A Shamrock Shake copycat fills a tall glass

Because of its limited release and its incredible flavor, Shamrock Shake has some very devoted fans! A Shamrock Shake is the most delicious sweet, creamy, and minty milkshake around. This McDonald’s drive-thru classic is typically only available for a limited time leading up to St. Patrick’s Day in select locations in the United States, Ireland, and Canada.

But you don’t have to wait for the annual return of the shamrock shake each February to enjoy this cool and creamy treat! We have a top-notch copycat recipe ready for you.

What does a shamrock shake taste like?

A shamrock shake has a base of vanilla ice cream and it’s flavored with the minty deliciousness of peppermint extract. It’s creamy texture and refreshing mint flavor make it a fast food dessert favorite.

A mint milkshake fills a tall glass, garnished with whipped cream, a cherry, and sprinkles.

What is a shamrock shake made of?

First, you’ll need what every respectable milkshake recipe needs: vanilla ice cream and whole milk. We recommend you splurge on some high-quality vanilla ice cream—the kind that has the little specks of actual vanilla beans—for the biggest flavor payout.
The ingredients for a shamrock shake sit on a grey countertop

For the shamrock element, McDonald’s uses their own Shamrock Shake Syrup, which is mostly just corn syrup flavored with mint and colored with green food coloring. In this copycat recipe, we skip the syrup step and just flavor our milkshake using mint extract and color it using green food coloring.

Wholefully Protip

You can definitely skip the food coloring if you are sensitive to it. The milkshake will still taste the same!

For finishing touches, we like to garnish our shamrock shakes with whipped cream, maraschino cherries, sprinkles, and a little sprig of mint.

Do shamrock shakes have chocolate in them?

Traditional shamrock shakes do not have chocolate in them—they are a vanilla-mint milkshake—but McDonald’s did recently come out with the Oreo Shamrock McFlurry, which contains Oreo cookie pieces (which are chocolate).

Wholefully Protip

To make your own Oreo Shamrock McFlurry, drop a few Oreo cookies into the blender at the end of your milkshake blending time.

A mint milkshake is garnished with a cherry, whipped cream, sprinkles, and a striped straw.

How do you make a shamrock shake?

Making your own shamrock shake couldn’t be easier!

  1. Combine ice cream, milk, extract, and food coloring in the basin of a blender.
  2. Blend on low until smooth (using too high of a setting can heat the milkshake and melt it).
  3. Pour into a tall glass.
  4. Garnish with whipped cream, a maraschino cherry, sprinkles, and mint leaves.

You can also make your shamrock shake using an immersion blender. Just combine all the ingredients into a large jar, and then use your immersion blender on low to blend until smooth.

Close up on a Shamrock Shake copycat, garnished with maraschino cherry and whipped cream, with a striped straw.

Shamrock Shake adjustments and substitutions

  • Leave out the drops of green food coloring or use natural food colors if you want to avoid artificial colors.
  • Drop in a few Oreo cookies to turn your milkshake into an Oreo Shamrock McFlurry.
  • Use non-dairy vanilla ice cream, non-dairy milk (we like coconut milk), and dairy-free whipped topping to make a vegan Shamrock Shake.
  • Add more ice cream or more milk to adjust the consistency to your desired thickness.
  • We call for 1/4 teaspoon mint extract, but feel free to adjust up or down depending on your personal preferences.
A Shamrock Shake copycat fills a tall glass

Copycat Shamrock Shake Recipe

Yield: 1 shake
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Love the Shamrock Shake? Use this copycat recipe to make your own. The minty, creamy shake is just what you need this week.


  • 3/4 cup vanilla ice cream
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 4 drops green food coloring
  • Sweetened whipped cream, maraschino cherries, green sprinkles, and fresh mint leaves, for garnish


  1. Blend ice cream, milk, extract and food coloring in a blender until smooth. If using a high powered blender (Blendtec, Vitamix, Ninja), blend on the lowest setting possible to make sure not to overheat the milkshake.
  2. Pour into a tall glass, and top with whipped cream, a maraschino cherry, sprinkles, and mint leaves.


  • Depending on the consistency of your ice cream, you may need to add more ice cream or milk to achieve desired thickness.
  • The controversy over whipped cream is thick (with stiff peaks!) on this topic. Traditional Shamrock Shakes do NOT have whipped cream. McDonald's starting adding that back in 2010. But my philosophy is that whipped cream is never, ever wrong.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1 shake
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 369Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 66mgSodium: 162mgCarbohydrates: 39gFiber: 2gSugar: 35gProtein: 10g

At Wholefully, we believe that good nutrition is about much more than just the numbers on the nutrition facts panel. Please use the above information as only a small part of what helps you decide what foods are nourishing for you.

Want more St. Patrick’s Day recipes like this one?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. I have always wanted to try a Shamrock shake but have never been able to because I’m allergic to food coloring/dyes. I’m excited to try this soon!

  2. I was driving by McD’s and I heard a whisper in my ear..”You really need a Shamrock Shake”. (I think it may have been a leprechaun). I found myself in the drive thru ordering one, and I must say…It was delicious. 🙂

  3. You make me laugh! Great post – I think instead of food coloring and extract I will add creme de menthe! Ok yeah, your right, it still has food coloring in it!

  4. Ohhh I’m stealing this recipe for tonight! My boyfriend is going to BBQ corn beef tonight for the first time and I will suprise him with this milkshake! 🙂 He is the cook of the house, I just reap the benefits! 🙂

  5. ;D Myself, my boyfriend and my brother will all swoon over this once I make it–hehe! We love shamrock shakes.