Orange Floats Are Perfect Summer Nostalgia in a Glass

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Who can resist an Orange Float with the charming combination of zesty orange soda and creamy vanilla ice cream? It’s the perfect dessert to cool off on a hot summer day or to add a little fun to your family movie night.

When it comes to dessert, it doesn’t get much simpler than an orange creamsicle float. The contrast between the fizzy chilled soda and the smooth ice cream makes this an old-fashioned favorite.

Orange floats hold a special place in my heart. On hectic summer afternoons when my kids were running on overdrive (and I was running on fumes), whipping up these fizzy treats was a surefire way to bring a sense of calm to the chaos.

They are like a mini-vacation in the middle of the day. And who doesn’t need one of those every now and then?

In this post we will cover everything there is to know about orange floats. From the best ingredients to how to make the ultimate float. Plus, I’ll answer to the age-old question, what is the difference between a float and a milkshake anyway?

Looking for more ice cream treats? Try banana strawberry milkshake, frosted lemonade, or blueberry milkshake.

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🍨Ingredient Notes

For exact amounts needed see the recipe card below

There are only two ingredients. That’s the beauty of this recipe; its simplicity.

  • Orange Soda: Any brand of soda will work for this recipe. Whether you’re a Fanta fan or a Sunkist supporter, it’s all about your preference.
  • Vanilla Ice Cream: A good quality vanilla ice cream is crucial here. You want that rich, creamy texture and pure vanilla flavor to balance out the vibrant orange soda. Don’t skimp on ice cream.
Ingredients for orange floats.

🥤How to Make Orange Floats

  1. Scoop the Ice Cream: Start by placing 3-4 scoops of ice cream into each glass.
  2. Top with Soda: Here comes the fun part! Slowly pour your choice of orange soda over the ice cream. Watch as the soda creates a bubbly, frothy top. This is where the “float” in the orange float comes into play. Pour slowly to avoid an overflow.
Filling the glasses with ice cream.
Scoop the ice cream
After pouring the orange soda into the tall glass.
Add the soda

🥄Serving Ideas

Presentation is key. I usually serve these floats in tall glasses with a straw and a long spoon because this treat requires both slurping and scooping. Make sure to pick a brightly colored straw to add to the fun.

Top your floats off with whipped cream and cherry. Or you can make them look classier by garnishing them with an orange slice or a sprig of mint. But in my house, we’re lucky if the floats make it to the table before they’re half-gone.

Top view of orange float in a glass with a straw, whipped cream and a cherry.

❓What is the Difference between a Float and a Milkshake?

While both are ice cream-based treats, a milkshake is a creamy blend, while a float combines whole scoops of ice cream with soda. They are both fun treats, but they’re made differently and have distinctive textures and tastes.

The ingredients in a milkshake are blended to a thick, smooth, drinkable consistency. In a float, on the other hand, the components are separate, and the magic happens as they interact. So milkshakes have a creamy texture, while floats are fizzy.


Be sure to check out the step by step instructions

  • For the perfect orange float, start with a tall glass.
  • Use a good quality vanilla ice cream because you will notice the creamy texture and rich flavor.
  • Pour the soda very, very slowly.
Orange creamsicle float topped with whipped cream and a cherry.


Can I use other flavors of ice cream?

Sure, if you’re feeling adventurous, you could try different flavors. Just remember, the simpler the taste of the ice cream, the more the orange soda will shine.

Can I use fresh orange juice instead of orange soda?

While fresh orange juice sounds healthier, it won’t give you the same fizzy fun experience as orange soda. The bubbles in the soda make the float frothy and light, which is part of its charm.

Do I need to make the floats right before serving?

Yes. Orange floats are best served immediately after making them. The fun of a float is scooping the creamy ice cream drenched in fizzy soda. If left to sit, the ice cream melts, and the soda loses its fizz, and you definitely don’t want that.

Can I use other sodas for floats?

Absolutely! Ice cream floats can be made with any soda you like. Root beer floats, cream soda floats or even cola floats are tasty. Experiment with different combinations to find your favorite. Remember, the key to a fabulous float is pairing high-quality ice cream with a soda that complements its flavor.

Did You Make This? Leave a Star Rating!

Two creamsicle floats in tall glasses with blue straws.
5 from 6 votes

Orange Floats Recipe

Published By Anne
This Orange Float recipe is a nod to the classic creamsicle, combining the tangy orange soda with creamy ice cream for a refreshing and fizzy delight.
Prep Time5 minutes
Servings: 2
Print Save Rate Pin


  • 8 ounces orange soda
  • 6 to 8 scoops vanilla ice cream


  • Scoop the ice cream into the glasses, filling each one with 3-4 scoops of ice cream.
    6 to 8 scoops vanilla ice cream
  • Top with orange soda, pouring it very slowly into the glass.
    8 ounces orange soda
  • Add whipped cream and a cherry on top. Or garnish with an orange slice.


  • For the perfect orange float, use a tall glass.
  • Use a good quality vanilla ice cream because you will notice the creamy texture and rich flavor.
  • Pour the soda very, very slowly.

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 468kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 87mg | Sodium: 172mg | Potassium: 395mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 57g | Vitamin A: 834IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 259mg | Iron: 0.2mg

Nutrition facts are estimates.

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Two glasses of orange float topped with whipped cream.

Hi, I’m Anne!

I love to cook and I want to share my recipes with you. I believe cooking should be approachable and fun, not a chore. I want to make simple recipes using everyday ingredients that you can make again and again, whether it is for a busy weeknight, a summer cookout or a special dessert. Read more...

3 thoughts on “Orange Floats Are Perfect Summer Nostalgia in a Glass”

  1. 5 stars
    How delightful! Creamsicles were always a favorite of mine, and these floats perfectly replicate that flavor. They were exactly what we needed to cool down on a hot day. Happily I still have the supplies to make more!

  2. 5 stars
    I love love love ice cream float! and this orange float was so good and a lovely change from my regular coke float. Thanks for sharing.


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