vanilla milkshake recipe, how to make vanilla shake

vanilla milkshake recipe with step by step pictures. one of the few milkshake recipes for which i have got many requests is vanilla shake. making any milkshake recipe is easy, so i was wondering what could be the reason for maximum requests for vanilla milkshake. i thought may be as vanilla milkshake is a very popular milkshake recipe.

vanilla milkshake served in a glass. topped with chopped pistachios.

vanilla milkshake & how it is made

  1. the usual method of making vanilla milkshake is by blending milk, vanilla ice cream and vanilla extract. this method gives a creamier and rich shake due to the addition of ice cream.
  2. while the simplest vanilla shake can be made just with milk, sugar and vanilla extract. this is a simple and easy method.
  3. a variation is also to add some cream when blending milk with vanilla extract & sugar. adding cream makes the shake thick and creamy.

how to make a really good vanilla milkshake

i make vanilla milkshake on occasions, so thought why not share the recipe. i know you may say it is just ice cream, milk and vanilla. so what is the big deal? to that my answer will be the ratio and quality of every ingredient is important to get a smooth, thicker, creamier and tastier milkshake just like you get in your favorite cafe or restaurant. so let’s break it down with the ingredients.

1. milk

for making milkshakes, it is always better to use whole milk or full-fat milk which gives a rich creamier and thicker consistency. that said you can even use toned milk or skimmed milk but just that the consistency will be light and not rich.

2. vanilla ice cream

the ice cream has to be a real ice cream and not a frozen dessert. if you live in india, check the ingredients and most ice cream manufactures sell ice cream where vegetable oil is used. these are sold as frozen desserts and many consumers mistakenly buy these. as far as i am aware, amul ice cream is the only ice cream which has milk. so do check the ingredients before you buy.

the ice cream has to be real and made from milk or cream. though the best option is to use homemade ice cream, it is not feasible at times to make homemade vanilla ice cream due to lack of time. it will be even better if the vanilla ice cream has vanilla beans added or real vanilla extract added. most vanilla ice cream brands use artificial vanilla essence or vanillin.

3. ice cream and milk ratio

i use the proportion of ¼ cup milk to 3 medium sized ice cream scoops for a thicker, creamier and rich vanilla milkshake. to suit your tastebuds, you can easily change this proportion or ratio.

for a less thick shake
–  add ½ cup milk to 3 medium sized scoops.
for a thin milkshake – add ¾ to 1 cup milk for 3 scoops.

4. vanilla

the best flavor comes from using vanilla beans or real vanilla extract. i prefer to use homemade vanilla extract for a good vanilla aroma. in case you do not have vanilla, then just skip it. a good vanilla ice cream is all that is needed.

5. toppings & garnish

mostly in cafes, whipped cream is added as a topping on vanilla shake. whipped cream may or may not be there in your kitchen at all times. so you can make use of nuts, dry fruits, berries, chocolate sprinkles, sweet wafers that can be added as a topping on the milkshake. you can even crush some cookies and add them. you can also add caramel syrup, chocolate syrup to the shake.

top shot picture of vanilla milkshake in a glass with a bronze spoon in the background

how to make vanilla milkshake without ice cream

you can easily make vanilla milkshake without vanilla ice cream. use whole milk. blend chilled milk, sugar and vanilla extract in a blender. pour in glasses and serve. you can add some cream while blending.

making vegan vanilla shake

for a vegan version, use a vegan vanilla ice cream and almond milk. almond milk is a good substitute for milk and i do prefer it over soy milk or cashew milk while making vegan shakes. another favorite of mine is coconut milk and i usually use it when making shakes with fruits or berries.

few more milkshake recipes for you!

vanilla milkshake

4.5 from 4 votes
Author:Dassana Amit
Prep Time:10 mins
Total Time:10 mins
Course:beverages & drinks
Calories: 433kcal
Servings (change the number to scale):3
vanilla milkshake recipe
vanilla milkshake is a classic milkshake recipe that can be made in many ways. this vanilla milkshake recipe gives a thick, rich, creamy, cafe style milkshake. the recipe can be easily adjusted to make a less thick shake or a thin shake. 

INGREDIENTS FOR vanilla milkshake

(1 CUP = 250 ML)
  • 4 cups vanilla ice cream - approximate 12 scoops
  • 1 cup 
whole milk - chilled
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons sugar or add as required
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean pod or ½ teaspoon vanilla essence

HOW TO MAKE vanilla milkshake

  • in a blender jar take the vanilla ice cream. the ice cream need not be hard as a rock. so allow it to soften a bit before adding in the blender jar.
  • add the milk and sugar. 
  • you can add less or more sugar as per your taste. 
  • add vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean pod - slit and the beans scraped. add the scraped beans in the blender.
  • blend till smooth.
  • pour in glasses or jars. top with your favorite nuts and serve straight away. you can even garnish with some chocolate sauce, caramel sauce or berries.


