Frozen Yogurt vs Ice Cream: What’s the Difference?

Frozen yogurt has exploded in popularity over the last decade, and it’s gotten many people asking the Big Questions: what makes froyo different from regular old ice cream? Is frozen yogurt better for you? How am I supposed to choose between these delicious dairy desserts?

With the Swirl Freeze all-in-one frozen dessert maker, you’ll never be forced to choose. But since you’re curious, today our dessert experts will be taking a look at the biggest differences between frozen yogurt and ice cream.


Let’s start by taking a look at what’s in these desserts. Ice cream’s dairy base is cream, the high-butterfat layer skimmed off the top of sitting milk before homogenization. Ice cream also usually contains milk, egg yolks, sugars, sweeteners, and other flavors that are churned in while it freezes.

In contrast, frozen yogurt’s dairy base is cultured milk, which is milk that has been fermented with lactic acid bacteria like Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus. This is what gives yogurt its more sour or tangy flavor. Additional common froyo ingredients include milk, cream, corn syrup, gelatin, emulsifiers, sweeteners, and other flavors.

FDA regulations

All ice cream is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). According to their guidelines, ice cream must contain at least 10 percent milkfat and weigh at least four and a half pounds per gallon. To achieve this, ice cream manufacturers often add extra cream to increase their product’s milkfat percentage. Ice cream makers also regulate the weight of their product by optimizing their churning process to introduce the correct amount of air for the desired texture and weight.

Frozen yogurt, on the other hand, is not currently regulated by the FDA. Some states set their own quality standards and require special licenses in order to serve frozen desserts of any kind, so be sure to look up the laws in your own state if you’re thinking about adding an industrial ice cream maker or froyo machine to your business!


Many people assume that frozen yogurt is the healthier choice over ice cream, but that is not always true. Let’s break it down:

It is true that ice cream, generally speaking, contains more calories and fat. An average one-cup serving of regular (non-low-fat) ice cream has 275 calories, 15 grams of fat, and 9 grams of saturated fat.

Meanwhile, an average one-cup serving of frozen yogurt contains 221 calories, 6 grams of fat, and 4 grams of saturated fat. So if fat or caloric content is your biggest concern, then frozen yogurt may absolutely be the better choice for you! However, frozen yogurt usually contains more sugar than ice cream, since froyo manufacturers add sugar to counteract the naturally sour flavor of cultured milk. On top of this, many people add a lot of sweet toppings to their frozen yogurt, so if you’re most worried about sugar, you might be better off choosing ice cream.

But what about the probiotics in yogurt? Surely those will tip the health-conscious scale in favor of froyo? Sorry to disappoint, but the healthy gut bacteria found in regular yogurt usually don’t survive the process of freezing to create frozen yogurt. That means that neither frozen yogurt nor ice cream contains healthy probiotics.

Get Your Own Frozen Dessert Machine!

If you just can’t bring yourself to choose between ice cream and frozen yogurt, the good news is that you don’t have to! Swirl Freeze’s commercial ice cream and yogurt maker has it all. Our easy-to-use gadget is a malt machine, froyo machine, and industrial ice cream maker in one. Simply choose an ice cream, yogurt, or custard base and then add as many delicious blended toppings as you like. It’s the perfectly sweet complement to any mall, food business, or special event!

Delight your customers’ taste buds and keep them coming back with the super fun Swirl Freeze frozen dessert maker! Contact us today for more information.

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