Sorbet vs. Sherbet: Which is Healthier & 3 Important Differences

Sorbet vs Sherbet

Sorbet vs. Sherbet: Which is Healthier & 3 Important Differences

There’s nothing quite like a frozen treat to enjoy, especially on warm days. If you’re looking for the perfect frozen dessert, you might have wondered about the difference between treats like sorbet vs sherbet. Are they just different spellings of the same dessert? 

Sorbet and sherbet are actually two different desserts. Sorbet is a frozen dessert made with fruit but without dairy or eggs. The main difference between them is that sherbet is made with fruit and dairy such as cream or milk. 

Whether you’re trying to decide which treat to make at home or looking for something delicious to order, there are several differences between sorbet and sherbet. Keep reading to find out the most significant differences and which one is healthier.

Ice cream, fruits and berries sorbet, summer dessert, sweet snack
While they're both delicious frozen treats, there are many differences between sorbet and sherbet.

©Alexandra Anschiz/Shutterstock.com

Sorbet vs. Sherbet: What Is the Difference?

It’s no surprise that sorbet and sherbet are so popular, especially when it’s warm outside. There are so many frozen treats out there from gelato to ice cream and sorbet. You’ve probably wondered about the difference between these. Some people also wonder if sorbet and sherbet are the same, just with different names.

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Sorbet and sherbet are actually two separate frozen treats and there is a difference in their ingredients. While sorbet is made only from fruit, making it icy and refreshing, sherbet is made with fruit as well as dairy. Sherbet also might include egg whites or gelatin.

The dairy added to sherbet leads to a much creamier texture, while sorbet is fruity but has an icier texture. They’re both delicious and come in a variety of flavors. Which one you prefer is going to depend on your personal preferences and any dietary restrictions.

Main Differences Between Sorbet and Sherbet

Sorbet and sherbet are both fruity desserts you can enjoy in a variety of flavors. However, there are several distinct differences between them. The main differences between sorbet and sherbet are:

  • Sorbet is icy and fruity
    While they may have some similarities in their flavors, you’ll notice the consistency and texture of sorbet and sherbet are different. Sorbet has an icy texture since it’s made simply from fruit and sugar.
  • Sherbet has dairy
    The main difference between their textures and flavors comes from the fact that sherbet has dairy in it while sorbet doesn’t. Sherbet still has fruit or fruit puree as a base, unlike ice cream, but it does contain milk or cream as well. This leads to a creamier texture than sorbet.
  • Sherbet has more nutrients
    Due to the addition of dairy, sherbet has more nutrients than sorbet. It has higher amounts of fat, calcium, and protein. However, sorbet is lower in fat, and it’s also dairy and egg-free if you have that dietary restriction.

What Is Sorbet?

Sorbet is the perfect frozen treat for those who love fruit or even for those who can’t eat dairy. Sorbet is a frozen dessert made of fruit and sugar without dairy or eggs. Whether you enjoy the fruity flavor or you’re unable to eat dairy, sorbet can be an excellent choice. 

It’s not to be confused with ice cream, gelato, or even frozen yogurt, although they can all contain fruit or fruit juice as well. Sorbet stands out from these other frozen desserts because it doesn’t contain any dairy.

How Do You Make Sorbet?

Sorbet is a delicious frozen treat that can be made with nearly any fruit. No matter what your preference is, you can make a sorbet that’s sweet or more tart, depending on the ingredients you use.

To make sorbet, you’ll need your fruit of choice as well as sugar or syrup. Simple syrup is the best way to sweeten your sorbet and this syrup is simple to make with just sugar and water. After you puree the fruit and mix it with the sugar or simple syrup, place it in your ice cream maker or attachment and start churning. 

Even if you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can make a version of sorbet with a food processor and a freezer-safe container.

Orange sorbet as a fruit ice cream with a fresh slice of orange as a decoration
Sherbet has a much creamier texture than sorbet due to the added dairy.

©Robert Kneschke/Shutterstock.com

What Is Sherbet?

Like sorbet, sherbet is a fruity and frozen dessert, but the main difference is that sherbet does contain milk or cream. This means it’s not vegan or safe for those who have dairy allergies. It also has a much creamier texture due to the milk or cream.

Even though sorbet contains dairy, it’s still different from ice cream because ice cream is a milk-based dessert that may have fruit or other additions. Sherbet does contain dairy, but the base is made of fruit puree, not milk or cream.

