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Copycat Shamrock Shake Recipe

The Shamrock Shake has turned into a classic St. Patrick's Day treat. McDonald's serves up this minty, seasonal shake every March, and it's a hit for its lively green color and smooth, minty flavor.

You can also make your version of this minty milkshake at home with a simple recipe that blends vanilla ice cream, milk, and mint extract to recreate that creamy, dreamy taste.

Close up of a old fashioned milkshake glass with a shamrock shake topped with whipped cream and a cherry.

If you're in the mood for a festive snack or a cool, quick sweet drink, this shamrock shake recipe will satisfy your cravings anytime, not just on St. Patrick's Day or during the month of March!  

This milkshake is made for just a limited time during the shamrock shake season (March) but it's a delicious milkshake choice during the Christmas season because of its green color and mint flavor. 

Check out these Pistachio Cookies, perfect for St. Patrick's Day and a great dessert for St. Patrick's Day celebrations!

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Why You'll Love This Recipe

Here are just a few reasons that you'll love this McDonald's Shamrock Shake Copycat Recipe:

  • It's quick: You can whip up this minty dessert in under five minutes. It's definitely an easy recipe!
  • It's festive: Thanks to its green color, this minty shake is perfect to help celebrate St. Paddy's Day and even Christmas.
  • Simple Ingredients: It doesn't take a lot of ingredients to make a homemade copycat of McDonald's version.

Ingredients in a Shamrock Milkshake

You only need a few simple ingredients to make a homemade version of the shamrock shake:

  • Vanilla ice cream
  • Plain Mint extract - not peppermint extract
  • Vanilla extract
  • Whole Milk
  • Green food coloring
  • Whipped Cream
  • Maraschino cherries

See the recipe card for full ingredient amounts and instructions.

Two homemade shamrock shakes in old fashioned milkshake glasses topped with cherries.

How to make a Shamrock Shake at home

TIP: For a smooth and creamy milkshake, use a high-powered blender or an immersion blender.

Layer the ingredients in the blender- Scoop the vanilla ice cream into the blender. Top with the milk, mint extract, and vanilla extract. Add a few drops of the green food coloring at a time until the desired color is reached.

Blend- Blend until smooth. At this point, add a few more drops of green food coloring to reach the color that you want.

Serve- Pour the shamrock shake equally into 4 milkshake glasses and top with whipped cream. Garnish with a maraschino cherry and enjoy! To make this shake even more festive, sprinkle on some green sprinkles for an added pop of color!

Shamrock Shake Copycat topped with whipped cream and a stemmed cherry with a spoon.

Milkshake Substitutions

Here are a few tips to make a dairy free copycat version of a shamrock shake:

  • Non-Dairy Ice Cream: Choose almond, soy, or coconut varieties.
  • Milk Alternatives: Almond, soy, coconut milk, or oat milk.
  • Topping: Dairy-free whipped cream or coconut whipped topping.

For an adult version of this milkshake, try these versions to make a boozy milkshake:

  • Baileys Irish Cream: Adds creaminess and a nice boozy flavor.
  • Whisky: Gives this mint milkshake a warm flavor.
  • Crème de Menthe: Gives this mint-flavored milkshake an even more intense mint flavor.

Mix-Ins for a Shamrock Shake

You can make your own version of an Oreo Shamrock McFlurry by stirring chopped Oreo cookies into the milkshake to give it a nice balanced chocolate flavor.

Although it won't be green, consider adding chocolate ice cream to the mix to give the milkshake an overall chocolate flavor and stir in some peppermint extract to give it a different flavor profile. 

To give this milkshake a Christmas spin, sprinkle the top of the whipped cream with crushed candy canes and red and green sprinkles to make it extra festive.

A shamrock shake with a maraschino cherry being placed on whipped cream.

Recipe Tips

Consistency: For a thick, creamy, and smooth milkshake, start with a rich vanilla ice cream.  Using a high-powered blender, start by pulsing the blender to break down the ice cream. Begin increasing the speed until the desired thickness is achieved for your milkshake. 

To make the milkshake thicker, add more vanilla ice cream and to make it thinner, add more milk.

Color: Adjust the green color by adding a few drops of green food coloring at a time. Or, to make it dye-free, omit the food coloring altogether!

Flavor: For the true flavor that McDonald's uses, make sure to use mint extract, NOT peppermint extract.  It's milder than the latter.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the ingredients in a Shamrock Shake?

A classic McDonald's Shamrock Shake includes vanilla ice cream, milk, and mint flavoring, and is typically topped with whipped cream and a maraschino cherry. 

What flavor is the McDonald's Shamrock Shake?

The McDonald's Shamrock Shake is known for its refreshing mint flavor, paired with the creamy texture of vanilla ice cream. The traditional shamrock shake uses pure mint extract. 

Another easy recipe for a flavorful milkshake is this Strawberry Ice Cream Milkshake, it's a delicious dessert drink great for the spring season and the Valentine's Day time of year. 

For more St. Patrick's Day desserts, check out these fan favorites:

📖 Recipe

Yield: 4 servings

Copycat Shamrock Shake Recipe

Close up of a old fashioned milkshake glass with a shamrock shake topped with whipped cream and a cherry.

The Shamrock Shake has turned into a classic St. Patrick's Day treat. McDonald's serves up this minty, seasonal shake every March, and it's a hit for its lively green color and smooth, minty flavor.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes


  • 4 cups vanilla ice cream
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon mint extract (not peppermint)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 8-10 drops green food coloring
  • Whipped cream, for serving
  • Maraschino cherries, for garnish


  1. Scoop the vanilla ice cream into a blender.
  2. Pour in the milk.
  3. Add the mint extract and the vanilla extract.
  4. Add a few drops of green food coloring.
  5. Blend in pulses until you reach the desired consistency - Add more food coloring if needed at this point.
  6. Divide the milkshakes into 4 glasses.
  7. Top with whipped cream
  8. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.
  9. Serve and enjoy!


Use mint extract instead of peppermint extract for the authentic flavor of the shamrock shake.

Blend in short pulses to achieve your desired thickness of the milkshake.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 serving

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 407Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 79mgSodium: 221mgCarbohydrates: 45gFiber: 1gSugar: 42gProtein: 13g

Nutrition calculation is a rough estimate and can vary depending on the cooking technique and the exact ingredients used. For informational purposes only.

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