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Homemade Orange Julius Recipe

Ohmygoodness. This (healthy!) copycat Orange Julius recipe is so crazy delicious, I was brought right back to childhood.

That is, right back to the New Jersey of the ’70s and ’80s, hanging out at the mall arcade with my quarters for Pac-Man, leg warmers, and jelly bracelets, and swinging by Orange Julius for an orange-vanilla dream-in-a-plastic-cup. 

Homemade Orange Julius Photo

Orange Julius was founded by Julius Freed as an orange juice stand in California in 1926.

Sales were slow until Freed’s real estate broker suggested a new mixture in 1929 that made the acidic orange juice easier on his stomach.

The new, frothy, creamy drink combined ice, non-dairy milk powder, egg whites, and vanilla. Sales went from $20 a day to $100 a day.

Homemade Orange Julius Picture

Customers would ask for "an orange, Julius," and so explains the name. 

During the 1950s and 1960s, Orange Julius took off as a beverage and stands expanded to state and county fairs.

More freestanding Orange Julius outlets continued into the ’70s and ’80s, invading shopping malls. In 1987, the Orange Julius chain was bought by Dairy Queen. 

Homemade Orange Julius Image

Orange Julius tastes like a sweet combination of orange, milk, and vanilla, similar to a Creamsicle. It’s not quite as thick as a milkshake, but it’s smooth and creamy.

Powdered egg whites make the traditional drink frothy, and the original used non-dairy milk powder. Here, I skip the egg whites and just use a really good blender. 

Homemade Orange Julius Pic

To make this homemade recipe, instead of egg whites, milk, sugar, and vanilla with the orange juice concentrate, I combine plain Greek yogurt, milk, and vanilla extract to create just the right consistency.

You may use vanilla Greek yogurt instead off the plain yogurt and vanilla extract, but I prefer the purer vanilla flavor the extract offers.

File 1 - Homemade Orange Julius

The intensity of the frozen orange juice concentrate with vanilla is perfect for my tastes, and I did NOT use any sweetener in my drink. 

But if you like a sweeter drink, you may add a tablespoon of sweetener of your choice. Then the recipe becomes "healthier" instead of "healthy." 

File 2 - Homemade Orange Julius

Looking for more delicious, cold, healthy drinks? Check out this kale smoothie or strawberry “unicorn” smoothie.

Homemade Orange Julius Photo

Homemade Orange Julius Recipe

Meaghan Mountford
A healthy homemade version of an Orange Julius that tastes even better than the original. Grab your blender!
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Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 283 kcal


  • 6 Frozen Orange Juice Concentrate
  • 1 Milk (2 percent used here, may also use soy or nut milk)
  • 0.5 Plain Greek Yogurt (nonfat used here)
  • 2 Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Ice Cubes
  • 1 Confectioners Sugar honey, or sweetener of choice (optional, I did not use sweetener)


  • Blend all of the ingredients very well. Instead of a traditional blender, I recommend a blender designed for smoothies, such as the Ninja Pro. 


Calories: 283kcalCarbohydrates: 46.75gProtein: 9gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 50mgSugar: 42g
Keyword Blended, Copycat, Copycat Desserts, Drinks, Easy, Milkshakes, Oranges, Shakes, Smoothies
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