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What is the difference: Ice cream, ice cream, sorbet, sorbet?

Ice cream

Ice cream is perhaps the most famous frozen dessert in Canada. Known for its rich, creamy taste and texture, ice cream is a year-round treat for adults and children.

Ice cream has the highest cream to milk ratio of any frozen dessert, giving it that creamy texture. This high fat content also allows the flavor to coat the mouth better, which is why the flavors of ice cream often linger longer in the mouth than those of other frozen desserts.

Unlike other frozen desserts, ice cream sometimes uses custard as the base, which means the eggs are incorporated. This pastry cream is then churned at a higher rate than other desserts, incorporating more air into the mixture, which gives the ice cream its light and soft texture. Since ice cream has this soft texture, it is the best frozen dessert to use in recipes, including ice cream cookie sandwiches, because the soft texture is easier to manage.


Italian cousin of ice cream, gelato is famous for its dense, silky texture and rich flavor. Gelato often contains cream, milk, and a sweetener, just like ice cream, but generally has a higher milk-to-cream ratio than ice cream. Gelato also doesn’t use custard as a base, which means it doesn’t contain eggs. Gelato has much less milk fat than ice cream, usually around 15-20% off, making it a bit healthier option if you’re calorie conscious.

Since ice cream always contains dairy products, it tends to contain more fat than sherbets and sorbets, but this fat helps the flavors stay in the mouth.

Gelato is often creamier and denser than ice cream, and is often served at a higher temperature than ice cream. This makes it a great option for plate desserts, as it won’t melt as quickly as other frozen desserts.


Sorbet is usually made with fruit juice or fruit puree, sweeteners, and milk or buttermilk. Sorbet has a much lower fat content than ice cream because much less milk is used and about half the fat in ice cream.

Sorbet Frozen Dessert Grocery StoreSince there is less fat, the sorbet has a less rich texture than ice cream and ice cream, but in turn, it is often less caloric. Usually served at the same temperatures as ice cream, it has a slightly less dense texture than ice cream, but not quite the same airy extent as ice cream.


By far the simplest of frozen desserts, sherbet completely removes fat from milk, since it is mostly a blend of fruit juice and sweetener. Since sorbets are dairy free, they are a great option for vegans and are often the lowest calorie option of all of the aforementioned desserts. Sorbets are generally light, somewhat icy or grainy in texture.


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