The Difference Between Sherbet And Sorbet

You’re not alone if you’ve ever been unclear about the distinctions between sorbet and sherbet. Both of these frozen desserts are cooling and ideal for hot summer days, but their textures and ingredients differ noticeably. Choosing the ideal dessert for your upcoming summer party might be made easier if you are aware of the distinctions between the two.

Homemade melon sorbet, ice cream in white ceramic bowl

Sherbet and sorbet are primarily distinguished by the addition of dairy. Sherbet has a creamy, ice cream-like texture because it contains dairy, typically in the form of milk or cream.

But sorbet is dairy-free and mostly composed of fruit, sugar, and water. For individuals who are lactose intolerant or seeking a healthier dessert alternative, it becomes a lighter option.

Sherbet: An Overview

Sherbet contains dairy, which is one of the key differences between it and sorbet if you’re wondering what they are.

fruit and berry ice cream in a large beautiful glass decorated with leaves of mint and scoop

The ingredients for this frozen treat include fruit, sugar, and milk or cream. Sherbet is frequently compared as an ice cream/sorbet hybrid because of its creamy texture and refreshing sorbet flavor.

For those who want a frozen delicacy that is lighter than ice cream but yet has a creamy consistency, sherbet is a fantastic choice.

Due to the fact that it frequently contains less dairy than ice cream, it is also an excellent option for people who are lactose intolerant.

Sherbet has the advantage of frequently having less fat than ice cream because it is made with milk or cream rather than heavy cream. For those who are managing their fat consumption, this may make it a healthier alternative.

However, it’s crucial to keep in mind that some types of sherbet could still include a substantial amount of added sugar, so if you’re attempting to reduce your sugar intake, be sure to check the nutrition label.

Overall, sherbet is a delightful frozen treat that is ideal for individuals who want ice cream that is lighter and creamier.

Finding a sherbet that matches your taste preferences is simple thanks to the range of flavors available.

Sorbet: An Overview

A frozen treat called sorbet is generally made of fruit and sugar. It is a well-liked dessert that is frequently offered as a cool treat during the sweltering summer months.

Fruit strawberry sorbet with mint in a bowl on wooden table

People who are lactose sensitive or vegan will find that sorbet is an excellent alternative because it is often dairy-free.

Fruit, sugar, and water make up the majority of the ingredients in sorbet. Fresh or frozen fruit can be used to make sorbet, and before it is combined with sugar and water, it is often pureed or mashed.

The sugar is added to the mixture to sweeten it and to aid in preventing the formation of ice crystals when it freezes. To achieve a slushy consistency that is simple to scoop and serve, water is added.

There are many flavors that may be used to make sorbet, but some of the more well-liked ones are raspberry, strawberry, mango, and lemon.

In order to produce unusual flavor combinations, the fruit used in sorbet can also be blended with additional components. For instance, a creative and refreshing dessert choice would be a watermelon and mint sorbet.

Sorbet has the advantage of being a low-fat dessert option. Sorbet is naturally minimal in fat because it doesn’t contain any dairy components, unlike ice cream or sherbet.

This makes it a fantastic alternative for anyone seeking to follow a healthy diet or who are limiting their calorie consumption.

In general, sorbet is a tasty and cool dessert choice that is ideal for hot summer days.

It may be produced in a variety of flavors to suit any taste preference and is a perfect alternative for those who are lactose intolerant or vegan.

Key Differences

Sherbet and sorbet are two terms that are sometimes used interchangeably when discussing frozen desserts, however they are not the same.

detail of fruit ice cream scoops

The main variations between the two are as follows:

Dairy Content

Sherbet and sorbet vary most noticeably in that they contain dairy. Fruit, sugar, and water are the main ingredients of the dairy-free frozen treat known as sorbet.

Sherbet, on the other hand, typically contains a little amount of dairy, such as milk or cream.

Sherbet normally contains 1% to 2% dairy, though it occasionally contains more. Sherbet has a creamier texture than sorbet thanks to the dairy component.


Sherbet has a creamier texture than sorbet, which is smoother and lighter due to the dairy component. Fruit and sugar are pureed, then frozen, to create sorbet.

The end result is a light, cool dessert with a hint of ice. Contrarily, the addition of dairy gives sherbet a richer and creamier texture.


Sorbet has a stronger fruit flavor than sherbet because it is produced exclusively from fruit and sugar. Because dairy is added, sherbet has a slightly diluted fruit flavor.

Sherbet, however, has a richer and more nuanced flavor profile than sorbet because of the dairy it contains.

Calorie Content

Sherbet often contains more calories than sorbet because of the additional dairy content.

The difference in calorie content is negligible, though. Sherbet typically has 100–120 calories per half-cup serving, while sorbet typically has 70–90 calories per half-cup dose.

Overall, sorbet and sherbet are both delectable frozen treats that are ideal for the summer.

They are both pleasant and refreshing delights that are likely to please your taste senses, despite some significant distinctions.

Making Sherbet at Home

An enjoyable and simple way to make a delectable frozen dessert that is ideal for hot summer days is to make sherbet at home.

