How to make the absolute best milkshake at home (2023)




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Christine Galleries

Christine Galleriesfood editor

Christine is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, France and has worked at Cook's Illustrated and She lives in San Francisco and enjoys teaching cooking classes. Follow your latest culinary adventuresInstagram.


updated September 23, 2022

All you need is a pint of ice, milk, and a few clever techniques to make the creamiest, dreamiest milkshakes.

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How to make the absolute best milkshake at home (1)

Every summer for nearly 15 years, I've left the cold weather of San Francisco for a few weeks on Cape Cod to visit my husband's family. There are many tasty traditions that I look forward to.lobster dinnerand fried clams, but best of all is a visit to Sundae School, the old-fashioned local ice cream parlor withEisthis is how the line can extend out the door. While my family goes straight to hersHot fudge ice cream sundae, I always order the same thing: a raspberry Oreo frappé (The New England term for milkshake). It's so thick with raspberry ice cream that I always start with a spoon because I'm impatient and then drink it through a straw once it's softened.

The perfect milkshake

This unexpected travel-free summer also doesn't mean sundae school, so the only way to find comfort is to make milkshakes at home. My criteria? A perfect milkshake is thick enough for a spoonful but still drinkable. All mix-ins should still be in bite-size pieces and there should be a really pure ice cream flavor that isn't diluted with milk.

After much experimentation, which my 7-year-old daughter has eagerly embraced, I figured out how to make the best milkshake at home. Yes, it's just ice cream and milk, but a few little tips will help you make milkshakes that taste just as good as the ones you usually order - even if it's without the fuss of going to the ice cream parlor.

Thick and creamy blender shakes

Unless you're a milkshake fanatic, chances are you don't have a classic milkshake or drink maker (the little device with a magic wand that goes into a metal cup). These machines do an excellent job smoothlysparkling iceand milk together without powdered mixes like cookies or fruit, but not having one shouldn't stop you from making milkshakes. ANregular blenderit can work just as well if you keep a few things in mind.

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The blades of a blender are great for blending smoothies and pureed soups, but they cut solid chunks of ice cream, like cookie dough, into bite-size pieces.For homemade milkshakes, it's best to start with ice cream that doesn't already have mixes.Instead, add the mix-ins separately at the end so they're chopped small enough to soak up the straw, but not so small that they stick all over the milkshake.

Need a new blender?Here are our favorites.

Your homemade milkshake formula

You only need two ingredients to make a great milkshake: ice cream and milk. Half a liter of ice cream yields two milkshakes. Stick to simple flavors that don't have mix-ups. You'll need 2/3 cup of milk, which is enough to get things working but not overwhelm the flavor of the ice cream. Whole milk makes the creamiest milkshakes, but work with what you have!

From there, consider enhancing and customizing your milkshake with the following ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon flavor enhancer:A spoonful of powdered malted milk orpowdered milkadds extra creaminess that takes shakes to the next level. You can also addchocolate brothorVanillesirup, or alsoStrawberry jam. If adding an extract like vanilla, only use 1 tsp.
  • 1/2 Tasse Mix-Ins:This includes crunchy bits like cookies, candy, or nuts.
  • toppings:For a classic diner-style shake, top milkshakes with it.chantillyand a maraschino cherry. Or have fun with chocolate sauce, drizzle down the sides of glasses before pouring the milkshake.

My favorite milkshake combinations

  • Mokka-Mandel-Fudge:Coffee ice cream + chocolate sauce + almonds
  • Strawberry cake:Strawberry Ice Cream + Strawberry Jam + Butter Cookies
  • Vanilla Oreo:Vanilla Shots + Vanilla Extract + Oreo-Kekse
  • Malted Chocolate Crunch:Chocolate Ice Cream + Malt Powder + Malt Milk Balls

Once you've created the milkshake of your dreams, pour it into chilled glasses and garnish as much as you like. Serve with straws and a long spoon if you have thick mixes. Enjoy every sip, which I recommend doing outside in the sun.

Credit: Joe Lingeman; Eating Style: Cyd McDowell




See how to make the best milkshakes at home.



How to make the absolute best milkshake at home

All you need is a pint of ice, milk, and a few clever techniques to make the creamiest, dreamiest milkshakes.

productionFor 2 people, for 2 generous cups

setup time5 minutes


  • 1Beer

    Ice (about 2 cups)

  • 2/3taxes

    Milk, preferably whole

Flavor enhancement options:

  • 1soup spoon

    Malted milk powder or powdered milk

  • 1soup spoon

    Strawberry jam

  • 1soup spoon

    vanilla or chocolate syrup

  • 1teaspoon

    vanilla extract or espresso powder

Mixing and topping options:

  • 1/2taxes

    coarsely chopped sweets, nuts, cookies or fruit

  • chocolate sauce or sauce

  • Karamel sauce

  • chantilly

  • maraschino cherries

  • sprinkles

  • finely chopped walnuts


  • Mixer
  • measuring cup and spoon
  • 2

    Tall drink or milkshake glasses

  • straws


  1. Let the ice cream soften.Let 1 quart of ice cream sit at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes, until smooth (softened ice cream blends easily and requires less milk to stir). Squeeze the container - it shouldn't be rock hard and should give a little when you're done. Meanwhile, chill the glasses and prepare the mix-ins.

  2. Chill your glasses and chop any mixture.If you have space in the freezer, place 2 tall glasses or milkshake glasses in it, or chill the glasses in the fridge. This will ensure the milkshake stays cold for as long as possible. Coarsely chop until you have 1/2 cup of mixtures of your choice, you want the chunks to be about 1/2 inch.

  3. Beat the ingredients in the blender.In a blender, place ingredients in this order: 2/3 cup milk, flavor enhancer if using, and softened ice cream. Don't add any mix-ins yet!

  4. Misture o milk-shake.Start on the lowest speed and increase to medium speed, mixing until smooth and pourable, about 1 minute. Stop the blender and scrape down the sides or stir as needed to keep things moving. You want a final consistency that flows like lava.

  5. Puls in den Mix-Ins.If using mix-ins, place 1/2 cup in a blender and blend to submerge. Pulse a few times (6 to 8 pulses) just to combine, don't mix too vigorously or the mix-ins will pulverize and make the milkshake gritty.

  6. Sirva o milk-shake. Drizzle some chocolate sauce or caramel sauce over the sides of chilled glasses, if desired. Divide the milkshake between glasses. Decorate with toppings to taste and serve immediately with straws.

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