Difference Between Sherbet and Sorbet

Main Difference – Sherbet vs Sorbet 

In the US, sherbet and sorbet are both types of frozen desserts. Since they have many similar qualities, many people cannot differentiate sherbet from sorbet. Both contain water, sugar and flavorings. They are also known as water ice. The main difference between sherbet and sorbet is that sherbet contains dairy products whereas sorbet does not.

What is Sherbet

Sherbet, which is also spelled as sherbert, is also a frozen dessert that contains water, sugar and flavorings. But, in addition to these flavorings, sherbet also contains milk. Sherbets typically contain 1 to 3 percent milk fat or cream. They may also contain egg whites or gelatin. But if it contains more than three percent of milk, it is generally termed as ice cream.

It is also important to note that sherbet is a not a frozen dessert in the UK. There, sherbet is a fizzy powder that is used to make sweets. So people in the UK, don’t have a problem differentiating  between sherbet and sorbet. In some Asian countries, sherbet is not an ice cream; it has a solid state.

Difference Between Sherbet and Sorbet

What is Sorbet

Sorbet is a frozen dessert made with water, sugar, and flavoring. This flavoring is typically fruit puree, fruit juice, wine or liqueur. So, it basically contains sweetened and flavored ice. Sorbet is also referred to as ices or grantias.

The ingredients added to this frozen dessert can change its structure and texture. The amount of sugar and water can make a big difference in the texture. Alcohol can reduce the freezing temperature of the mixture, which results in a softer texture. Sorbets never contain any dairy products.

Main Difference - Sherbet vs Sorbet

Difference Between Sherbet and Sorbet 


Sherbet is made from water, sugar, flavoring, and milk.

Sorbet is made from water, sugar and flavorings.

Dairy Products

Sherbet contains dairy products.

Sorbet does not contain dairy products.

Lactose Intolerance

Sherbet cannot be consumed by lactose-intolerant individuals.

Sorbet can be consumed by lactose-intolerant individuals.

In the UK

Sherbet is a flavored sweet, effervescent powder that can be eaten alone or made into a drink.

Sorbet is a frozen dessert made of water, sugar, and flavoring.

Difference Between Sherbet and Sorbet - infographic

Image Courtesy:

“Blackcurrant and Sloe Gin Sorbet” by Beck (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr

“Elderflower Sherbet” by thebittenword.com (CC BY 2.0) via Flcikr

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