6 Ways to Make a Milkshake Without Ice Cream

·4 min read

There's something magical about a summertime trip to the local ice cream shop. Whether you opt for a scoop of vanilla with rainbow sprinkles, a chocolate milkshake, or maybe even a root beer float, ice cream enjoyed under the Southern sun gives us instant flashbacks to the warm-weathered days of our childhoods. In fact, we'd argue that a milkshake is the ultimate (read: extra-nostalgic) summer treat.

You can make a milkshake out of pretty much any ice cream flavor and with any type of milk. While the prospect of making a parlor-worthy milkshake at home may seem intimidating, it's shockingly simple to master. I should know—I work at an ice cream shop. I've spent the past year perfecting the art of ice cream, and I'm here to share all the secrets on how to replicate a creamery-style milkshake at home, minus one key ingredient: ice cream. That's right, it is absolutely possible to whip up this cool frozen treat with no ice cream at all.

I'm sharing 6 simple techniques to make a milkshake without ice cream—and you've probably already got most of these ingredients in your kitchen. What are you waiting for? It's time for dessert.

Pink Milkshake
Pink Milkshake

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1. Basic Milkshake Without Ice Cream

For the simplest no-ice-cream milkshake, simply blend ice cubes with milk, sugar, and a dash of vanilla extract. The more fat that's in the milk, the creamier your milkshake will be—if you want a super-creamy milkshake, use equal parts heavy cream and milk. If you're using a thinner non-dairy milk, such as almond or oat milk, you may want to thicken your milkshake with frozen banana or mixed berries—you'll find more on these techniques below.

To make a basic milkshake without ice cream: Combine 2 handfuls of ice cubes (approx. 10 ice cubes), 2 cups of milk, 3/4 cup granulated sugar or 2 tablespoons honey, and a dash of vanilla extract in a blender. Blend until smooth.

2. Chocolate Milkshake Without Ice Cream

If you'd choose chocolate over vanilla any day, we have a no-ice-cream milkshake for you, too. Simply add cocoa powder to our basic milkshake without ice cream and you're in for a real treat.

To make a chocolate milkshake without ice cream: Combine 2 handfuls of ice cubes (approx. 10 ice cubes), 2 cups of milk, 3/4 cup granulated sugar or 2 tablespoons honey, and 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder in a blender. Blend until smooth.

3. Frozen Banana "Nice Cream" Milkshake Without Ice Cream

Frozen bananas add body and creaminess to smoothies—why not use them to do the same in a milkshake? For this healthy dessert, ditch the protein powder and blend up your bananas with the milk of your choice (whole milk, almond milk, and oat milk will all work well here). You can even add additional flavors, such as Nutella, chocolate, or peanut butter.

To make a frozen banana "nice cream" milkshake without ice cream: Combine 2 frozen bananas, 2 cups of milk, and 3/4 cup granulated sugar or 2 tablespoons honey in a blender. Blend until smooth.

4. Frozen Fruit Milkshake Without Ice Cream

For this technique, follow the template for the frozen banana milkshake, but use any berries that you have in your freezer—strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, or a medley of various fruits will all work well here.

To make a frozen fruit milkshake without ice cream: Combine 2 cups of frozen fruit, 2 cups of milk, and 3/4 cup granulated sugar or 2 tablespoons honey in a blender. Blend until smooth.

5. Avocado Milkshake Without Ice Cream

Want a seriously creamy milkshake that will leave you oh-so-satisfied? Meet the avocado milkshake. That's right: An avocado is the secret ingredient to this silky-smooth concoction.

To make an avocado milkshake: Combine a handful of ice cubes (approx. 5 ice cubes), 2 cups of milk, a peeled and cubed avocado, and 2 tablespoons honey in a blender. Blend until smooth.

6. Greek Yogurt Milkshake Without Ice Cream

This Greek yogurt milkshake—which is more tangy than sweet—is the perfect treat for those who don't like their desserts to be overly sweet. In this version of a milkshake, Greek yogurt lends the thickness that ice cream would usually bring to the party. We like to add a handful of chopped strawberries or 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder to the equation to make this milkshake extra flavorful.

To make a Greek yogurt milkshake: Combine 2 handfuls of ice cubes (approx. 10 ice cubes), 1 cup of Greek yogurt, 1 cup of milk, and 2 tablespoons honey in a blender. Blend until smooth.

7. Bonus Recipe: Sorbet Slushie

While we love a good milkshake, this dairy-free slushie is a supremely refreshing treat on a hot afternoon. Use any flavor of sorbet to make this easy slushie, which gains a slight fizz from the sparkling water.

To make a sorbet slushie: Combine two scoops of sorbet and 1/2 cup of seltzer or sparkling water in a blender. Blend until smooth.