How to make a milkshake

Utensils & Tools

If you’d like an extra-chocolatey milkshake, use full-fat chocolate milk in place of regular milk with any variety of chocolate ice cream.

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How to make a milkshake at home

According to some people, a milkshake isn’t just a beverage. It’s an experience. While many people have only enjoyed milkshakes at diners and restaurants, they’re easy enough to make at home. All it takes is milk, ice cream, and a little bit of creativity. 

If you’re ready to start whipping up homemade milkshakes, read our latest article, which covers everything you need to know.

How do you make a milkshake?

Basic milkshake recipe

A basic milkshake calls for only two ingredients: milk and ice cream. There are countless basic milkshake recipes, so let’s begin with the most common.

To make a milkshake for one person, combine ⅓ cup of milk and 1 ½ cups of ice cream in a blender. If you don’t want to measure the ice cream and prefer to keep preparation simple, just use three generous scoops of your favorite ice cream.

For thick and creamy milkshakes, use full-fat milk and ice cream instead of lighter or low-fat varieties.

Fancy milkshake recipes

Part of the fun of making milkshakes at home is that you’re able to experiment with a variety of flavors. Here are a few fancy milkshake recipes for inspiration.

Using ⅓ cup of milk as the milkshake base:

Mocha milkshake: Use chocolate and coffee ice cream, then garnish with whipped cream, chocolate sauce and mini chocolate chips.

Strawberry banana milkshake: Use strawberry ice cream, combine with one medium banana and ⅓ cup dried strawberries. Garnish with whipped cream and rainbow sprinkles.

Peppermint milkshake: Use peppermint ice cream and combine with 2 crushed candy canes. Garnish with whipped cream and leftover crushed candy cane. 

Irish coffee milkshake: Use coffee ice cream and combine with 1 tsp brown sugar and ½ cup of coffee or espresso. Once the milkshake is blended, stir in a jigger of Irish whiskey with a long-handled spoon. Garnish with whipped cream and chocolate sauce. 

Tips for making milkshakes

  • Remove ice cream from the freezer and let it sit on the counter for 10 minutes before making a milkshake. The softer consistency helps the ice cream blend more easily with milk. 
  • Combine milk and ice cream, but don’t overmix them. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a thin, runny consistency. 
  • To keep a milkshake colder longer, add a few cubes of ice to the mixture before serving. You can also store milkshake glasses in the freezer before pouring. 
  • Everyone has a different palate and preference when it comes to milkshakes. It’s common to adjust the milk-ice cream ratio to taste.

What do you need to make milkshakes?

If you’re ready to start blending homemade milkshakes, here are a few products you may find yourself using.

Blending devices

Personal blenders

You can use any blender to make milkshakes. Personal blenders are ideal if you’d like to blend and drink the milkshake in the same jug. If you have an immersion blender, it’s easy to mix a milkshake inside a malt cup.

die-cast model by Hamilton Beach

Some milkshake enthusiasts have gone as far as to invest in milkshake makers. This die-cast model by Hamilton Beach comes with a 28-ounce malt cup and has retro curb appeal. 

Milkshake glasses

milkshake glasses

To embrace the whole milkshake experience, serve them in authentic milkshake glasses. They typically measure 12-20 ounces. When you’re not using these glasses for milkshakes, they’re ideal for serving gelatin, ice cream sundaes or dump cakes.

Milkshake straws

milkshake straws

Milkshakes are good to the last drop, so savor them with milkshake straws. They have wider mouths than regular straws to accommodate the thicker mixture.

reusable wide-mouth straws

There are also reusable wide-mouth straws if you prefer an eco-friendly option. These are often dishwasher-safe or come with straw brushes for manual cleaning.

Milkshake spoons

long-handled or cocktail stirring spoon

Once you’ve reached the bottom of your milkshake, scoop up the remnants with a long-handled or cocktail stirring spoon. You may already have one in your barware set. 

Milkshake garnishes

Milkshakes are topped with whipped cream, an airy platform with plenty of room for garnishes.


Sprinkles, also called jimmies, are a versatile, go-to milkshake garnish. Rainbow sprinkles add a fun pop of color, while chocolate sprinkles add a touch of decadence. You’ll also find sprinkles in other colors, like green, red or pink, just to name a few.

Ghirardelli Flavored Sauce Set

Sauce is popular as both a garnish and an ingredient in milkshakes. Chocolate and caramel remain the most popular options. However, if you invest in a deluxe set like Ghirardelli Flavored Sauce Set, you can experiment with new flavors, such as white chocolate and vanilla. 

Oreo Cookies

Like the sauce, cookie crumbs make great garnishes and ingredients. Oreo Cookies, for example, can be crumbled into dust and added to a milkshake or used in chunky pieces as a crunchy garnish.

Ice cream machines

ice-cream machine by Cuisinart

To create unique milkshakes, consider churning your own ice cream for them. It’s much easier and more affordable than you would think. Like this model by Cuisinart, a home ice cream maker can whip up batches in as little as 25 minutes. 


Sian Babish writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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