A creamy, dreamy banana milkshake is the perfect treat on a hot summer day. This classic beverage blends the sweetness of ripe bananas with cold, creamy ice cream and milk.
With just a few simple ingredients, you can whip up this nostalgic childhood favorite from your own kitchen. Read on to learn tips for crafting the ultimate homemade banana milkshake.
Gather the Ingredients for Your Banana Milkshake
The key ingredients you'll need to make a delicious homemade banana milkshake are ripe bananas, ice cream, milk, and any additional mix-ins you want to add.
Ripe bananas are crucial for maximizing the banana flavor. Choose bananas with brown, speckled skins. The riper the banana, the sweeter it will be. You'll need about 1-2 large bananas.
Vanilla ice cream adds a rich, creamy texture and flavor. You'll need 1-3 scoops of ice cream depending on how thick you want your shake.
Milk helps blend the shake smoothly. The higher the fat percentage in the milk, the creamier it will be. Whole milk works best. You'll need around 1/2 to 1 cup of milk.
If you want to change up the flavors, you can add mix-ins like peanut butter, chocolate syrup, strawberries, or crushed cookies. Start with 2-4 tablespoons of mix-ins and adjust to taste.
Choose Between Fresh or Frozen Bananas
You can use either fresh or frozen bananas in your banana milkshake. Here's the difference:
Fresh bananas are easier to blend and smooth. They provide great banana flavor.
Frozen bananas yield a thicker, creamier consistency. But they can be harder to blend smoothly if you have an underpowered blender.
If using frozen, let the ice cream soften at room temperature for 5-10 minutes before blending to help it process smoothly. You can also add a bit more milk.
Make the Milkshake With or Without Ice Cream
There are a few ways to make a banana milkshake:
With ice cream - This creates an ultra-thick and creamy milkshake. It's more of an indulgent treat.
Without ice cream - Omit the ice cream for a lighter, healthier version. Use frozen bananas and cream or half and half instead of milk for richness.
Healthy version - Blend just frozen bananas and milk. Add a touch of vanilla and sweetener if desired. It's like ice cream with more milk!
Blend it Smooth
Add all ingredients to a blender. Use ripe bananas, ice cream, milk, and any additional mix-ins.
Blend until smooth. It should be thick enough to spoon but thin enough to sip through a straw.
Troubleshooting blender issues: If needed, add more milk to help it blend smoothly. Let the ice cream soften first. Use a food processor for thicker shakes.
Banana Milkshake Recipe
- 2 ripe bananas, peeled and sliced
- 1-3 scoops vanilla ice cream
- 1/2 - 1 cup milk
- Optional mix-ins:
- 2-4 tbsp chocolate syrup
- 1/4 cup peanut butter
- 1/2 cup crushed cookies
- 2-4 tbsp Nutella
- 1 1/2 cups strawberries or blueberries
- 1 1/2 cups mango chunks
- Whipped cream
- Chocolate sauce
- Crushed vanilla wafers
- Maraschino cherry
- Add bananas, ice cream, milk, and any desired mix-ins to a blender.
- Blend until smooth and creamy, adding more milk if needed to reach desired consistency.
- Pour the milkshake into a chilled glass.
- Top with whipped cream, sprinkles, crushed cookies, chocolate sauce, etc.
- Add a cherry on top if desired.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!
Customize Your Milkshake
There are endless ways to customize your banana milkshake:
- Strawberry banana - Use 1 banana and 2 cups of sliced strawberries
- Chocolate banana - Add 2-4 tbsp chocolate syrup or cocoa powder
- Peanut butter banana - Stir in 1/4-1/2 cup peanut butter
- Banana pudding - Add 1/2 cup crushed vanilla wafers
- Chocolate peanut butter banana - Add chocolate syrup and peanut butter
- Nutella banana - Swirl in 2-4 tbsp Nutella
- Banana Oreo - Blend in 4 crushed Oreo cookies
- Blueberry banana - Use 1 banana and 1 1/2 cups of blueberries
- Mango banana - Use 1 banana and 1 1/2 cups of mango chunks
- Banana split - Swirl with fudge sauce and top with whipped cream, sprinkles, and a cherry
- Salted caramel banana - Add 2 tbsp caramel sauce
- Spiced banana - Add cinnamon, ginger, or other spices
Let your imagination run wild!
Toppings and Serving Suggestions
Dress up your homemade milkshake with fun toppings:
- Whipped cream - For an indulgent touch, top with a dollop or squirt
- Sprinkles - Rainbow sprinkles add a colorful, festive finishing touch
- Chocolate sauce - Drizzle with fudge for a chocolate banana explosion
- Wafers - Crush vanilla wafers and sprinkle on top
- Cherry - Perch a maraschino cherry on your mountain of whipped cream
Chill glasses in the freezer so your shake stays cold longer. Serve immediately before it melts.
Enjoy this treat for breakfast, as an afternoon snack, or a late-night dessert!
Make it Dairy-Free
To make a vegan banana milkshake, use:
- Dairy-free ice cream, like coconut milk or cashew based
- Plant-based milk such as almond, coconut, oat, or soy milk
- Frozen bananas for thick richness
Blend as directed. The flavors pair perfectly!
Milkshake Making Tips
- Use ripe, speckled bananas for maximum sweetness
- Add more milk for a thinner consistency
- Let ice cream soften before blending if using frozen bananas
- A powerful blender yields the smoothest texture
- Chill glasses before pouring in a shake
- Stir in extracts like vanilla or almond for extra flavor
- Make it a malt by adding malt powder
- Serve immediately before it melts
- Store any leftovers in the freezer
Now that you're armed with tips and mix-in ideas, you're ready to blend up the perfect banana milkshake! Adjust ingredients to your taste and get creative. Enjoy this classic treat!
What can I use instead of a blender to make the milkshake?
If you don't have a blender, you can use a food processor or even mix it by hand. Just let the ice cream soften first and mash the bananas thoroughly.
Can I make it without ice cream?
Yes, for a lighter version omit the ice cream and use frozen banana slices blended with cream or half and half. Add a little sweetener if desired.
What milk works best?
Whole milk makes the creamiest, richest shake, but you can use any milk you prefer. For a vegan shake, use non-dairy milk like almond or coconut milk.
How long does the milkshake keep?
It's best to enjoy your milkshake immediately after making it. Leftovers will keep in the freezer for a short time, but the texture may suffer.
What if my milkshake is too thick?
If your shake is very thick, add a little more milk until you reach the desired consistency. Letting the ice cream soften first also helps.
Can I use frozen strawberries or other fruit?
Absolutely! Use frozen fruit in place of fresh for an extra thick, cold milkshake. Adjust the milk to blend smoothly.
What if I don't have whipped cream?
You can skip the whipped cream topping if you don't have it or use vanilla yogurt instead. Crushed cookies or sprinkles can also decorate the top.
Whipping up a homemade banana milkshake is easy and fun. Ripe bananas, vanilla ice cream, milk, and a blender are all you need for this classic treat. Blend, pour, and top with decadent garnishes, and enjoy!
Make it an extra special dessert by customizing it with chocolate, peanut butter, or other favorite flavors. Bottoms up on this cold, creamy slice of childhood nostalgia.