Make this easy copycat Orange Julius recipe at home for a tasty, refreshing treat that's creamy, frothy, and citrusy sweet!

three glasses of orange julius with orange garnishes and striped straws inside

Most people's experience with Orange Julius comes from stands at the mall, but the Orange Julius I grew up enjoying actually comes from a recipe in an old family cookbook with plastic comb binding. 

You know the kind, right? The ones that are put together by women's groups at churches or collections from large family clans where everybody submits a few of their favorite recipes that get compiled into a book? 

I LOVE those cookbooks and I have a number of them from family reunions and church groups, and the pages are warped and splattered with vanilla stains. The particular Orange Julius recipe I use was submitted jointly by my Grandma Johnson and Aunt Judy. The only change I've made here is to decrease the sugar a bit to let the bright, citrus flavor of the orange juice shine through.

(We love fun, refreshing drink recipes that the whole family can enjoy! Don't miss these other reader favorites: Fresh Squeezed Homemade LemonadeHomemade Hawaiian Punch, and Easy Brazilian Lemonade.)

sliced oranges with glasses of orange julius with straws inside

What is an Orange Julius?

An Orange Julius is a cool, creamy drink that was created in the 1920's in Los Angeles. Which makes perfect sense since that part of the country is well known for its oranges. (Orange County got its name for a good reason!) 

The Orange Julius is made up of ice, orange juice, sweetener, milk, and vanilla. It’s like a creamy, frothy smoothie, except more dairy-based. Or like a fruity, slightly icier milkshake!

an aerial view of ingredients for orange julius and sliced oranges

What You’ll Need

Scroll down to the recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.

  • Frozen orange juice concentrate
  • Milk – Whole milk will give you a creamier Orange Julius, but a lower fat milk or even a non-dairy milk will work too!
  • Water
  • Powdered sugar – Also known as confectioners’ sugar!
  • Vanilla extract
  • Ice cubes

Can you make Orange Julius with Fresh Orange Juice?

Yes, you can make an Orange Julius with fresh orange juice instead of concentrate. The texture is slightly different and the flavor will be less orange-y since the orange flavor won't be as concentrated, but it's still delicious. Just replace the 1 cup of water and 6 ounces of orange juice concentrate with 2 cups of fresh squeezed orange juice.

If you are planning ahead and can freeze the orange juice in an ice cube tray first, this will help the texture be closer to the original.

Another option that I haven't tried myself is to peel and use 4 whole oranges instead of the orange juice concentrate and water. If you try this approach, let me know what you think in the comments!

a blender filled with ingredients with a liquid measuring glass and sliced oranges to the sides

Did the Original Orange Julius Have Egg in It?

The original Orange Julius recipe did contain raw egg, but these days, powdered egg whites are used instead. Because most people don’t have powdered egg whites on hand, this recipe doesn't use them. Trust me, you won’t miss them at all!

How to Make Orange Julius at Home

Making this copycat Orange Julius couldn't be any easier. This is a great recipe for kids to make because they can do the whole thing all on their own!

  1. Combine the ingredients. Place the orange juice concentrate, milk, water, powdered, sugar, vanilla, and ice cubes in a blender.
  2. Blend. Turn on your blender and blend until the mixture smooth and frothy. Divide between four cups, garnish with orange slices, and serve with a straw.
glasses filled with orange julius and topped with orange slices and a blue and white striped straw

Variations to Try

Want to switch things up a little bit? Try one of these variations!

  • Orange Banana:  Make the recipe as written, except add a frozen banana for a thicker, creamier shake with banana orange flavor.
  • Strawberry Orange:  Throw in a couple handfuls of fresh or frozen strawberries for a pretty shade of pink.
  • Pineapple Orange:  Fresh or frozen pineapple works best, not canned.
  • Dairy-Free Coconut Orange:  If you need a dairy-free version or just want a tropical twist, swap out the milk for the same amount of coconut milk.
aerial view of glasses filled with orange julius with sliced oranges and striped straws

How to Store

Orange Julius is best served right away!

If you do have any leftovers, you can pop them in the fridge for up to a day, but as the ice melts, they won’t be as frothy. You can blend the leftovers with a few ice cubes if you want to get that frothy, frozen texture back, but the flavor will be watered down a bit.

an aerial view of a glass filled with orange julius and garnished with orange slice and a straw

More Tasty Non-Alcoholic Drinks

Did you make this recipe?

Let me know what you thought with a comment and rating below. You can also take a picture and tag me on Instagram @houseofnasheats or share it on the Pinterest pin so I can see.

Stay in the know

Orange Julius Recipe

4.90 from 39 votes
Amy Nash
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings
Try making this easy Orange Julius recipe at home for a tasty, refreshing treat that's creamy and frothy and citrusy sweet!  


  • 6 ounces frozen orange juice concentrate
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup ice cubes (about 8-10 ice cubes)


  • Combine orange juice concentrate, milk, water, powdered, sugar, vanilla, and ice cubes in a blender.
  • Blend until smooth and frothy, then divide between four cups and garnish with orange slices, if desired.  Serve with a straw!



If you don't have orange juice concentrate or prefer to make your Orange Julius with fresh orange juice, just replace the orange juice concentrate and water called for in the recipe with 2 cups of fresh orange juice or 4 peeled oranges instead.


Calories: 137kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 34mg | Potassium: 369mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 26g | Vitamin A: 260IU | Vitamin C: 59mg | Calcium: 86mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe? Show me on Instagram!Mention @HouseOfNashEats or tag #houseofnasheats!

