Orange Julius (Copycat)

4 Servings
Prep Time 3 minutes
Total Time 3 minutes

Orange Julius (Copycat) tastes just like the creamy mall food court drink. Made easily with cream, orange concentrate, and ice.

This Orange Julius recipe is the perfect refreshing drink to enjoy on a hot summer day. For more icy treats to keep you cool throughout the summer try more Dessert Recipes like Ice Cream Sundae, Frozen Mud Pie, or Chocolate Ice Cream.

Orange Julius in glasses

For most people, this orange, creamy drink just takes you right back to when you were a kid hanging out at the mall. After a back-to-school shopping trip, there was nothing quite as good as mall food court favorites like a Gooey Cinnabon or Chilled Orange Julius.

If you haven’t tried one before, Orange Julius is a rich, frothy drink with lots of tangy orange flavor. It’s made with an amazing blend of orange concentrate, vanilla, and creamy ingredients. The Orange Julius chain is owned by Dairy Queen. Though you can no longer get this yummy recipe at Dairy Queen Stores, they are still available at Orange Julius stands in a lot of malls.

But, you can skip the trip altogether and make this Orange Julius copycat yourself. The copycat recipe is just as smooth, and flavorful as the original frothy smoothie. Plus, you can make the refreshing treat in just a few minutes. Just combine a few simple ingredients like milk, heavy cream, sugar, ice, and orange juice concentrate in your blender. Then combine it into the simple copycat recipe. It’s simple, delicious, and way less work than going to the mall for your smoothie fix.

Orange Julius ingredients

This homemade smoothie drink is perfect to enjoy as an afternoon pick-me-up or as a sweet treat after dinner. If you want enough to serve a bigger group, simply double up the ingredients to make enough for everybody. The recipe is so quick that you can easily blend a few batches if you need to.

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FAQs About Orange Julius (Copycat)

What is the difference between an Orange Julius and a shake?

You will find the texture to be the main difference between an Orange Julius and a shake. Shakes use ice cream to make the drink nice and thick. An Orange Julius is not nearly as thick, but it is still a sweet and creamy drink that could serve as a refreshing snack or a sweet treat after a meal.

How did Orange Julius get its name?

Orange Julius was created at an orange juice stand run by a man named Julius. Rumor has it that the drink got its name because the drink became very popular and customers would order at the counter, “Give me an Orange, Julius!” The name apparently stuck!

Key Ingredients

  • Milk and Cream: For the base liquid ingredients in the Orange Julius Copycat, use whole milk and heavy cream. It’s important to use heavy cream along with the whole milk because its higher milkfat content makes a velvety, more creamy beverage.
  • Orange Juice: To give the drink its iconic orange flavor, use frozen concentrate. The concentrate is better than using regular orange juice because it won’t make the mixture too runny. Plus, it’s the perfect secret ingredient to give it the right amount of fruity taste since the flavor is so condensed.
  • Ice: To make the Orange Julius frosty cold, and to thicken it up, add in some ice. You can use small cubes, or crushed ice so that it can easily blend into the liquid ingredients. You want the finished mixture soft enough to drink through a straw.
Orange Julius ingredients

How to Make Orange Julius (Copycat)

  • Prep Time: Make sure all your ingredients are prepped before starting the recipe. Have water chilled, and the ice prepared in ice cube trays ready to go.
  • Blend: Add the milk, heavy cream, orange juice concentrate, granulated sugar, and vanilla extract to your blender. Once you have the ingredients in blender, turn it onto high speed. Continue blending for about 20 seconds, or until it’s all combined into a smooth orange juice mixture. Then add the ice cubes, and blend again until smooth.
  • Serve: Pour the Copycat Orange Julius recipe into glasses and add an orange slice for garnish if desired.
Orange Julius in glasses


Variations on Orange Julius (Copycat)

  • Pineapple Orange Julius: One of the great things about this recipe is that you can add a variety of different fruit flavors to the original recipe. Instead of just using orange juice concentrate, you can use half orange juice and half pineapple juice concentrate. Then blend the Pineapple Orange Julius as usual to finish the recipe.
  • Fruit: For more fruit options, you could also add frozen fruit to the blender. Try adding in frozen strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, or frozen bananas at the same time you add the ice cubes to the Orange Julius mix. Then blend until smooth.
  • Thicker Drink: In order to thicken your Orange Julius to be more like a shake, you can add a couple scoops of ice cream to the drink. Other options would be to add frozen yogurt, or a frozen banana to thicken it and add some extra flavor.
  • Healthy Orange Julius Copycat: When you make a copycat version of your favorite restaurant recipes, you can swap out any of the ingredients you want in order to meet your dietary restrictions or goals. To make a Healthy Orange Julius Copycat, you can exchange the heavy cream and whole milk with almond milk or coconut milk.

Can Orange Julius (Copycat) be made ahead?

While Orange Julius is best served made fresh due to the mix of refrigerated and frozen ingredients, you could make it ahead of time if you really needed to. One way to make sure your drink is cold and frothy the next day would be to mix all the ingredients together except the ice. Then store it in the refrigerator over night. The next day take it out of the fridge and add the ice, then blend it and serve it to your happy friends, family, or guests.

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How to Store Orange Julius

  • Serve: This Orange Julius Copycat recipe definitely tastes best served fresh. That way it’s still perfectly chilled and creamy.
  • Store: If you have any leftovers, you can store the drink in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-2 days.
  • Freeze: You can also freeze Orange Julius for up to 3 months. Let it thaw in the fridge, and then put the ingredients back in the blender to remix them before serving.

Orange Julius in glasses

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Orange Julius (Copycat)

Orange Julius (Copycat) tastes just like the creamy mall food court drink. Made easily with cream, orange concentrate, and ice.
Yield 4 Servings
Prep Time 3 minutes
Total Time 3 minutes
Course Drink
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 6 ounces frozen orange juice concentrate
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups ice
  • 4 slices orange


  • Add milk, orange juice concentrate, sugar and vanilla to a high speed blender and blend for 20 seconds.
  • Add the ice and blend until smooth, another 30 seconds.
  • Pour the drinks and garnish with one orange slice, then serve.


Calories: 250kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 50mg | Sodium: 56mg | Potassium: 430mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 747IU | Vitamin C: 59mg | Calcium: 139mg | Iron: 1mg

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.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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  1. the recipe for the Orange Julius says add chilled water in a couple places, but lists no amount or water of any kind except for ice on the actual recipe. how much water do you use?

    1. Sorry for the confusion Nick. No water added, just ice added to the blender to thicken. I have this on the list to correct. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. Hope you try the recipe and enjoy your “chilled” Orange Julius!

    1. Sorry for the typo. There is no ice water, just ice added to the blender to thicken. I corrected the recipe card! Thank you Kathy for bringing this to our attention!