A cold, creamy milkshake is one of life's simple pleasures. Sipping on this classic treat brings back memories of diners, fairs, and lazy summer afternoons. With just a blender, a few pantry staples, and a bit of know-how, you can easily recreate diner-style milkshakes at home.
We will walk you through everything you need to know to craft rich, flavorful milkshakes from scratch. We'll cover choosing ingredients, blending techniques, flavor ideas, and even how to make shakes without a blender.
Gather Your Ingredients and Tools to Make a Milkshake in a Blender
Making a delicious, creamy milkshake at home is easy with just a few basic ingredients and tools. The key is starting with rich, creamy ice cream and cold milk blended together to create a smooth, frosty treat.
You'll need 1-2 cups of ice cream per serving, depending on how thick you want your milkshake. Premium ice creams with higher fat content tend to make the richest, creamiest shakes. Vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry are classic, crowd-pleasing flavors, but you can get creative and use any flavor you love.
For the liquid, 1/4 to 1/3 cup milk per serving is a good starting point. Whole milk works best, but you can use any variety you prefer. For an extra thick and decadent shake, swap some of the milk for heavy cream or half and half.
In addition to the ice cream and milk, you can add fun mix-ins to customize your shake's flavor. Here are some tasty ideas:
- Fresh fruit like strawberries, bananas, or mango
- Chocolate syrup, caramel sauce, peanut butter, or other flavored sauces and spreads
- Crushed cookies like Oreos or biscuits
- Sprinkles, chocolate chips, candy pieces, or other sweet treats
- Coffee, extracts, or spices like cinnamon or mint
For the tools, you'll need:
- A blender - Countertop blenders work best to achieve a smooth, creamy texture. If you don't have one, a handheld immersion blender can work too.
- Tall glasses - Milkshake glasses or mason jars work well for serving. Chill them in the freezer beforehand so your shake stays cold.
- Whipped cream, cherries, and other toppings - While optional, they make your shake extra special.
- Straws - Striped paper or reusable straws complete the classic milkshake presentation.
Blend Ice Cream, Milk, and Mix-Ins to Perfection
With your ingredients prepped, it's easy to blend up the perfect milkshake consistency in just a couple of minutes:
- Add 1-2 cups of ice cream to the blender first. Letting ice cream soften at room temperature for 5-10 minutes makes it easier to incorporate.
- Pour in 1/4 to 1/3 cup milk on top of the ice cream. You can always add more milk during blending if needed.
- Add any additional mix-ins, like fruit, sauces, cookies, or spices.
- Secure the blender lid and start blending at low speed. Gradually increase speed to high and blend until completely smooth, about 30 seconds. Be careful not to over-blend, which can cause the ice cream to melt.
- If adding chunky mix-ins like cookie crumbs or candy, pulse them in at the end so they don't get completely pureed.
- Pour into your chilled glass, add whipped cream and toppings, and enjoy with a straw!
Experiment with Different Milkshake Flavors
Once you master the classic vanilla milkshake, get creative with flavors by swapping out ingredients:
- For a cookies and cream shake, add crushed Oreos or chocolate sandwich cookies.
- Make it minty by blending in 2-3 drops of peppermint extract or a few fresh mint leaves.
- Fruit milkshakes are delicious - blend strawberries, bananas, mangoes, or other fruits.
- Peanut butter milkshakes are perfect for PB lovers. Add 2-3 tablespoons of creamy peanut butter before blending.
- Coffee ice cream with chocolate sauce and a bit of strong coffee make an indulgent mocha shake.
- For an old-fashioned malt shake, mix malted milk powder into the milk before blending.
The options are endless when you add different ice cream flavors, milk, fruits, sauces, and mix-ins. Part of the fun is coming up with new combinations!
Hand Blend or Skip the Blender for Quick Shakes
While using a blender is ideal for maximum smoothness and thickness, you can actually make a milkshake without one:
- Soften ice cream slightly in the microwave, just until squishy enough to stir.
- Add milk and mix-ins to ice cream in a bowl and whisk vigorously until blended.
- Or add ingredients to a jar, close tightly, and shake hard until combined. Stir remaining lumps by hand.
The texture won't be as perfectly smooth, but hand blending works fine for a quicker shake fix! Just be sure to use softened ice cream and shake hard.
You can also skip the blender if you don't need a thick, creamy shake. Simply mix milk, ice cream toppings, and any mix-ins in a tall glass and enjoy with a spoon. It makes a delicious ice cream float or sundae-style treat!
Milkshake Tips for the Best Results
Follow these pro tips when making milkshakes at home:
- Chill glasses before blending so shakes stay colder longer.
- Let ice cream soften slightly before scooping to make it easier to blend.
- Use high-fat ice cream for maximum richness. Lower-fat types can result in a foamy shake.
- Add more milk for a thinner, sippable shake. Less milk makes it thicker.
- Don't add ice, which can water down shakes as it melts. Rely on ice cream for thickness.
- Pulse candy or cookies at the end if you want mix-ins to retain some texture.
- Make shakes 1-2 servings at a time for the best texture and freshness.
With the right techniques and your favorite ingredients, you can easily craft restaurant-worthy milkshakes at home using any blender - or no blender at all!
What are some unique milkshake flavors using the ingredients from the attached recipe file?
Here are some unique milkshake flavor ideas using ingredients from the recipes:
- Apple Pie Milkshake - Use vanilla ice cream and milk, add 1/4 cup apple pie filling and 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Top with pie crust crumbs.
- Lemon Cheesecake Milkshake - Use vanilla ice cream and milk, add 2 tbsp lemon curd and 2 tbsp cream cheese. Garnish with a lemon slice.
- Tropical Milkshake - Use vanilla ice cream and coconut milk, add 1/4 cup pineapple and 1 tbsp shredded coconut.
- S'mores Milkshake - Use chocolate ice cream and milk, add 2 crushed graham crackers and 1 tbsp marshmallow fluff.
What drink is similar to a milkshake but thicker and richer?
A concrete or frozen custard is similar to a milkshake but even thicker and richer. Concretes are made by blending soft-serve frozen custard with mix-ins so the texture is extra thick and spoonable. They contain egg yolks in addition to cream and milk, making them denser than typical milkshakes.
What can I use instead of a blender to make a milkshake?
If you don't have a blender, you can use a handheld immersion blender, food processor, or even just a bowl and whisk. Soften the ice cream slightly first, then combine it with milk and whisk vigorously until smooth and blended. The texture may not be as creamy as using a blender but it will still taste delicious!
How long do homemade milkshakes last in the fridge?
Homemade milkshakes will last 2-3 days when stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Make sure to stir or shake them before serving to reincorporate any separation. For best results, aim to enjoy milkshakes within 24 hours of blending. The texture deteriorates over time as the ice cream melts and absorbs the milk.
What makes malted milkshakes different from regular milkshakes?
Malted milkshakes contain malted milk powder which gives them a distinctive malty, toasted flavor. The malted powder also acts as a thickener, making malted shakes extra creamy. They have a more robust, old-fashioned soda shop taste compared to regular shakes made with just ice cream and milk.
You have all the tips and techniques to start shaking up amazing milkshakes at home. The key is using quality ingredients like rich ice cream and cold milk. Then simply blend everything to creamy perfection. Get creative with fun add-ins and toppings to make each shake your own.
So fire up that blender and start experimenting with new milkshake flavor combinations. Homemade shakes make for a special treat any time of year - and now you can enjoy restaurant-caliber versions from your own kitchen.