This rich and delicious homemade chocolate sorbet recipe is so unbelievably creamy, with absolutely no eggs or heavy cream!
Every chocolate lover needs to try this decadent classic chocolate sorbet recipe, because it may quickly become your new favorite dessert.
And with just 3 ingredients, it’s super easy to turn the base into many different flavors! Transform plain chocolate into mocha, peppermint, almond, raspberry, or chocolate hazelnut sorbet in minutes.
The recipe can be vegan, keto, paleo, low calorie, sugar free, soy free, and gluten free.
Also be sure to try this Vegan Chocolate Cake
Watch the homemade chocolate sorbet recipe video above
What is sorbet? Is it different from sherbet?
Sorbet, also known as Italian ice or water ice, is a frozen low fat dessert made from water, sugar, and a flavoring such as fruit puree or fruit juice, white or red wine or another alcohol, or cocoa powder.
The main difference between sorbet and sherbet is that sherbets generally contain milk, heavy cream, or sometimes egg whites or gelatin for creaminess. Traditional sherbet has a smooth ice cream texture.
Fruit sorbet is naturally dairy free and almost always vegan. Some sorbet recipes do contain honey, but they usually have no eggs or milk.
While it’s most often seen as a dessert, tart sorbet is also sometimes served as a palate cleanser in between savory courses of a fancy meal.
This chocolate version reminds me of the vegan Talenti dark chocolate sorbetto they used to sell in grocery stores around the country. It sadly no longer exists.
Once they retired the flavor, I had to play around with the ingredient list and learn how to make my own at home. One taste, and I was thrilled to discover this homemade sorbet not only saves you money, it also really does taste just as good as the original!
Readers also love this Coconut Milk Ice Cream
Dark chocolate sorbet ingredients
Here’s everything you need: cocoa powder, water, sugar, and a pinch of salt.
Cocoa Powder: I highly recommend using Dutch process cocoa powder for the chocolate sorbet. It tastes smoother and less acidic, with a darker color and much deeper chocolate flavor.
Most regular grocery stores sell Dutch cocoa. Just look for the words “processed with alkali” on the ingredient label. If using regular unsweetened cocoa powder instead of Dutched, I like to also include the optional melted chocolate for a richer result.
Sweetener: This can be regular sugar, coconut sugar, evaporated cane juice, granulated erythritol (not powdered) or xylitol, or a granulated monk fruit blend like Lakanto for sugar free sorbet.
I have not tried the recipe with allulose, banana, pure maple syrup, or another liquid sweetener. Be sure to report back if you do experiment with an option not listed here.
Chocolate: For a more indulgent cocoa sorbet, you can choose to include the optional 6 ounces of chocolate chips or finely chopped chocolate bar. Use good quality chocolate for the best results. Flavored chocolate bars work too. This option is so creamy that it reminds me more of chocolate gelato than sorbet!
Other Flavors: Change it up by adding a teaspoon of pure vanilla extract or 1/4 teaspoon of pure peppermint extract or instant coffee or espresso. You can also add a pinch of cinnamon or the juice and zest of an orange for chocolate orange sorbet.
Easy chocolate sorbet recipe
If using an ice cream maker, prepare it ahead of time according to the instruction manual for your machine.
Combine half of the water with all of the sugar in a medium saucepan. Heat on high, stirring frequently until the sugar dissolves.
Whisk in the cocoa powder and salt, and bring to a boil. Once it’s boiling, stir continuously for about 30 seconds. Then remove from the heat.
If using, add the alcohol and chocolate. Stir constantly until the chocolate is completely melted. Stir in the remaining water and any flavor extracts if desired.
Chill the mixture in the refrigerator or freezer. Then add it to your ice cream machine and churn according to manufacturer’s instructions for your specific model.
Serve right away, or freeze for a half hour to attain a firmer texture.
For a chocolate free option, make Lemon Sorbet
How to make sorbet without an ice cream maker
If you don’t have an ice cream machine, you still have two options:
Option one is to pour the sorbet mixture into ice cube trays and freeze. Let the chocolate ice cubes thaw just enough for a high speed blender to be able to handle, then use a tamper to blend it into a creamy texture.
Option two is to freeze a large shallow container. Pour the liquid mixture into the container and freeze. Stir very well after a half hour to break up ice crystals and whisk air into the mix, then return the container to the freezer. Repeat the stirring process every half hour for about three hours total. This no ice cream maker version won’t be quite as smooth and creamy, but it still tastes wonderful, with a texture somewhere between granita and ice cream.
Due to the fact that this sorbet recipe contains no preservatives, gums, or stabilizers, it will have the best texture on the day it’s made.
Store the chocolate sorbet in an airtight container in the freezer. Thaw leftovers for about fifteen to twenty minutes before serving. It should last for three to four months, if you somehow don’t eat it all first!
The best chocolate sorbet tips & tricks
I like to add one tablespoon of vodka, Amaretto, or coffee, hazelnut, or chocolate liqueur. Alcohol does not freeze solid, so this helps keep the sorbet from freezing rock hard. Just don’t add too much or the texture will be slushy.
Don’t skip the chilling step before adding the liquid sorbet mixture to your ice cream maker. Make sure the liquid is cold or it will never thicken in the machine.
Many brands and models of ice cream machines need to be chilled for 24 to 48 hours before use. Years ago, I once tried to make vegan ice cream in a machine that was not cold, and it never turned from liquid to ice cream.
To serve, I like to scoop out the chocolate sorbet using an ice cream scoop for an authentic ice cream shape.
Try topping your sorbet with chocolate syrup or Coconut Whipped Cream.
