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Lemon Buttermilk Sherbet

a Bowl of Lemon Buttermilk Sherbet with fresh raspberries

This Lemon Buttermilk Sherbet is a refreshing dessert that makes the perfect summer treat. It’s quick and easy to make with just 3 simple ingredients.

Lemon Buttermilk Sherbet

This has been a slow spring, you’ve probably heard me say it once or twice before. There are several areas in our yard where the snow is still two feet deep. And out of complete defiance of our slow thaw, this morning I happily let our three year-old put on the new sundress I picked up for her last week. She’s been begging to wear it. And with the forecast finally predicting a high in the low 40’s, how could I possibly continue to refuse her sweet pleas?

When my daughter and I made this lovely Lemon Buttermilk Sherbet over the past weekend, it had us all dreaming about the warmth of spring and summer ahead. It just couldn’t be helped. Light and refreshing, and ultra tangy from the buttermilk and lemons, this is a dessert that screams summer!

Why I Love This Sherbet Recipe

The sherbet is icier and less creamy than ice cream. Which equals super refreshing. When it’s hot outside, that icy texture is something I crave.

I first served this about 4 or 5 hours after I had made it and put it in the freezer. It was perfectly scoop-able and held its form beautifully. The girls & I enjoyed a scoop as an evening snack, sprinkled with fresh berries. I was interested for their reaction to the recipe’s buttermilk flavor, and their answer to that was, “Can we have more, please?” Yes, that please was included. I knew they were serious!

The following evening, we had some more. But the experience was different. After spending a day in the freezer, the sherbet had frozen quite hard. It was more like shave ice. And that’s when our girls really gobbled it up. They loved it even more!

Our family likes to make all kinds of homemade ice creams, sorbets, and sherbets, but we had never made anything that used buttermilk before. So I was definitely intrigued by this recipe from my friend Michelle’s new cookbook, The Whole Family Cookbook. Michelle blogs at What’s Cooking with Kids and is the founder of a children’s cooking school that teaches families about fresh and wholesome eating.

Michelle’s blog and her new cookbook are filled with kid-friendly food, aiming to bring family members side by side in the kitchen. My sisters and I have been beyond blessed to have a mom who got us involved as young kids in cooking. I am incorporating this in our own family as well, and Michelle’s book is a wonderful example of how to do just that. The book is very visually appealing to kids and the recipes are simple and easy to follow.

For a little taste of The Whole Family Cookbook, and to see Michelle and her family in action, here is a short video to introduce you. Enjoy!

The Whole Family Cookbook by Michelle Stern

A Giveaway!!

Michelle has graciously provided one of her new cookbooks for me to give away!
All you have to do is leave a comment here and you’re entered for a chance to win!

Simply let me know your favorite easy and refreshing summertime treat.

The giveaway will end Tuesday, April 5th at 7:00 pm CST.

And the winner is…
Congratulations to you! I will email you for more information.

Thank you to EVERYONE for entering!!

scoops of lemon sherbet in a bowl
a pile of Lemon Zest
a girl Whisking Lemon Buttermilk Sherbet
scoops of lemon sherbet in a bowl

Lemon Buttermilk Sherbet

Yield: 6 servings
prep time: 1 hour
total time: 1 hour
This Lemon Buttermilk Sherbet is a refreshing dessert that makes the perfect summer treat. It's quick and easy to make with just 3 simple ingredients.
4.2 Stars (11 Reviews)


