Roasted Cherry Sherbet

Cherry Sherbet - By roasting the cherries for this homemade sherbet, their flavor is intensified. This frozen treat is the perfect way to beat the heat!


Roasted Cherry Sherbet

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Hi. My name is Nick and my wife’s name is Betsy and we have an ice cream problem.

There happens to be a really delicious homemade ice cream shop within sight from our new apartment in Denver and we go there more than we should. So far we are averaging a few times a week which is excessive, but we chalk it up to the heat.

When I saw some fresh cherries in the store last week though, I decided to try and make some sherbet that would quench my ice cream addiction without burning a hole in my wallet.

What I love about thisCherry Sherbet is that instead of being super-rich like ice cream, it is tangy and sharp. It has an intense cherry flavor and it also much easier to actually make since you can skip the custard step that you would usually use for ice cream.

Roasted Cherry Sherbet

About 1 quart
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By roasting the cherries for this homemade sherbet, their flavor is intensified. This frozen treat is the perfect way to beat the heat!

Recipe very roughly adapted from Bon Appetit July 2013.


1 pound cherries, pitted and roasted
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup sour cream
Pinch of kosher salt


1) Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Wash cherries, halve them, and remove the pits. Lay out cherry halves on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes until they are slightly withered and the juices are bubbling.

2) Let cherries cool briefly and then add to a blender with other ingredients. Blend until mostly smooth.

3) Transfer to the fridge to chill completely or add the mixture to a bowl in a large bowl with ice/salt/water to chill quickly.

4) Churn the mixture in your ice cream maker according to instructions. When it reaches a soft serve consistency, transfer to a freezer safe container and freeze until solid, stirring once or twice as it freezes.

I think it’s best to let this thaw for five minutes so it softens a bit before serving.

Cherry Sherbet

Prepping the Cherries

This original recipe used strawberries instead of cherries which makes sense from a work perspective. Pitting all the cherries is a bit of a pain, but I love the flavor and cherries are super-ripe right now.

You want to start with about a pound. It’s okay to go over a bit.

cherries for Cherry Sherbet
Lots of cherries

If you happen to have a cherry pitter then you can put it to use for this recipe. If you don’t have one, pitting cherries can be done pretty easily with any knife. I use a paring knife to lightly press on the cherry as a I rotate the knife through the center, around the small pit.

When the cherry pops in half, the pit will be a bit loose from the pressure of the knife and you should be able to pop it right out.


You’ll get fast at this. I did all my cherries for this recipe in about five minutes.

Then lay the cherries out on a baking sheet. I recommend lining the sheet with parchment paper to make cleanup a bit easier.

roast the cherries - Cherry Sherbet
Ready to roast!

Bake these bad boys at 425 degrees F. for 15-20 minutes until they are withered and the juices are bubbling. This will really intensify the sugars in the cherries and make them really rich.

roasted cherries

Churning the Sherbet

Once your cherries are roasted, the rest of this Cherry Sherbet recipe is pretty easy assuming you have a decent blender and ice cream maker!

Once your cherries are cool enough to handle, add all the ingredients to a blender!

blending - Cherry Sherbet
Ready to blend

Blend the mixture until it’s smooth. There will be some flecks of cherry skin in the mix which is just fine. It should be a light red color.


When it comes to chilling and churning, it’s important to get the sherbet really cold before churning it.

You can either stash the base in the fridge for a few hours to cool down or just pour it into a bowl and set the bowl in an ice batch (ice, salt, and water).  Stir the mixture over this super-cold bath for a few minutes and it will chill down quickly.

Cherry Sherbet - Macheesmo
Cool it down quickly!

When the base is cold, add it to your ice cream maker and churn it according to the instructions for your machine.

I have a Kitchenaid ice cream churner and to be honest, I don’t love it. I would just buy a standalone unit next time.

I don’t love this churn.

When the  Cherry Sherbett is a soft-serve consistency, transfer it to a freezer safe dish and freeze it until it’s solid. I recommend stirring it a few times as it freezes to break up the ice crystals that form and make it smoother.

chilled Cherry Sherbet
Chill it and scoop it.

When you’re ready to serve the Cherry Sherbet, let it thaw for a few minutes at room temperature so it softens some.

As an aside, if you’ve ever wondered the difference between a sherbet and a sorbet, a sherbet has dairy in it while a sorbet is just juice.  I prefer sherbet, especially with cherries!

19 Responses to “Roasted Cherry Sherbet” Leave a comment

  1. That looks delicious! Kind of unrelated, but since you live in Denver now, if you get a chance, I highly recommend going to check out a restaurant called Linger. It’s tapas style street food from around the world, in a 3 story place with a great night skyline view of the city. It’s always packed because the food is amazing and the style of the place is very unique!

    1. Thanks for the rec Merry! You’re actually the second person that has mentioned that place to me so I’ll have to check it out for sure.

      1. Second the recommendation for Linger. It’s in my old neighborhood in Denver, and was formerly the Olinger Mortuary. But despite the macabre history it’s really good food, and one of the better bars in Denver.

    1. Hey Lindsay,

      I used sweet cherries. I think sour cherries would totally work also but I would probably bump up the sugar by 1/3 of a cup.

      Good luck!

  2. Nice touch, roasting the cherries. I love my ice cream maker, it has a stand-alone refrigeration unit so you don’t have to fuss with a freezer bowl. The creme de la creme my friend! It might be nice to add a teaspoon or so of kirsch to soften up the mix, and give it another dimension. Not because I like alcohol or anything. That’s another support group…

      1. I have this bad boy here:
        I thought I lost the link but I found it on my Amazon store… it’s pricy but well worth that instant “I NEED ICE CREAM NOW” gratification. The other bonus is that you can get more than one ice cream canister so you can make multiple batches on the fly.

  3. I made the strawberry version featured in Bon Appetit – or something similar, anyway. Instead of the buttermilk & sour cream, I subbed in 2 cups of slightly strained plain yogurt (and added a tablespoon of vodka as noted above for scoopability) – I always keep a quart or two of yogurt on hand, and it was perfect. The roasting step is out of this world! I’ve been planning to pick up sweet cherries this weekend for just this reason, too!

  4. It wouldn’t happen to be Little Man Ice Cream, would it? Because OH MY GOD now I can’t stop thinking about their salted caramel peanut butter in a waffle cone.

    Here’s my cherry life hack for you, if you don’t want to use a knife or want cherries closer to whole for bigger chunks in the final product. Or just want to eat them without spitting. Take a (clean) bottle (beer, soda or whatever), place the (also clean) cherry on top and impale it with a chopstick. Pit will fall down into the bottle, now-hollow cherry will still be perched on top of the mouth of the bottle. No cherry juice all over the place or cherries shooting out from under a knife and across the kitchen.

    1. It’s actually Liks but I’m learning there are lots of good ice cream places in Denver. :)

      Awesome cherry tip! I’ve seen that before somewhere but didn’t think to try it for this. Thanks for the reminder!

  5. I would like to know what kind of ice cream maker Jason Sandeman has. I’d love to make this Cherry Sherbet!

  6. I forgot to get more sugar when I was making this so I substituted honey for the sugar and it still turned out awesome! Thanks for the recipe!!!

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