The Differences Between Ice Cream, Gelato, and Sorbet

Thursday, April 6th, 2017

If you have ever tried ice cream, gelato, and sorbet, you can tell that they are significantly different. These desserts each have different textures, densities, and flavors. So what makes these frozen treats unique? The following will help you better understand the differences between these three dessert favorites and how they are made.

Ice cream

Ice cream is a staple for many people when it comes to dessert. It can be paired with cake and pie or blended as a milkshake. This frozen dairy treat is typically made of cream, milk, sugar, and egg yolks. Traditionally, French ice cream was made with egg yolks and was more rich than the American version. Now, egg yolks are common in American ice cream.

The ingredients that make up ice cream are first cooked together into a custard. After the base cools, the dessert is churned at a high speed to fill it with air and increase the volume. The ice cream is frozen and the final product is smooth and creamy.


Gelato starts with a custard base, similar to ice cream but with a higher milk content and a lower amount of cream and eggs. Some varieties of gelato have no eggs at all. The base is churned at a slow rate, incorporating a small amount of air and leaving the gelato rather dense. This treat is served at a warmer temperature than ice cream and has a silkier, softer texture that holds together better. Since gelato has a low amount of fat, the main flavor always shines through.


Sorbet is also known as granitas or Italian ice and is often used as a palette cleanser at restaurants. This dessert is typically fruit based, but it can be made with several interesting ingredients such as champagne or chocolate. Sorbet typically has a grainy texture due to the icey nature of the treat. Unlike ice cream and gelato, sorbet is typically made without dairy. This treat is basically frozen water or juice and can be sweetened with chocolate, fruit, liqueur, wine, and even fresh herbs.

KaleidoScoops offers a unique selection of hand dipped ice cream flavors and other desserts. If you would like more information about KaleidoScoops premium ice cream products, call us today at (877) 426-8488 or Contact Us by email. You can also Get The Scoop on becoming part of the KaleidoScoops cooperative.