  • you can add less or more of the sugar as per your taste preferences.
  • you can add cream if you want. 
  • toppings and garnish can be of your choice. 
  • you can add more milk and make slightly less thick or a thin milkshake.
  • do not add ice cubes as these will dilute the taste and make the consistency thin.  
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how to make vanilla milk shake recipe

1. in a blender jar take 4 cups vanilla ice cream. the ice cream need not be hard like a rock. so allow it to soften a bit so that you can scoop it easily. 4 cups vanilla ice cream is approximately 12 scoops of ice cream. these are medium or your average sized ice cream scoops. i blended in parts as i have a small blender.

vanilla ice cream in a blender jar

2. add 1 cup chilled whole milk.

chilled milk added in the blender jar

3. add 2 to 3 teaspoons sugar or as per taste. you can use castor sugar or sugar powder. sweetness will also depend on the amount of sweetness in the ice cream.

adding sugar

4. add 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean pod – which has been slit and the beans scraped. add the scraped beans in the blender. do not add any ice cubes as they will dilute both the taste and consistency of the milkshake.

adding vanilla extract

5. blend till smooth.

blended vanilla milkshake

6. pour in glasses or jars. top with your favorite nuts and serve straight away. you can even garnish with some chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, crushed cookies, sweet wafers, whipped cream or berries.

vanilla milkshake served in a tall glass kept on a dark grey slate board which is kept on top of a black board


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dassana amit

Founder, Chef, Recipe Developer, Food Photographer >> MORE ABOUT US

namaste and welcome to which i started in feb 2009 and is a pure vegetarian blog. i have been passionate about cooking from childhood and began to cook from the age of 10. later having enrolled in a home science degree greatly enhanced my cooking & baking skills and took it to a different level which i now share as foolproof recipes. i was formally trained both in mainstream indian as well as international cuisines.

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11 comments/reviews

  1. Mam please write a post on kitchen equipments explaining there uses. For example scoops, teaspoon, tablespoon , cup measures. It is very confusing for a newbie like me. Thank you.

  2. Hey Dassana,

    Awesome post with helpful tips to prepare vanilla milkshake. i really like vanilla milkshake and truly like the tips and the detailed instructions that you have listed to prepare it. your all the step-by-step tips are helpful, easy to understand and follow. As following these tips will helps many people to prepare vanilla milkshake.

    Great article and thanks for sharing.

  3. Thanks for the recipe dasanna. Love your recipes. Your recipes are foolproof. I have a question. Which brand of vanilla syrup /powder is good? Where do we get vannila beans4 stars

  4. Hi Dassana,

    My review is not for this recipe though. I wanted to leave my message here for the kind of impact you and your recipes have created in my life. here goes. I stumbled on your blog website in the year 2011. I was looking for Indo Chinese cuisine recipe and your veg fried rice and manchurian recipe became my favorite. Whenever i craved it, i would always go back to your recipe bookmarked on my computer. Then when i got married and moved to US, i relied on your website even more for recipes and content. Loved trying out dal, learnt how to cook rice, how to make sambhar. I like that you have so many variations and varieties of each dish. Your insight about the impacts various parts of India and regions have in bringing that uniqueness to the dish has always intrigued me. Personally,I have never been a fond of videos. I like the text based recipes with pictures and find it really easy to follow along. Your blog has always provided that excellent ease and access to an amateur cook like me who used to crave Indian food over here in the US. I have installed your app on several of my friends iPads, mobile phones, especially white Americans and Asians. I take pride when they appreciate my cooked food and ask for recipes. They all have become your fans. I feel i have developed a kindred relationship with you.

    In the end, i want to appreciate you and your husband for being the perfect team in doing this good work. It is a tremendous work effort and behemoth task that you both undertake. The quality of your content and website and app is really good. I wish you both and your family the best.

    Thank you for leaving a mark in my life that i fondly carry with me whenever i miss a piece of home.5 stars

    • hi baban, so touched by your comment ❤️. thanks for pouring your heart in the message. i am humbled and grateful at the same time. i wish you all the best. thanks again 🙏🙂

      even i am not fond of videos and i cannot cook seeing a video. i guess it depends on the type of people and their preferences and what they prefer – photos or a recipe video. on a side note, we removed the app more than a year back. thought of letting you know.

  5. I really love how detailed your instructions are, especially the How To section. Thanks for sharing, Dassana!