Homemade ice cream is truly the best, and this easy orange sherbet is no exception! If you have an ice cream maker but don't use it as much as you'd like, this is the kind of (3 ingredient!) recipe that might inspire you to bring it out more.
Sherbet doesn't require a custard to be made before churning, since there aren't any eggs involved. Just mix, chill, and churn - no cooking needed! It's a bit lighter, and with oranges, it's a very refreshing dessert. Try mixing in some orange curd to boost the citrus flavour even more.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Milk: if you want a very creamy sherbet, you can use coffee cream or a mix of heavy cream and milk. This goes for any kind of milk lower than 3.25% fat, too. If you're using part skim milk, you'll want to mix with a bit of cream to get the right consistency.
- Oranges: any type of orange that you like the taste of works well here. We used blood oranges for the pictured sherbet, but any sweet orange is good. It is possible, of course, to use pre-squeezed orange juice rather than juicing the fruit yourself. It won't taste nearly as good though.
- Make it dairy-free: use a good non-dairy milk to make a dairy-free sherbet. We recommend the barista types or cooking creams for this - but make sure to choose one that doesn't have any salt or other flavourings added.
Step 1: mix the honey and orange juice, then whisk in the milk.
Step 2: stir in the orange zest and chill.
Step 3: freeze the ice cream in an ice cream maker, then place in the freezer.
Step 4: thaw for a few minutes before scooping and serving.
- Whisk that juice: mixing while adding the milk prevents any slight curdling from milk hitting the acidic orange juice.
- Chill, chill, chill: if the sorbet mixture is cold before churning, it'll work much faster and prevent your ice cream machine from overheating.
- Use fresh oranges: good, sweet oranges will make the best orange sherbet. Store-bought orange juice is okay, but if you're making homemade ice cream, why not go all out!
Try to get unwaxed, organic oranges if you can for this recipe, since you're using zest. If they're not available, wash the orange you'll be zesting well with warm water and soap (to avoid any unpleasant flavours leaching into the sherbet).
It is possible to leave out the zest, but it plays a role in the orange-ness of the sherbet. The oils in the rind of citrus fruits are very strong and it does make a difference in this recipe.
Honey helps to keep the sherbet soft once frozen, making it more scoop-able than homemade ice cream often is. It tastes great in combination with the orange, too! If you use sugar instead, add a teaspoon of vodka to improve the texture.
You can reduce the chilling time by using cold milk and cold oranges. A really good ice cream maker will be able to freeze the sherbet mixture even if it's not chilled through, but with a run-of-the-mill machine, it takes about an hour with room-temperature mix.
If you don't have an ice cream maker, there are a couple of options. One, pour the sherbet mixture into a shallow tray and use a fork to break up ice crystals every hour until frozen. Two, freeze the mixture in ice cube trays, and then blend in a high-speed blender or food processor to break the crystals up.
What is sherbet?
Depends where you're from. In North America, it's often used interchangeably with sorbet, but sherbet is made with milk. It's creamier than sorbet but lighter than ice cream or gelato.
Can sherbet be made without an ice cream maker?
A true sherbet can't be made without an ice cream machine. You can try partially freezing and then mixing to break up the ice crystals as you would for granita, though, which makes for a decent frozen treat.
My sherbet is too hard to scoop. What do I do?
For the best scooping once your sherbet is frozen solid, simply thaw for about 10 minutes beforehand. It will freeze pretty hard but the honey keeps it softer than many egg-free ice cream recipes.
More Frozen Treats
If you make this Orange Sherbet recipe or any other ice cream recipes on the Baked Collective, please take a moment to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. It’s such a help to others who want to try the recipe. For more baking, follow along on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube.
- Ice cream machine
- Mixing bowl
- Measuring cups or a digital kitchen scale
- 2 cups fresh orange juice
- ¾ cup honey
- 1 cup whole (full-fat) milk
- Zest of an orange
- Before starting, make sure the bowl of your ice cream maker is frozen and ready to go.
- Zest one orange and set the zest aside. Juice oranges until you have the required amount of juice, then add the juice to a large bowl.
- Add the honey to the orange juice and whisk until fully dissolved.
- Stir in the milk, whisking as you pour, until fully combined. The colour will lighten significantly.
- Stir in the orange zest. Place the bowl into the refrigerator to chill for at least two hours, or until cold to the touch.
- Start your ice cream maker and pour the chilled sherbet mixture into the machine. Churn until creamy and the consistency of soft-serve, following the machine instructions. After churning, you can serve immediately, but it will melt quickly.
- Scoop the churned ice cream into an airtight container and freeze for up to one month. Take it out and let it warm up for 10 minutes before scooping if frozen through.