Homemade Orange Sherbet

Homemade orange sherbet scooped from a container

The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Chill and Freeze Time: 2 hrs
Total: 2 hrs 10 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Yield: 3 1/2 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
245 Calories
8g Fat
44g Carbs
2g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 245
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g 10%
Saturated Fat 5g 24%
Cholesterol 24mg 8%
Sodium 16mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 44g 16%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 42g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 43mg 214%
Calcium 49mg 4%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 215mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Sherbet is something of a hybrid frozen dessert. It is made like a sorbet but with the addition of cream or milk that gives it a texture halfway between sorbet and ice cream. Because it is traditionally made with fruit flavors, it is light and refreshing. Flavors like orange, raspberry, and lime are all popular sherbet flavors, because of their interesting sweet and tart profiles.

This orange sherbet recipe is simple and sweet. It just might remind you of a great orange Creamsicle because of the combination of fresh-squeezed juice with milk and heavy cream. Although you can use just milk in this recipe, the addition of the whipped cream will incorporate more air and creaminess to the finished sherbet.


Click Play to See This Refreshing Homemade Orange Sherbet Come Together

"The sherbet came out great. It had excellent fresh orange flavor and color. It was a quick preparation using a juicer, but may be a bit longer if you are squeezing the oranges by hand. It is a refreshing sherbet for the summer!" —Diana Rattray

Orange sherbet in a bowl with a spoon
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 2 cups fresh-squeezed orange juice

  • 1 tablespoon orange zest

  • 1 cup granulated sugar, divided

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

  • 1/2 cup milk

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for homemade orange sherbet recipe gathered

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the orange juice, zest, and 2/3 cup of the sugar until the sugar has dissolved.

    Orange juice, zest, and sugar in a bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  3. In a separate bowl, use a whisk or hand mixer to whip the heavy cream and the remaining 1/3 cup sugar until the cream is thick and forms soft peaks.

    Heavy cream and sugar whipped together with a hand mixer

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  4. Stir the milk into the orange mixture.

    Milk added to the orange mixture in a bowl with a wooden spoon

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  5. Gently fold the whipped cream into the orange mixture.

    Whipped cream folded into the milk and orange mixture for orange sherbet

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  6. Refrigerate the sherbet base for at least 1 hour until chilled. Churn according to the directions for your ice-cream maker.

    Sherbet base in an ice cream maker

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  7. The churned sherbet will have the texture of soft-serve ice cream. Freeze the sherbet in an airtight plastic container for a firmer texture or if you do not plan on eating it right away. Enjoy.

    Homemade orange sherbet in a container

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck


  • The orange zest really brightens the recipe, so don’t leave it out. The fruit's bright orange skin contains essential oils that give a bright flavor and scent to foods. Use a Microplane grater or other fine zester to take off the very top layer of the skin. You don’t want to go down to the white pith, which can be very bitter.
  • While you can use store-bought orange juice in a pinch, look for one that doesn’t have added sugar and isn’t made from concentrate. There is a big flavor difference between fresh juices and extensively processed ones. If you do use an excessively sweet juice, cut back on 1/4 cup of sugar to balance it.

Recipe Variations

  • Two tablespoons of fruit liqueur, such as Grand Marnier, Triple Sec, or Cointreau, will keep the texture soft and smooth in the freezer and add extra depth to the orange flavor.
  • Other citrus zest, such as lemon or lime, can be added to the orange for a slightly different flavor. Or stir in fresh berries when you remove the orange sherbet from the ice-cream maker. Diced strawberries or raspberries are excellent with this recipe.
  • For a richer, creamier sherbet, increase the cream to 3/4 cup and decrease the milk to 1/4 cup.

Is There Milk in Orange Sherbet?

Sherbet recipes typically contain milk and/or cream. They have less dairy than traditional ice cream and don't contain eggs like many ice cream recipes. For a dairy-free frozen dessert, try sorbet.

Is Orange Sherbet Ice Cream Healthy?

Many sherbet recipes are lower in fat and cholesterol than typical ice cream since they don't contain as much heavy cream or any eggs. They also contain the health benefits of the fruit, such as a good dose of vitamin C in oranges. However, sherbet does tend to contain a fair amount of sugar, keeping it firmly in the dessert bracket.

Why Is It Called Sherbet?

The word "sherbet" comes from the Persian word "sharbat," a sweet beverage made with fruit or flower petals.

What Is the Difference Between Sherbet and Sorbet?

Sherbet contains some milk or cream, while sorbet contains no dairy.