Diner-quality milkshakes aren't tough to make at home, as long as you own a blender. If you don't, you might think you're out of luck. However, there's plenty of other options options for making the creamy, sweet drink you want, sans blender.

A number of common appliances can sub in for a blender when you get a milkshake craving.

  • Food Processor: A powerful food processor may be designed to chop vegetables, but it can also make a creamy milkshake, even with ice cream that's frozen hard. Make the shake with a food processor as you would in a blender, adding milk to thin out the shake as desired.
  • Drink Mixer: A soda fountain machine specifically designed for milkshakes, the drink mixer churns out light, fluffy shakes and smoothies with an even consistency. As a bonus, you can also use it to beat eggs and thin batters.
  • Stick Blender: An immersion blender, otherwise known as a stick or hand blender, won't take up a lot of kitchen counter space but can make a shake just as effectively as a larger appliance. Put all of your milkshake ingredients in a deep bowl or pan, insert the immersion blender and turn it on until your shake is thoroughly mixed.
  • Electric Mixer: Many electric mixers are designed to handle heavy batters or to knead dough, so blending up the ingredients in a milkshake is no problem. To prevent splattering while making a milkshake with a mixer, use a very deep bowl and mix only the ice cream until it's soft and aerated. Then stir or whip in the milk by hand.


When using any type of electric appliance to make a milkshake, stir in syrup or toppings by hand at the end. Otherwise, they will become lost in the puree of your shake.

No fancy appliances? No problem. You can still make a milkshake with common kitchen supplies.

  • Drink Shaker: To make your milkshake in a drink shaker, soften your ice cream beforehand. Combine the softened ice cream with your milk and other ingredients in the shaker, then shake vigorously until the ingredients are combined and the shake is smooth. 


The type of ice cream you use will determine the texture of your shake. Premium ice creams will make thicker, creamier shakes, and light ice creams will make fluffier shakes. Soften a pint of ice cream by letting it sit at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes. Half-gallons of ice cream may need to sit for several more minutes to soften.

  • Mason Jar: A Mason jar can serve the same purpose as a drink shaker. Use a jar big enough to hold all of your ingredients with room to spare, and shake for several minutes from all directions.
  • Whisk and Bowl: Place softened ice cream in a deep bowl. Whisk vigorously to break up the ice cream until it's a thick, even consistency. Add your milk slowly and continue whisking until your shake is the thickness you desire.


Start with a ratio of about three parts ice cream to one part milk. After mixing, if your shake is too thick, add milk in small amounts until you achieve the consistency you want.