While the texture of sherbet is creamier than sorbet, it is still fruitier than ice cream or frozen yogurt. Some may also wonder about the difference between sherbet vs sherbert, but in North America, these two words actually describe the same dessert.

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However, there is a distinct difference between sherbet and sherbert in British English. If you order sherbet in the UK, they may hand you a drink instead of a frozen dessert. In the UK, sherbet is a fruity and sweet powder you use to make a fizzy drink. It is also sometimes eaten on its own and is comparable to Pixie Stix.

How Do You Make Sherbet?

Despite their similarities, making sherbet is a bit different from making sorbet. Like the sorbet, you would start by mixing together the fruit or fruit juice with sugar. However, you would also create a mixture of heavy cream with sugar and stir the two mixtures together.

Then, begin churning the mixture for a certain period of time until it’s completely frozen and you accomplish the texture you’re looking for. You can also freeze the mixture in a container to achieve the right texture or consistency.

Nutritional Values of Sorbet vs. Sherbet

Sorbet vs Sherbet Nutritional Facts

Which Is Healthier: Sorbet or Sherbet?

Like ice cream, gelato, and other indulgent frozen treats, sorbet and sherbet aren’t exactly considered healthy foods. When it comes to the differences between their nutritional values, they can both be pretty high in sugar.

Which one is better for you may depend on your specific dietary restrictions. Since sherbet has dairy, it generally has more calcium, protein, and other nutrients than sorbet, which is made out of fruit puree and sugar.

However, if you’re dairy-free or on a lower-fat diet, sorbet may be a better choice for you. There are some ways you could make both a bit healthier, like including real fruits instead of just fruit juices and reducing the amount of sugar.

If you want to control what goes into your sorbet or sherbet, the best way is to make it yourself at home. That way you can decide how much sugar or fruit you want to use in your recipe. Although it may take some trial and error to find the exact recipe that tastes good to you, both desserts can be easy and relatively simple to make, especially if you have an ice cream maker at home.

Since there are over 1,000 flavors of ice cream in the world, there’s no limit to the flavors you can choose for your sorbet or sherbet.

Which Tastes Better: Sorbet or Sherbet?

If you’ve ever wondered about sorbet vs. sherbet, there are numerous differences between them. Which one tastes better is going to come down to personal preference. While they both come in a variety of flavors, some of the most popular flavors are strawberry, mango, and orange. You can also add your own flair to your recipe and mix it up with interesting ingredients.

While sorbet is going to be a light, refreshing treat, especially on hot summer days, sherbet is almost a mix between sorbet and ice cream. It still has the refreshing flavor and taste of the fruits but has a creamier texture than sorbet.

Comparison of Sorbet vs Sherbet

While both delicious treats, sorbet and sherbet have some differences. Let's dive into what those differences are:

  • Sherbet is made with dairy, whereas sorbet contains no dairy.
  • Neither are essentially unhealthy treats. However, sorbet is considered marginally healthier than sherbet.
  • Sorbet has an icier texture, and sherbet has a creamier profile.
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Monster Slime Punch

Swamp Punch with Sherbet

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  • Author: MomsWhoThink.com


Units Scale
  • 2 bottles (1.75 liters each) of white kiwi juice, chilled and divided
  • 4 drops green food coloring
  • 2 very thin surgical gloves, rinsed
  • 2 8″ long wooden chopsticks
  • 1 bottle (1 liter) seltzer, chilled
  • Juice of two limes
  • Cantaloupe or grapefruit
  • 1/2 quart lime sherbet
  • 1/2 quart orange sherbet


  1. Combine 5 cups of the juice with the food coloring.
  2. Pour half into one glove. Insert one chopstick into the middle of the palm through the base of the glove; tie the end closed with the string.
  3. Place on a baking sheet, fingers supported by an inverted spoon, making sure fingers do not touch.
  4. Repeat with the remaining juice mixture, glove, and chopstick.
  5. Freeze until solid, 8 hours.
  6. Cut cantaloupe or grapefruit to fit the punch bowl and put aside.
  7. In a punch bowl, combine seltzer and lime juice with the remaining kiwi juice.
  8. Scoop sherbet into punch.
  9. Cut off the tied portion of gloves around the chopstick.
  10. Snip glove fingers; gently peel back from frozen juice.
  11. Insert chopsticks into cantaloupe or grapefruit; place in the punch bowl.
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