What Is Yogurt Frosting?

Dorothy Bland

Yogurt frosting is a type of icing used to top various types of baked goods and is generally described as having a tangy sweetness. These frostings can be made using different types of yogurt, and bakers can utilize several techniques and ingredients to get the consistency and flavor that they desire. For the health conscious, eating and baking with yogurt allows these individuals to still fulfill their desires for tasty baked treats while substituting a lighter frosting that cuts back on fat and calories.

A bowl of Greek yogurt.
A bowl of Greek yogurt.

The flavor profile of yogurt is often described as tart. As yogurt is made from fermented milk and contains live bacteria cultures, it is naturally creamy and rich. This combination can make yogurt an acceptable substitute for some or all of the sour cream or butter found in traditional frosting recipes.

Pastries topped with yogurt frosting often have chocolate curls on top.
Pastries topped with yogurt frosting often have chocolate curls on top.

When using yogurt in baking, there are different types available. One of the preferred types to use is Greek yogurt, a more concentrated version of yogurt that strains out most of the moisture, leaving behind a creamier, denser yogurt that can result in a fluffier yogurt frosting. Yogurt cheese, a product that can be made by adding a pinch of salt and further straining the yogurt through a cheesecloth or colander, is a suitable substitute for cream cheese in icing recipes. Flavored yogurts such as vanilla can also be used; however, these yogurts generally contain much more sugar than plain yogurts in order to preserve the fruit.

For those looking to enjoy pastries, cakes, and other baked goods while on a diet, fat-free and low-fat yogurt are also available. These alternatives can be used to eliminate most of the fat and calories found in traditional icings. A basic low-fat yogurt frosting, for instance, might consist of only plain yogurt, powdered sugar, and a flavoring such as lemon blended together until smooth. To make yogurt desserts even healthier, sugar can be replaced with a no-calorie sweetener. Nutrition-wise, plain yogurt is also high in calcium and protein.

Basic yogurt recipes with just yogurt and sugar as the main ingredients tend to be runny and thin. Unstrained yogurt has a high moisture content, so the addition of liquid-based ingredients such as milk or melted chocolate to the desert will also make it runnier. Usually this thin yogurt frosting is used to glaze items such as doughnuts and buns.

If a creamy, fluffy topping is preferred for cakes and cupcakes, the yogurt and sugar are generally whipped together with butter. This provides a frosting that is more comparable to the thickness of buttercream. Paying attention to the amount of liquid ingredients included in the yogurt snacks and adding additional sugar and butter may be required, however, in order to reach the desired consistency. Once made, the yogurt frosting can be placed in the refrigerator for at least an hour to thicken. The frosting can be topped with numerous ingredients, such as fresh fruit, chocolate shavings, or sprinkles, for additional decoration and flavor.

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