Homemade apricot or peach ice cream , sorbet in bowl with mint leaves

Sherbet is a frozen delicacy with a creamy, ice cream-like consistency that is created with fruit, sugar, and dairy. The following advice can help you make sherbet at home:


To make sherbet at home, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Fresh fruit (such as strawberries, peaches, or raspberries)
  • Sugar
  • Heavy cream or buttermilk
  • Lemon juice
  • Salt


  1. Wash and chop the fruit into small pieces.
  2. In a blender or food processor, puree the fruit until it is smooth.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the fruit puree, sugar, heavy cream or buttermilk, lemon juice, and salt.
  4. Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  5. Once the sherbet is finished churning, transfer it to a freezer-safe container and freeze for at least 2 hours to allow it to firm up.


Making sherbet at home allows you to experiment with various fruit flavors and combinations, which is one of its best features. Here are some suggestions to get you going:

  • Strawberry and rhubarb
  • Peach and ginger
  • Raspberry and lime
  • Blueberry and lemon

You can also add in other ingredients to create unique and delicious flavors, such as chopped nuts, chocolate chips, or even a splash of alcohol.


  • Use fresh, ripe fruit for the best flavor.
  • If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can still make sherbet at home by freezing the mixture in a shallow dish and stirring it every 30 minutes until it is frozen.
  • To make your sherbet even creamier, you can use half-and-half or whole milk instead of heavy cream or buttermilk.

By following these simple steps, you can create a delicious and refreshing frozen treat that is perfect for any occasion. Enjoy!

Making Sorbet at Home

If you want to make sorbet at home, you’ll need a few key ingredients and tools. Here’s what you’ll need:

Top view of delicious vegan mango sorbet on gray background


  • Fresh fruit: You can use any fruit you like, but some popular options include strawberries, raspberries, peaches, and mangoes.
  • Sugar: You’ll need a sweetener to balance out the tartness of the fruit. Granulated sugar works well, but you can also use honey or agave syrup.
  • Water: You’ll need water to help create the sorbet base.
  • Lemon juice: Adding a bit of lemon juice can help brighten the flavor of the sorbet.


  • Blender or food processor: You’ll need a blender or food processor to puree the fruit.
  • Fine-mesh strainer: You’ll need to strain the fruit puree to remove any seeds or pulp.
  • Ice cream maker: An ice cream maker will help create a smooth and creamy texture.

Once you have your ingredients and tools ready, here’s how to make sorbet at home:

  1. Combine the fruit, sugar, water, and lemon juice in a blender or food processor. Puree until smooth.
  2. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer to remove any seeds or pulp.
  3. Chill the mixture in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or until it’s completely cooled.
  4. Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  5. Transfer the sorbet to a freezer-safe container and freeze for at least 2 hours, or until it’s firm.

I’m done now! A simple and enjoyable way to enjoy a cool and fruity treat is to make your own sorbet at home.

Additionally, you can experiment with various fruit pairings and flavors to develop your own original sorbet recipes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Raspberry Sorbet on Black Slate Background

Is sherbet the same as sorbet?

No, sherbet and sorbet are not the same. While both are frozen desserts, the main difference is that sherbet contains dairy, while sorbet does not. Sherbet is made with milk, heavy cream, or buttermilk, which gives it a creamier texture than sorbet.

Are there any other differences between sherbet and sorbet?

Yes, there are a few other differences between the two desserts. Sherbet typically contains more sugar than sorbet, and it also has a lower fruit content. Sorbet, on the other hand, is made with just sugar and fruit, which gives it a more intense fruit flavor than sherbet.

Can I make sherbet or sorbet at home?

Yes, you can make both sherbet and sorbet at home with a few simple ingredients and an ice cream maker. There are many recipes available online, and you can experiment with different fruit combinations and flavors to create your own unique desserts.

Are sherbet and sorbet healthy desserts?

While sherbet and sorbet are lower in fat than ice cream, they still contain a lot of sugar. If you’re watching your sugar intake, you may want to limit your consumption of these desserts. However, they are a good alternative to ice cream if you’re looking for a lighter, refreshing treat.

Can I serve sherbet or sorbet with other desserts?

Yes, sherbet and sorbet are both versatile desserts that can be served on their own or with other desserts. They pair well with fresh fruit, cakes, and pies, and they can also be used to make floats or mixed into cocktails.

Mango ice cream, sorbet in a plate on a concrete background, close up


You may confidently purchase the frozen dessert that best meets your taste preferences and dietary requirements now that you are more aware of the differences between sherbet and sorbet.

Keep in mind that sherbet has a creamier texture than sorbet and contains dairy. Sorbet is the way to go if you’re looking for a dessert that is reduced in calories and fat.

Due to its lack of dairy, sorbet is a fantastic alternative for those who are lactose intolerant or vegan.

Sherbet, on the other hand, is the ideal choice for you if you enjoy creamy desserts and don’t mind the extra calories. It is a fantastic substitute for ice cream and is available in a range of flavors.

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Written by Brian Nagele

Brian has over 20 years experience in the restaurant and hospitality industry. As a former restaurant owner, he knows about running a food business and loves to eat and enjoy cocktails on a regular basis. He constantly travels to new cities tasting and reviewing the most popular spots.