Lemon granita on a kitchen bench

Lemon Granita Recipe

Lemon granita is perfect for keeping cool on super-hot summer days.

This recipe will give you a sweet and tangy flavoured ice with a texture that’s extra-fine. It is one of the easiest frozen desserts you can make!

Lemon granita is also a practical way to use up those lemons sitting in the fruit bowl.

A glass of lemon granita with fresh lemons nearby.
Freshly-made lemon granita.

Granitas are popular in Italy. In some parts of the country, they enjoy this dessert for breakfast with a brioche bun. This frozen dessert is related to sorbet and Italian ice; however, in most of Sicily, it has a coarser texture.

Start by making a sugar syrup, which takes about 5 minutes to complete. Allow the liquid to cool before stirring in the lemon juice and zest. The final step is to freeze the mixture in a shallow tray.

Fresh lemons on a chopping board.
Fresh lemons, ready for making granita.

How to improve the texture of a granita

The secret to a light, airy granita that’s not too crunchy is to break up the ice into fine particles during freezing. Scrape a fork along the granita an hour into freezing.

During serving, scrape the frozen mixture again, allowing the bits of ice to fall into a small dessert bowl or glass.

More recipes for lemon-lovers: lemon sorbet or lemon ice cream.

Can I make an alcoholic granita?

For an alcohol-infused dessert, add half a cup of vodka to this recipe. You can also try vermouth, whiskey, or rum as alternative options.

Lemon granita on a kitchen bench

Lemon Granita Recipe

Make a cool, refreshing lemon granita at home today.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Dessert
Keyword: lemon, sorbet
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Freeze time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes


  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 lemons zested


  • Add water and sugar in a medium saucepan, then heat until the sugar has dissolved. Chill in the refrigerator.
  • Stir the lemon juice and zest into the sugar syrup.
  • Pour the mixture into a shallow baking tray or container and freeze for 30 minutes. Remove from the freezer and use a fork to break up the ice into fine crystals. Repeat every half hour until the granita is frozen.
  • To serve, use a fork to run along the frozen granita to create a snow-cone consistency. Serve in small bowls, glasses, or hollowed-out lemons.

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