Learn how to make an easy homemade vanilla milkshake with just 3 simple ingredients. It's a classic ice cream dessert you can make in a jiffy!
Because it's ice cream, your kids will love this delicious summer treat. Even Chuck, our farm dog, can't resist a yummy bowl of homemade vanilla ice cream.
What I especially love about this vanilla milkshake recipe is there's no need for expensive equipment or kitchen gadgets. Just blend it up and go. That's my kind of recipe.
Why Make This Recipe
- This recipe is incredibly simple. This easy vanilla milkshake only has 3 ingredients and 1 step: blend!
- It's great for kids. A vanilla shake is one of my kids' favorite treats.
- Milkshakes are a classic summer treat. There's nothing more satisfying on a stifling hot summer day than classic vanilla milkshakes!
Real Vanilla Milkshake Ingredients Notes:
- Vanilla Ice Cream – Choose your favorite brand! For this recipe, I prefer French vanilla ice cream; it makes a delicious French vanilla milkshake. If gluten-free vanilla ice cream is desired, be sure to check the labels over, as not all ice cream is gluten-free.
- Milk – Milk is used to loosen up the ice cream. Consequently, the ratio of ice cream to milk used in the recipe is crucial to the finished texture of your vanilla ice cream milkshake. Of course, this can vary based on the thickness of your ice cream, but a good rule of thumb is to use around 4 cups of ice cream per 3/4-1 cup of milk.
- Vanilla Extract – I prefer to use pure vanilla extract rather than imitation vanilla. The flavor is incomparable! That said, if imitation vanilla is all you've got, it'll work.
How to Make a Homemade Vanilla Milkshake at Home
Be sure to freeze your glasses beforehand. This will ensure your shake stays frozen longer while you drink it.
That's it! Serve and enjoy.
What's the Difference Between a Malt and a Milkshake?
The only difference between a malt and a milkshake is that a malt uses malt powder. Made from malted barley, wheat, and whole milk, malt powder adds a richer, sweeter, and slightly nutty flavor to any milkshake.
To make a homemade vanilla malt, simply add about 4 tablespoons of malt powder to this recipe, or about 2 tablespoons per serving. Malt powder can be found at most big-box grocery stores and/or health food stores; if it's unavailable in your area, it's also possible to order malt powder.
Expert Tips and Recipe FAQ's
While it certainly makes this recipe easier, you do not need a blender to make a homemade vanilla shake. If you don't have a blender, simply throw everything in a jar with a lid, and shake it until everything is combined well. When done, pour it into a cold glass and serve.
The thickness of a homemade milkshake is entirely dependent on how much ice cream is used. Of course, this can vary based on the thickness of your ice cream as well as personal preference, but a good rule of thumb is to use around 4 cups of ice cream per 3/4-1 cup of milk.
Although this recipe is not naturally dairy-free, it can be made dairy-free. The first step involves either making or buying a dairy-free vanilla ice cream. Here's a great recipe for gluten-free dairy-free vanilla ice cream. Then, instead of whole milk, you can substitute with unsweetened almond milk, coconut milk, soy milk, or another suitable dairy-free milk. That's it!
Never add ice to your milkshake; ice will melt and water it down. If your shake needs thinned down, add more milk!
To make a vanilla shake ahead of time, blend all of the ingredients together, immediately after which you can stick the milkshake in the deep freeze until you're ready for it. All that's required is that you allow it to set on the counter for a bit before enjoying, as it will need to soften back up.
What Can I Add to My Vanilla Milkshake?
Want to switch things up? Here are some ideas to make your homemade milkshake even more interesting…
- Try topping your vanilla shake with homemade whipped cream, sprinkles, cookie crumbs, vanilla wafers, nuts, or even caramel sauce.
- Add bananas or berries. So many fruits pair amazingly well with vanilla ice cream– strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, peaches, mangos, cherries, and more. Be creative!
- Use root beer in place of milk, or you can even add root beer extract. This method reminds me of my homemade butterbeer.
- Add chocolate syrup to make a chocolate milkshake. This is a no-brainer!
- Substitute bourbon for some of the milk (for adults only). This is definitely not an ordinary variation, but you'd be surprised at how well a warm bourbon flavor can pair with vanilla ice cream.
More Ice Cream Recipes
- Homemade peach ice cream
- Old-fashioned strawberry ice cream
- Homemade banana ice cream with condensed milk
- Homemade gluten-free ice cream sandwiches
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Homemade Vanilla Milkshake With Just 3 Ingredients
- Freeze your milkshake glasses beforehand.
- In a blender, add ice cream, milk, and vanilla.
- Blend together on low speed.
- Pour the blended milkshake into pre-chilled glasses or jars, and add straws.
- Top with whipped cream and sprinkles, if desired.
The thickness of a homemade milkshake is entirely dependent on how much ice cream is used. Of course, this can vary based on the thickness of your ice cream, as well as personal preference, but a good rule of thumb is to use around 4 cups of ice cream per 3/4-1 cup of milk.