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This lemon sorbet recipe is fresh, tart and zingy! This frosty dessert is ultra refreshing and ideal for anytime of year.

Lemon sorbet
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Are you a lemon dessert lover? Then you absolutely must try homemade Lemon Sorbet! Each bite is loaded pure citrus flavor: icy and bright, with just the right amount of zing on the finish. Both lemon juice and lemon zest bring a bold flavor, and it’s irresistibly refreshing after a meal or as a palate cleanser. Alex and I are huge lemon gelato fans, so lemon sorbet is another clear winner. Here’s how to make it!

Ingredients and tools for this lemon sorbet recipe

This lemon sorbet recipe is quick and simple with just a few ingredients! You’ll need a few tools to help you do the job as well. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Lemons
  • Sugar
  • Water and ice
  • Blender
  • Ice cream maker (see below)
  • Juicer: It’s nice to have a reliable lemon juicing method because you’ll be squeezing 5 to 6 of them! We like this press juicer since it’s very easy to use.

All you need to do? Blend the lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar and water with a little ice, then freeze the mixture in an ice cream maker for about 20 to 25 minutes. For the best texture, freeze it in your freezer for another 2 hours to get it to a scoopable texture.

Lemon Sorbet

Ice cream maker recommendations

On the fence about getting an ice cream maker? An ice cream maker is a great investment, and you can use it to make sorbets and ice creams all year round. Here’s the 2 quart ice cream maker we use. It’s a great gift idea, too! Use it as a housewarming present or a fun surprise for ice cream lovers. We’ve had ours for years and it holds up well.

Make sure to freeze the base in advance

The only trick to using an ice cream maker? Make sure to freeze the base of the ice cream maker overnight before making this recipe. If you forget, you can try freezing for 4 hours. How to check if the base is fully frozen? Give it a shake: if you still hear liquid inside, it’s not fully frozen.

Lemon Sorbet

Make ahead & storage tips for lemon sorbet

One important thing to note: homemade sorbet is best the day it is made. The texture is ultra creamy and frosty right out of the ice cream maker. You can freeze it a few hours, but if you leave it overnight it becomes very solid. Lemon sorbet in particular has a different texture from other fruit sorbets: it’s a little more icy (since there’s no fruit pulp, just juice). Here are a few tricks to working with leftovers:

  • Line a storage container with parchment paper. This helps so the sorbet doesn’t freeze to the edges of the container and makes it easier to defrost.
  • Make the lemon sorbet 2 hours in advance of serving. Right out of the ice cream maker, the texture is rather soft. So you’ll want to freeze it 2 hours prior to serving, in order to get it to a scoopable texture.
  • Leftovers save 1 week, but defrost at room temp for about 15 to 20 minutes. Make time to leave out the container on the counter until it defrosts. Don’t expect it to be like store-bought sorbet, which stays softer in the freezer.

More sorbet recipes

Love frosty fruit desserts? You can make sorbet with lots of different types of fruits. Here are some favorite sorbet recipes:

This lemon sorbet recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, and gluten-free.

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Lemon sorbet

Lemon Sorbet

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5 from 2 reviews

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 1 pint (2 cups) 1x


This lemon sorbet recipe is fresh, tart and zingy! This frosty dessert is ultra refreshing and ideal for anytime of year.


  • 1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (56 large lemons)*
  • 1 ½ teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 cup ice
  • Fresh mint, for garnish (optional)


Note: Make sure the base of the ice cream maker is frozen overnight before making this recipe.

  1. Juice the lemons.
  2. Add the sugar, lemon zest and warm water to a blender and puree until sugar is dissolved. Add the lemon juice and ice and puree until the ice is melted. (To make ahead, you can refrigerate at this point until you want to churn, up to 2 days.)
  3. Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze for 20 to 25 minutes, until the texture becomes frosty and creamy. Line a container with parchment paper and add the sorbet; place it in the freezer and freeze for 2 hours to allow it to come to a scoopable texture. Store in a parchment lined sealed container for up to 1 week; allow to come to room temperature for about 15 to 20 minutes before scooping.
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Sorbet
  • Cuisine: Dessert
  • Diet: Vegan

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Therasa L. says:

    I made this the other night and the lemon flavor was amazing! It was a little sweet for us though. Can we reduce the amount of sugar without affecting the rest of the recipe?

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      Yes! 3/4 cup should work fine.

  2. Sonja Overhiser says:

    Let us know if you have any questions!