Rainbow Sherbet Recipe

12 Servings
Prep Time 45 minutes
Freeze 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 45 minutes

Rainbow Sherbet is the perfect frozen, fruity treat with raspberry, orange, and lime flavors all mixed together. Try it today!

We all love traditional Ice Cream, but sometimes you want something a little different. The next time you’re looking for the perfect dessert to cool you down, consider making Homemade Rainbow Sherbet. The sweet and tart fruity tastes are absolutely mouthwatering, and you’re sure to love how refreshing this creamy, frozen fruit treat is. Making homemade versions of your favorite Frozen Desserts is the perfect fun and delicious activity for spring and summer. Also, try classic recipes like Peach Ice Cream, Ice Cream Sundae, and Ice Cream Sandwiches

What is Sherbet?

Like ice cream, Sherbet is a frozen dessert that uses a cream and milk base. However, sherbet is also made with fruit juice or fruit puree. Sherbet is mostly made from frozen fruit ingredients with a small amount of milk and cream to make it richer.

Sabrina’s Rainbow Sherbet Recipe

Sabrina’s Rainbow Sherbet recipe is a fun, colorful treat that’s easy to make. It combines the tangy tastes of the fresh fruit of orange, raspberry, and lime in a creamy, sweet mix. Each flavor is simple to prepare with fruit juice, sugar, and cream. What’s really cool about this recipe is how the bright colors come together, making it look as good as it tastes. The flavors of sherbet are perfect for a sunny day or whenever you need a cheerful snack. Plus, it’s a great way to impress your friends and family with your homemade dessert skills!


Orange Sherbet:

portioned ingredients for orange sherbet
  • 2 cups Orange Juice: For orange sherbet, use 2 cups of orange juice to flavor the fruit mixture. Orange pulp will disrupt the creamy texture of sherbet. To avoid this, use pulp-free juice or strain the pulp out. You can use freshly squeezed or store-bought orange juice.
  • ½ cup Sugar: Sugar adds sweetness to the sherbet and helps create a smooth texture. You can use granulated sugar or a sugar substitute if desired.
  • ¼ cup Lemon Juice: Lemon juice adds a tart contrast to the sweetness of the orange sherbet, balancing the flavors.
  • ½ cup Whole Milk: Whole milk contributes to the creaminess of the sherbet, making it smoother and richer. You can use lower-fat milk, but it may result in a less creamy texture.
  • ½ cup Heavy Cream: Heavy cream adds richness and creaminess to the sherbet, giving it a luxurious texture. You can use a lower-fat cream, but it may affect the final texture.
  • 3 drops Orange Food Coloring (optional): The food coloring is optional and is primarily used to enhance the visual appeal by intensifying the orange color. Opt for a natural dye or omit it for a more natural appearance.

Raspberry Sherbet:

portioned ingredients for raspberry sherbet
  • 12 ounces Raspberries: Raspberries are the main flavor and source of vibrant color in the Raspberry Sherbet. You can use fresh or frozen raspberries.
  • ½ cup Sugar: Sugar sweetens the raspberry sherbet and balances the tartness of the raspberries. You can adjust the amount of sugar to taste.
  • 2 tablespoons Lemon Juice: Lemon juice adds acidity and brightens the flavor of the raspberries while also helping to preserve the color.
  • ½ cup Whole Milk: Whole milk contributes to the creamy texture of the sherbet. You can use alternative milk options, but they may alter the final consistency.
  • ½ cup Heavy Cream: Heavy cream adds richness and creaminess to the Raspberry Sherbet, enhancing its texture.
  • 3 drops Red Food Coloring (optional): The red food coloring is optional and can be used to intensify the color of the sherbet. Opt for a natural dye or omit it for a more natural appearance.

Lime Sherbet:

portioned ingredients for lime sherbet
  • 1 cup Lime Juice: All sherbet recipes call for some form of citric acid. The citric acid gives sherbet a more tart flavor than most types of ice cream, setting it apart from other frozen treats. Both orange and raspberry sherbet call for fresh lemon juice to enhance the natural flavors in the recipe. However, lime sherbet already has citric acid from the lime juice, so lemon isn’t necessary.
  • ¾ cup Sugar: Sugar sweetens the lime sherbet and balances the tartness of the lime juice. Adjust the sugar quantity to your taste.
  • ½ cup Whole Milk: Whole milk contributes to the creaminess of the sherbet, ensuring a smooth texture.
  • ½ cup Heavy Cream: Heavy cream adds richness and creaminess to the Lime Sherbet, creating a luscious mouthfeel.
  • 3 drops Green Food Coloring (optional): The green food coloring is optional and can be used to enhance the sherbet’s visual appeal by intensifying the lime-green color. Opt for a natural dye or omit it for a more natural appearance.

