Can You Make A Milkshake Without Ice?

When it comes to making milkshakes colder, you’ve heard ice works. You’re out of ice, so is it okay to forgo it for this shake? We did the research to bring you the answer.

You shouldn’t make a milkshake with ice, as it dilutes the flavor and makes the consistency watery. The ice cream you use for your shake should make the treat cold enough!

If you still have some milkshake questions, don't worry. Ahead, we’ll answer all your most burning questions about making milkshakes the same way your favorite restaurant does at home. Make sure you keep reading!

Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Make A Milkshake With Ice

Chocolate milkshakes drizzled with whipcream and crushed chocolate

If you look at any milkshake recipe from resources that are considered the cream of the crop such as Food Network or Allrecipes, you will not see ice anywhere in the ingredients list.

There’s a reason for that! Actually, there are several. Here is why you shouldn’t throw ice into your fancy milkshake glass when serving up this creamy treat.

You Get Less Flavor

If you’ve ever added a few ice cubes to a glass of juice, a soft drink, or any other beverage besides water, you’ll notice that the drink’s flavor lessens as you sip. By the time you’re to the bottom of the glass, all you taste is water.

Ice melts, and when it does, it adds water to your beverage. You’re literally watering down your drink. Milkshakes are supposed to have a rich, strong flavor that makes drinking them a delight. After all, unless yours is a protein shake, then a milkshake is a rare indulgence for many.

If you’re going to indulge, you want to taste every last ounce of flavor. Putting ice in your milkshake will make that hard to do.

The Milkshake Won’t Have The Right Consistency

Different fruits used for making aa delicious milkshake

Milkshakes are supposed to be thick and heavy, not watery and loose. The solid ice cubes won’t make your shake watery from the get-go, but as they melt, the consistency of the milkshake will become more and more off-putting.

Is a milkshake without the right consistency really a milkshake at all? Technically, sure, since it’s got the flavor. But without the thickness from the ice cream though, it’s just not the same. You probably won’t even want to finish the shake.

Ice Makes The Shake Hard To Drink

When making a milkshake, you should blend solid ingredients into small particles. After all, large particles will get stuck in your straw, and that also detracts from the milkshake drinking experience.

The suction from your straw will still try to pull up the ice, but there’s no way a whole cube is fitting through your straw. You’ll get frustrated as you suck on the straw, and you'll pull up ice more often than you do milkshake.

If you use ice chips rather than whole cubes, then as the ice chips melt, they can easily get pulled up through your straw, sending a dose of ice cold into your mouth. That doesn’t feel so great.

How Do You Thicken A Milkshake Without Ice?

Making banana milkshake, Can You Make A Milkshake Without Ice?

Now you know that ice won’t thicken a milkshake, so what can you use to get that thick, creamy consistency you so desire?

Here are some ingredients to add to your shake.

Full-Fat Milk

Treating yourself to a milkshake shouldn’t mean skimping on ingredients. You might as well reach for the full-fat milk then.

Full-fat milk, as the name implies, contains about 3.5 percent fat, since none of it was stripped as is the case with fat-free or reduced-fat milk. The extra fat content makes full-fat milk moderately thicker.

Heavy Whipping Cream

Heavy cream or heavy whipping cream is incredibly thick since it’s sourced from the milk portions that float toward the top. These parts of the milk are naturally richer.

A bowl of whip cream

If you are going to incorporate heavy whipping cream into your homemade milkshake recipe, do be aware that the richness will come through in the flavor of the shake.

That’s not such a bad thing, but we figured we’d let you know anyway!

Evaporated Whole Milk Powder

You can also stir in powder products to help with the thickness of your shake, one of these being evaporated whole milk powder.

Although not as thick as full-fat milk or condensed milk, evaporated whole milk powder is thick enough that it can lend the desired consistency to your shake.

The creaminess of evaporated milk is retained to a degree in whole milk powder as well, which makes it the perfect addition to a milkshake.

Malted Milk Powder

If not evaporated whole milk powder on its own, you can always substitute it for malted milk powder. This powder includes not only evaporated whole milk powder but also wheat flour and malted barley.

The ingredients, when combined, lend a malty flavor to your milkshake that really augments vanilla and chocolate shakes.

Solid Mix-Ins

At the very least, by incorporating solid ingredients into your milkshake, you’ll be able to make its texture thicker. You can choose from frozen fruit, cake cubes, cookie chunks, brownie pieces, or maybe even a little bit of everything! Just go sparingly in that case.

Another tip we have for you is to allow your ice cream to soften up a little before you start making your milkshake. Not only does this make the ice cream easier to work with, but it will prevent you from adding so much milk that you make the consistency of the milkshake too liquid-like.

Give the ice cream just enough time on the counter where it’s moderately softened but not dripping or melting.

Can You Make A Milkshake Without Ice Cream?

A delicious chocolate milkshake placed on a wooden coaster in the kitchen

Ice cream is the key ingredient in milkshakes, but there are all sorts of reasons why you might want to forgo this frozen dessert’s inclusion.

Perhaps you’re on a diet or you’re lactose intolerant. You might not have any ice cream in the freezer, but you still have a hankering for a milkshake anyway. Fortunately, it’s very easy to make a milkshake sans ice cream. Here’s how!


We established that ice cream is where much of a milkshake gets its thickness from. Once you omit the ice cream, you’ll need thickening agents, and cornstarch is a good one.


You won’t miss ice cream when you make a milkshake with custard. You’ll need egg whites and milk to make custard.

Fill a bowl with ice water, and then put a smaller bowl inside and a strainer over top. Next, combine sugar and milk in a mid-sized saucepan. Put the pan over the stove. Take another bowl and whisk egg yolks (save the whites for another recipe).

Turn the heat on, and the milk will begin to steam. When this happens, remove your saucepan from the stovetop, then pour the milk into the bowl with the eggs. Take it slow, as the hot milk can scramble the eggs right in the bowl. Make sure you keep stirring as well.

Transfer the custard to the saucepan and turn on the heat again. Allow the temperature to get to 170 to 175 degrees Fahrenheit. The custard should be chunky by that point.

Once the custard is given time to cool in the ice bath, you can add it to your other milkshake ingredients.

Egg Yolks

You can also use egg yolks on their own for a milkshake.

To prep the yolks, mix them with 1/4 cup of milk in a medium-sized saucepan. Whisk the ingredients together, and then put the saucepan on medium-low heat.

When the temperature hits 160 degrees, take the yolks off the heat and transfer them to an ice bath. Then, you can incorporate the yolks into the rest of your milkshake ingredients as you wish.


Way healthier than ice cream but just as creamy, bananas are an excellent stand-in, especially if you like strong banana flavor.

You should use three bananas per milkshake. You otherwise need a tablespoon of maple or corn syrup (honey works too) and two cups of milk.

In Closing

Three different flavors of milkshakes prepared on the table

Making a milkshake without ice is recommended to preserve the flavor and texture of the shake—two things that milkshakes are so beloved for. Skip the ice and you won’t regret it!

If you’d like, you can even omit ice cream and still make a great shake. You only need egg yolks, custard, banana, or another thickening agent to act in the ice cream’s place. Many of these ice cream alternatives are a lot healthier for you too.

Did you like this post? Be sure to check out some other great articles on the site:

What Kind Of Beverages Can You Make With A Keurig? [Inc. Sample Recipes]

Is A Blender Good For Making Frozen Drinks?

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