Lime sherbet is zingy, citrusy and so refreshing! Make it at home and it’s exceedingly better than store-bought.

Lime Sherbet

Here’s an easy frozen dessert that will have citrus lovers shouting from the rooftops: homemade Lime Sherbet! Make it homemade with real limes and it’s transcendental: creamy and unbelievably zesty, with a pure flavor that easily trumps any store-bought variety. There’s something about real limes that can’t be beat. This nostalgic recipe is a fun summer treat: and it’s simple to make at home with an ice cream maker. Here’s how!

Try them all! Go for Rainbow Sherbet, Orange Sherbet or Raspberry Sherbet.

Ingredients in lime sherbet

What’s sherbet anyway? Sherbet is a frozen dessert made with fruit, sugar, and cream or milk that’s churned like ice cream. The dairy gives lime sherbet a creamier mouthfeel than lime sorbet, which has no dairy (and tastes icier). Sherbet is like a lighter spin on ice cream: sherbet has 1 to 2% milkfat, whereas ice cream has at least 10% milkfat. The ingredients for lime sherbet are simple; here’s what you’ll need:

  • Granulated sugar
  • Lime juice
  • Lime zest
  • Whole milk

Blend all ingredients in a blender (see quantities in the recipe below), then churn in an ice cream maker. Place in the freezer for 2 hours and it’s ready. It’s that simple!

Lime Sherbet

Food coloring is optional

One optional ingredient in lime sherbet? The food coloring. You may be an all natural style cook who likes to avoid food coloring. But if you want that electric verdant green of the lime sherbet you’ll find at the store or an ice cream shop, you’ll need just two drops of green food coloring. It will look too bright at first, but don’t worry: the color tones down after churning it.

Don’t want to use food coloring? The sherbet will look nearly white in color. You may want to see the lime zest in this case. If so, skip the blender and simply mix everything together in a pitcher or bowl and churn immediately.

Working with an ice cream maker

An ice cream maker is a great investment that you can use it to make sorbets, sherbet and ice creams all year round. It’s easy to use and very versatile. Here are a few tips for working with this tool:

  • Find a quality ice cream maker. Here’s the 2 quart ice cream maker we use. It’s very durable and has held up well over the years.
  • Freeze the base in advance. Make sure to freeze the base of the ice cream maker overnight before making this recipe (unless you have a fancy ice cream maker that doesn’t require this). If you forget, try freezing the base for at least 4 hours. Give it a shake and if you still hear liquid inside, it’s not fully frozen: freeze it for another hour or two until solid.
Lime Sherbet

Make ahead & storage for lime sherbet

Homemade sherbet tends to hold up well in the freezer, though it generally tastes best the day it is made. You’ll need about 30 minutes to make and churn it, then another 2 hours to freeze it in the freezer prior to serving. Here are some tips for make ahead and storage:

  • Line a storage container with parchment paper. This helps so the sherbet doesn’t freeze to the edges of the container and makes it easier to defrost.
  • Churn at least 2 hours in advance of serving (or you can eat right away with a soft texture). Placing in the freezer for 2 hours makes it have a scoopable texture. Of course, if you want to eat it right away after churning, that works too! It just has a very soft texture that melts quickly.
  • Leftovers save 1 week, but defrost at room temp for about 10 minutes. Make time to leave out the container on the counter for about 10 minutes until it defrosts enough to scoop. You can technically freeze for longer than 1 week, but the texture starts to become very icy over time.
Lime Sherbet

More sherbet and sorbet recipes

Love frozen desserts? Here are a few more sorbets and sherbets you’ll love:

This lime sherbet recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free.


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Lime sherbet is zingy, citrusy and so refreshing! Make it at home and it’s exceedingly better than store-bought.

  • 1 cup fresh squeezed lime juice (7 to 8 large limes)*
  • ½ tablespoon lime zest
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup ice
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 drops green food coloring (optional)

Note: Make sure the base of the ice cream maker is frozen overnight before making this recipe.

  1. Place the lime juice, lime zest, sugar and ice in a blender and blend until sugar is dissolved. Stir in the whole milk and food coloring.
  2. Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and churn for 20 to 25 minutes, until the texture becomes frosty and creamy. Line a container with parchment paper and add the sherbet. Place it in the freezer and freeze for 2 hours to allow it to come to a scoopable texture. Store in a parchment lined sealed container for up to 1 week; allow to come to room temperature for about 10 minutes before scooping.

  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Frozen
  • Cuisine: Dessert
  • Diet: Vegetarian


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