Kitchen Tools and Equipment

  • Ice Cream Machine: An ice cream machine is essential for churning and freezing the sherbet mixtures to achieve the desired creamy texture. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific machine, as different models may have varying freezing times.
  • High-Speed Blender: A high-speed blender is used to puree ingredients like raspberries and achieve a smooth consistency. Make sure to strain out any seeds or solids for a smoother sherbet.
  • 9×5 Inch Loaf Pan: This loaf pan is used to layer and freeze the sherbet in alternating colors, creating the rainbow effect. Ensure it fits in your freezer before starting the recipe.
  • Plastic Wrap: Plastic wrap is used to cover the loaf pan before freezing the sherbet. It helps prevent ice crystals from forming on the surface of the sherbet and keeps it fresh.

How to Make Rainbow Sherbet

Time needed: 4 hours and 45 minutes.

  1. Step 1: Orange Sherbet

    Mix together orange juice, sugar, lemon juice, whole milk, heavy cream, and optional orange food coloring in a bowl. Place the mixture in an ice cream machine and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to freeze it until it becomes hardened. Freeze the orange sherbet for 2 hours.orange sherbet in bowl, unfrozen

  2. Step 2: Raspberry Sherbet

    Blend raspberries, sugar, lemon juice, whole milk, heavy cream, and optional red food coloring in a high-speed blender until you achieve a smooth consistency. Strain the mixture to remove any seeds. Freeze the raspberry sherbet for 2 hours.filtering seeds out of blended raspberry

  3. Step 3: Lime Sherbet

    Combine lime juice, sugar, whole milk, heavy cream, and optional green food coloring. Use an ice cream machine to churn and freeze the lime mixture until it becomes hardened, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Freeze the lime sherbet for 2 hours in a medium bowl.lime sherbet in an ice cream maker

  4. Step 4: Layer the Sherbets

    Remove the sherbets from the freezer and let them soften for 10 minutes. Scoop the sherbets into a 9×5 inch loaf pan in alternating colors without swirling them together. Cover the pan with plastic wrap, ensuring it touches the surface of the sherbet. Freeze the pan for an additional 2 hours. Then enjoy your Rainbow Sherbet ice cream in chilled bowls! scoops of raspberry, orange, and lime sherbets alternating in a loaf pan

Can I Make This in Advance?

Absolutely! This is an ideal recipe to prepare ahead of time because the Sherbet needs a total of 4 hours in the freezer before it’s ready to serve. However, it won’t last too long. Over time, ice crystals form in the sherbet, ruining the creamy texture. Because of this, you don’t want to make this frozen treat more than 2 weeks in advance. 

Nutritional Facts

Nutrition Facts
Rainbow Sherbet
Amount Per Serving
Calories 272 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Fat 12g18%
Saturated Fat 7g44%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 37mg12%
Sodium 21mg1%
Potassium 231mg7%
Carbohydrates 41g14%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 37g41%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 589IU12%
Vitamin C 37mg45%
Calcium 72mg7%
Iron 0.3mg2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

How to Store Rainbow Sherbet


Make sure that you give the Rainbow Sherbet Recipe at least 2 hours to set in the freezer before taking it out and serving it with an ice cream scoop. Just like ice cream, you’ll want to eat the dish immediately because it will melt quickly at room temperature.


To keep leftover sherbet fresh, cover it in the loaf pan that you froze it in, or transfer the remaining mixture to an airtight, freezer-safe container. Kept sealed, the recipe will stay good in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.

Ideas to Serve Rainbow Sherbet

When ready to serve, let the sherbet soften just enough so it’s easier to scoop. You can spoon rounds of sherbet into a bowl to enjoy on its own or add fruit toppings to finish the dessert. You can also serve sherbet in an ice cream cone or scoop it into lemon-lime soda for a refreshing and fruity summer drink.

