Sherbet vs. Sorbet: What’s the Difference?

Even some of the most avid ice cream lovers are still having the great sherbet vs. sorbet debate!

Everybody loves a frozen treats and slushy drinks and lucky for us, there are plenty of different types to choose from (we even tested the best fast food ice cream for you). I love a creamy bowl of ice cream after dinner which makes sherbets and sorbets the perfect choice for me. Both are frozen. Both are decadent. Both are refreshing and fruity!

They’re both a fantastic way to end the day. It seems that the desserts have so much in common, so much that it’s sometimes hard to tell them apart. It got me thinking, sherbet vs sorbet…what is the difference?

What is Sherbet?

In a nutshell, sherbet is the fruitier cousin of ice cream. It’s got a pastel color and rich, creamy texture. It’s filled with fruity flavors from raspberry to orange to lime—or for rainbow sherbet, all three. It can be hard to tell, but sherbet differs from sorbet in that it’s made with fruit, water and dairy. Whether it’s milk or heavy cream, sherbet gets its lush creaminess from some added dairy. It’s a perfect combo of the creaminess of ice cream without the added fat, and the fruitiness of sorbet with a little extra decadence.

Sherbet can be an exceptional addition to milkshakes and smoothies because of its creamy texture, so keep that in mind next time you’re whipping up some goods for girls’ night!

What is Sorbet?

Unlike sherbet or ice cream, sorbet does not contain any dairy or eggs whatsoever. This frozen delight is made from fruit puree and water. Simple, right? It’s one of the oldest and most traditional ways of making dessert, but is probably most famous in Italy. It’s cool, fruity and refreshing, which is a perfect cure for any sore throat or itchy cough.

Sorbet is also extremely versatile and can be enjoyed in a huge range of flavors from raspberry to mango to coconut. Even better, it’s a great option for people who want dairy-free frozen desserts.

Now that you know the difference between sherbet and sorbet, whip up a batch at home!

Cool Recipes for Ice Cream, Sherbets and Sorbets
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Laura Denby
Laura is a New York-based freelance food writer with a degree in Culinary Arts from the Institute of Culinary Education and a degree in Journalism from Penn State. Her work has appeared in Taste of Home, Chowhound, the Culture Trip and Patch.