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A Question That Bugs Many - Are Sherbet and Sorbet the Same?

Are Sherbet and Sorbet the Same?
Sorbets are probably the first iced dessert created by Asians, and later brought to Italy and the Middle East. Sherbet is sorbet's American cousin that has milk or cream in small amounts, invented for enhancing purposes.
Payal Kanjwani
Last Updated: Apr 20, 2018
Not a Second Spelling!
Sherbert is one of the most commonly mispronounced and misspelled words. Though it does find mention in some dictionaries, the standard spelling is Sherbet with one 'r' in it.
Summers are here, along with the cravings for frozen delights. This made us curious to know about various sugary, frozen desserts, starting with sorbets, the childhood favorite of all. Okay, let's go about it this way: Ice cream is a smooth, soft frozen dessert that contains a minimum of 3% milk fat. Sherbet is a fruity frozen dessert that contains butterfat anywhere between 1 - 2%. Sorbet is made of simply fruit juices, syrup or water, and has no milk fat! So basically, the order of these sugary treats is,
Sorbet < Sherbet < Ice cream.

However, the legal definitions of sorbet and sherbet are used interchangeably, and many times, even considered to be the same. Not just this, to add to the confusion, in some parts of the world, the term 'sherbet' is also referred to a fizzy powder stirred into drinks. Similarly, sorbet is often confused with Italian ice. We don't want to add any more confusion, let's just get straight to the differences between sorbet and sherbet in the post below.
Sorbet vs. Sherbet

➤ Sorbet is a frozen dessert prepared by raw or puréed fruit that's churned and then frozen.

➤ It's devoid of milk and its products so it can be considered as a lighter, icier version of ice cream.

➤ Sherbet is a frozen sweet dessert similar to sorbet but richer than it due to milk [1% - 2%], egg whites or gelatin.

➤ It is still lighter than ice cream.


➤ Sorbet consists of two main ingredients: fruit and sugar. However, additional flavorings, water, or liqueur may be added. It doesn't contain any dairy product.

➤ Sherbet involves dairy products like cream, milk, or even buttermilk and other ingredients like egg whites and gelatin.


➤ Sorbets have softer consistency than sherbets. However, the smoothness also depends on the secondary ingredients.

➤ Sherbets tends to take a rigid shape comparatively.

Nutritional Info

➤ Sorbet is a low-fat option for those with a sweet 'frozen' tooth.

➤ Sherbet is higher in fats and calcium than sorbet, though, a low-fat option for ice cream lovers.

Sorbet, Serving: 1 cup
Calories 184 kcal
Fat Calories 0.0
Total Fat 0.0 g
Saturated Fat 0.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 16 mg
Potassium 200 mg
Carbohydrate 46.2 g
Protein 1 g
Calcium 2%
Iron 5%
Vitamin A 11%
Vitamin C 86%

Sherbet, Serving: 1 cup
Calories 266.3 kcal
Fat Calories 34.7 kcal
Total Fat 3.9 g
Saturated Fat 2.2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.15 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.0 g
Cholesterol 11.6 mg
Sodium 88.8 mg
Potassium 185.3 mg
Carbohydrate 58.7 g
Protein 2.1 g
Calcium 10%
Iron 2%
Vitamin A 3%
Vitamin C 10%
Source: fitday

The Good Thing ..

➤ Sorbets are great for those intolerant to lactose and for vegans. It is served as a palate cleanser between courses of meals.

➤ Sherbets have high calcium content, and are good for those with creamier cravings.

Just remember to a keep check on your sugar levels while consuming these sweet delights.