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Orange Julius Recipe (The Classic, Made Perfect)

Must Try

This homemade Orange Julius recipe is the perfect copy cat, made with just 5 ingredients in 5 minutes flat. Creamy, refreshing, and deliciously frothy, it’s a refreshing treat all year round!
If you love orange flavored desserts, be sure to also check out our Orange Cake, Orange Glazed Cookies, and Orange Floats!
Mom’s Orange Julius Recipe

When I was a little kid, I thought my mom invented Orange Julius. I had no idea there was a chain of stores with the same name, with hundreds of locations across the U.S.
For all I knew, my mom had come up with this dreamy orange concoction all on her own, and for that, she was a genius.
I remember sipping on Orange Julius as a special after school snack or weekend treat. Sweet, creamy, and a little tangy, there was nothing better than gulping down the orange drink and licking the frothy foam off my upper lip. To this day, sipping an Orange Julius takes me right back to childhood.
It wasn’t until I was an adult that I first saw an Orange Julius store in person. At first, I thought that some ne’er-do-well had stolen my mom’s recipe and turned it into a popular franchise serving counterfeit creamy drinks to teenagers at the mall. Treachery!
Eventually, clearer thinking prevailed, and I realized Mom’s Orange Julius recipe was more likely a copy cat of the popular chain.
So, she may not hold the patent for the original Orange Julius recipe, but I still think Mom’s version is the best. Here’s why:

No water– Many recipes call for a mix of water and milk, but our advice is to ditch the H20 and just use milk. Milk does a better job of suspending the flurry of little ice chunks and orange-y bits than water. More water makes for a thinner mix that will settle and separate the longer it sits in your glass (or in the pitcher).
Double the vanilla– I am a self-admitted vanilla enthusiast, going as far as making my own vanilla syrup for vanilla iced coffee. Here, vanilla extract makes a perfectly balanced drink that gives big orange creamsicle vibes.

If you’re looking for a recipe for orange julius you can make at home, look no further! Serve this icy summer favorite to your family and friends with as much love as my mom used to, and they’ll be so impressed they might even think you invented the recipe. 
Key Ingredients + Substitutions

Frozen orange juice concentrate– You’ll need 6 ounces, or half of a standard size can.
Granulated sugar- You can use powdered sugar if you prefer, but I’ve never had an issue with granulated sugar being grainy or undissolved.
Milk– I prefer to use whole or 2% milk, but you can substitute any unsweetened dairy-free milk of your choice. If you want max frothiness, I have the most success using oat milk. For a super creamy texture, substitute some of the milk with half and half.
Vanilla– You must use real vanilla extract for this drink! If you only have imitation, just omit the vanilla.
Ice cubes– This chills the drink and thickens it slightly. Depending on the size of your ice cubes, you might want more or less.

Note: The original Orange Julius recipe uses egg whites or egg white powder to create a frothy texture. I personally don’t find this necessary, and I also prefer not to mess with raw eggs in a drink I serve my kids.
I find the drink is plenty frothy after a whirl in the blender, but if you prefer, you can add 1 egg white to the blender or 1 Tablespoon of egg white powder.
How to Make Orange Julius
Step 1: Combine the orange juice concentrate, milk, sugar, and vanilla in a blender. Blend on high until smooth.
Step 2: Add the ice and blend again. The frothiness comes from plenty of blending, so let it run for a bit! Pour into glasses and serve immediately.

A Note on Texture
This comes down to personal preference, but I like my Orange Julius to be the texture of a thick smoothie. Still sippable through a straw, but slushy enough that if you try to gulp too much at once, it will brain-freeze the living daylights out of your head.
Use the Orange Julius recipe below as a starting point, and adjust the amount of ice cubes depending on your preferred texture, and how big your ice cubes are. Add more ice cubes if you want the julius to be a little thicker.

Flavor Variations

Feel free to substitute lemon, lime, or pineapple concentrate, or try mixing two flavors to create your own favorite combination!
Frozen banana, strawberries, or mango can be added in place of some or all of the ice cubes to create different flavor combos. Strawberry orange julius is a favorite of ours!
Another reviewer suggests using Cream of Coconut instead of milk.
To make a boozy version, add four ounces of vodka.

More Refreshing Drinks to Try

6 oz. frozen orange juice concentrate (half a can )1 1/2 cups whole milk (see note)1/4 cup granulated sugar2 teaspoons vanilla extract12 ice cubes
Combine the orange juice concentrate, milk, sugar, and vanilla in a blender. Blend on high speed until smooth.Add ice cubes (depending on the size of your ice cubes, you may want more or less. I suggest starting with 10 and adding more as needed). Blend again until ice cubes are crushed and the drink is smooth and creamy. Blending is what creates the froth, so don’t be afraid to let it run for a bit! Pour into glasses and serve immediately.

You can substitute a non-dairy milk in this recipe if you prefer. I prefer the taste of coconut milk, but almond, cashew, or oat would also work.

Course Smoothies & Drinks Keyword homemade orange julius, orange julius, orange julius drink, orange julius recipe
Calories: 229kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 54mg | Potassium: 544mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 40g | Vitamin A: 413IU | Vitamin C: 82mg | Calcium: 174mg | Iron: 0.2mg

This post was updated on July 5, 2019. I’ve kept the original story below for my own records, and because deleting it feels like ripping pages out of my own diary.
Full credit for this recipe goes to my amazing mom.
After all, she’s the one who sang Jesus Love Me, sat down on the floor to play Barbies with me, made clothes for my baby dolls and stitched together my first prom dress. She’s the one who made dinner each night and drove me to musical practice and made sure I looked presentable when I headed off to school (although some of those early 90s puffy sleeve dresses were questionable, Mom). She’s the one who read me stories at bedtime and kissed my scraped knees and showed me how to care–really care–for other people.
That’s the magic of moms, isn’t it? They are our super women, the daily heroes grinding out laundry and juggling a job and putting food on our dinner tables and still finding time to bring a smile to our face by playing a game of hide and go seek, or by serving up a special homemade treat. And through it all they manage to teach us some of life’s most important lessons.
I don’t care how old I get, my mom (the inventor of the original Orange Julius) will always be super woman. 

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