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About the author

Hi, I'm Amy

I enjoy exploring the world through food, culture, and travel and sharing the adventure with mostly from-scratch, family friendly recipes that I think of as modern comfort cooking.

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Reader questions and reviews

  1. Mich says:

    Thanks so much for posting this recipe !! I Love orange Julius and they are such a happy memory from my childhood. I've not even thought about them for years so it was a nice surprise to see this.
    Do you think they would turn out well using fresh orange juice ?
    I never buy concentrate but I will if I have to so i can make these 😊

    1. Amy says:

      Yes! You can definitely make orange julius with fresh orange juice. Just omit the water called for in the recipe, as well as the orange juice concentrate, and replace them with 2 cups of fresh orange juice or even 4 peeled whole oranges. I would freeze the orange juice in an ice cube tray first so as not to affect the texture of the orange julius quite as much, which is going to be the main issue with not using concentrate, but that step isn't totally necessary for a delicious orange julius if you want to skip it.

  2. Katie says:

    5 stars
    I LOVE this recipe!! It is so YUMMY, and EASY!!
    Thanks for including the variations too.
    Sometimes my kids try this with frozen apple juice concentrate too.

    1. Amy says:

      I have never thought to try using apple juice concentrate! That's a fun idea!

      1. Trish says:

        I’m thinking of all the concentrate flavors out there and this is a terrific recipe thank you for posting!!

        1. Amy says:

          You're welcome! I've been meaning to try this with limeade concentrate but keep forgetting when I'm at the store!

  3. Natalie says:

    5 stars
    Looks so delicious and refreshing! Perfect on hot summer days ♥

  4. Melissa Kooyman says:

    yum. Good without the ice cream those other recipies call for,...

  5. Amy says:

    My aunt Mary made the best best orange Julius. It was just like being at the mall. I wanted to get a recipe, but I haven’t got it yet so that’s why am looking on here. Thank you.

  6. Moe Badderman says:

    Thank you for posting this recipe! I grew up in SoCal, where the "OJ" (as we called it) was our favourite after-school (and weekend) hangout.

  7. Art Schievink says:

    When I first tried orange julius at a mall kiosk I loved it.
    Someone told me eggs were part of the recipe.

    When some people got sick from uncleaned eggs. In other words dirt from the shells were allowed to infuse into the final product. They were thick, creamy, and delicious. The healthboard said no more raw eggs could be sold as prepared food. The recipe changed and so did the best things about OJ. LOL. I'll be trying orange julius with an egg. Will you?

    1. Amy says:

      I think I'll skip the egg in mine, lol, but let me know what you think if you try it!

    2. Sophia the baker says:

      Do we just, crack the egg in there, or no? I’ve heard about that that with the egg, but I’ve been scared to try it, but i dont know how to do that. Please respond! I really want to try this!

      1. Vince says:

        I think they meant egg white, as a yolk in there doesn't really make sense. Bartenders use egg whites often in 'sours' (e.g. whiskey sour).

  8. Damielle says:

    Just made this recipe and I have to say....thank you. This is identical in flavor to the dairy Queen orange Julius that I spend an obscene amount of money on. I assumed that I needed a special powder to make this, I am amazed that I had always had all the ingredients right at home. How embarrassing lolol. Thanks again for sharing this, you have saved me a fortune!!!

    1. Amy says:

      You are welcome!

  9. Marybel says:

    Use powered vanilla or powdered malt instead of liquid vanilla that has alcohol in it 

    1. Mason says:

      So, what? Why does that matter?

  10. Steven Taylor says:

    I recall, as a child in San Diego, drinking Orange Julius.  It was a fabulous drink.  My version is always using fresh squeezed OJ, Ice, regular Milk, a small amount of powdered Sugar, vanilla Extract, and...wait...the addition of one egg.  Yup the egg makes a great emulsifier y adds a creaminess that takes it over the top. Try it. You may like it.

  11. Alyssa says:

    This is amazing!! I usually half the recipe because my blender isn’t big enough but still great!

  12. Kymber says:

    For someone who hasnt ever had an orange julius before, this was REALLY good.

    I used oranges instead of the juice concentrate... I'm not a pulp kind of person, so that part was kind of hard for me. However, a simple strainer pulls it all out and is quite delicious. I am definitely going to be making this more using the juice concentrate!

    Thank you for rocking my world! 😂😊

  13. Nicole says:

    Wow! I loved this! I made about three to four batches in the blender! It's really a great recipe!

  14. Sophia the baker says:

    This was so delish! I made it 1/4 the size and it made enough for me and my little brother! They just need some icecream to make it creamy. 

  15. Tom g. says:

    Im mexico you can't get the concentrate, but freezing fresh is good too. However the pulp from oranges prohibits a smooth creamy texture

  16. Nadia says:

    Can you store extra in refrigerator ?  

    1. Amy says:

      Not really. It will separate and the ice will melt so the texture won't be the same.

  17. Meagan H says:

    My kids and husband all asked me why I haven't been making this before now haha so delicious and easy to make!!

    1. Amy says:

      LOL, we make them for movie nights at home and enjoy them with popcorn!

  18. Anees says:

    Just made this today after finding out there is no longer anywhere to get an Orange Julius nearby. The flavor was perfect and it was all gone within a few minutes. A big thank you from Seattle!

  19. Butler at the Diogenes says:

    5 stars
    I never leave comments on recipes. This one is so good and so simple that I was compelled. It’s delicious and tastes as good as an OG OJ.

    1. Amy says:

      Thank you for your comment! I'm so glad you thought so!