The Difference Between Ice Cream, Gelato, and Sorbet

Jul 17, 2020 08:30 AM EDT | By Wyn J. (

Ice Cream
(Photo: Pixabay)

When it's hot outside, and the sun is very bright and all up in the sky, there's only one thing that people come to think of: a sweet, cold treat. It could be ice cream, or maybe sorbet, or probably gelato. With that, you might be wondering what the right term for a frozen scoop on a waffle cone is.

To some people, they call it ice cream, meanwhile some people call it sorbet or gelato. Either way, no one is sure about the difference between the three frozen sweet treats.

Although the three desserts could be different from each other, all three are delicious and could brighten someone's day up. In this article, we will see the difference between ice cream, sorbet, and gelato. Let's start.


Sorbet is a cold treat that not made with dairy but pure fruit and sugar. However, some people also get confused between sorbet and sherbet. Sherbet is also a fruit-based frozen treat, but unlike sorbet, it contains milk. Sherbet is way smoother and creamier compared to sorbet, while the latter is sweeter and more fruity in flavor because it is made of real fruit and added sugar. 

Ice cream

Ice cream is different because of its precise ingredients. According to the USDA, an ice cream recipe should contain about 10% milkfat. This frozen treat is creamy and sweet, and it is best eaten when it is hard frozen. When making ice cream, it should also be churned while it is freezing so that it will give off a smooth texture. 


Gelato, on the other hand, is a type of ice cream but in an Italian version. Aside from that, gelato is different from standard ice cream that we have grown to love because gelato has less milk fat than ice cream. It is also served at a warmer temperature, and it has a dense texture instead of a smooth one. It is also soft because it is not churned that much as ice cream does when it is freezing. 

Other frozen sweet treats

Aside from sorbet, ice cream, and gelato, there are other frozen sweet treats that people around the world have grown to love. Here are a few of them:

Frozen yogurt

Frozen yogurt is often enjoyed by both adults and kids alike. If you are following a strict diet, there are frozen yogurt options that come with low-fat, no-fat, and other opportunities for specific diets. Frozen yogurt is not made of milk, unlike ice cream. The milk or cream is replaced by yogurt. Thus, the creaminess comes from there. 

Frozen custard

Frozen custard is much denser and softer than ice cream because of its ingredients. Frozen custard is made from egg yolks, and it melts in your mouth the moment you take a bite of it. It is creamy and sweet, which is perfect for people who have a sweet tooth. 

How to make frozen treats at home

It is easier to make ice cream, gelato, sorbet, and other frozen sweet treats at home if you have an ice cream maker machine. All you need to do is pop in the ingredients of each frozen treat in the machine and churn it a few minutes or hours, depending on the procedure.

If you have a lot of fruits at home, you can mix it with your favorite milk and cream, put it in the ice cream machine, store it in the freezer, and you will now have homemade delicious ice cream any day you want!

ALSO READ: Discover Some of the Most Scrumptious Desserts From Around the World

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