This Orange Julius recipe without concentrate really is the best. It’s so simple and easy to make with just 4 ingredients, including fresh orange juice, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, and ice. It’s a quick iced drink you’ll crave time and again to cool you off all summer long.
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Orange Julius with fresh orange juice
When the warm weather hits, there’s nothing like homemade iced drinks. And this recipe for an easy orange Julius without concentrate is perfect for sipping on hot days or any time of year, really.
My orange Julius is delightfully sweet and creamy, with a refreshing tang and zest, and guarantees you the best iced orange drink every single time. Plus, it takes only minutes to make, and your entire family will love it.
I’m sharing lots of tips for making an easy Orange Julius recipe without concentrate. But if you just want to see the recipe, tap the jump to recipe button at the top of the page or click here to get to the printable recipe card right away.
What is Orange Julius?
First things first. What exactly is an Orange Julius? An Orange Julius is a chilled, creamy beverage made with orange juice, milk, a sweetener, vanilla, and ice. It’s frothy and mild tasting, something between a smoothie and a milkshake.
Orange Julius history
Orange Julius is also the name of a juice store chain that started out with a single orange juice stand in Los Angeles in the 1920s, opened by Julius Freed. Mr. Freed created the fluffy orange drink, which became incredibly popular.
The company was eventually sold to Dairy Queen. During the 80s and 90s, you’d find Orange Julius stands by the food court in hundreds of malls. Many of them have vanished in recent years, and Dairy Queen apparently stopped offering the drink in 2019.
Of course, with this copycat Orange Julius recipe, you can make your own at home!
Can you make Orange Julius without concentrate?
Yes! I came up this recipe because frozen orange juice concentrate isn’t available everywhere. And my goal was to create the best orange Julius recipe without concentrate for those who don’t have access to this ingredient.
When I visited my cousin years ago, she took me to Dairy Queen in Hulen Mall in Fort Worth, and we had the eponymous drink. I love oranges in all forms and was instantly hooked after just one sip of this dreamy and creamy concoction.
Back home in Ireland, I wanted to make an Orange Julius smoothie, but almost all recipes require frozen orange concentrate – something that’s hard to find where I live. And so, this 4-ingredient Orange Julius recipe with orange juice came to be.
Whether you want to make Orange Julius with fresh oranges because you have an abundance of fresh fruit at your disposal. Or you wanna try a new way to make this drink. Or can’t find frozen concentrate like me, this recipe is for you.
Orange Julius ingredients
What’s in an Orange Julius? Looking at the ingredients, you’ll see that my version is a little different from other OJ recipes out there. You’ll need the following 4 ingredients to make it:
- Orange juice: Fresh orange juice is required for the zingiest and most refreshing Orange Julius copycat. You can use 100% real orange juice, but the freshness really shines in this simple recipe.
- Sweetened condensed milk replaces the milk + sugar and balances the tartness from the oranges while sweetening.
- Vanilla extract: A touch of vanilla mellows the orange flavor and creates a creamsicle-like aroma.
- Ice thickens and chills the drink. I used ice cubes, but crushed ice or pellets will work as well.
How to make Orange Julius without concentrate
See how to make Orange Julius with orange juice! This version is everything you’ve ever wanted in an orange Julius. Here’s the rundown of the super simple steps for how to make an orange Julius recipe without concentrate:
Step 1: Blend the liquid ingredients
Pour the orange juice, sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla extract into a blender. Put the lid on and pulse until smooth and well combined.
Step 2: Add the ice cubes
Place the ice cubes in the blender. Process until the ice is crushed and the mixture has thickened and looks frothy.
Step 3: Adjust the texture (optional)
If the texture ends up a bit thick, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of additional orange juice and mix again until you reach your desired consistency.
Step 4: Serve
Pour into a glass and optionally garnish with fresh orange slices and a dollop of whipped cream. Enjoy right away.
- Lemon Orange: Prepare the drink with 3/4 cup orange juice and 1/4 cup lemon juice.
- Strawberry Banana: Replace the ice cubes with a handful of frozen strawberries and frozen bananas.
- Key Lime: Swap out the orange juice for the same amount of freshly squeezed lime juice.
- Dairy-Free: To make a dairy-free Orange Julius, substitute the condensed milk with dairy-free condensed coconut milk.
Should I use fresh or bottled orange juice?
You can prepare this Orange Julius recipe with freshly squeezed orange juice or bottled orange juice. I prefer the crisp and fresh taste of fresh fruit and love the tiny bits of orange flesh swimming in my drink.
Still, the bottled variety is fine as well. Just be sure to buy unsweetened, 100% pure orange juice – otherwise, you might end up with an overly sweet beverage.
Why use sweetened condensed milk?
Most orange Julius recipes usually call for granulated sugar or powdered sugar as a sweetener. Granulated sugar and powdered sugar create a slightly grainy texture that I don’t care for too much.
Condensed milk creates a perfectly creamy texture that’s velvety and smooth. And since canned milk is very concentrated, we can use more orange juice and still end up with a milky drink.
Can you make Orange Julius with eggs?
The original Orange Julius recipe was made with egg white powder. Some copycat recipes are made with raw eggs or egg whites to achieve the frothy texture the drink is famous for.
Since consuming raw eggs harbors the risk of salmonella, I omitted eggs from my version. You get a similar effect by adding sweetened condensed milk but without actually using raw eggs.
Can you make Orange Julius drink ahead?
Because this homemade Orange Julius recipe with fresh oranges is blended with ice, it’s best prepared fresh. Otherwise, the ice will melt too much and water down the drink. However, you can juice the oranges and refrigerate the juice until it’s time to make the drink.
How to store Orange Julius recipe with real oranges
If you have leftover orange juice milk, keep it in a sealed jar or jug in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Tools to make Orange Julius with orange juice
- Citrus Squeezer – A citrus squeezer or citrus press comes in handy to extract the juice from the fresh oranges.
- Sweetened condensed milk – Canned milk is the secret ingredient in my Orange Julius recipe without concentrate. Condensed milk blends into drinks so easily and tastes delicious.
- Blender – The Nutribullet is so worth it! We use this blender all the time, and there isn’t much it can’t do.
- Bamboo straws – Straws may not be necessary, but they make drinking this orange juice Orange Julius recipe definitely more fun. I love that these are reusable and eco-friendly.