Learn how to make creamy, dreamy, perfectly patriotic Fruit and Yogurt Parfaits at home. Featuring layers of sweet whipped Greek yogurt, fresh macerated berries, and sweet graham cracker streusel, these berry parfaits are perfect for every summer occasion – from breakfast and brunch, to snack time and dessert.
Featured comment: Used a combination of strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries because they looked best at the store. Just crushed some graham crackers as a topping, instead of making the streusel. Everything about this was absolutely amazing! Easy and a really great summer treat! Thank you for sharing.” – Amanda
Updated: This recipe was originally published in June 2016. I made edits to the article below to include more information about yogurt parfaits. Plus, I added a recipe video to show you JUST how easy this fruit parfait is to make!
Hi friends! Only four days till the 4th of July! Wahoo!! Do you guys have any big plans to celebrate our country’s independence? Whatever festivities you have devised, I hope it includes lots of fabulous food, delicious drinks and a fantastic fireworks!
In case you are in need of a fun and festive treat to serve at your celebration, I’ve got you covered! Today I’m sharing one of my favorite summer treats – fresh fruit parfaits!
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About this recipe for berries parfait with Greek yogurt
Also known as a fourth of July celebration in a cup! Because, you just can’t commemorate Independence Day with at least one red, white and blue dish. But, these beauties are more than just three shades of parfait perfection, they are also downright delicious!
These parfait cups are all about the layers of fresh and delicious flavor!
- Soft and light whipped Greek yogurt flavored with cooling mint and rich cream.
- Luscious, fruity, citrus macerated fresh berries.
- Brown sugary, cinnamon laced, crumbly and crisp graham cracker streusel.
Essentially, these fruit and yogurt parfaits taste similar to a fresh whipped cream topped summer fruit crisp, just in hassle-free, mini form!
Plus, these parfaits are like build your own food adventure and can be made two ways! You can layer these parfait cups with honey whipped Greek yogurt for a fresh and fabulous breakfast, or with dreamy whipped mascarpone for a creamy and luscious dessert!
Refreshing, seasonally fresh and absolutely delicious, these parfaits are the perfect way to start and end your day!
What is a Greek yogurt parfait?
A parfait, pronounced paar·fei, is a breakfast or dessert dish consisting of layers served in a tall parfait glass. The word parfait, which literally means “perfect” in French, traditionally describes a frozen dessert. While the parfait originated in France in 1894, there are now two types of parfait: the French version and the American version.
In the French version, a parfait is made by boiling cream, egg, sugar and syrup to create a puree which is custard-like in texture.
The American version of a parfait is a little bit more lax. It can include various ingredients, such as whipped cream or yogurt, layered with fruit in combination with numerous toppings such as granola, nuts or liqueurs.
Ingredients for berry parfait
For the berry yogurt parfaits
- Berries: You can use any combination of berries you love; however, I recommend using what looks best at the store. Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries are my favorites here.
- Sugar: To macerate the berries and bring out their juicy sweetness you’ll need 1/4 cup of white sugar.
- Lemon: Fresh lemon zest and juice lends bright acidic flavor.
- Macerating Liquid: You can soak, or macerate, fruit in a variety of liquids. I like the combination of brandy and berries; however, you can swap in any liqueurs or dessert wines you love. Or use cherry juice, apple juice, or orange juice to keep it P.G.
- Substitution tip: You can play around with the flavor of your berries by mixing and matching different macerating ingredients. However, make sure you taste and adjust the flavor profile as you go!
- Yogurt: I prefer using full-fat vanilla Greek yogurt; however, you can use 2% yogurt and whatever flavor you love.
- Substitution: Swap in rich and creamy mascarpone cheese to create a seriously delish dessert parfait.
- Cream: A touch of heavy cream helps the Greek yogurt whip up nice and fluffy.
- Honey: A drizzle of honey lends sweetness and balances the tangy flavors in the yogurt mixture.
- Vanilla: Pure vanilla extract gives that classic inviting warmth.
- Mint: Fresh mint leaves provide the perfect cooling touch.
The parfait topping
Sweet, crisp homemade streusel provides the ideal crunchy topping to these creamy, sweet parfaits with berries and yogurt.
- Flour: You’ll need 1/3 cup of all-purpose flour for the streusel base.
- Substitution: Swap in your favorite gluten-free flour – just make sure it’s a 1:1 ratio swap.
- Graham Crackers: Sweet graham crackers form the other half of your streusel.
