely note. I’m so glad you’re enjoying my recipes. I have almost 200 so I hope you find more favorites. You can find the Ice Pop Moulds that I use here: Make sure to come back tomorrow for my new OREO Cake. It’s definitely my new favorite cake. Thanks for being part of the Bold Baking Community, Sue! 🙂

  27. Lupita on September 28, 2016 at 8:13 pm

    Hi Gemma, Can I use whole lactose free mik to make this yogurt?

    • Gemma Stafford on September 29, 2016 at 1:16 am

      Yes you can, but you will need a lactose free starter too! 🙂

  28. latifah on September 28, 2016 at 5:57 pm

    Thanks Gemma. I’ll make it for my
    family. We all like yogurt.

    • Gemma Stafford on September 29, 2016 at 1:19 am

      That is great, and keep it going then, make each batch from the last! 🙂

  29. Jen on September 27, 2016 at 3:13 am

    Thank you for this Gemma. What do you mean by ‘live culture’

    • Gemma Stafford on September 28, 2016 at 1:12 am

      Hi Jen, ‘live’ in this context refers to the bacteria contained in yogurt, which is ‘good’ bacteria, good for your ‘gut’. If you want to learn more about this you can do a little research 🙂

  30. CountryLifeRulez on September 26, 2016 at 8:38 pm

    This is wonderful Gemma, I love yogurt but it is so expensive to buy in the store here. Now I can buy a small portion for the live culture and make my own. Thank you, thank you, thank you! =)

    • Gemma Stafford on September 27, 2016 at 1:19 am

      That is great, yes you can! and you can keep it going by using a spoonful of your own every time you see it running out! I am happy that you like this recipe, Gemma 🙂

  31. Sam on September 26, 2016 at 8:31 pm

    So this is like making curd…

    • Gemma Stafford on September 27, 2016 at 1:22 am

      Hi Sam,
      Not so much! this is a different process. Curd is formed by the introduction of an acid to an alkaline, as in the cream cheese recipe here on my website.
      Yogurt is made by the introduction of live culture (good bacteria) to the milk. It is a different result! Gemma 🙂

  32. Chit on September 26, 2016 at 6:02 pm

    Hi gemma…did i read it right that i can make yogurt using soya milk? Wow cuz i make my paw soya milk.

    • Gemma Stafford on September 27, 2016 at 1:38 am

      Yes you can, it is a question of which starter to use! if dairy is ok for you you can use dairy yogurt as a starter, goat yogurt starter, or you can buy a vegan starter online. This milk will need a thickener too, such as agar agar. You must use a new starter for each batch, Gemma 🙂

      • Daniela on March 15, 2017 at 3:35 pm

        Hi Gemma,
        Small follow up on this comment, how much agar agar do you think should be used if we wanted to make the yoghurt entirely vegan?

        • Gemma Stafford on March 17, 2017 at 1:30 pm

          Hi there,
          I am not sure what you mean!
          Generally we do not use a gelling agent in yogurt. I am a little confused!
          Gemma 🙂

  33. Elizabeth on September 26, 2016 at 12:57 pm

    At the end of the video I saw a cake that has three layers with Oreo cookies what is the recipe called

  34. Tess Vowels on September 26, 2016 at 10:41 am

    I use the plain yogurt as sour cream… on baked potatoes, chili topper, etc… Love your video!!! 🙂

    • Gemma Stafford on September 27, 2016 at 2:00 am

      Thank you Tess, this is a handy one, and you can keep it going for years! 🙂

      • Nadiah on December 19, 2016 at 7:42 pm

        Hi, can you make bold basics on cheese? like mozzarella probably.

        • Gemma Stafford on December 20, 2016 at 2:07 am

          Hi there,
          This is a complex thing ot do at home, I do not think it would be an ideal one for you guys!
          Thank you for the suggestion though. You can check this up on Google to get an understanding of how it works,
          Gemma 🙂

  35. José on September 26, 2016 at 9:07 am

    Thanks for sharing this recipe with everyone. It’s really that easy, and so many people are afraid to make their own yogurt.

    Here are a few more tips for anyone interested in making homemade yogurt. We make Artisan cheeses and yogurt for sale at our local farmers market here in Costa Rica.

    If you want to be precise, first warm your milk slowly to 180°F. Let cool to 110-112°F, and add your starter culture, then continue to follow the instructions above.

    If you want thicker yogurt, the two tricks are to increase the protein of the milk–before heating – – and to heat to 180°F first, which changes the protein structure of the milk.

    To increase the protein of the milk, before heating, add 1/8 cup of powdered milk per quart/liter of milk, stir well and heat slowly as described above to 180°F.

    One last tip. You are growing a live culture, so don’t ever let your milk go above 113°F with the culture in it, or you will begin to kill off the good bacteria–the probiotics you want to grow and eat.

    • Gemma Stafford on September 27, 2016 at 2:09 am

      Hi Jose, thank you for this great contribution, this will be a great help to people who do not like to take shortcuts. It is interesting to know that this is a regular practice for so many people. Great tips! 🙂

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