Food and Recipes Desserts Ice Cream The Difference Between Sorbet and Sherbet They may sound alike (and both taste delightful), but there's a major distinction between the two treats. By Patricia S York Patricia S York Patricia was the assistant food editor at Southern Living and worked with the Southern Living food team from 2006-2022. She contributed to articles about food, gardening, and pets. Southern Living's editorial guidelines Updated on December 12, 2022 Fact checked by Khara Scheppmann Fact checked by Khara Scheppmann Khara Scheppmann has 12 years of marketing and advertising experience, including proofreading and fact-checking. She previously worked at one of the largest advertising agencies in the southwest. brand's fact checking process Share Tweet Pin Email Cool and creamy desserts steal the spotlight from late spring throughout the hot summer months. Treats like homemade ice cream, fruity granitas, and icebox pies can bring refreshing relief on those warm days. Don't forget to add sorbet and sherbet to your list of frosty favorites. These two frozen desserts really embrace the bounty of fresh fruit available this time of year. While very similar, there are some distinctions between the two. Here are the differences between sorbet and sherbet. What is Sorbet? Sorbet is made from two main ingredients, fruit and sugar. Water or other natural flavors might be added, but essentially sorbet is just fruit and sugar that is then churned like ice cream. Restaurants use sorbet as a palette cleanser during multi-course meals because its fruity flavor is extra refreshing. Don't mistake sorbet with granita or Italian Ice. Like sorbet, granitas are often made from a puree of fruit, sugar, and water, but the difference is in their textures. Unlike sorbets, which are smooth-churned, granita purees are poured into a pan and placed in the freezer. The surface is scraped multiple times as it freezes, creating coarse, icy flakes. Juanmonino/Getty Images What is Sherbet? Sherbet and sorbet are similar in that they are both made from fruit and sugar, but sherbets include an additional ingredient: dairy. According to FDA guidelines, sherbet must contain between one and two percent milkfat, whereas ice cream must contain at least 10 percent milkfat. While sherbet has far less fat than ice cream, it still has a bit more than sorbet. A Note on Textures Sherbert and sorbet have different textures. Because a sorbet lacks dairy, the consistency can often feel drier and rougher. Conversely, since sherbet does contain dairy, it has a smooth consistency that is more similar to ice cream. Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Tell us why! Other Submit Sources Southern Living is committed to using high-quality, reputable sources to support the facts in our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we fact check our content for accuracy. U.S. Department of Agriculture. Standard for Ice Cream, Effective October 29, 1977. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Code of Federal Regulations Title 21.