- Sugar: You’ll need white granulated sugar to sweeten the topping
- Salt: A pinch of kosher salt enhances all the flavors.
- Ground Cinnamon: A tiny pinch of cinnamon lends warmth.
- Butter: And you’ll need unsalted butter to form the streusel crumbles.
- Lemon Curd: Swap some or all of the yogurt for homemade or store-bought lemon curd.
- Granola: Omit making the streusel topping and use crunchy granola to make the perfect breakfast parfaits.
- Roasted Nuts: If you’re looking for a nutty topping, crush, grind or chop up roasted nuts, like almonds and walnuts for an easy fruit topper.
How to make this fruit parfait recipe at home
This fruit yogurt parfait recipe is incredibly easy to make from the comfort of your own kitchen. Here’s how it is done:
- Marinate the berries: In a large bowl combine the sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and brandy (if using). Stir well. Add the berries and gently toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate.
- Make the streusel: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a bowl of a food processor, add the flour, graham crackers, sugar, salt and cinnamon. Pulse until finely ground. Remove the blade from food processor and add in melted butter. Use a fork and mix until clumps form. Transfer streusel to baking sheet and bake for 7 minutes. Remove from oven and stir. Continue to bake for 6-8 additional minutes, or until streusel is pale brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool on the pan.
- Whip the yogurt: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or a large bowl with a hand-held mixer, add the Greek yogurt and heavy whipping cream. Beat on high speed until thickened, about 3-4 minutes. Add in the honey and vanilla and beat until just combined. Fold in the mint.
- To assemble: Layer a ¼ cup of creamy base (mascarpone or yogurt) in the bottom of each parfait glass, top with a fourth of the berries and spoonful of the berry liquid marinade. Top each with a ¼ cup of the streusel. Garnish with fresh mint leaves if desired. Serve and enjoy.
Tips for the best yogurt parfait cups
The best tip for making parfaits at home is to customize them according to YOUR taste. Make these yogurt parfait cups as healthy or trashy as you like!
Need a quick breakfast? Substitute store-bought granola for the homemade streusel!
Serving a crowd? Make sure you use fresh fruit and garnish the parfaits with fresh mint sprigs!
Looking for a healthy option? Use Greek yogurt as the base!
Want a sinfully delicious dessert? Opt for mascarpone cheese instead!
Basically, just do you!
Step-by-step photos: Making berry parfaits at home
(Scroll down for the detailed measurements and instructions in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the page.)
FAQs: berries parfaits
What is a parfait glass?
A parfait glass is a tall slender serving glass with a short stem. The glass typically has an inwards curve similar to that of a hurricane glass with a larger, rounded bowl.
These fruit and yogurt parfaits do not need to be served in a parfait glass or cup. However, I do recommend serving them in a small, clear cup (glass or plastic) or mason jar so you can visibly see the layers in the parfait!
Should I use fresh or frozen berries in yogurt parfaits?
You can use either fresh or frozen berries in these parfaits depending on personal preference, or what you have on hand!
- Fresh berries: Seasonal, fresh berries have a more pleasant texture and mouthfeel. They will also provide more of a wow-factor if you are serving these to a crowd.
- Frozen berries: Frozen berries are incredibly convenient. However, their texture is a little softer. On the plus side, frozen berries do not need to be thawed to prepare a parfait! And, the liquid from frozen berries will add a ton of flavor to the syrup as they thaw!
What’s the best yogurt for parfaits?
You can use Greek yogurt, regular (unstrained) yogurts or dairy-free yogurts to make a fruit parfait. However, look for yogurt brands that only contain milk and active cultures (and no weird additives). As well, it’s important to note that Greek yogurt will whip-up the best! Unstrained, regular yogurts will not whip as light and airy!
Also, while you can use a flavored yogurt, I prefer plain Greek yogurt, that way I can control the overall flavor and amount of sweetener!
Yogurt substitutes in a parfait
Looking for a more decadent dessert parfait? Whipped mascarpone is a delicious substitution (recipe below). Or, plain frozen yogurt works as well!
Are fruit yogurt parfaits healthy?
Short answer, it depends. Whether or not a yogurt parfait is good for you will depend upon how you customize it!
Store-bought parfaits can be full of fat and contain a lot of sugar and unhealthy additives. By making your own fruit parfait at home, you can control the ingredients and the dish’s health benefits!
For healthy parfaits:
- Greek Yogurt: Use low-fat Greek yogurt. Yogurt is an excellent source of protein, calcium, and probiotics.
