Lime Sherbet

4 Servings
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Freeze 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes

Easy Homemade Lime Sherbet is a fun summer treat made with just 5 ingredients. Perfect frozen dessert for a hot day or adding to fruit punch!

Rainbow Sherbet is a classic fruity, Frozen Dessert with lime, raspberry and orange flavors mixed together. This recipe is just the fresh lime flavor from the original trio, perfect for lime lovers. It’s a refreshing treat to enjoy poolside on a hot summer day!

Sabrina’s Lime Sherbet Recipe

If you’re looking for a delicious way to beat the heat this summer, then this is the perfect dessert for you. Sherbet is a delicious mix of frozen fruit and cream for a rich and decadent treat that’s also wonderfully refreshing. Lime Sherbet is made with creamy dairy ingredients, sugar, and real lime juice. It’s the ultimate balance of refreshing sweet and sour flavor with a rich and velvety finish similar to ice cream.

You can make sherbet now and store it in your freezer to enjoy anytime you need a sweet treat or bring it out at your next party. It’s an excellent dessert for the end of a BBQ, to bring out at a pool party, or to serve up with fruit punch. No matter how you choose to eat your Lime Sherbet, it’s sure to be a crowdpleaser.

Lime Sherbet ingredients in separate prep bowls on pink tile counter
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  • 1 cup lime juice: To create the tangy, citrus flavor in your sherbet, use 1 cup of lime juice. You can purchase a bottle of lime juice from the store, but you’ll get an even better flavor using freshly squeezed lime juice. 
  • ¾ cup sugar: Balance out the sour flavor from the lime juice by adding white sugar to sweeten the mixture. The combination creates a zingy, sweet, and sour flavor that’s perfectly balanced. 
  • Dairy ingredients: For the liquid ingredient, use a combination of milk and cream; you’ll want ½ cup milk and ½ cup heavy cream. As it churns and freezes, this combination creates a creamy, silky texture that’s not too heavy. 
  • 3 drops green food coloring: To give the Lime Sherbet a fitting color, add just 3 drops of liquid food coloring to the mixture for a bright, light lime color. 
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Kitchen Tools & Equipment

  • Mixing bowl: Before adding this recipe to your ice cream maker, still all the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl so that you have a cohesive, creamy mixture. 
  • Ice cream machine: Use an at-home ice cream maker to churn and chill the sherbet ingredients until they harden. 
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How to Make

  1. Combine the Ingredients

    Add fresh lime juice, sugar, whole milk, heavy cream, and food coloring to a mixing bowl and stir them together.

  2. Churn the Sherbet

    Pour the mixture into your ice cream machine and turn it on for 20-25 minutes to harden the sherbet.

  3. Freeze to Set

    Freeze the Lime Sherbet for at least 2 hours before scooping and serving. Keep in mind it will be softer than ice cream and melt faster so return it to the freezer when you aren’t serving.

Can this be made ahead of time?

You can absolutely prepare homemade sherbet ahead of time. After making the recipe, transfer the Lime Sherbet from your ice cream maker to a freezer-safe airtight container. Then, keep the recipe in the freezer until you’re ready to serve. 

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Nutritional Facts

Nutrition Facts
Lime Sherbet
Amount Per Serving
Calories 279 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Fat 12g18%
Saturated Fat 7g44%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 37mg12%
Sodium 21mg1%
Potassium 146mg4%
Carbohydrates 45g15%
Fiber 0.2g1%
Sugar 41g46%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 517IU10%
Vitamin C 18mg22%
Calcium 66mg7%
Iron 0.1mg1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Homemade Sherbet Tips & Tricks

Don’t Rush the Process

Making homemade Lime Sherbet is easy, but it takes a little time to freeze. Be sure to let the mixture churn in the ice cream machine for at least 20 minutes, then freeze for an additional 2 hours. Otherwise, it may be runny when you serve it.

Use Whole Milk

The fat in the dairy ingredients is what gives sherbet its rich, creamy consistency. While you can make the recipe lighter by opting for skim milk, this won’t give you the same indulgent flavor as whole milk and heavy cream.

No Ice Cream Maker?

You can make sherbet without an ice cream maker but it will take a bit longer to set and freeze. Add all the ingredients except the lime juice to a blender or food processor. Blend for 4-5 minutes until frothy and the sugar is dissolved. Add the lime juice and blend another minute. Pour into a frozen loaf pan and freeze for 3-4 hours until set.

