Is there anything better than a creamy, cool-me-down treat in the summer? Maybe the feeling of stepping into a room with frosty A/C after being outside in the heat and humidity for awhile, but I’m talking food-related. This frozen yogurt has been on my mind for awhile. Too long, really. Wouldn’t you know it that the minute I packed up my ice cream maker for the big move I was hit by a super craving for homemade frozen yogurt? Homemade pineapple upside down cake frozen yogurt. It’s funny how things happen that way. So I put my craving on the shelf as we meandered across the country and settled into our new place. And with the simultaneous chaos/rat race/exhaustion that sets in with a major move, I kind of forgot about it.
Which is strange, because I’m not one to forget about dessert. Ever. Ever ever.
Fast forward to our first week here in Nashville, where B and I were not-so-patiently waiting for our belongings to arrive. After a day of scrambling to fit in errand after errand, we decided that ice cream needed to be in our immediate future. Luckily (or not-so-luckily – my pants size hasn’t decided yet) we live near a fab ice cream shop. Good apartment picking on our end, huh? So we walked in, I glanced at the menu, and BAM! Pineapple upside down cake frozen yogurt is ON the menu. It exists! And it’s delicious!
But expensive. Cringe. I didn’t exactly pencil in recurring gourmet ice cream stops into my summer budget. The occasional treat is great, but this acted as serious fuel to my fro yo fire. Which I gladly put to the test after I unearthed my ice cream maker from serious layers of bubble wrap. (But not before I popped a few bubbles…total guilty pleasure).
This frozen yogurt tastes like a cool, frosty pineapple upside down cake. That’s not a very creative description but it hits the nail on the head. All of the flavor profiles are there, from the sponge-y vanilla cake to the juicy pineapple pieces to the sweet maraschino cherries. Because it’s already hot enough in the summer and I didn’t want to turn the oven on for a frozen dessert, I used vanilla wafers for the “cake” part. As they mix with the yogurt, they soften and really taste like cake pieces. Quick and oven-free “cake” – yesssss.
The recipe as written below calls for an ice cream maker. I used one because I have one, but I’ve seen a bunch of how-to’s for making frozen yogurt without (though I haven’t tested any out). Experiment as you see fit! Now’s also a good time to talk about the sweetener. I used 3 tbsp of truvia, which is the equivalent of 1/2 cup granulated sugar (approx.). I welcome experimentation in this area, too – truvia, sugar, stevia, etc. Just take note that truvia has a more concentrated sweetness than sugar, so if you’re converting between the two you may need to dig out a pen and paper and do a good ‘ol “plug the variable” ratio equation.
Math…ugh. But this frozen yogurt is worth it!
- 4 cups full-fat yogurt, plain or vanilla
- 1 cup 1% milk
- 1/2 cup pineapple juice*
- 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
- 3 tbsp truvia (or equivalent sweetener of your choice)
- pinch of salt
- 18 vanilla wafer cookies, roughly chopped
- 15 maraschino cherries, drained and chopped
- 1 cup pineapple chunks, drained and roughly chopped
- In a large bowl, stir together yogurt, milk, pineapple juice, vanilla extract, almond extract, truvia (or other sweetener), and salt until combined. Pour mixture into ice cream maker.
- Once yogurt mixture is just about finished in the ice cream maker (about 12-15 minutes in), add vanilla wafer pieces, maraschino cherries, and pineapple chunks. Let ice cream maker continue to run as these ingredients are evenly mixed throughout.
- Once pieces are evenly mixed and yogurt mixture is frozen and creamy, transfer frozen yogurt to a separate container. Frozen yogurt will be very soft and creamy at this point. Freeze for a few hours to achieve a more solid consistency.
Frozen yogurt will be very hard once removing from the freezer after it's been frozen for awhile. For easier scooping, I suggest removing the container from the freezer to sit at room temperature about 20 minutes before you'd like to dig in!