Homemade Lime Sherbet Recipe

Lime sherbet
Tonic Photo Studios, LLC/Photographer's Choice RF/Getty Images
  • 10 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins,
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 1 1/2 Quarts (4 servings)
Ratings (16)

Lime sherbet combines the ingredients of lime sorbet with dairy, in the form of milk or heavy cream. You get to keep the sweet and tart fruit flavor of the sorbet while adding some of the great benefits of ice cream. Citrus fruits like lime and orange are classic flavors for sherbet. Try making both of them and swirling them together to make your own rainbow sherbet.

This recipe is a very easy one to put together, so it’s a great introduction to making sherbet. If you can heat up water in a small pan, you can make this recipe.

What You'll Need

  • 1 cup sugar (granulated)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2/3 cup lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest
  • 2 cups whole milk (cold)
  • Optional: 2 drops green food coloring

How to Make It

  1. Heat the granulated sugar and water in a small saucepan, stirring frequently until the sugar has completely dissolved. This is a sugar syrup and it will help your sherbet have a smooth texture.
  2. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the lime juice and zest. Refrigerate the mixture until it is completely chilled.
  3. Stir the milk and green food coloring into the lime juice.
  4. Churn the sherbet according to the directions for your ice cream freezer.
  1. Store the lime sherbet in an air-tight plastic container in your freezer. Allowing it to set for at least an hour before freezing will give you a firmer texture than if you serve it right out of the ice cream maker.


  • You can certainly leave out the food coloring, although lime juice doesn’t have much color to it so you will end up with a sherbet that is more of a bright white. Personally, I still like to add a little color to my sherbet, ice cream, and sorbet. If nothing else, it will help you identify the flavor at a glance when you open the freezer!
  • Garnish this sherbet with a slice of fresh lime. You can even serve it in a martini glass for a great presentation. For a more adult option, add two tablespoons of tequila. It is a great combination with the lime.
  • This recipe can be adapted for other fruits, but it is best for citrus flavors like lemon. Because other fruits have so much sugar in them, the proportions will be different. Check out ideas like this orange sherbet recipe to find out how to change up other fruits into great sherbet. Or, experiment by adding a cup of cream or milk to your favorite sorbet recipe!