Difference Wiki

Ice-Cream vs. Sherbet: What's the Difference?

Reviewed by Huma Saeed || By Sumera Saeed || Updated on October 12, 2023
Ice-cream is a creamy, frozen dairy dessert, while sherbet is a fruity, frozen dessert with a bit of dairy or fat.

Key Differences

Ice-cream is a beloved dessert known for its rich and creamy texture, derived primarily from its dairy and fat content, whereas sherbet, while also enjoyed as a refreshing frozen treat, offers a fruitier and slightly tart profile with a lower milkfat content.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 12, 2023
When looking at the variety and versatility of flavors, ice-cream tends to encompass a vast array, including pure dairy, fruit, chocolate, and countless creative concoctions, while sherbet typically leans towards a fruit-centric palate, exploiting the natural sweetness and tanginess of the incorporated fruits.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 12, 2023
From a nutritional standpoint, ice-cream tends to be denser and higher in fat and calories due to the considerable dairy and sugar content, while sherbet, though not completely guilt-free, generally presents a lighter option by virtue of its lower fat content and the incorporation of fruit juices.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 12, 2023
In terms of texture, ice-cream boasts a rich, smooth, and creamy consistency which is achieved through its higher fat content and often, the inclusion of egg yolks; conversely, sherbet delivers a lighter, slightly icy, and somewhat creamy texture, owing to its modest dairy content and higher water ratio.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 12, 2023
Culinary applications of ice-cream often see it used as a standalone dessert or an accompaniment to pies, cakes, and other sweet dishes, while sherbet might often be employed in beverages, like punches, or served between meals as a palate cleanser due to its refreshing and tangy characteristics.
Janet White
Oct 12, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Base Ingredient

Dairy (milk/cream)
Fruit Juice
Sumera Saeed
Oct 12, 2023

Dairy Content

High
Low
Sumera Saeed
Oct 12, 2023

Texture

Creamy and smooth
Lighter and slightly icy
Sumera Saeed
Oct 12, 2023

Typical Flavors

Vast variety (beyond fruit)
Primarily fruity
Aimie Carlson
Oct 12, 2023

Usage in Culinary

Dessert/accompaniment
Dessert/beverage/palate cleanser
Janet White
Oct 12, 2023
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Ice-Cream and Sherbet Definitions

Ice-Cream

It's a sweet treat typically served in a cone or bowl.
She dropped her ice-cream cone and started crying.
Huma Saeed
Oct 12, 2023

Sherbet

Sherbet can act as a palate cleanser between meal courses.
The chef served a raspberry sherbet between the entrée and dessert.
Janet White
Oct 12, 2023

Ice-Cream

Ice-cream is a frozen dessert made from cream and sugar, often with flavorings.
I love to eat vanilla ice-cream after dinner.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 12, 2023

Sherbet

It's a popular choice for fruity frozen beverages and punches.
The punch was made with lime sherbet and ginger ale.
Sara Rehman
Oct 12, 2023

Ice-Cream

Ice-cream can also be an ingredient in beverages like shakes and floats.
He made a thick milkshake using chocolate ice-cream and milk.
Janet White
Oct 12, 2023

Sherbet

Sherbet is a fruit-based frozen dessert with a small amount of milkfat.
Orange sherbet is my go-to summer refreshment.
Huma Saeed
Oct 12, 2023

Ice-Cream

It's a versatile dessert that comes in various flavors and forms (like bars and sandwiches).
I ordered an ice-cream sandwich from the food truck.
Sara Rehman
Oct 12, 2023

Sherbet

It's often considered a lighter, refreshing frozen treat.
A scoop of lemon sherbet can be really refreshing on a hot day.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 12, 2023

Ice-Cream

Ice-cream can also be a dish used to enhance the flavor of pies or pastries.
The apple pie was served a la mode with vanilla ice-cream.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 12, 2023

Sherbet

Sherbet can come in various fruit flavors, often exhibiting a slightly tart taste.
The strawberry sherbet had a lovely balance of sweet and tart.
Janet White
Oct 12, 2023

Ice-Cream

A sweet, smooth, frozen dessert made from dairy products such as cream or milk, sugar or other sweeteners, and flavorings.
Sumera Saeed
Aug 30, 2017

Sherbet

Also sher·bert (-bûrt′) A frozen dessert made mainly of fruit juice or fruit purée, usually with sugar and milk or cream.
Sumera Saeed
Aug 30, 2017

Ice-Cream

A serving of this dessert
At the ball game, I bought an ice cream.
Sumera Saeed
Aug 30, 2017

Sherbet

Chiefly British A usually fruit-flavored effervescent powder, eaten as candy or made into a drink.
Sumera Saeed
Aug 30, 2017

Ice-Cream

Alternative spelling of ice cream
Sumera Saeed
Aug 30, 2017

FAQs

What is the base ingredient in ice-cream?

Dairy, typically milk and/or cream.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 12, 2023

Can ice-cream be made without an ice-cream maker?

Yes, there are various methods to make ice-cream without a machine.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 12, 2023

Can ice-cream be made with non-dairy alternatives?

Yes, non-dairy ice-cream, often made with coconut milk or almond milk, is available.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 12, 2023

Is sherbet a healthy dessert option?

While often lower in fat than ice-cream, sherbet still contains sugars.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 12, 2023

How can I make my homemade sherbet creamier?

Ensuring the sugar is fully dissolved and incorporating a bit of gelatin can help.
Sara Rehman
Oct 12, 2023

What are the common flavors of ice-cream?

Vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, and mint chocolate chip are quite common.
Sara Rehman
Oct 12, 2023

Can I make sherbet without an ice-cream maker?

Yes, you can make sherbet by freezing and stirring periodically.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 12, 2023

What is the difference between sherbet and sorbet?

Sherbet contains a bit of dairy or fat, while sorbet is usually dairy-free.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 12, 2023

Can I use ice-cream as an ingredient in baking?

Yes, ice-cream can be used in certain baking recipes like ice-cream bread.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 12, 2023

Can sherbet be used in beverages?

Yes, sherbet is often used in punches and other drinks for a fruity flavor.
Janet White
Oct 12, 2023

How is the sweetness in ice-cream balanced?

It’s often balanced with flavors, like fruits, chocolate, or vanilla.
Sara Rehman
Oct 12, 2023

Is gelato the same as ice-cream?

No, gelato has less fat and air than ice-cream, offering a denser texture.
Sara Rehman
Oct 12, 2023

What gives sherbet its tart flavor?

The fruit juices, zest, or purees used often lend a tartness to sherbet.
Harlon Moss
Oct 12, 2023

Can ice-cream be savory?

Yes, savory ice-creams, like olive oil or basil, can be made.
Janet White
Oct 12, 2023

What types of fruit are typically used in sherbet?

Common fruits include oranges, limes, lemons, and raspberries.
Sara Rehman
Oct 12, 2023

Does sherbet typically contain eggs?

No, sherbet usually doesn’t contain eggs, unlike certain ice-creams.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 12, 2023

Does sherbet contain dairy?

Yes, sherbet contains a small amount of dairy.
Huma Saeed
Oct 12, 2023

Is ice-cream generally higher in fat than sherbet?

Yes, ice-cream typically has a higher fat content compared to sherbet.
Sara Rehman
Oct 12, 2023

What is French-style ice-cream?

French-style ice-cream typically involves an egg custard base.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 12, 2023

Is soft serve a type of ice-cream?

Yes, soft serve is a softer and smoother variation of ice-cream.
Harlon Moss
Oct 12, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.
Reviewed by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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