Chocolate Espresso Sorbet
with Sweet Vanilla Cream

One of my favorite summertime snacks is a cup of Rita’s chocolate water ice. It’s refreshing yet deeply chocolatey at the same time! I set out to make an at-home version and came up with this Rich Chocolate Espresso Sorbet with Sweet Vanilla Cream. It’s a much-elevated take on chocolate water ice but it hits all of the same notes, plus more! Deep and rich chocolate sorbet, hints of espresso to mature the treat a little, topped with a sweet whipped cream to balance it all out. This dessert is truly amazing and I hope you try it out!

two scoops of chocolate sorbet topped with whipped cream, mint leaves and dark chocolate shavings

Details on the Process

Making the Dairy-Free Chocolate Sorbet

The Chocolate Espresso Sorbet is super quick to put together, but takes a little bit of time on the freezing. But it’s all very easy. Start by whisking water, sugar, cocoa powder, salt and espresso powder together in a saucepan over medium low heat. Once everything is all melted together (after a few minutes), transfer the mixture to a large bowl and mix in the chopped chocolate and vanilla. Whisk until everything is homogenous and the mixture is a little frothy. 

Set in the fridge for about an hour until it cools down. Then transfer the mixture into a loaf pan, cover tightly with saran wrap, freeze for two hours and then whisk everything together again. Repeat this two more times for a total of 6 hours in the freezer and 3 mixings throughout! 

If you’ve never had sorbet before, don’t be alarmed if this Chocolate Sorbet feels a little softer than what you’re expecting. Because it has no dairy, it doesn’t get as hard and it does melt a little faster than your typical ice cream. But it’s still delicious!

two scoops of dairy free chocolate sorbet

Making the Sweet Vanilla Whipped Cream

Next up is the whipped cream! You could skip this and have the sorbet by itself, but that balance of sweet and light cream with rich chocolate sorbet just makes this all the better. The cream adds so much to this dessert and it’s so worth the one extra step! 

All it takes to make homemade whipped cream is whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla. Whisk everything together on high with  a hand mixer until you get some stiff peaks. All that means is that when you stop whisking, if you take a spoonful of cream, it keeps its shape and is more of a light fluffy solid than a liquid. That’s when you know the cream is ready! 

If you overwhip, the cream will start to curdle and separate and become grainy. If that happens, no worries, just add some more cream and whisk a little bit more until you get that perfect texture.

Serving Tips and Other Suggestions

The Sorbet will stay good for a couple months in the freezer, so no worries there, but I’d suggest waiting to make the whipped cream until you’re ready to serve (or up to a few hours before serving). Whipped cream gets a little weird after sitting in the fridge for a day or two; but it’s easily fixable by whipping the cream a little more right before serving to get that fluffy texture back. 

For serving, just take a scoop (or two) of chocolate sorbet, top with a dollop (or two) of whipped cream and garnish with a mint leaf and some shaved chocolate to complete the dessert. Then grab a spoon and enjoy!

Thanks so much for stopping by! If you make this recipe or have any questions, let me know! Leave a comment below or tag me @annietortellini on Instagram!

two scoops of chocolate sorbet topped with whipped cream, mint leaves and dark chocolate shavings

Chocolate Sorbet with Sweet Vanilla Cream

An elevated take on chocolate water ice that has deep and rich chocolate sorbet,  hints of espresso to mature the treat a little, topped with a sweet whipped cream to balance it all out.
Servings: 4
Prep Time 5 mins
Chill Time 7 hrs
Total Time 7 hrs 5 mins


Chocolate Sorbet

  • 2 C water
  • 1 C sugar
  • ½ C cocoa powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp espresso powder
  • ½ C chopped chocolate semisweet, bittersweet, or dark
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Sweet Vanilla Cream

  • 1 C heavy cream
  • 1 Tbs sugar
  • 1 Tbs vanilla
  • fresh mint and fresh shaved/grated chocolate optional for serving


  • Over medium low heat, add 2 C water, 1 C sugar, ½ C cocoa powder, ¼ tsp salt and 1 tsp espresso powder to a saucepan. Whisk constantly until everything is dissolved together (about 3-4 minutes). Remove the mixture from the heat and whisk in ½ C chopped chocolate and 1 tsp vanilla. Chill in the fridge for 1 hour.
  • After 1 hour in the fridge, whisk well. Transfer the chocolate mixture into a loaf pan, cover tightly with saran wrap and freeze for 2 hours.
    Whisk well and freeze for another 2 hours.
    Repeat this step one more time for a total of 6 hours in the freezer.
  • When it's time to serve, make the whipped cream by using a hand mixer on high speed to whip together 1 C cream, 1 Tbs sugar and 1 Tbs vanilla.
  • To serve, top two scoops of sorbet with a dollop of whipped cream, some shaved chocolate and an optional mint leaf.
Course Dessert, Frozen Treat
Cuisine American
Keyword Fall, No Cook, Summer, Vegetarian

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