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Ice Cream vs. Sherbet: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
Ice cream is a creamy, dairy-based frozen dessert, while sherbet is a fruit-based frozen dessert with a small amount of dairy for richness.
Ice Cream vs. Sherbet

Key Differences

Ice cream is primarily made from dairy products like cream and milk, resulting in a rich, creamy texture. Sherbet, on the other hand, includes fruit juice, puree, or flavoring, with a minimal dairy content, creating a lighter texture.
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Dec 09, 2023
The fat content in ice cream is significantly higher due to its dairy base, typically over 10%. In contrast, sherbet has a much lower fat content, usually under 2%, due to its limited dairy ingredients.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 09, 2023
Ice cream offers a wide range of flavors, from simple vanilla to complex combinations, all with a creamy taste. Sherbet flavors are predominantly fruit-based, offering a tangy and refreshing taste distinct from the creaminess of ice cream.
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Dec 09, 2023
Ice cream's high dairy content gives it a dense, smooth texture. Sherbet, with its fruit content and less cream, has a lighter, somewhat icier consistency.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 09, 2023
Ice cream is often enjoyed on its own or as a complement to pies and cakes. Sherbet is frequently used as a palate cleanser between meals or enjoyed as a lighter dessert option.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 09, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Base Ingredients

Dairy (cream, milk)
Fruit juice/puree, minimal dairy
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Dec 09, 2023

Fat Content

High (over 10%)
Low (usually under 2%)
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Dec 09, 2023

Flavors

Varied, creamy
Primarily fruit-based, tangy
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Dec 09, 2023

Texture

Creamy and smooth
Lighter and icier
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Dec 09, 2023

Culinary Use

Dessert, pie complement
Palate cleanser, light dessert
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Ice Cream and Sherbet Definitions

Ice Cream

"Ice cream is known for its rich, creamy texture."
The creamy texture of this ice cream is amazing.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

Sherbet

"Sherbet is known for its tangy fruit flavors."
The lemon sherbet was deliciously tangy.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

Ice Cream

"Ice cream is a classic dessert staple."
No birthday is complete without ice cream.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

Sherbet

"Sherbet is a fruit-based frozen dessert."
Orange sherbet is refreshingly tangy.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

Ice Cream

"Ice cream is a frozen dessert made from dairy products."
We had vanilla ice cream after dinner.
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Dec 01, 2023
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Sherbet

"Sherbet contains a small amount of dairy."
I prefer sherbet for its lower dairy content.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

Ice Cream

"Ice cream is a popular frozen treat."
Ice cream is my favorite summer snack.
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Dec 01, 2023

Sherbet

"Sherbet has a lighter, icier texture than ice cream."
I love the light texture of raspberry sherbet.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

Ice Cream

"Ice cream comes in a variety of flavors."
I love trying new ice cream flavors.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

Sherbet

"Sherbet is a refreshing alternative to ice cream."
Sherbet is my go-to dessert on hot days.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

Ice Cream

A sweet, smooth, frozen dessert made from dairy products such as cream or milk, sugar or other sweeteners, and flavorings.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

Sherbet

Also sher·bert (-bûrt′) A frozen dessert made mainly of fruit juice or fruit purée, usually with sugar and milk or cream.
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Dec 01, 2023

Ice Cream

A serving of this dessert
At the ball game, I bought an ice cream.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

Sherbet

Chiefly British A usually fruit-flavored effervescent powder, eaten as candy or made into a drink.
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Dec 01, 2023

Ice Cream

Alternative spelling of ice cream
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Dec 01, 2023

Sherbet

Also sherbert(Australian) An alcoholic beverage, especially beer.
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Dec 01, 2023

Sherbet

A food of frozen fruit juice with a dairy product such as milk added; a sorbet with dairy ingredients.
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Dec 01, 2023

Sherbet

An effervescent powder made of bicarbonate of soda, sugar and flavourings, intended to be eaten alone or mixed with water to make a drink.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

Sherbet

A traditional West and South Asian sweet drink prepared from fruits or flower petals.
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Dec 01, 2023

Sherbet

An alcoholic drink, especially beer.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

Sherbet

A refreshing drink, common in the East, made of the juice of some fruit, diluted, sweetened, and flavored in various ways; as, orange sherbet; lemon sherbet; raspberry sherbet, etc.
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Dec 01, 2023

Sherbet

A flavored water ice.
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Dec 01, 2023

Sherbet

A preparation of bicarbonate of soda, tartaric acid, sugar, etc., variously flavored, for making an effervescing drink; - called also sherbet powder.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

Sherbet

An ice containing milk
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Dec 01, 2023

Repeatedly Asked Queries

Is ice cream always made with dairy?

Yes, traditional ice cream is dairy-based.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 09, 2023

Can sherbet be made without any dairy?

Traditional sherbet contains a small amount of dairy, but dairy-free versions exist.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 09, 2023

Is sherbet considered a healthier option than ice cream?

Sherbet can be seen as healthier due to its lower fat content and fruit base.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 09, 2023

Does sherbet have a higher sugar content than ice cream?

The sugar content varies, but sherbet often has less sugar due to its fruit content.
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Dec 09, 2023

Can ice cream and sherbet be mixed together?

Yes, they can be mixed for a unique flavor and texture combination.
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Dec 09, 2023

Does sherbet always have a citrus flavor?

No, sherbet can be made with a variety of fruit flavors, not just citrus.
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Dec 09, 2023

Are there vegan options for ice cream?

Yes, vegan ice creams use plant-based milk alternatives.
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Dec 09, 2023

Can sherbet be made with any fruit?

Most fruits can be used to make sherbet, depending on the recipe.
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Dec 09, 2023

Is ice cream served at a colder temperature than sherbet?

Both are served at similar cold temperatures.
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Dec 09, 2023

Are there nut-based flavors in ice cream?

Yes, ice cream can have flavors like almond or pistachio.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 09, 2023

Can ice cream be made with alternative sweeteners?

Yes, ice cream can be made with sugar substitutes.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 09, 2023

Is ice cream suitable for lactose-intolerant individuals?

Regular ice cream is not, but lactose-free options are available.
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Dec 09, 2023

Does sherbet contain any artificial flavors?

It depends on the recipe; some use only natural fruit, while others may include artificial flavors.
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Dec 09, 2023

Are there alcohol-infused ice cream flavors?

Yes, some ice cream flavors can include alcohol, but they are generally for adults only.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 09, 2023

Can sherbet be made without an ice cream machine?

Yes, it can be made manually, though an ice cream machine helps with texture.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 09, 2023

Can ice cream be used as a base for milkshakes?

Yes, ice cream is commonly used in milkshakes.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 09, 2023

Is frozen yogurt similar to ice cream or sherbet?

It's more similar to ice cream but typically has a lower fat content.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 09, 2023

Is sherbet a good option for those watching their fat intake?

Yes, due to its low fat content.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 09, 2023

Is gelato a type of ice cream?

Gelato is similar but has a lower fat content and is denser than ice cream.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 09, 2023

Is sherbet a good source of vitamins?

It can be, depending on the amount and type of fruit used.
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Dec 09, 2023

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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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