Distinguishing Ice Cream & Sorbet

Ice Cream is a well-known dessert made from cream and milk, available in a variety of flavors worldwide. On the other hand, Sorbet is another dessert that some people may find confusing. Although both are sweet and frozen, there are several differences between Ice Cream and Sorbet that will be discussed in this article.

Ice Cream

Ice Cream’s name reveals its nature as a frozen dessert made with cream, though milk is a major ingredient. Sugar and flavors are added to make it tasty. One unique feature of ice cream is that it contains over 50% air by volume, which gets inside during the manufacturing process involving whipping. This whipping also makes the final product’s texture fluffy and smooth.

Different categories of ice creams exist based on their ingredients, primarily butterfat. Premium ice creams contain butterfat in a high range of 11-15%, while regular ice creams contain around 10% or slightly more. Economy ice creams have just 10% butterfat and are the cheapest of the three categories.

More ice cream varieties are available in the market according to fat content, like reduced fat and light ice creams. In France, a frozen dessert with custard as the base is more popular, called glace. In some countries, gelato, another frozen dessert containing less air by volume, is more popular than standard ice cream.


Sorbet is a unique frozen dessert that is perfect for those with lactose intolerance, as it contains no dairy products. Its main ingredient is fruit puree, in addition to flavors, herbs, and spices as desired. Whipping the mixture of ice and puree makes the sorbet fluffy and light.

Another variety called sherbet is closer to ice creams, as it contains milk in addition to fruit puree. However, there are no dairy products in sorbet. Sorbets have a granular texture due to the presence of ice, even though they are whipped. With the addition of milk, much of the granular texture disappears, and the dessert becomes smooth like ice cream.

The Chinese are credited with inventing the frozen dessert sorbet, although it was extensively used by Mughal emperors to combat summers in Delhi. They ordered snow from the Hindukush Mountains, brought to them by a relay team of horsemen, and poured into glasses with syrups to make sorbets.

Key Takeaways

  • Ice cream is a frozen dessert made primarily from cream and milk, while sorbet is a frozen dessert without any dairy products.
  • Ice cream is ice mixed with cream, while sorbet is ice mixed with fruit puree.
  • Ice cream is fluffier and smoother than sorbet, which has a granulated texture due to the presence of ice, despite being whipped.
Dmitri Ivanov
Dmitri Ivanovhttps://whats-different.com
Dmitri Ivanov, a writer and managing editor, was educated in Canada and holds a BS in Science. Dmitri loves doing research, writing, and teaching various courses.


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