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Food & Recipes

Homemade Coffee Milkshake Recipe: Secret Ingredient Makes It Extra Creamy + Dreamy

A little brewed java offers big flavor for this frothy favorite!

A frosty milkshake is the sweet and nostalgic sip we’ll never turn down. And lately we’ve been experimenting with various flavors and found our new favorite: coffee. It turns out our morning brew does the trick for giving this drink a nutty flavor and slight caffeine kick. Not only is this a great way to use up leftover brewed java, you can add a bevy of toppings to customize it for whatever you’re craving. All it takes is a minute to blend this drink to frothy perfection, especially when you include a surprise ingredient into the base. Here’s how to make a coffee milkshake that’s creamy, dreamy and the ultimate pick-me-up.

What is a milkshake

This drink is made by blending ice cream, milk and any flavorings into a thick shake. The shake is then topped with ingredients like whipped cream or chocolate shaving before it’s enjoyed. It’s believed that in 1922 Ivar “Pop” Coulson, a Walgreens employee, invented this drink by adding vanilla ice cream to a malted milk drink. The rest is history as the drink spiked in popularity, becoming a hit at restaurants, diners and drive-thrus in the decades to follow.

Why you should add coffee to homemade milkshakes

While milkshakes come in a variety of flavors, coffee provides a rich and nutty flavor that can’t be beat. It also puts an adult spin on a nostalgic favorite. For best results, James Roche, co-founder at Wrexham Bean Co. (an eco-friendly and specialty coffee roaster), explains why he opts for using medium-roast coffee. “I recommend staying away from lighter roasts — their acidity clashes with the sweetness you want in a milkshake,” he says. “I prefer to use a medium-roasted Brazilian coffee. The hints of caramel and nuttiness bring some magic to the milkshake.” On top of this, pouring in cooled brewed coffee prevents it from melting the ice cream and creating a thin milkshake.

The secret to a frothy coffee milkshake

Since you’re already adding coffee to the shake, stirring in more liquids like milk could make the drink watery and thing. Instead, Mimi Nguyen, founder at Cafely (a Vietnamese coffee brand), uses malted milk powder to maintain the drink’s creamy flavor and texture. She explains that “it’ll aerate everything into an especially fluffy, frothy shake” as the baking soda in the powder reacts with the acidic compounds in the ice cream. All you need is a scoop of malted powder to produce a luscious and smooth coffee milkshake in under 2 minutes.

How to make a coffee milkshake

This Coffee Milkshake recipe is a twist on our test kitchen’s go-to shake recipe. All you need is 3 ingredients to make the shake before customizing it with your favorite toppings!

Coffee Milkshake

Coffee and chocolate milkshake


  • ½ cup vanilla or chocolate ice cream
  • ⅛ to ¼ cup brewed coffee, cooled (to taste)
  • Scoop of malted milk powder
  • Toppings of your choice (optional)


  • Yield: 1 milkshake
  1. Place all ingredients (minus toppings) in blender. Blend until thick, well-combined mixture forms, 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  2. Pour into chilled glass and garnish with toppings. Serve.

5 tasty toppings to upgrade your coffee milkshake

Mix-and-match any of these toppings for a loaded and flavorful java milkshake!

1. Whipped cream

Topping the shake with whipped cream adds an extra layer of creaminess. A ready-made option like Président Whipped Crème works best as it’s a gourmet whipped topping that’s sweet and infused with hints of Madagascar vanilla.

2. Chocolate-covered nuts

Almonds or peanuts that are covered in chocolate provide added nuttiness and decadence.

3. Crushed cookies

Give the milkshake a crunchy texture by sprinkling it with crushed Oreos or chocolate chip cookies.

4. Caramel sauce

Drizzling this velvety sauce over the shake is great if you’re craving a toffee flavor in your drink.

5. Cherries

Just like any shake, a maraschino cherry (or two) on top is the perfect fruity finish.

For more sweet treat and drink ideas, check out the recipes below!

Carrot Cake Cookies Combine 2 Treats in 1 Delicious Bite — Easy 30-Minute Recipe

Korean Banana Milk Is the Ultimate Sweet and Creamy Sip — Here’s How To Make It

Dessert Pizza Tastes Like a Slice of Heaven — And It’s So Easy to Make in 15 Minutes

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