Milkshakes are one of the most iconic American desserts. They’re refreshingly cool, slurp-ably sweet and come in pretty much any flavor you can imagine. A single sip gets us dreaming of old-school diners and hamburger stands on a sultry summer day, and just a few more satisfy any sweet tooth. In the mood for more classic desserts? These recipes are making a comeback.
But you don’t need to reserve a vinyl booth to enjoy this delightful dessert. Making a milkshake from scratch is simple. If you’ve got a tub of ice cream on hand, you’re halfway there. Follow along as our test kitchen shows how to make the most flavorful milkshake.
How to Make the Best Milkshake Ever
- 1/3 cup milk. You can use 2%, whole milk, or a blend of milk and half-and-half.
- 1-1/2 cups ice cream (vanilla makes a good base for most shakes, or you can use a flavor like chocolate)
- Delicious mix-ins! Think a swirl of chocolate syrup, peanut butter, a chopped banana or other fruit, a handful of chocolate or butterscotch chips (we could go on and on…)
- A blender, of course. You can use a classic stand blender-or an immersion blender if you want to make it right in your glass.
Step 1: Combine the ingredients
We’re going to make a strawberry shake, so we’ll add 1/2 cup frozen unsweetened strawberries and 1 tablespoon strawberry preserves.
Test Kitchen tip: For an ultra-rich shake, use whole milk-or milk with a little half-and-half cream. But never use heavy cream. If you send that through the blender, it’ll create little bits of butter.
Step 2: Blend ’til smooth
It’s time to blend away. You’ll want to keep an eye on the consistency. This recipe creates a Goldilocks-style shake: not too firm and not too soft (runny). Of course, you can always customize it either way. Use less milk for a thicker, spoonable shake; more for a thinner, sippable one.
Step 3: Enjoy!
Pour your milkshake into a chilled glasse to serve. It tastes great straight-up or topped with a tower of whipped cream. Feeling fancy? Layer on toppings like chocolate syrup, sugary cereal or rainbow sprinkles.
Now that you know how to make a basic milkshake, try some additional variations:
- Low-fat milkshake: Substitute frozen yogurt or sherbet for the ice cream, or fruit juice for part of the milk.
- Make it a malt: It’s easy to mimic those old-fashioned malted milks you get at a restaurant. Simply pick up malted milk powder from the store. (It’s usually found near the breakfast and chocolate milk mixes.) Add 2-4 tablespoons per 1 cup of milk. Or try this fancy caramel pecan version!
- Old-fashioned soda: Stir in ginger ale or soda after making the milkshake. Just make sure not to blend; it’ll cause a fizzy mess! Check out our recipe for Old Fashioned Strawberry Soda to see how it’s done.
- Love lemon? You won’t want to miss this luscious lemon milk shake with lemon drop candies and…a silky secret, cream cheese!