Vanilla Milkshake

Sweet, creamy, simple, and perfect is the best way to describe this homemade vanilla milkshake.

You’ll find out that milkshakes are super easy to make at home with milk, ice cream, and other simple ingredients.

There’s no need to go out for milkshakes when you can whip one up in the blender in less than 5 minutes.

two old fashioned milkshake glasses filled with vanilla milkshake, topped with whipped cream, cherries, and rainbow sprinkles

It’s possible that I’m in the minority here, but my absolute favorite milkshake flavor is a simple, delicious Vanilla Milkshake.

There’s something about this thick, creamy, uncomplicated milkshake flavor that just feels easy and fun. With a dash of rainbow sprinkles and a cherry on top, this vanilla milkshake is absolutely perfect.

If you also enjoy the simplicity of a vanilla milkshake, you’re going to love how easy it is to make one at home using just three ingredients.

If you’re looking for a milkshake recipe with a little more “oomph”, I suggest checking out our Blueberry Milkshake or Cookies and Cream Milkshake recipes next.

We also have an amazing vegan milkshake, that’s a great base for other milkshake flavors.

Why You’re Going to Love this Vanilla Milkshake Recipe

You control the ingredients. If you have dietary restrictions, making homemade milkshakes allows you to know exactly what’s going into them. Vanilla milkshakes should be naturally nut-free and gluten-free, but be sure to check the ingredients in your store-bought ice cream to be sure.

Save money and time. Making milkshakes at home is much less expensive than buying them at your local ice cream shop, diner, or fast food place. You can be sipping a vanilla milkshake in less time than it would have taken you to fasten your seatbelt to drive somewhere.

a bowl of vanilla ice cream, a bowl of milk, and a bowl of vanilla extract on a marble counter, viewed from above

Ingredients in Homemade Vanilla Milkshake

Whole Milk – To make the creamiest milkshake, whole milk is your best choice. If you’re making this recipe with dairy-free ice cream, choose your creamiest dairy-free milk.

Vanilla Ice Cream – Of course, you want to use vanilla ice cream to make the best vanilla milkshake! Good quality store-bought ice cream is perfect, but you can make it even better by using vanilla bean ice cream or no-churn vanilla ice cream instead.

Vanilla Extract – You might think that you can make a vanilla milkshake with just ice cream and milk, but you’ll find out if you try that it’s not quite enough. Pure vanilla extract gives your milkshake the perfect amount of warm vanilla flavor.

Optional – Whipped cream, rainbow sprinkles, and a sweet maraschino cherry make these milkshakes extra special.

The ingredients for a vanilla milkshake in a blender jar, viewed from above

How to Make a Vanilla Milkshake

The best vanilla milkshake you’ve ever had will be ready in just a minute!

  1. Add the ingredients to a blender jar in the order listed (milk, then ice cream, then vanilla extract).
  2. Blend until smooth and creamy.
  3. Transfer to a glass, and serve immediately, topped with whipped cream, sprinkles, and a cherry if you like!

These numbered steps match the numbered photos above and are for illustration purposes. For the complete list of ingredients and instructions, please see the recipe below.

a creamy blended vanilla milkshake in a blender, viewed from above

What is the Best Ratio of Ice Cream to Milk in a Milkshake?

All of our homemade milkshake recipes use the same basic milk to ice cream ratio, and it’s 2 cups of ice cream to 1/4 cup of milk.

These amounts create a thick milkshake, but you can adjust them to make your shake extra thick or a bit thinner.


Omit the milk called for in the recipe and make the milkshake using just slightly softened ice cream and vanilla extract.


Add more milk, a little bit at a time, and blend until the milkshake is exactly how you like it.

Which Milk is Best for Making Milkshakes

For a creamy, non-icy vanilla milkshake you’ll want to use whole milk. The fat plays a huge role in keeping the texture smooth. Skim milk or reduced fat milk won’t give you the same thick, creamy texture.

You can use other kinds of milk in milkshakes, including dairy-free milk. Oatmilk and almond milk can make delicious milkshakes, but you may notice that they are less creamy than if you had used dairy.

So if you do use another milk, use a bit less of it and let the ice cream soften for a few minutes before you make the milkshake.

This will reduce the chances of the milkshake being too icy.

What is The Best Blender for Making Milkshakes?

Any kind of blender can be used to make homemade milkshakes!

A common inexpensive blender works just the same as a high-powered one, so use what you have.

Here is the basic method for making a milkshake in a blender:

Add the milk to the blender first. Then add in the ice cream, and then any mix-ins or flavorings.

Blend until well combined and serve immediately.

How to Make a Vanilla Milkshake Without a Blender

While it’s not the ideal way to do it, you can make a delicious vanilla milkshake without any fancy equipment.

Scoop the vanilla ice cream into a quart-size mason jar or a deep glass container and microwave it for 15-30 seconds so that it is soft but not melted.

Add the vanilla extract to the jar, and secure the lid. Shake vigorously until blended.

Use a spoon to break up any larger sections of ice cream. If needed, add a splash of milk and shake again to get a thinner consistency.

two vanilla milkshakes with purple straws, topped with whipped cream, sprinkles, and cherries

Vanilla Milkshake Add-Ins

The only thing you really need to add to your homemade vanilla milkshake is a straw! Vanilla is a classic, simple flavor that needs no help to be completely delicious.

If you add things to a vanilla milkshake, it stops being a vanilla milkshake!

If you’re ok with that, then feel free to add whatever you like to this recipe. Shaved chocolate, other baking extracts like cake batter or almond, or caramel syrup would be some things I might try to make a vanilla milkshake even better.

Have fun adding garnishes too. Aside from whipped cream, try sprinkles, crushed vanilla wafers, or chopped nuts.

More Homemade Milkshake Recipes

Looking for new ways to enjoy your ice cream as a drink? Learn how to make an Italian Affogato or a classic Coke Float!

Things we love for making milkshakes:

Heat Conductive Ice Cream Scoop

Milkshake Glasses (I love these vintage-style glasses! Drinking a milkshake out of one is super fun)

Metal Straws

Note: Each of these links will take you to the exact product on Amazon. As an Amazon associate, I earn a little from each qualifying purchase.

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two old fashioned milkshake glasses filled with vanilla milkshake, topped with whipped cream, cherries, and rainbow sprinkles

Vanilla Milkshake

Ice Cream From Scratch
This homemade vanilla milkshake recipe is sweet, simple, creamy, and perfect, made with just three ingredients, and ready in 5 minutes.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Milkshake Recipes
Cuisine Dessert
Servings 1 serving
Calories 589 kcal


  • ¼ cup 2 oz. whole milk
  • 2 cups vanilla ice cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Add the ingredients to the blender jar in the order listed.
  • Blend until combined.
  • Serve immediately.
  • Top with whipped cream, sprinkles, and a cherry.


  • For a thicker milkshake, let the ice cream sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes and omit the milk.
  • Use dairy-free ice cream and creamy dairy-free milk if desired.
  • This recipe makes one milkshake. You can double the ingredients in the blender, or make milkshakes one at a time using these proportions.
Keyword how to make a vanilla milkshake, vanilla milkshake, vanilla milkshake recipe, vanilla shake, vanilla shake recipe

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