Colorful and sweet, homemade Rainbow Sherbet is easy to make at home and a favorite frozen dessert for the whole family!
To keep things simple, this three-flavored sherbet is made using an easy no-churn method, so you don’t need an ice cream maker to make rainbow sherbet from scratch.
Orange, Lime, and Pink Lemonade juice concentrate, plus a few other simple ingredients are all you need!
What is The Difference Between Sherbet and Sorbet?
Sherbet is a fruity frozen dessert that fits somewhere in between sorbet, which is a diary free fruit dessert, and ice cream, which contains more cream than fruit.
Sherbet is made from fruit juice, with added cream that gives it a texture that is more similar to ice cream.
Why You’re Going to Love This Rainbow Sherbet Recipe
Fun Flavors and Colors – Why make just a single flavor of sherbet when it’s super simple to make three different sherbet flavors and layer them together? They say we eat with our eyes first, and this frozen dessert looks as delicious as it tastes!
Easy No-Churn Recipe – Because we’re making three flavors of sherbet, it’s more efficient to use a no-churn method to make them. Using the ice cream maker to make rainbow sherbet would take all day to churn!
Family Friendly – Kids love rainbow sherbet. This recipe is naturally gluten-free, nut free, and easily made without food dyes too. We’re using pink lemonade concentrate here, but go ahead and switch to regular lemonade if you want to skip red dye.
You can also use it to make sherbet punch.
Ingredients in Homemade No Churn Rainbow Sherbet
Three Flavors of Juice Concentrate, Thawed – To create the beautiful colors and bright flavors of this homemade rainbow sherbet, we’re using limeade, orange, and pink lemonade frozen juice concentrates. Allow the juice to thaw before mixing up the sherbet base.
Fresh Citrus Zest – To really bring out the citrus flavors in this recipe, the zest from a fresh orange, lime, and lemon is a must!
Heavy Cream – Because we aren’t churning this sherbet, we’ll whip heavy cream and gently fold it in. This adds lightness and helps to create a smooth, creamy texture.
Sweetened Condensed Milk – In no-churn ice cream recipes, sweetened condensed milk replaces the cooked custard that adds richness, sweetness, and bulk to the base.
Food Coloring – This is totally optional, but for really vibrant colors, add a few drops of orange, pink, and green to the flavors.
How to Make Rainbow Sherbet from Scratch
- Use three medium-sized bowls to mix up the three flavors of sherbet. In one bowl, add the orange juice concentrate and orange zest. To a second bowl, add the lime concentrate and lime zest. To the final bowl, add the pink lemonade and the lemon zest.
- Whip the heavy cream in a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand mixer until stiff peaks form. Then, add the sweetened condensed milk to the whipped cream and gently fold it in to combine. You want to avoid deflating the whipped cream!
- Add a third of the cream mixture to each bowl of juice, again very gently folding it in. Cover the three bowls with plastic wrap, and place in the freezer for 2 hours, or until the sherbet is semi-frozen.
- Place scoops of each flavor into a 9×5 inch loaf pan, creating sections, and spread the scoops into a smooth, compact layer. Cover and freeze again for at least 6 hours, or until completely frozen.
These numbered steps match the numbered photos above and are for illustration purposes. For the complete list of ingredients and instructions for making rainbow sherbet, please see the recipe below.
How to Store Rainbow Sherbet
Store this homemade rainbow sherbet in the freezer in an airtight container with a piece of parchment paper or wax paper pressed on top for up to one month.
The paper covering helps to protect the rainbow sherbet from freezer burn and keeps it fresher for longer.
Tips for Making This Rainbow Sherbet Recipe
Use quality ingredients – When making homemade sherbet, you’ll want to make sure you are using high-quality ingredients for the best outcome.
Chill out – If possible, always start with chilled ingredients. This is important for homemade no-churn ice cream recipes and ice cream maker recipes. This recipe calls for two different freezing steps, and you’ll want to be sure to do both of them for best results.
