Ask Casey: Pinkberry at Home

Casey Barber

by Casey Barber on November 5, 2009

Ask Casey: Cooking and Kitchen Questions Answered

Pittsburgh has a new yogurt joint called “karmic yogurt,” based on the Pinkberry style of frozen yogurt—two flavors, plain and green tea, with tons of fresh toppings. I sprung my niece out of Carnegie Mellon this week and it was the highlight of our food run. Do you have a “do it at home” recipe that comes close to that wonderful, fresh, tart flavor of the plain yogurt they offer?

There seem to be two schools of thought on recreating Pinkberry for home consumption—one version keeps things mostly yogurt, and the other mixes in additional acids to boost the flavor profile. I was leaning toward simplicity, but I had to try both to see what was more accurate. I test these things rigorously for you folks, you know.

The easier recipe, which was simply yogurt and sugar blended and frozen, was too thick and plainly sweet; it didn’t really replicate the tartness and granular texture that you get with a Pinkberry.

homemade pinkberry
The following recipe, adapted from Gourmet, is a bit more work, but the results are much more on the mark. Note that the lower the fat content in your yogurt, the more bricklike it will become over time in the freezer. I used 0 percent Chobani and it was pretty tough to chip off a bowl after a week or so. If you’re planning to keep your batch around for a while, I recommend upping your fat content to at least 2 percent.

And don’t be afraid of the corn syrup mixture. It does sweeten and mellow the flavor, but the buttermilk/lemon combo keeps that tangy freshness right at the forefront. If the green tea flavor is more your thing, add 2 tbsp matcha (Japanese green tea powder) to the buttermilk mixture before combining and chilling.

I’ve been eating my homemade Pinkberry with pomegranate seeds because I’m a superfan of tart desserts—they add a great textural crunch to your bowl as well.

Now that I’m officially freelance, I have lots of time to answer your amazing questions. Kitchen tinkering is the best time-waster! You know the drill: Ask Casey at

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