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Enjoy this popular creamy frothy drink all summer long! Made with real orange juice, milk, vanilla, and sugar, this copycat Orange Julius tastes just like the real deal but so much better for you!

Orange Julius in a glass cup with oranges.
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The Best Orange Julius Recipe

Whether you’re a longtime fan of Orange Julius, or you’ve just seen the juice stand as a frequent flyer in mall food courts, you’re going to love this copycat recipe!

It’s light, refreshing, and frothy. Thinner than a milkshake and sweeter than most smoothie recipes, it’s a cold refreshing sippable treat that tastes just like an orange creamsicle!

Whip this up in minutes. It’s made with fresh simple ingredients so include it in your list of easy breakfast ideas along with glazed orange muffins that both kids and adults love!

Next up, try my Dole Whip recipe. I’m all about recreating popular drinks at home!

What is an Orange Julius?

Traditionally this famous drink started as a signature treat found at orange juice stands. Made with powdered egg whites and artificial sweetener to make it sweet and frothy, it was created as a less acidic version of fresh orange juice.

In the late 80s, Dairy Queen bought it and since then it has expanded into a recognizable stand all over the country. It’s in malls and Dairy Queens everywhere!

Our homemade Orange Julius is much healthier without a long list of ingredients we can’t pronounce and it still tastes just as delicious!

Orange Julius Ingredients

Orange Julius ingredients on the counter.

Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.

  • Frozen orange juice: Orange juice from concentrate has less water content than orange juice from a bottle or carton.
  • Sugar: This is what sweetens it up! It’s needed to mellow out the tangy citrus flavor and what takes it from a juice to a sweet treat.
  • Milk: I use 2% milk for the consistency, but for a dairy-free version you can use almond milk. If you like yours a bit thicker, use whole milk instead.
  • Vanilla: A tasty flavor addition that is the signature of any Orange Julius drink. The milk and vanilla together give it almost a vanilla ice cream vibe.
  • Water: Needed to blend everything while keeping it from becoming too thick.
  • Ice: As needed.

By making a few substitutions you can make a few different versions of an Orange Julius!

  • You can swap the orange juice for pineapple juice or add in some frozen strawberries and bananas.
  • Use plant-based milk to keep it vegan. Almond milk and coconut milk are great options.
  • Add some greek yogurt to make it a little thicker and add some protein.
  • Last, if you’re looking to add a little protein, a scoop of your favorite vanilla protein powder would be a great addition.

How to Make Orange Julius

Showing how to make orange julius in a 4 step collage.
  • Add ingredients to the blender. To the blender, add the frozen orange juice, milk, water, sugar, and vanilla.
  • Blend on high speed until smooth. Watch that you don’t overdo it. Some high-speed blenders will start to become hot and could then start melting your OJ!
  • Add the ice cubes and blend again. The ice should be finely crushed making the mixture slushy. If you want yours a bit thicker still, add more ice.
  • Grab your glasses! Pour the Orange Julius into 2 glasses. Place an orange slice on the rim for garnish, if desired. Enjoy immediately!

Expert Tips

  • Double the batch. If you plan to double, only blend a batch at a time to make sure everything blends evenly.
  • Serve immediately after blending to enjoy it while it’s still frothy and the consistency is just right.
  • Extra garnish. If adding strawberries to yours, don’t forget to leave a strawberry for garnish too!
  • Avoid melting. We’re not using any raw eggs or powder to make our drink frothy. The frozen juice and ice does that for us, so it’s important to keep everything frozen.
Orange Julius in a cup with orange slices.

Recipe FAQs

What is in an Orange Julius?

If you look at the ingredients list of the original it’s got a long list of even longer words that most of us aren’t familiar with. Essentially, it’s orange juice, egg white powder, flavor enhancers, a ton of sugars, etc.

I think I’ll stick with mine from now on!

Can I use orange juice not from concentrate?

I don’t recommend it. Part of what makes this drink so spectacular is the texture and consistency of this drink! It won’t be the same if you use juice from a carton or bottle.

OJ from concentrate gives it a stronger orange flavor and thicker consistency, especially when blended while frozen.

Does this recipe contain eggs?

No! I think we captured the essence of this popular drink without using raw eggs. I wanted to keep it kid-friendly as well, and some people aren’t comfortable with that.

What is Orange Julius flavor?

If you have never had a creamsicle, it’s like an orange pop mixed with vanilla ice cream. This recipe replaces the artificial orange flavor with real orange juice and tastes even better.

Storing

Have fun with any leftovers!

Pour them into popsicle molds for tasty poolside treats. You can also add them to ice cube trays and blend the ice cubes later on to make smoothies.

Orange Julius in a glass cup with orange slices.

Looking for more fruity drinks? Strawberry banana smoothie, blueberry lemonade, pineapple smoothie, and acai smoothie recipe are all so good!

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Orange Julius in a cup with orange slices.

Orange Julius Recipe

5 from 12 votes
↑ Click stars to rate now!
Author: Jamielyn Nye
Enjoy this popular creamy frothy drink all summer long! Made with real orange juice, milk, vanilla, and sugar, this copycat Orange Julius tastes just like the real deal but so much better for you!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 2

Video

Equipment

Ingredients 

  • 1 (8-ounce) can frozen orange juice concentrate
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-2 cups ice , more as needed

Instructions

  • In the base of a blender, add the juice concentrate, milk, water, sugar, and vanilla.
  • Blend on high speed until smooth and the sugar is dissolved.
  • Add ice and blend again until the mixture is slushy and the ice is finely crushed. Add more ice if you'd like it thicker.
  • Pour the Orange Julius into 2 glasses. Add a orange slice on the side if desired and serve immediately.

Notes

Quantity: Though this recipe is easy to double, I would still only make one batch in the blender at a time to make sure everything blends properly.
Variations:
  • Juice. Swap orange juice for pineapple juice.
  • Fruit. Add in frozen strawberries or bananas. 
  • Vegan. Use your favorite plant-based milk in place of the milk.
  • Water. Try coconut water for a more tropical flavor.
Storage: You can freeze the leftovers in ice cube trays to make smoothies later or in a popsicle mold to make popsicles. 

Nutrition

Calories: 343kcal | Carbohydrates: 71g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 67mg | Potassium: 900mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 65g | Vitamin A: 627IU | Vitamin C: 164mg | Calcium: 201mg | Iron: 0.4mg

Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.

Course: Drink
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free

Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!

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