- Fresh Fruit: Seasonally fresh fruits are vitamin-rich and reduce risks of heart disease.
- Granola: Skip the homemade streusel and opt for homemade or low-fat granola!
- Healthy additions: Consider topping your parfait with nuts, chia seeds or ground flax seeds to add heart-healthy omega-3s and fiber to your parfait!
Serving a Greek yogurt parfait
Looking to personalize your yogurt parfait recipe? Below are a few simple, but delicious ingredients you can add!
- Fresh mint
- Toasted, shredded coconut
- Mini chocolate or white chocolate chips
- Chopped, toasted nuts
- Macerated fresh fruits or dried fruits
- Sliced bananas
- Raw honey
- Strawberry shortcake crumbles
- Chocolate sauce
- Caramel sauce
- Cool whip topping
Storing fruit parfait recipes
Can you make this recipe for parfaits in advance?
Absolutely! Fruit and yogurt parfaits are a wonderful easy breakfast or dessert option! Plus, they are wonderful as a snack-on-the-go! Fully assembled parfaits can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator. For the best taste, eat the parfait within 1 day, otherwise the crunchy streusel or granola will get soggy.
Alternatively, you can leave off the topping to avoid soggy granola! Assemble the parfaits and store the crunchy topping in a resealable bag. Partially assembled parfaits will keep in the refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap, for up to 5 days. When ready to eat, just add the topping and enjoy!
Add these festively fun and downright delicious parfaits to your summer rotation! I guarantee you and your family will love them!
Until next week, friends, cheers – to fabulous fruit!
More sweet treats with berries!
- Berry Smoothie Bowl
- Chocolate Cranberry Muffins
- Blueberry Crumb Bars
- Peach Strawberry Sorbet Float
- Strawberry Shortcake Sundae
The best Fruit and Yogurt Parfait recipe (with video!) 👇
Berry Yogurt Parfait Recipe
- 1 Large Mixing Bowl
- 1 Food Processor
- 1 baking sheet
- 1 stand mixer or hand held mixer
- 1 Parfait Cups
Greek Yogurt Mixture:
- Macerate the berries: In a large bowl combine the granulated sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and brandy. Stir well. Add the berries and gently toss to combine. Taste and adjust for sweetness and brandy if needed. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to overnight, stirring occasionally.
- Make the streusel: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a bowl of a food processor, add the flour, graham crackers, sugar, salt and cinnamon. Pulse until finely ground. Transfer to a bowl (or remove the blade from food processor) and add in melted butter. Use a fork to mix until clumps form. Transfer streusel to baking sheet in a single layer and bake for 7 minutes. Remove from oven and stir. Return to oven and continue to bake for 6-8 additional minutes, or until streusel is pale brown, watching closely to prevent burning. Remove from oven and allow to cool on the pan.
- Whip the Greek Yogurt: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or you can use a large bowl and hand-held mixer, add the Greek yogurt (or mascarpone) and heavy whipping cream. Beat on high speed until thickened, about 3-4 minutes. Add in the honey and vanilla and beat until just combined. Then, fold in the mint.
- To assemble: Layer a ¼ cup of creamy yogurt base in the bottom of each parfait glass, top with a fourth of the berry mixture and spoonful of the berry liquid marinade. Then top each parfait cup with a ¼ cup of the streusel mixture.
- Garnish and serve: Garnish the berry parfaits with a sprig of fresh mint, if using. Serve immediately and enjoy!
- Yogurt: Look for Greek yogurt that contain only milk and active cultures. Avoid any brands thickened with pectin, gelatin or gum as they will not whip up as airy. I use Fage Greek Yogurt.
- I typically make these with Vanilla Greek yogurt for breakfast and mascarpone cheese for dessert. If using mascarpone, increase the cream to 4 ounces.
- Brandy: Not into brandy? No worries - simply skip it when marinating the berries and increase the amount of sugar to ½ cup. Alternatively, you can use cherry juice or apple juice to flavor the berries!
- Streusel crumb topping: The streusel is crazy addictive. I highly recommend you double the recipe and store it in a resealable bag. It is delicious as a sweet snack, or you can use it to top ice cream, stir it into yogurt, serve it with fresh fruit, etc.
- Streusel substitute: You can substitute homemade or store-bought granola for a healthier alternative!
- To make in advance: You can make all components of this parfait in advance. Just keep the whipped yogurt, berries, and streusel separate and assemble before serving.
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