How to Make a Milkshake with Ice Cream

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Learn how to make a milkshake with ice cream. This rich and creamy chocolate milk shake is super simple to make and only takes about 30 seconds in the blender.

closeup of a dripping chocolate milkshake

Milk shakes are such a delightful treat, perfect for hot summer days or just when you’re craving something sweet and indulgent. They’re simple to make, yet so satisfying and your family will love them.

Grab your blender and your favorite ice cream (chocolate ice cream and strawberry ice cream are classic), because we’re about to dive into the wonderful world of milkshake-making.

In this article, we’ll go through step-by-step instructions on how to make a milkshake with ice cream, and I’ll even share some tips and tricks on customizing your milkshake with exciting flavors and toppings. Let’s create the creamiest, dreamiest milkshake you’ve ever tasted.

Is a milkshake just milk and ice cream?

A classic milkshake is mostly made of milk and ice cream. These two ingredients form the base of most milkshake recipes, giving it that creamy and rich texture we all know and love.

However, an easy milkshake recipe can also be customized with a wide variety of flavors and add-ins. You can experiment with different ice cream flavors, syrups, fruit, or even cookies and candies to create a unique and delicious treat.

What is the secret of a good milkshake?

So if a milkshake is mostly milk and ice cream, how can you make a milkshake that reigns supreme above all others? Here are 4 secrets:

  • Malted Milk Powder. This is our number one tip for an old fashioned tasting milkshake. You can buy malt powder by the powdered drinks in the grocery store. Add just a couple of tablespoons for a nostalgic flavor.
  • Whole Milk. Using full fat milk gives the milkshake the best consistency. If you use low fat milk it will work, but the shake won’t be as creamy and may even be a little “icy”.
  • Premium Ice Cream. Use a good quality ice cream rather than the cheap kinds. My favorite ice cream is a store brand, but it’s so creamy and makes excellent milkshakes. If you live near Kroger, get their Private Selection ice creams. You won’t regret it.
  • Use cold ingredients. The ice cream and milk should be very cold so that the milkshake doesn’t get too melty too quickly.

What about dairy-free milks?

Full fat coconut milk makes an excellently creamy milkshake. By cans of full fat milk (or even coconut cream) and use them in place of regular milk. The coconut flavor is subtle and goes with many chocolate and fruit flavors. Plus the fat in the milk makes the milkshake so creamy.

What is the ratio of ice cream to milk in a milkshake?

A good rule of thumb is about 1 cup of ice cream to 1/4-⅓ cup of milk. For a thicker shake, use lower milk ratio. For a thinner shake, use more milk. Our recipe falls close to 1 cup ice cream to ⅓ cup milk.

How to Make an Ice Cream Milkshake

There are simply 2 steps:

  • Add the ice cream, milk, malted milk powder and chocolate syrup to a blender.
  • Blend for 15-30 seconds on medium speed, or until everything is well blended.

It’s really that easy, and you can see it here:

Work quickly so that the ice cream doesn’t get too melty.

How to Serve a Milkshake

Whether you’re making milkshakes for a party or just to hang out in the backyard with your kids, it’s fun to serve them with pizzaz.

Buy some tall fountain glasses, long spoons and straws so you can sip in style. Then drizzle chocolate syrup or hot fudge (or caramel sauce or strawberry sauce) on the inside edge of your glasses like this:

a milkshake glass drizzled with chocolate syrup

Then pour the shake into the glaze. You’ll get those pretty chocolate drips on the inside of the glass.

Don’t have glasses? Use mason jars or make milkshake bowls. Scoop or pour the milkshake into a bowl and let the kids top it with their favorite things.

milkshake with ice cream pouring into a cup

Milkshake Mix-Ins

Whether you are starting with a vanilla milkshake or a flavored base, get creative with the milkshake mix-ins and garnishes.

  • Fruit. Peaches, pineapple, blueberries, mango, raspberry, strawberries or even banana. Fruit works best if it is frozen because remember, cold ingredients make for a great milkshake.
  • Vanilla extract. Even a hint of vanilla can enhance other flavors, even when it isn’t a vanilla shake. Make vanilla extract at home.
  • Peanut butter. Peanut butter milkshakes have been our family’s favorite for years. Add a dollop of peanut butter into the blender jar for a rich treat.
  • Oreo Cookies. Or your other favorite store bought cookies. There’s not much like a cookies ‘n cream milkshake. You can even use homemade chocolate chip cookies.
  • Candy bars. Peppermint patties, butterfingers or Reese’s cups are favorites of mine.
  • Lemon Curd. For a pop of citrus flavor, add in lemon curd.

Here’s our favorite strawberry milkshake:

two strawberry milkshakes with straws & whipped cream

Milkshake Toppings

Almost every city has a restaurant where you can get “extreme milkshakes” that are piled high with brownies, candy bars, and even whole slices of pies and cakes. They can be expensive though and so much cheaper to make at home.

Go crazy with those chocolate cupcakes or caramel brownies if you’d like, but here are a few simple, kid-friendly toppings:

  • Whipped cream.
  • Chocolate chips
  • Chopped nuts or sliced almonds
  • Chocolate sauces
  • Rainbow sprinkles
  • Candy or cookies

And don’t forget the maraschino cherry on top!

closeup of a milkshake with chocolate toppings
two chocolate milkshakes with straws on a table
two chocolate milkshakes with straws on a table

How to Make a Milkshake with Ice Cream

4.86 from 7 votes
Learn how to make a milkshake with ice cream. This rich and creamy chocolate milkshake is super simple to make and only takes about 30 seconds in the blender!
Servings 2
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes

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  • 2 ½ cups vanilla ice cream
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • 2-3 tablespoons malted milk powder
  • ¼ cup chocolate syrup


  • chocolate syrup
  • sprinkles
  • whipped cream
  • Hershey bar broken into pieces


  • Add the ice cream, milk, malted milk powder and chocolate sauce to a blender jar. 2 ½ cups vanilla ice cream, ¾ cup whole milk, 2-3 tablespoons malted milk powder, ¼ cup chocolate syrup
  • Blend for 15-30 seconds on medium speed, or until everything is well blended.
  • Pour chocolate syrup on the inside edge of your glasses, then pour the milkshake in.
  • Add the rest of your toppings and serve immediately.


  • This milkshake isn’t too thick, if you like a milkshake thick, add ¼ cup less milk.
  • This milkshake is enjoyed best right after making it.
  • Use strawberry milk or chocolate milk for more flavor.
Refer to the article above for more tips and tricks.
The calories shown are based on the recipe making 2 shakes, with 1 serving being 1 shake. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information. The information in the nutrition box are calculated through a program and there is room for error. If you need an accurate count, I recommend running the ingredients through your favorite nutrition calculator.**


Calories: 525kcal | Carbohydrates: 72g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 85mg | Sodium: 216mg | Potassium: 591mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 61g | Vitamin A: 855IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 345mg | Iron: 1mg
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 525
Keyword drink recipe, ice cream recipe

About JulieJulie Clark

About Julie Clark

I'm Julie Clark, CEO and recipe developer of Tastes of Lizzy T. With my B.A. in Education and over 30 years of cooking and baking, I want to teach YOU the best of our family recipes.

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