Chocolate Sorbet Recipe
- 2 1/3 cup water
- 1 cup sugar or granulated erythritol or xylitol
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder (I recommend Dutch cocoa)
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 6 oz chocolate chips or finely chopped chocolate, optional
- 1 tbsp vodka or liqueur of choice, optional
- 1/4 tsp instant coffee or pure peppermint or vanilla extract, optional
- If using an ice cream machine, prepare it ahead of time according to the instructions for your specific brand and model. Or see instructions above for how to make sorbet without an ice cream maker. To make chocolate sorbet, first combine half of the water with the sugar in a medium saucepan. Heat on high. Stir frequently until the sugar dissolves. Whisk in the salt and cocoa. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, stir continuously for 30 seconds. Remove from the heat. Add optional chocolate and alcohol, if using. Stir constantly until the chocolate melts completely. Stir in remaining water. Chill in the fridge or freezer until mixture is cold. Then pour it into an ice cream machine and churn according to manufacturer’s directions. Eat immediately, or freeze for about a half hour to achieve a firmer texture.View Nutrition Facts
Have you made this recipe?
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I was wondering if there were any options for substituting the alcohol for something else to prevent it from freezing solid. As I understand it, food grade propylene glycol is used by commercial ice cream makers. Has anyone tried that?
CCK Media Team says
We have never tried it. Be sure to report back if you try!
I just posted my stellar review of this recipe using allulose instead of granulated erythritol which does crystallize when frozen. The allulose does not freeze and is a perfect sweetener. No vodka is needed. If you bake cookies with allulose, be prepared for them not to get crisp, however. It’s just the nature of the allulose!
How much did you use?
How could this recipe be made with a Vitamix?
CCK Media Team says
With some of Katie’s other recipes, she freezes the liquid in an ice cube tray. Then blend the frozen liquid cubes in a vitamix. Let us know how it goes if you try it!
olive ostermann says
oooh whats next? cake batter latte?
What is the ice cream maker that Katie uses in the video?
CCK Media Team says
The one in the video is a Cuisinart Pure Indulgence, but we recommend this one because it costs less and works just as well: https://amzn.to/3NjlEv5
My husband rated this sorbet 12 on a scale of 1-10!!! I used allulose for my sweetener and eliminated the vodka. Trader Joe’s 73% Organic Dark Chocolate is my go-to chocolate for just about everything. The texture was perfect and the taste divine. I did not chop the chocolate squares “finely” as recommended and ended up with tiny pieces of unmelted chocolate which we loved….like very small chocolate bits!! Highly recommend this sorbet recipe!!
CCK Media Team says
This makes us so happy, and your version sounds even better with the chocolate pieces!
Just made this and it’s incredible!! Only fat free sugar free chocolate ice cream recipe I’ve found and loved!! Question though – using sweetener not sugar it’s a bit sweet for my taste. Did you ever test with less sugar? I’m curious if that would work or if it would mess with the texture?
CCK Media Team says
Thank you so much for trying the recipe 🙂
We honestly don’t know, because we have never tried. But we are betting that decreasing it a little bit wouldn’t change things too much. Perhaps start with a small amount lowered and then take out even more in a subsequent batch if the texture is still good?
WOW! I just made this in my electric ice cream churn and it tastes EXACTLY like chocolate ice cream! Thank you so much for this recipe. My daughter has a severe dairy allergy and now she can enjoy chocolate “ice cream” 😀
CCK Media Team says
This makes us so happy 🙂
I tried this recipe and used the ninja Creami for processing the frozen product.
It was in my chest freezer (-7 F) for 30 hours (same as my other ice creams/sorbets I make in the creami).
I put it in ta how water bath for 3 minutes to thaw the outer layer which the Creami doesn’t get to and gets icy otherwise (same process as with every ice cream/sorbet I make).
After processing, the consistency was like a thawed milkshake. Delicious, but not scoopable at all.
I used Ghirardelli dutch cocoa, monkfruit erythritol blend, pinch of salt, splash (maybe 10g if even) Vodka, 3g of vanilla essence and water and prepped everything as described above.
Any idea what could have happened?
I’ve not had that happen with any sorbet/ice cream I’ve made as of yet and I always used sugar substitutes/low calorie vase versions.
I put it back in the freezer and it’s now frozen solid again…
Thanks a lot in advance!
CCK Media Team says
Hi Britta, Both the erythritol and vodka inhibit freezing, so using them together will yield a less frozen result. But, as you figured out, just freeze it longer and it will go back to being frozen solid. That combination will just need a longer freezing time 🙂
Christine Casey says
This is sensational. I used 1/2 sugar and half glucose syrup, with a tablespoon of vodka and a dash of glycerin, which are all 100% natural and help to prevent ice crystals forming in sorbets etc. It took a very long time to churn but the result is beautiful. It’s scoopable straight out of the freezer, rich, smooth and tastes considerably more decadent than the ingredients would suggest. It’s actually not too far removed in flavour from my favourite dark chocolate ‘water sauce’ recipe.
Dick Hill says
Awesome!!! Made using sifted Perigotti cocoa (it has some vanilla) and grated Sharffenberger 72% chocolate (hard job using rotary grater but great result). Used about 3 oz of grated chocolate and it was rich enough for any taste. Caution: the liquid boils up quickly when adding cocoa, so be prepared to reduce heat or remove from flame. Also added 1 Tbs Creme de Menthe, just enough for a fresh note. Kept it in Cuisinart maker for 60 minutes, then 2 hours in freezer and it was perfect. Needs some thawing the next day.