Dairy-Free Chocolate Sherbet

So, as we all know, I’m sure, the difference between sherbet and sorbet is that sherbet contains dairy (usually milk, not cream) and sorbet does not. Sherbet and ice cream differ in that classic French ice cream contains cream and egg yolks. Now that we are all on the same page, I offer my sincere apologies to you, my lovely friends who cannot have dairy, for waiting until now to make you something that is totally within the realm of my capabilities.  This recipe is gorgeously flexible and adaptable: while you can make it with regular milk, you can also substitute any non-dairy milk of your choosing, from rice milk to almond milk to soy milk to hemp milk. You can even substitute water, which will give you chocolate sorbet!

Dairy-Free Chocolate Sherbet Recipe

The original recipe is David Lebovitz’s, and it is RICH and delicious and very, very rich, and did I mention it’s super-rich? I second his recommendation that tiny European scoops, as opposed to big honkin’ American ice cream sundae sized scoops, are the way to go here. With no eggs or cream to get in the way of the major chocolate taste, use the best cocoa and chocolate your budget can manage.

I’ve made this with regular milk, almond milk, and rice milk. I’ll be honest: while I love almond milk on my cereal, the flavor was REALLY strong here, and I don’t recommend it. Rice milk worked beautifully for me, even as a confirmed dairy-lover, so feel free to experiment!

Dairy-Free Chocolate Sherbet Recipe at Sweet nothings

It’s sooo rich. It’s like eating spoonfuls of the most delicious richest frozen brownie you can imagine. It’s amazing.

Chocolate Sherbet
original recipe by David Lebovitz

  • 3 cups milk (whole, low-fat, non-fat, soy, hemp, rice, or almond milk)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 6 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • optional: 3 tablespoons liqueur, such as Kahluà, Amaretto, Nocello, or similar

Combine 2 c. of the milk along with the sugar, salt, and cocoa powder in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, whisking frequently. Reduce the heat to low and let the mixture simmer for about 30 seconds, then remove from heat. Add the chocolate, vanilla, and liqueur (if using), then whisk in the remaining 1 c. of the milk. Continue to whisk until smooth. At this point, you can process the mixture in a blender to get it even smoother and creamier. I did not, because I was lazy (and you can kind of see the texture in the pictures), but if you’re after the creamiest possible texture, it’s definitely a good idea.

Chill the mixture until very cold, overnight (or at least 5-6 hours). Process in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Serve very small scoops, enjoy!


For find a lingerie set that matches the simplicity yet intensity of the chocolate sherbet, I decided to check in with Lula Lu Petites, who specializes in sizes from 30-38 AAA-C.

"Marlyta" by Lula Lu Petites

“Marlyta” by Lula Lu Petites. Sizes 32-36 AA-A, 38AA. Coordinating thong in sizes XS-L.

“Petite” in the lingerie world refers specifically to these smaller cup sizes (rather than to height or stature), and just as full-bust bras require specialized knowledge and construction techniques, so too do well-fitting petite bras. I really like the pretty Marlyta collection, with its rich purple/lavender color scheme. It’s a sophisticated, frill-free look that’s elegant and minimalist without being overly simple or boring. It’s a perfect companion for the super-rich sherbet!

6 Comments on Dairy-Free Chocolate Sherbet

  1. Erica of A Sophisticated Pair
    October 1, 2014 at 11:58 am (8 years ago)

    A dairy-free chocolate recipe! Sweets, you’re amazing. 😀 You know what else is good for the dairy-free crowd? This:


    Even if you don’t like avocados, it’s still awesome because the cocoa powder totally eclipses the taste. It kind of tastes lie a sherbert/mousse hybrid. Give it a shot sometime!

    • Sweets
      October 1, 2014 at 1:24 pm (8 years ago)

      Oooohhh, I will have to try that! That looks so easy and amazing!

  2. Manoela
    October 1, 2014 at 1:32 pm (8 years ago)


    I must try this. Summer is approaching over here and my craving for ice cream increases with the hot weather. Thank you for the recipe! <3

    • Sweets
      October 1, 2014 at 3:45 pm (8 years ago)

      You’re very welcome! I hope you enjoy it!

  3. Julia Lambert
    October 14, 2014 at 12:36 pm (8 years ago)

    Did you use liqueur in this batch? How well did it freeze? I love the flavor it adds, and I have a giant bottle of hazlenut liqueur that I never use, but the last time I added liqueur there were freezing issues. However, it was also a bajillion degrees that day, so it might not fully have been the liqueur’s fault.

    • Sweets
      October 14, 2014 at 10:16 pm (8 years ago)

      I didn’t have any trouble here, but this has less fat than regular ice cream anyway (fat from egg yolks and heavy cream yields a softer finished product). I’d say the liqueur is actually a really good idea, to help keep it from freezing into a hard brick.


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