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Vanilla Milkshake Without Ice Cream

Can you make a vanilla milkshake without ice cream? You sure can! Rich, creamy, and decadent, there’s nothing vanilla about this vanilla milkshake at all!

While milkshakes typically contain ice cream, you can still make a good one without it. In fact, the original milkshake didn’t even have ice cream in it!

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Vanilla Milkshake with Crispy Cookies

If you’re craving a cold and luscious milkshake for dessert but don’t want the extra calories, this recipe is all you’ll need.

With this simple 4-ingredient recipe, you’ll get to enjoy a sweet treat in just 5 minutes.

Make your day extra special minus the guilt with this ridiculously tasty vanilla milkshake!

Milkshake Without Ice Cream 

Whoever said ice cream is required to make a milkshake has never tried this recipe. 

Sure, ice cream-infused milkshakes are seriously delectable, but hey, there’s nothing wrong with this lighter version, either.  

With whole milk, sugar, and excellent-quality vanilla, you can make a luscious milkshake that tastes as if it came straight out of a diner.


  • Ice Cubes – Milkshakes are best consumed cold.
  • Milk – Stick to whole milk for a thicker milkshake.
  • Sugar – Adjust the sweetness according to taste.
  • Vanilla Extract – For an even more intense vanilla flavor, use vanilla bean seeds, instead.

Fun Facts About Milkshakes 

  • The first-ever milkshake was made in 1885. It contained whiskey, had the same consistency as the eggnog, and was used for medicinal purposes. It was only in the early 1900s that ice cream came into the picture.
  • It was called a “milkshake” because customers would shake hands with the bartender if they enjoyed it.
  • Stephen Poplawski invented the electric blender in 1922. Back then, its sole purpose was to make milkshakes. Can you imagine how difficult it must have been to make milkshakes before that?
  • Other monikers for the milkshake included frappe, cabinet, velvet, and frosted shake.
  • The CIA attempted to assassinate Fidel Castro by making him drink a poisoned chocolate milkshake in 1963. They failed. 
  • Sold for $100 a pop, the LUXE milkshake is the world’s most expensive milkshake. It contains Tahitian vanilla ice cream, Madagascar vanilla beans, and edible gold, to name a few. Oh, and it’s also served in a glass adorned with more than 3,000 Swarovski crystals.
  • Speaking of insane milkshakes, did you know that foie gras- and pizza-flavored milkshakes exist?
  • In 2016, the Black Tap milkshake became a huge trend. It was a 1600-calorie drink with loads of ice cream, peanut butter cups, cotton candy, and cake slices. It was sold for $15.
  • National Vanilla Milkshake Day is celebrated on June 20.
  • Got a hangover? A banana milkshake is perfect for curing that nauseating aftermath. Bananas are high in potassium and magnesium, so they help resupply your body with those lost electrolytes.
  • While shooting the original Planet Of The Apes film, the ape-dressed actors couldn’t eat properly because of their masks. They had milkshakes instead.

Tips for the Best Shake 

  • For an even creamier, thicker milkshake, use heavy cream or half-and-half in place of milk.
  • If you don’t like the ice, add frozen bananas instead. The milkshake’s flavor will change, of course, but it will be delicious just the same!
  • Use a high-power blender, especially since the recipe calls for lots of ice. Low-quality blenders will struggle in blending the ingredients!
  • Freeze the milk before use. This will yield a significantly creamier milkshake.
  • Want to keep your milkshake colder, longer? Freeze the serving glasses for at least 15 minutes before use.
  • Store leftover milkshake in the freezer for up to 24 hours. Thaw in the fridge for several hours before serving.
  • No blender? No problem. Use an immersion blender instead! But you’ll have to skip out on the ice. 
Vanilla Milkshake in Mason Jars

Add-Ins and Serving Ideas 

There’s nothing wrong with the classic, but if you’re in the mood for something more indulgent, consider these add-ins and serving ideas!

  • Give your vanilla milkshake a fruity flair! Mangoes, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, grapes, watermelon – you name it! You can use frozen fruits, but fresh is always best. 
  • For a milkshake-smoothie crossover, throw chia seeds into the mix and blend. Almonds and other nuts add great flavor, too.
  • Just because you’re vegan doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a good milkshake! Plant-based milk such as almond, oat, soy, and coconut milk make great substitutes. Sure, the shake will be a bit thin, but it’ll still be tasty.
  • For a thicker, creamier milkshake, add a piece or two of frozen banana. Bananas and vanilla make a good flavor combo, too!
  • If you want your milkshake thicker, just add more milk.
  • Instead of sugar, sweeten your milkshake with honey or maple syrup. Splenda works, as well.
  • Make your milkshake extra with toppings! I’m talking chocolate shavings, mini-marshmallows, sprinkles, brownie bits, salted caramel syrup, and cherries.  
  • Top your milkshake with a dollop of whipped cream. Store-bought is fine, but homemade is better. 

To make, beat together a cup of heavy whipping cream, a tablespoon of sugar, and a dash of vanilla at medium speed until stiff peaks form. This will take about 4 to 5 minutes.

Pro-tip: freeze the bowl, whisk attachments, and whipping cream for 30 minutes before whipping. 

How are Smoothies and Shakes Different?

Because of similarities in look and flavor, smoothies and milkshakes often get confused for one another. 

But make no mistake – these two aren’t the same.

A milkshake is a thick and creamy milk-based beverage often infused with fruits, berries, ice cream, and flavored syrups.

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Rich and decadent, this delightful drink is considered a dessert.

While a smoothie also contains dairy, such as milk or yogurt, it mostly contains fruit.

It’s also usually loaded with ground seeds for added substance.

Since it’s much more wholesome and nutritious than a milkshake, it’s usually consumed as a meal replacement.

Vanilla Milkshake Without Ice Cream



Prep time






  • 15 15 ice cubes

  • 2 cups 2 milk

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 sugar

  • A pinch of vanilla extract


  • Blend ice cubes, milk, sugar, and vanilla extract until smooth. Pour in glasses. Enjoy!
Vanilla Milkshake Without Ice Cream

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Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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