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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 include ice cream!

Vanilla Milkshake with Crispy Cookies
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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.

It’s a simple, 4-ingredient recipe that yields a sweet vanilla milkshake without ice cream in just 5 minutes.

Milkshake Without Ice Cream 

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

With whole milk, sugar, and excellent-quality vanilla, it’s a lighter alternative to ice cream-based shakes.

It’s a luscious dessert that tastes just like it came straight from a diner. You’ll love it, and so will the kids. Plus, it’s easy to make and budget-friendly.


You’ll only need four simple ingredients for this easy-to-make-shake:

  • Ice cubes. They give your milkshake that icy cold finish.
  • 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 

Do you like trivia? I do! Here are some fun milkshake facts that may help you win your next Trivia Night:

  • The first milkshake was made in 1885. It contained whiskey, had the same consistency as eggnog, and was used for medicinal purposes. It was only in the early 1900s that ice cream came into the picture.
  • Where the word “shake” comes from. It was called a “milkshake” because customers would shake hands with the bartender if they enjoyed it.
  • The invention of the blender. 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?
  • Milkshakes had other names. These included frappe, cabinet, velvet, and frosted shake.
  • (Almost) death by milkshake. The CIA attempted to assassinate Fidel Castro by making him drink a poisoned chocolate milkshake in 1963. They failed. 
  • World’s most expensive shake. 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. It’s also served in a glass adorned with more than 3,000 Swarovski crystals.
  • Weird flavors. Speaking of insane milkshakes, did you know that foie gras- and pizza-flavored milkshakes exist?
  • The Black Tap. 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. Celebrate it 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.
  • Milkshakes in Hollywood. 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 

And now, a few tips to ensure your shake is as delicious and decadent as possible:

  • Make it thicker. For an even creamier, thicker milkshake, use heavy cream or half-and-half in place of milk. You can also just add more milk.
  • Leave out the ice. You can add frozen bananas instead. The milkshake’s flavor will change, of course, but it will be icy cold and delicious just the same! They’ll also make the shake thicker.
  • Use a high-power blender. This 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 shake.
  • Keep it colder, longer. Freeze the serving glasses for at least 15 minutes before use.
  • No blender? No problem. Use an immersion blender instead! But you’ll have to leave out 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 it a fruity flair! Mangoes, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, grapes, watermelon – you name it! You can use frozen fruits, but fresh is always best. 
  • Add some nutrients. For a milkshake-smoothie crossover, throw chia seeds into the mix and blend. Almonds and other nuts add great flavor, too.
  • A vegan alternative. Plant-based milks, such as almond, oat, soy, and coconut milk, make great substitutes. The shake will be a bit thin, but it’ll still be tasty.
  • Alternative sweeteners. Instead of sugar, sweeten your milkshake with honey or maple syrup. Splenda works, as well.
  • Add extra toppings! I’m talking chocolate shavings, mini-marshmallows, sprinkles, brownie bits, salted caramel syrup, and cherries.  And don’t forget the whipped cream!  

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 – the two aren’t the same. Milkshakes are more dessert-like, while smoothies are often used as meal replacements.

Milkshakes are thick and creamy milk-based beverages often infused with fruits, berries, ice cream, and flavored syrups.

Rich and decadent, they’re considered desserts.

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While smoothies also contain dairy, such as milk or yogurt, they mostly contain fruit. They’re also usually loaded with ground seeds for added substance.

Since they’re much more wholesome and nutritious than a milkshake, people often use them as meal replacements.

Vanilla Milkshake Without Ice Cream



Prep time





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! Get the easy recipe today.


  • 15 ice cubes

  • 2 cups milk

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 1 pinch vanilla extract


  • Blend ice cubes, milk, sugar, and vanilla extract until smooth. Pour in glasses. Enjoy!


  • Store leftover milkshake in the freezer for up to 24 hours. Thaw in the fridge for several hours before serving.
Vanilla Milkshake Without Ice Cream

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
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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