You can scoop sherbet into a bowl to enjoy the flavorful frozen treat on its own or use this recipe to make Rainbow Sherbet punch. Sherbet punch is a great drink recipe to serve a crowd at a potluck or summer party. You can make the party punch with different sodas and fruit juices, depending on your preference. A great drink mix to go with the rainbow sherbet is mixing equal parts lemon-lime soda and fruit punch in your punch bowl. Then scoop round balls of Rainbow Sherbet over the top to add an amazing creamy flavor to the drink. 

Frequent Questions

What flavors are in Rainbow Sherbet?

This can vary depending on the brand of sherbet that you purchase. However, the most common flavors to find in storebought Rainbow Sherbets are lime, orange, and raspberry. This recipe includes the same three key flavors. Scroll to the variations section for more fruit flavor inspiration. 

Are sherbet and sorbet the same thing?

No, while sorbet is also a dairy-free, frozen fruit dessert, sherbet still contains dairy. This gives sherbet a creamier, richer consistency. It’s more similar to ice cream than sorbet is. 

Is it sherbet or sherbert?

Although it’s often mispronounced as sherbert, sherbet is the original name of this dessert recipe. However, so many people pronounce it as Sherbert that some sources, such as the Merriam-Webster dictionary, consider Sherbert a viable variant of spelling and pronunciation. 

Is sherbet a type of ice cream?

No, although both frozen desserts include cream ingredients, ice cream is made with a much higher percentage of dairy products, as opposed to Sherbet, which is mostly made with fruit and only has some cream. Because of this, sherbet falls somewhere between sorbet and ice cream. It’s richer than sorbet but not as creamy as ice cream. 

Recipe Card

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Rainbow Sherbet

Rainbow Sherbet is the perfect frozen, fruity treat with raspberry, orange, and lime flavors all mixed together. Try it today!
Yield 12 Servings
Prep Time 45 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 45 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


Orange Sherbet:

  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3 drops orange food coloring , optional

Raspberry Sherbet:

  • 12 ounces raspberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3 drops red food coloring , optional

Lime Sherbet:

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


Orange Sherbet:

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

Raspberry Sherbet:

  • Add raspberries, sugar, lemon juice, whole milk, heavy cream and red food coloring to a high speed blender.
  • Strain out the seeds.
  • Freeze for 2 hours.

Lime Sherbet:

  • 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.

To Finish:

  • Remove the sherbets from the freezer and let soften for 10 minutes.
  • Scoop in alternating colors into a 9×5 inch loaf pan. Do not swirl the colors.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 2 hours.


  • Click on the yield amount to slide and change the number of servings and the recipe will automatically update!
  • Click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.
  • To convert measurements to grams, click on the Metric option next to Ingredients in the recipe card.


Calories: 272kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 37mg | Sodium: 21mg | Potassium: 231mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 37g | Vitamin A: 589IU | Vitamin C: 37mg | Calcium: 72mg | Iron: 0.3mg
Keyword: Rainbow Sherbet

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Variations on Rainbow Sherbet

  • Pineapple Sherbet: The amazing thing about homemade sherbet is that you can essentially make it with any fruit flavors you like. Another flavor that tastes delicious in Rainbow Sherbet is pineapple. You can add it to the original blend as a fourth flavor or use it to replace one of the original three flavors. Baskin Robbins uses pineapple, orange, and raspberry in its Rainbow Sherbet. To make pineapple sherbet, follow the same directions as the orange sherbet, only swapping orange juice for pineapple juice and orange food coloring for yellow food coloring. 
  • Mixed Berry Sherbet: Instead of the original rainbow mixture, try making a berry blend with blueberry, strawberry, and raspberry sherbet. Just like with the raspberry flavor, you’ll blend fresh berries into a fruit puree and mix with sugar, citric acid, and milk. Then strain to remove seeds and skin. After freezing, scoop the three berry flavors into a bread pan in alternating flavors and freeze again. 
  • More Flavor Options: There are so many different versions of sherbet. Some other popular options are lemon sherbet, peach sherbet, mango sherbet, cherry sherbet, and more. You can follow the same basic steps with the new flavor ingredients to make whatever type of sherbet you’d like best. 

More Yummy Fruit Desserts

Rainbow Sherbet pin

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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