Ice Cream vs Sherbet: Difference and Comparison

Many people consider frozen treats before anything else to beat the scorching heat and stay cool during summer. Different types of frozen desserts are well-known and readily available worldwide.

These numerous forms of frozen delicacies either have diverse definitions per different nations or might differ due to the various styles it’s introduced in, for instance, gelatos, slush, sherbet, sorbet, frozen yogurts, ice-creams, and so on.

Taking everything into consideration, amidst so many styles and alternatives in frozen treats, it is confusing for individuals to think about how unique two frozen delicacies are from one another and what might the primary dissimilarities be that would truly set them apart. Here, let’s take the example of ice-creams and sherbets.

Typically, ice cream and sherbets are prepared in the same manner and can only be discriminated by the different ingredients each delicacy uses.

Key Takeaways

  1. Ice cream is a frozen dessert made from a base of cream, milk, and sugar, with a higher fat content.
  2. Sherbet contains fruit juice, sugar, and a small amount of dairy, resulting in a lighter, more refreshing texture.
  3. Both desserts are popular frozen treats, but sherbet offers a fruity and lower-fat alternative to traditional ice cream.

Ice Cream vs. Sherbet

Ice cream is a frozen dessert made from cream, sugar, and flavorings, and must contain at least 10% milk fat to be considered ice cream. Sherbet is a frozen dessert similar to ice cream, but with less milk fat and fruit juice or fruit puree. It may also contain stabilizers and emulsifiers to improve its texture.

Ice cream vs Sherbet


Comparison Table

Parameter of comparisonIce creamSherbet
MeaningIce cream is a frozen dairy product of milk, cream, sugar, and sometimes egg yolks.Sherbet is a dessert made of fruit juice, sugar, buttermilk, or milk.
TextureIce creams have a thick and fluffy texture compared to all frozen desserts.Sherbet has less cream and is not as rich as ice cream.
Fat contentIce creams have a high-fat content of approximately 14-25% butterfat.Sherbet has a butterfat content of approximately 1-2%.
FlavorIce creams have a variety of flavors, and they have almost everything from cocoa to pistachios.Sherbets have very few flavors and are restricted to primarily organic fruit flavors.
TemperatureIce creams are stored at cold temperatures, as compared to other frozen desserts, of 6°F -10°F.Sherbet is mainly stored at a temperature of 10°F -22°F as this makes it denser and more extravagant in flavor.


What is Ice Cream?

Ice cream, also known as iced cream or cream ice, is a frozen dairy product eaten as a dessert. Ice creams have either coloring added to them or different flavors like cocoa, strawberry, and so forth.

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They likewise comprise cream, milk, fruits, and sugar. Ice creams are kept at 2 °C or 35 °F. Ice creams have different meanings in various countries and are known as the great American dessert.

Ice creams can also be served with other desserts like apple pie, cakes, etc.

There were days when ice creams were provided as a luxurious dish. The US produces almost 900 million gallons of ice cream.

Certain nations have guidelines they have to follow when producing ice cream. For example, in the US, ice creams must have a composition more significant than 10% milk fat and 6-10% of milk and non-fat products.

Australia and New Zealand are among the world’s largest ice cream consumers, consuming roughly 18 to 20 liters daily.

 Ice cream can be numerous, like premium, regular, light, economy, and less fat. Premium ice creams are slightly thicker, have a high-calorie count, and are used for gourmet flavoring.

Economy ice creams have 10% butterfat, while regular ice creams have 10-11% butterfat and are mainly used for milkshakes. Light ice creams have 50% less butterfat when compared to traditional ice creams, and less-fat ice creams have 25% less butterfat than regular ice cream.

ice cream

What is Sherbet?

Sherbet is a frozen dairy product that is mainly fruit-based and is made by blending fruit, fruit puree, cream, and various other flavors, which are then churned. Sherbets are also made like ice creams, but the ingredients added to make the dessert differ.

Sherbets are primarily heated at an exceptionally high temperature to enhance the richness and flavor of the dish. After heating the dessert, they are cooled to maintain a uniform texture and kept at a cold temperature until it’s partly frozen.

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Sherbets are kept at warm temperatures of approximately 10°F -22°F.

Sherbets are considered to have 2% of milk or cream in the dessert, as anything below 1% is water ice, and anything above 2% to 10% is called ice cream. Unlike ice-creams, sherbets are of only one type.

In the UK, sherbet is called sherbet powder to make an effervescent drink. Sherbets are considered creamier than sorbets and are in a lighter pastel color.

Sherbets do not have many flavors compared to ice creams, as sherbets are made of minimal fruits such as oranges, strawberries, etc.


Main Differences Between Ice Cream and Sherbet

  1. Ice creams mostly contain buttermilk, cream, sugar, and sometimes egg yolks. Sherbet, or sherbert, is made up of sugar, milk, and fruit juice.
  2. Ice creams, when churned at high speed, result in a unique texture that is fluffy and rich in texture. Sherbet is not so rich and has a significantly lower portion of cream when compared to ice creams.
  3. Ice creams are comparatively high-fat than other frozen desserts, mostly 14-25%. Sherbet has a low milk fat content of 1-2% compared to ice creams.
  4. Ice creams have many flavors and include everything according to the customer’s preferences, from nuts to chocolate sauce as toppings. Sherbet has minimal flavors and mainly consists of fruits like oranges, bananas, etc.
  5. Ice creams are stored at cold temperatures of 6°F -10°F because the cold temperature numbs one’s taste buds, and this doesn’t permit intense flavors to come through in ice cream. Sherbet is mainly preferred when denser and more complex, and a warmer temperature makes the sherbet richer in taste. Hence they are stored at a temperature of 10°F -22°F.
Difference Between Ice Cream and Sherbet


Last Updated : 17 August, 2023

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21 thoughts on “Ice Cream vs Sherbet: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The comparison table made it so easy to differentiate between ice cream and sherbet. It’s a very clever and informative addition to the article.

  2. I disagree with the comparison of ice cream and sherbet. I believe there are more significant differences that should have been outlined in this article.

    • David, I believe the article did justice to the comparison of ice cream and sherbet. The differences were clearly highlighted.

  3. I found the section on the different types of ice cream—premium, regular, light, economy, and less fat—especially interesting. It’s a good overview of the variety found in the market.

    • I couldn’t agree more, Sophia. It’s great to know what the differences are between various types of ice creams.

  4. Excellent article. It was well researched and gave a lot of insight into the details of ice creams and sherbets. I learned a lot!

    • This is a must-read for anyone interested in the culinary arts. It’s important to have a wide knowledge base when it comes to cooking and baking.

    • I couldn’t agree more. The article was incredibly informative. It’s always good to have a deep understanding of the differences between frozen desserts.

  5. I found it humorous how the article described sherbets as ‘more extravagant in flavor’. Who knew a frozen dessert could be extravagant?

  6. I’m not entirely convinced by the information on the production guidelines for ice creams in different countries. This is something that I’d like to look into further.

  7. This is fascinating. I never knew the differences between ice creams and sherbets could be so precise! This article really opened my eyes.

  8. This article offered valuable information on the consumption trends of ice creams around the globe. It’s interesting to see the differences in consumption between countries.

    • Absolutely, Robert. The global consumption trends were an eye-opener. It’s intriguing to see how different cultures enjoy frozen desserts.


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