Raspberry Sherbet

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This raspberry sherbet is everything a good sherbet should be; a perfect balance of fresh fruit flavors with a creamy smooth texture. Ice cream making falls under the umbrella of “pastry”, so when I was in culinary school and we had an option to make pastries, cakes, or tarts, or make the sorbets, sherbets and ice cream, I’d often be the first to raise my hand for frozen desserts!

raspberry sherbet with pink napkin.

It’s lovely on hot summer days or as a simple dessert for a bridal or baby showers. But don’t limit ice cream making to the summer months, we enjoy it year round. It has simple ingredients, no artificial flavors, or colors, no high fructose corn syrup, and zero preservatives. It’s infinitely better than any store-bought sherbet!

raspberry sherbet in elegant glasses.

What’s the difference between sorbet and sherbet?

Sherbet is the perfect blend of sorbet and ice cream. It gets its creamy texture from dairy, but has a fruity flavor profile of sorbet. Sherbet does not contain any egg yolks like many ice cream recipes. Sorbet is made from fresh or frozen fruit, sugar and water. This raspberry sherbet recipe uses heavy cream which gives it a rich, smooth texture. Sorbetto is the Italian version of sorbet.

Ingredients for homemade raspberry sherbet

raspberry sherbet ingredients.
  • Frozen or fresh raspberries.
  • lemon juice to help balance the flavor
  • heavy cream
  • a small amount of alcohol. Vodka is a neutral spirit, so it will not affect the flavor. A complimentary liqueur like Chambord would also work. Don’t be tempted to add more than 2 teaspoons alcohol or youll end up with a slushy frozen treat!

Why do you use alcohol in sorbet and sherbet?

While there is just a small amount of vodka in this recipe, (2 teaspoons), alcohol freezes at a lower temperature than milk or water, so it helps prevent the sherbet from forming ice crystals. You can absolutely omit the alcohol if you are sensitive.

Can I substitute skim milk or whole milk for the cream?

Substituting skim or whole milk for the cream will result in a less creamy sherbet with more of an icier texture. Anyway, it’s really just a treat, and not something we eat every day,

Let’s talk about ice cream machines

I’ve made ice cream the old fashioned way with a hand crank ice cream maker. My dad would by rock salt, and my brother and I would take turns cranking…for about 5 minutes until our arms fell off. Then came the ice cream machine that motorized the crank. Those were so much easier, but still not ideal. When I went to culinary school I fell in love with the professional grade electric ice cream maker with built in compressor.

raspberry sherbet in pretty glasses.

My first ice cream maker was this reasonably priced Cuisinart. The advantage of the Cuisinart is that it takes up less counter or shelf space. The disadvantage is that you have to freeze the ice cream container the day before you plan on making ice cream or sherbet.

vertical raspberry sherbet.

My newest ice cream maker is this Whynter and it’s just like the one we had in school (but way cheaper!) It was my Christmas present this year and I’m already in love with how easy it is to make frozen desserts! Because it has a built-in compressor, the advantage is that when you want to make ice cream you just put the chilled mixture into the container and press on! The disadvantage is that it takes up more counter/storage real estate. It’s also pricier, but if you love making homemade ice cream, sorbet or sherbet, you’ll love the ease of this model. It also makes frozen summer drinks like margaritas and pina coladas which is fun for summer parties.

How to make raspberry sherbet

  • In a stainless-steel saucepan, (make sure it’s non-reactive), place 3 cups fresh raspberries, or a 12 ounce bag of frozen berries, sugar and water. and pinch of salt. 
  • Over medium heat cook berries, stirring occasionally, until mixture begins to simmer, about 7 minutes. 
cooking raspberries and sugar.
  • Using a fine mesh sieve or fine mesh strainer, press the raspberry puree through strainer and discard seeds and any pulp. You don’t want any raspberry seeds in the puree, but as much raspberry juice as possible.
pressing pulp through sieve.
  • Add the lemon juice and vodka or alcohol.
adding vodka and lemon juice.
  • While the raspberry puree is chilling, whip the cream until it resembles soft peaks.
whipping the cream.
  • Whipping the cream first, and then gently folding the puree into the whipped cream will keep the raspberry sherbet mixture light and smooth.
whisking raspberry into cream.
  • Pour the raspberry puree down the side of the whipped cream and mix just until blended.
adding raspberry sauce to whipped cream.
  • Chill the raspberry sherbet mixture to about 45 degrees before putting it in the ice cream mixture. You can also place it in a large pitcher in the freezer for about 20 minutes to speed up the chilling process, but don’t let it freeze.
raspberry sherbet mixture in container.
  • You want the raspberry mixture as cold as possible before putting it in the ice cream maker. Once the mixture is chilled, follow manufacturer’s instructions and freeze until it resembles soft-serve ice cream.
raspberry sherbet in churner.
  • It will be ready to eat at this point, but is always better if it has several hours to firm up and cure.

Serve sherbet in these pretty ice cream dishes or your favorite antique wine glasses. These mini dessert glasses are great for a dinner party.

raspberry sherbet top shot.

How to store sherbet

I love this freezer-safe container. They come in packs of two, come in cute colors, and are very sturdy. Otherwise use an airtight container to prevent freezer burn. This is a great ice cream scoop.

sherbet in container.

Looking for more frozen desserts?

Peppermint Ice Cream is our favorite holiday ice cream. Bananas Foster with Coconut is a lovely last minute dessert that takes just minutes to make. Tin Roof Sundae is a vintage dessert with salted peanuts and homemade Chocolate Sauce. Poire Belle Helene is a classic Parisian dessert. Coconut Ice Cream has a tropical twist.

raspberry sherbet in pretty glasses.

Raspberry Sherbet

Raspberry sherbet is perfect blend of luscious and light, fruity and tangy. Recipe from Cook's Illustrated.
5 from 54 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
chill time 50 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 16 servings
Calories 95 kcal


  • 12 ounces frozen raspberries or 3 cups fresh raspberries.
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons vodka
  • 2/3 cup whipping cream
  • 3/4 cup water


  • Place frozen or fresh raspberries, 3/4 cup water, 1 cup sugar and salt in a medium saucepan. Over medium heat, bring mixture to simmer, stirring occasionally, about 7 minutes. Do not boil.
  • Press cooked raspberry mixture through a sieve or fine strainer, getting as much juice as possible. Discard raspberry seeds and pulp.
  • Mix in lemon juice and vodka. Cover raspberry puree with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, or place in the freezer until very cold, about 45 minutes. Don't allow it to freeze.
  • In a medium bowl whip cream until soft peaks form. Once raspberry mixture is cold (about 40 degrees), pour it in a steady stream into whipping cream, while whisking continuously.
  • Pour mixture into the canister of ice cream maker and follow manufacturer's instructions. Time will vary depending on the type of ice cream maker you have.
  • Once sherbet has finished churning, transfer to a container and freeze 3 hours to overnight.


Serving: 1servingCalories: 95kcalCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 1gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.2gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 22mgPotassium: 46mgFiber: 1gSugar: 14gVitamin A: 153IUVitamin C: 7mgCalcium: 13mgIron: 0.2mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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  1. Hi I Don’t have an ice cream machine. Can we put it in a metal loaf pan? And stir each twenty minutes or so till it starts to solidify?
    Thank you for your reply
    The gift card is a nice touch

    1. Yes you can certainly use a metal loaf pan and periodically stir it! I might take it out after several hours and give it a good whipping to get some more air in it! Entered!

5 from 54 votes (53 ratings without comment)

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