Cranberry Sherbet Freezes (Dairy-Free)

Cranberry Sherbet Freezes recipe (via #dairyfree #homemadesherbet #holidaydessert #drinks

Sweet-tart homemade cranberry sherbet topped with effervescent DASANI® Sparkling Lime for a seasonal take on a classic soda fountain sherbet freeze.

Cranberry Sherbet Freezes recipe (via #dairyfree #homemadesherbet #holidaydessert #drinksThis post has been sponsored by The Coca Cola Company. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

I grew up down the street from an old-fashioned soda fountain. I spent countless afternoons there in middle school and high school, tucked away in the back booth with the same squad of girlfriends, giggling about boys and admiring each other’s iridescent manicures. For nearly every Friday of my freshman and sophomore year, I ordered the same thing: Cherry Amaretto, in a cup with a cone. Except, of course, for the months of November and December, when my perennial favorite, Cranberry Sherbet, took its place on the Seasonal Menu. And my preferred way to order it was blended into a sherbet freeze.

So when I partnered with DASANI® Sparkling to create a recipe for the holiday season, I immediately set my sights on recreating that childhood favorite. DASANI® Sparkling is a line of flavored sparkling water. Each delicious flavor is unsweetened with no artificial flavors and zero calories. I picked up two flavors — DASANI® Sparkling Lime and DASANI® Sparkling Raspberry Lemonade — at my local Safeway (they actually just revamped our store, and it’s so much fun to shop there. Did you say shiny new shopping carts?! #easilyimpressed) — and they both complemented the refreshing cranberry sherbet perfectly. Visit your ​local Safeway store​ to find your favorite. Or visit my local Safeway and join me in admiring the new carts. Seriously, none of them are wonky yet, and it’s downright exciting.

Cranberry Sherbet Freezes recipe (via #dairyfree #homemadesherbet #holidaydessert #drinksHomemade Cranberry Sherbet

Sherbet walks the line somewhere between sorbet and ice cream. While it’s got the fruit and water base of sorbet, it traditionally employs a small amount of dairy, making it gorgeously light, fluffy and creamy. Some recipes employ gelatin, some don’t. When I tested the recipe for this cranberry sherbet, the version with gelatin remained smoother and more scoopable. Wins, in my book. I also swapped the water for apple cider, which introduces more flavor, and also a bit more sugar to balance out the tartness of fresh cranberries just enough. (I also groove on marrying fall flavors, and it’s easy to find good, unfiltered apple cider in the stores this time of year.) Finally, in a move that seems decidedly un-autumnal, I introduced coconut milk in place of dairy milk. HEAR ME OUT. I’ve had many a dairy-free ice cream that use coconut milk and, therefore, end up tasting like coconut. Not the case here! It’s only one cup, and it imparts just enough (dairy-free) creaminess without a trace of coconut flavor. It’s a good move. Try it and you’ll agree.

Cranberry Sherbet Freezes recipe (via #dairyfree #homemadesherbet #holidaydessert #drinksThe Classic Sherbet Freeze

Now for the freeze situation. Traditionally, a sherbet freeze is made by blending sherbet with lemon-lime soda, but in staying with the non-traditional theme here, I’ve done the next best (and I would even argue better) thing and topped a glass full of homemade sherbet with flavored sparkling water.

The advantages here are two-fold:

1) There’s plenty of sugar in the sherbet, no need to introduce more in the form of soda. I used DASANI® Sparkling Lime, but I’ve also used DASANI® Sparkling Raspberry Lemonade, and both are subtle enough to let the bright cranberry shine through.

2) The carbonation in the sparkling water creates little icy patches and pockets as it makes contact with the sherbet. This is, hands down, my favorite part of any float-style fountain treat. Not gonna happen if you blend it to smithereens.

This cranberry sherbet, alone or as a sherbet freeze, would be the perfect unexpected complement to your holiday feast. It’s bright, light refreshing, and still sweet enough that there’s no mistaking it for anything other than dessert. We’ll be serving it (in freeze form, naturally) for the very first Thanksgiving we’re hosting in our new home.

And, likely, every evening until then. 😉


Cranberry Sherbet Freezes recipe (via #dairyfree #homemadesherbet #holidaydessert #drinksCranberry Sherbet Freezes recipe (via #dairyfree #homemadesherbet #holidaydessert #drinks Cranberry Sherbet Freezes recipe (via #dairyfree #homemadesherbet #holidaydessert #drinksCranberry Sherbet Freezes recipe (via #dairyfree #homemadesherbet #holidaydessert #drinksCranberry Sherbet Freezes recipe (via #dairyfree #homemadesherbet #holidaydessert #drinks

Cranberry Sherbet Freezes (Dairy-Free)
Prep time
Total time
Sweet-tart homemade cranberry sherbet topped with effervescent sparkling water for a seasonal take on a classic soda fountain sherbet freeze.
Makes: 4 freezes
  • 12 small scoops Cranberry Sherbet (recipe below)
  • 2 cans DASANI® Sparkling Lime or DASANI® Sparkling Raspberry Lemonade
  • cranberries or lime wedges, for serving
  1. Fill each of four highball glasses with 3 small scoops cranberry sherbet.
  2. Top with DASANI® Sparkling flavored water of choice. Garnish with cranberries or lime + mint, if desired. Enjoy immediately.
Cranberry Sherbet (Dairy-Free)
Cook time
Total time
Sweet-tart homemade cranberry sherbet made with loads of real cranberries, apple cider and coconut milk. A seasonal, refreshing dairy-free sherbet -- perfect alone or topped with bubbly water for a float/freeze.
Makes: 2 (two) 1½ quart batches (see note)
  • 16 oz fresh cranberries
  • 2 cups apple cider (or apple juice)
  • 1½ - 2 cups sugar (see note)
  • 1 packet gelatin
  • ¼ cup cold water
  • 1 cup light canned coconut milk, well-shaken
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  1. Pre-freeze the insert of an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. (Overnight is usually recommended.)
  2. In a large saucepan, combine cranberries, apple cider and sugar. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until sugar is dissolved and cranberries begin to burst. Set aside to cool slightly.
  3. While cranberries cook, pour ¼ cup cold water in a small bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over the top. Allow to "bloom" (thicken) several minutes.
  4. Stir gelatin into hot cranberries until gelatin is fully dissolved. Allow mixture to cool.
  5. Add cooled cranberry mixture to a blender, and add light coconut milk and lime juice. Blend until very smooth. Allow mixture to cool completely, then transfer to the refrigerator and chill until cold. (At this stage, you can store the mixture in the fridge for up to 5 days. Just blend again briefly before churning.)
  6. Pour *half* of the chilled mixture into the pre-frozen bowl of your ice cream maker and churn for 30 mins. (Reserve the other half for another batch; see note regarding yield.) Transfer to a loaf pan or sealable container and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours. Enjoy!
Regarding yield: This will make an extra large batch of sherbet base -- a double batch in most average size ice cream makers. (This is 100% due to the fact that I didn't want to mess with saving half a packet of gelatin. Better more sherbet than not enough!) Freeze half now, and keep the other half of the base in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Don't forget to re-freeze your ice cream maker insert when you've completed the first batch!
Regarding sugar: I've made this recipe several times with both 1.5 and 2 cups of sugar. I prefer it with less (it's still a fair amount, but it balances the berries' tartness), but you can increase the sugar if you're after a notably sweet dessert.
Cook time does not account for pre-freezing the ice cream maker insert, chilling the mixture prior to freezing or hard-freezing the sherbet after it churns.

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