  • 1 qt. low-fat buttermilk
  • 4 large lemons
  • ½ c. sugar


  • Before starting this recipe, make sure that the bowl for your ice cream maker is frozen.
  • Measure the buttermilk and pour into a medium-sized measuring bowl (ideally, one with a spout).
  • Zest the lemons. If using a peeler that gives you large pieces of zest, be sure to cut the zest into small pieces with a knife.
  • Cut the lemons in half and juice them to measure 1/2 cup of juice. Be sure to remove any stray seeds. Pour the lemon juice into the buttermilk. Add the sugar and whisk to incorporate.
  • Refrigerate for about 15 minutes, or until the mixture is very cold and sugar has dissolved. Pour the cold mixture into the frozen bowl of your ice cream maker and process for 20 minutes, or according to the manufacturer’s directions. Add the lemon zest and continue to process for another 10 minutes.
  • If you don’t have an ice cream maker, pour the mixture into a sturdy bowl or container and put it in the freezer. Remove from the freezer and stir vigorously every 45 minutes, for up to 3 hours.
  • Store in an airtight container in the freezer for 2 weeks. Be sure to take the sherbet out of the freezer about 20 minutes before scooping.


Adapted slightly from The Whole Family Cookbook by Michelle Stern – check it out!!

Nutrition Information:

Serving: 1 Calories: 97kcal Carbohydrates: 24g Protein: 2g Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 2mg Sodium: 79mg Fiber: 2g Sugar: 20g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Spoonacular. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.
Did you make this recipe?Please leave a comment below. And share a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #afarmgirlsdabbles or tag @farmgirlsdabble!
Overhead Image of Lemon Buttermilk Sherbet

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59 comments on “Lemon Buttermilk Sherbet”

  1. Pineapple Buttermilk Sherbet made the same way as your Lemon Buttermilk Sherbet is also lovely and delicious year round. But it is a creamier sherbet even after hard freezing and shaving..
    I use my freezer and stir and turn the sherbet at least every 45 minutes..
    To the 4 or even 5 cups of buttermilk,I add a large can of crushed pineapple in its juice and the juice of half a lemon if available, AND I make this a sugarless sherbet,sweetening mine with powdered sweetner…not Splenda.
    I serve it in a tall,pretty glass and eat it with an iced teaspoon. YUM!!

  2. I love coconut ice cream! We were doing dairy free a year ago and tried coconut ice cream and I loved the hint of coconut in it so much that when we went back on dairy, I still preferred the coconut ice cream.

    I just use coconut milk and then some fruit (depending on the sweetness of the fruit, I may add some sugar). It is wonderful with pineapple and strawberry (but not great with blackberry. not bad just not great.)

    Another treat is frozen yogurt pops made from plain or vanilla yogurt and chopped up frozen fruit. Perfect on those hot summer days!

  3. Fresh berries are our favourite summertime treat. Sometimes we add some ice cream to our bowl, but the sweetness of the berries is fantastic on its own.

  4. A bowl of fresh berries with a dollop of yogurt or sour cream, a sprinkling of brown sugar on top. Or simply a bowl of fresh berries!



  5. Thank goodness I leave in a peach growing part of SC because I love peach anything in the summer. One of my favorite recipes also contains buttermilk, which I thought you might find interesting. My mom made it at the beach a couple of summer ago and we all loved it.

    Can’t seem to put the recipe here, but it just uses 2 cups of pureed peaches (or strawberries or raspberries), 1 cup sugar, 2 cups of buttermilk, and 1 tsp vanilla extract. Mix everything together and churn until frozen. It is really really good. Mom called it Peach Sherbert.

  6. I just recently starting cooking a lot so I don’t know that we have a favorite summer recipe. We do love fruit pizza which is great in the summer because it has all the fresh fruit; strawberries, kiwis, blackberries and bananas. Yummy!

  7. SnoWhite @ Finding Joy in My Kitchen

    Wow — this looks like a great dessert. I’m a sucker for any frozen yogurt, ice cream combo. My favorite dessert in the summer is vanilla ice cream topped with homemade granola and fresh fruit. Yum, yum!

  8. Looks delish! My favorite summertime treat is strawberry shortcake. I could eat it every day, all summer long!

  9. My absolute favorite thing to make in the summer is all different flavors of fresh lemonade. I am fortunate enough to have a huge lemon tree in the backyard and adding all types of other fresh fruits to our lemonade is a fav around here. Strawberry basil is fantastic!!