Homemade Orange Sherbet

orange sherbet in a cup with a cookie on the side
John E. Kelly / Getty Images
Ratings (26)
  • Total: 5 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
394 Calories
13g Fat
67g Carbs
4g Protein
(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 a little more air and creaminess to the finished sherbet.


  • 2 cups fresh-squeezed orange juice
  • 1 Tbsp. orange zest
  • 1 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Steps to Make It

  1. Mix together the orange juice, zest, and 2/3 cup of the sugar until they are completely combined.

  2. Using a whisk or hand mixer, whip the heavy cream and remaining sugar until the cream is thick and forms soft peaks.

  3. Stir the milk into the orange mixture.

  4. Gently fold the heavy cream into the orange mixture.

  5. Refrigerate your sherbet base for at least one hour and then churn according to the directions of your ice cream maker.

  6. When the sherbet comes out of the ice cream maker, it will have the texture of soft-serve ice cream. Store your ice cream in an air-tight plastic container for a firmer texture or if you do not plan on eating it right away.


  • The orange zest really brightens the recipe, so don’t leave it out: The bright orange skin of the fruit 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.

  • There are many additions and changes you can incorporate to make this recipe your own or improve it: Two tablespoons of fruit liquor, such as Grand Marnier, 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 to make it creative. 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.