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What to Pair With Fresh Lime Sherbet

Fruit Salad: Lime Sherbet and freshly sliced fruit salad make a refreshing dessert on a hot summer day. This tart homemade sherbet would go perfectly with my Honey Lime Berry Fruit Salad.

Fruit Desserts: Instead of topping your fruit pies and cakes with whipped cream or plain vanilla ice cream, why not scoop Lime Sherbet on top? If you really love lime flavor, serve it with Key Lime Pie! To balance the lime flavor, try it with warm Peach Cobbler.

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How to Store

Store: To keep homemade sherbet fresh, it needs to be frozen. You can transfer the Lime Sherbet recipe from your ice cream maker to a freezer-safe airtight container. As long as it’s kept sealed, the recipe can stay good for up to 1 month in the freezer. 

Serve: To serve the sherbet, let it soften for 10-15 minutes at room temperature so it’s easy to scoop. You can also run your ice cream scoop under hot water, so that it more easily glides through the frozen mixture. Sherbet will melt faster than regular ice cream because of the high liquid content, so don’t leave it out for more than 45 minutes, or it will melt and separate which will cause ice crystals when it freezes again.

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Ideas to Serve

Lime Sherbet Punch Recipe

Mix together 2 liters of Sprite, 2 liters of club soda, 12 ounces of fruit punch, and 12 ounces of pineapple juice in a large punch bowl. Top off the fruit punch with several scoops of Lime Sherbet and serve immediately.

Serve Like Ice Cream

Serve scoops of Lime Sherbet in a dessert bowl with whipped cream and some fresh lime zest or candied lime slices as garnish. Homemade sherbet also tastes delicious when served in a crisp waffle cone.

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Frequent Questions

How do you pronounce sherbet?

Sherbet is often mispronounced as “sure-bert,” with an extra “r” sound at the end. However, this frozen treat is actually pronounced “shur-buht”, or if you are British it would be “shuh-buht” with no “r” sound at all.

What’s the difference between sherbet and sorbet?

Both sherbet and sorbet are delicious frozen fruit desserts. However, they are not the same. The key difference is that while sherbet is made with dairy, sorbet is not. As a result, sherbet has a richer, creamy texture, while sorbet is made with fruit, sugar, and ice crystals. 

Is sherbet the same as ice cream?

No. Just like with sorbet, sherbet is similar to ice cream. However, it is not the same dessert. Like ice cream, sherbet contains dairy, and both desserts can contain fruit. But Sherbet primarily contains fruit juice or purée, whereas milk and cream are typically the main ingredients in ice cream. The difference is in the ratio of ingredients. 

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Recipe Card

Lime Sherbet

Easy Homemade Lime Sherbet is a fun summer treat made with just 5 ingredients. Perfect frozen dessert for a hot day or adding to fruit punch!
Yield 4 Servings
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 1 cup lime juice
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3 drops green food coloring , optional


  • Mix together the lime juice, sugar, milk, heavy cream and food coloring.
  • Place in ice cream machine for 20-25 minutes until hardened.
  • Freeze for 2 hours.


Calories: 279kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 37mg | Sodium: 21mg | Potassium: 146mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 41g | Vitamin A: 517IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 66mg | Iron: 0.1mg

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Sherbet Recipe Variations

Lemon Sherbet: One of the easiest alterations that you can make to this recipe is swapping out the lime juice for lemon juice. You’ll get a similar sweet and sour flavor, but lemon juice is slightly less tart than lime juice. If you opt for this version, you can also swap the green food coloring for the yellow food coloring or leave the food coloring out entirely. 

Orange sherbet: Just as easily as you can swap the fresh lime juice for lemon juice, you can also change it to orange juice. If you want a variety of citrus flavors, try dividing your sherbet into three separate bowls and mixing lime juice and green food color into one, lemon juice and yellow color into the second, and orange juice and orange food coloring into the third. Then scoop the finished sherbets into one container for a delicious citrus mix. 

More Fruit: You can also flavor your sherbet with other varieties of fruit. Use your choice of freshly squeezed fruit juice or puree berries to flavor the mixture. Replace ¼ cup of lime juice with the fresh fruit juice so the ratio of juice to cream and sugar stays the same. I recommend trying it with a fresh Strawberry Puree for a sweet and tart, berry and citrus flavor combo!

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More Sweet Frozen Fruit Desserts

Lime Sherbet collage of finished sherbet combined in rainbow sherbet and steps to make sherbet. Recipe name in red banner across bottom third of frame.

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

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