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.
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.
- 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