Spiced Apple Sorbet packs all of the flavor of apple pie into a refreshing palate cleanser or light dessert. Homemade applesauce creates a perfect texture, and spiced simple syrup brings the flavor (you might find yourself making it for other uses). You can find the optional Pie Crust Cookie recipe in the Wonder & Sundry Recipe Box (subscribe for access).

Spiced Apple Sorbet—just enough dessert

When my sister was little, she once declared to a server that her she loved to “get stuffed at dinner, and stuffier at dessert”—Spiced Apple Sorbet will not leave you feeling stuffier. Wonderfully spiced, with a lovely texture, this sorbet will, however, delight you.

Spiced Apple Sorbet is just enough dessert after a heavy meal (like Thanksgiving) and can also serve as a lovely palate cleanser between courses. Or, you know, you could just eat it standing in front of an open freezer. I don’t judge.

Spicedy Simple Syrup ingredients for Spiced Apple Sorbet
Spices and citrus and cranberries flavor the simple syrup (and make your place smell incredible). Save the cranberries for the sorbet!

A make-ahead dream, with options

Your dessert won’t be competing for oven space on the big day, because sorbet is a make-ahead affair. You can make the base several days in advance, chill it in the fridge, and then freeze Spiced Apple Sorbet in an ice cream maker several hours before you want to serve it.

You can prepare the Spiced Simple Syrup in mere minutes (your place will smell incredible), and the homemade applesauce for the base does not require much effort. The cranberries leftover from the simple syrup provide a lovely color, and the apple cider packs in that much more apple flavor. 

Don’t fret if you don’t have an ice cream maker (though maybe consider getting one). I’ve included instructions for how to make this into a granita (think Italian shaved ice). And, if you don’t have time to make the applesauce, you can swap it out for store bought unsweetened applesauce.

Dress Spiced Apple Sorbet up a little bit

The optional Pie Crust Cookies (see the Wonder & Sundry Recipe Box—subscribe for access), while ideally made the day of, can be made a day ahead. They make an adorable  touch for Spiced Apple Sorbet.  I find that they give a nice taste of apple pie, but not the sadness that can come from eating a big slice after a huge dinner. I will not tell, though, if you top your sorbet with more than one. You might also try sugared cranberries.

Spiced Apple Sorbet: a delicious treat

Pictures can’t convey how yummy this is, though it is awfully pretty, if I do say so myself. I did sneak bites of the batch I made last week on several occasions, unable to leave it for too long. 

I’m going to start making this earlier in the season to have on hand for those unexpectedly warm early autumn days. 

Getting “stuffier at dessert” is more fun for the kiddos than it is for us. This Thanksgiving, make a lighter dessert and enjoy your post-dinner walk before your nap.

I hope you love this as much as I do. Let me know what you think in the comments! 

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Spiced Apple Sorbet with Pie Crust Cookies

Spiced Apple Sorbet

Easy and make-ahead friendly, Spiced Apple Sorbet makes for a dessert that's full of flavor without leaving you feeling so stuffed you want to die. You could also use this as a palate cleanser in between courses.
Spiced Simple Syrup takes minutes to make (and will leave your place smelling incredible). You'll get more than you need for this recipe, but I doubt that you'll have a problem finding uses for it.
The homemade simple applesauce uses the cranberries from the simple syrup to give this a lovely color, and apple cider gets even more apple flavor into the sorbet. If you don't feel like making the applesauce yourself, you could swap in store bought, meaning that this wouldn't take any time at all to prepare (I'd still make the homemade applesauce).
Chill the sorbet base for at least 8 hours before freezing, and then freeze the finished sorbet for at least 4 hours before serving.
For the optional Pie Crust Cookies, see the Wonder & Sundry Recipe Box (subscribe for access!).
If you don't have an ice cream maker, do not fret. You can make this into a Granita (think Italian shaved ice), and it will be delicious. See the notes.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Freezing 45 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 1 quart



For the Spiced Simple Syrup

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 slices orange
  • ¼ cup fresh cranberries
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 3 cardamom pods substitute ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 4-5 grates whole nutmeg substitute ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg

For the Applesauce

  • 5 large apples, preferably Macoun or McIntosh, peeled, cored, and cut into chunks
  • ½ cup apple cider
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • cranberries from the spiced simple syrup

For the Sorbet

  • 1 cup Spiced Simple Syrup (see above)
  • cups Apple Sauce (see above) substitute unsweetened store bought if you didn't make the homemade apple sauce
  • 1 cup apple cider


Make the Spiced Simple Syrup

  • Combine all ingredients in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan
    Spicedy Simple Syrup ingredients for Spiced Apple Sorbet
  • Over very low heat, cook just until the sugar has melted. Strain into a clean glass container with lid. Reserve the cranberries. Chill until needed for use. This makes more than you will need for the sorbet.

Make the Applesauce

  • Add all ingredients to a heavy-bottomed sauce pan. Cook slowly over very low heat, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon
    Ingredients for homemade unsweetened applesauce for Spiced Apple Sorbet
  • As the sauce cooks, you can start pressing down the the back of the spoon. The sauce is finished cooking when the apples are very, very soft and pressing on them with a wooden spoon turns them into sauce. Turn off heat
  • If you have one, the sauce with an immersion blender. Otherwise, use the spoon to create as smooth a sauce as you can (you don't want big chunks in your sorbet)
    Homemade Applesauce for Spiced Apple Sorbet
  • Let cool slightly

Make the Sorbet

  • Mix all ingredients in a bowl to combine and then transfer to a jar with lid (or other container). Chill for at least 8 hours before freezing to allow flavors to combine
  • Using a fine mesh strainer, strain as much of the base as you intend to freeze (my ice cream maker produces one pint, so I get two batches). Use a spatula to try and press out as much of the juice as possible. Discard the solids (they make a great snack)
    Strain the base for Spiced Apple Sorbet
  • Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. While the sorbet is freezing, put your scoop, spatula, and containers in the freezer to chill (this helps keep everything cold). Working quickly, transfer to containers (I use individual serving sized containers) and freeze in the freezer for at least four hours before serving
    Transfer Spiced Apple Sorbet to Containers



If you don't have an ice cream maker, you can turn this into a granita. Using a pan large enough to hold the liquid, freeze it for about 35-40 minutes. Then, start raking it with a fork. You don't want any large pieces. Continue to do this a couple of times an hour until all of the liquid is frozen and scraped with a fork. Transfer to containers and freeze for 4 hours or so before serving.
Keyword apple cider, apple sauce, apple sorbet, apples, spiced simple syrup
Tried this recipe?Let me know what you think!

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