Don’t skimp on the fat – High-fat milk and cream are essential when making homemade sherbet. In this recipe, heavy cream is whipped into stiff peaks. Any other dairy product won’t do that, so you can’t substitute milk or half and half.
Try other flavors – we’re using lime, orange, and lemon juices to make this rainbow sherbet because they are easily found at the grocery store, but you can use any type of juice concentrates!
For really bright, vivid colors, we used Americolor Electric Orange, Electric Pink, and Electric Green gel food coloring.
How to Make Rainbow Sherbet Popsicles
Rather than adding the semi-frozen sherbet into a loaf pan, divide it into popsicle molds instead! Freeze the pops for at least 8 hours before enjoying them.
How To Make No Churn Sherbet With A Single Flavor
Don’t want to make rainbow sherbet today? It’s ok!
You can use this recipe and method to make a whole tub of no-churn lime sherbet or no-churn orange sherbet! Simply use 1 1/2 cups of juice concentrate in your favorite flavor, plus 2-3 tablespoons of zest.
You can mix everything in one bowl, and then freeze it for 8 hours, stirring the mixture once or twice around the 2-hour mark to add air.
Is Rainbow Sherbet Ice Cream?
Not quite! While you’ll find rainbow sherbet mixed in with the ice cream at the grocery store, it’s actually a bit different.
Sherbet has more fruit juice and less milk and cream than ice cream does, which is why it has its own name and isn’t just called “rainbow ice cream”.
Is It Spelled Sherbet or Sherbert?
Both words, with or without the R are correct! While the more common spelling is “sherbet”, “sherbert” is also used enough that the people who write the dictionary have decided that either will do.
More Homemade Frozen Dessert Recipes
Our Favorite No Churn Ice Cream Making Tools:
- Glass Mixing Bowls – We love using these glass mixing bowls, but you can use what you like.
- Loaf Pan – You can use any 9 x 13 loaf pan or a shallow pan, but we like this one.
- Ice Cream Scoop – Make sure you have a good ice cream scoop. This is one of our favorites.
- Ice Cream Bowls – You can use any bowl, but we think these are fun.
- Ice Cream Containers – We love keeping a couple of ice cream containers on hand for when we make homemade ice cream.
Note: Each of these links will take you to the exact product on Amazon. As an Amazon associate, I earn a little from each qualifying purchase.
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- ½ cup thawed orange juice concentrate
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- ½ cup thawed limeade concentrate
- 1 tablespoon lime zest
- ½ cup thawed pink lemonade concentrate
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1 cup cold heavy cream
- 7 ounces (½ can) sweetened condensed milk
- Add the orange juice concentrate and orange zest to a medium-sized bowl. Add the limeade concentrate and lime zest to another medium-sized bowl. Add the pink lemonade concentrate and lemon zest to a third medium-sized bowl.
- In a large bowl, beat the heavy cream using a hand or stand mixer until stiff peaks form.
- Add the sweetened condensed milk to the whipped cream and gently fold to combine– you don’t want to deflate the whipped cream.
- Add a third of the whipped cream to the bowl with the orange juice concentrate and gently fold it to combine. Again, you don’t want to deflate the whipped cream. Repeat with the limeade and lemonade bowls.
- Cover each bowl tightly with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge to chill until it is semi-frozen and has a consistency similar to soft serve– about 2 hours.
- Place scoops of each flavor into a 9x5” loaf pan and spread them into a smooth, compact layer. Cover and freeze the sherbet again until completely frozen– at least 6 hours.
- Scoop and enjoy.
- If you’d like your sherbet to have really vibrant colors, add 1-2 drops of food coloring to the bowls with the juice concentrates in Step 1. I used Americolor’s Electric Orange, Electric Pink, and Electric Green for this sherbet.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 271Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 45mgSodium: 53mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 0gSugar: 31gProtein: 4g