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3 Ingredient Key Lime Sherbet

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Homemade key lime sherbet is every bit as tart and creamy, sweet and refreshing as you would hope. The best part is it only takes three simple ingredients!

close up of two scoops of key lime sherbet in small bowl

You can have this tasty key lime sherbet churning in no time.  There is almost no effort involved at all. Plus the key lime flavor really shines through. It tastes so fresh and cold, perfect for a hot summer evening!

We stocked up on key lime juice after Little Dude asked for key lime pie jars for his birthday treat.  We can only get the fresh limes occasionally, but usually the jars of juice are always available at our grocery stores.

For whatever reason that wasn’t the case right now. So I resorted to ordering some online.

Of course it was cheaper to buy it in a multiple bottle pack and I’m not one to pass up a deal.  I knew for certain we would use it.

ice cream scoop getting first scoop of key lime sherbet out of container.

One of my husband’s absolute favorite desserts is key lime pie. As you can tell by his birthday request, LD is following in his footsteps.

Plus we love key lime roasted shrimp. So I knew the extra would not go to waste.

Making Key Lime Sherbet

With the recent hot spell, a refreshing frozen treat was in order. So key lime sherbet seemed like an absolutely perfect way to finish the open bottle of key lime juice.

Just dump a quart of half and half in a mixing bowl.  Then stir in the sugar until you can feel that it is mostly dissolved.

Add the key lime juice and stir to combine. Add it to your ice cream maker and wait for the magic to happen.

Small bowl with two scoops of key lime sherbet.

It really is just that easy! Plus the key lime flavor really comes forward.

It is sweet enough to be balanced, but not too sweet. The texture is creamy and delicious.

I think it might just be our new favorite way to cool off!

Have you ever made homemade sherbets? What are your favorite flavors of sherbet or sorbet?

Tips and Tricks

Be sure not to grab the fat free version of half and half.  You meed some milkfat to get that creamy texture.

Try to get the sugar really incorporated into the half and half. It doesn’t take long, just a little stirring.

Spoons by bowl of key lime sherbet with storage container and ice cream scoop in background.

That way you will have the smoothest finish. That is part of what makes it so good.

Have your ice cream maker ready to go before you pour the lime juice into the dairy. The acid from the limes could cause the milk to curdle if it sits too long.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is lime sherbet made of?

Sherbet is made with fruit, sugar, and milk or cream. It is creamier than sorbet, which has no dairy. However it has less dairy and dairy fat than ice cream.

Can I make this sherbet with regular lime juice?

Yes. If you can’t find key lime juice, you can make lime sherbet with regular lime juice.

Favorite ice cream makers

MiMi has a couple kitchenaid ice cream maker attachments for her stand mixer.  She loves them and makes all of her ice cream with them.

I recently got a cuisinart ice cream maker. You freeze the bowl ahead of using it much like the kitchenaid attachment.

serving scoops of homemade 3 ingredient key lime sherbet into bowl.

Both work great and are relatively affordable.  You just have to remember to get the bowl in the freezer in plenty of time to get it cold, but that is a whole lot better than making sure you have enough ice and salt on hand!

Great sherbet storage options

My mom loves the Tovolo Glide-A-Scoop containers that fit in the freezer well, stack easily and store nicely.  She already has a couple and is getting ready to order more.

I got fun quart sized containers that are reusable and dishwasher safe that I like as well. No matter how it’s stored, the ice cream tends to disappear quickly around here!

If you love lime sherbet, you are going to love our layered lime sherbet bars as well!

close up of two scoops of key lime sherbet in small bowl

3 Ingredient Key Lime Sherbet

Servings: 16 Servings
Author: Carlee
Homemade key lime sherbet is every bit as tart and creamy, sweet and refreshing as you would hope. The best part is it only takes three simple ingredients!
4.94 from 15 ratings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Additional Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 45 minutes


  • 4 cups half and half
  • cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup key lime juice


  • Stir together half and half and sugar until the sugar is mostly dissolved.
    4 cups half and half, 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • Add the key lime juice and stir until combined.
    1 cup key lime juice
  • Pour into your ice cream maker and freeze according to the machine’s directions.
  • Store in freezer until ready to serve. 



Serving: 1ServingCalories: 151kcalCarbohydrates: 23gProtein: 2gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 21mgSodium: 37mgSugar: 21g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Cooking With Carlee” is not a dietitian or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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Recipe Rating

Morsels of Life | CJ Huang

Saturday 30th of May 2020

Love that lime flavor, and at three ingredients, this sounds like a recipe I need to make!


Sunday 7th of June 2020

You should!!!

Andrea Nine

Wednesday 27th of May 2020

This looks and sounds so refreshing and delicious!!


Sunday 7th of June 2020

It really is, it would be perfect poolside ;-)


Wednesday 27th of May 2020

Key Lime is such a weakness of mine. This looks delicious!!!


Sunday 7th of June 2020

It is so good and so easy!