Traditional recipes

How to Make a McDonald's Shamrock Shake at Home

How to Make a McDonald's Shamrock Shake at Home

If you have the vanilla milkshake recipe down pat, it’s easy to turn it green

How to make a Shamrock Shake at home.

The whole world has gone green for McDonald’s Shamrock Shake, available across the country until St. Patrick’s Day. It’s inspired a cult-like following, a Harlem Shake meme (yes, really), and dozens of copy-cat recipes. And we can see why everyone wants to try it at home. Since the Shamrock Shake launched in 1970, more than 60 million Shamrock Shakes have been sold in McDonald’s nationwide.

Click here for the How to Make a Shamrock Shake at Home Slideshow

And surprisingly, the history of the Shamrock Shake is about more than just the green. According to McDonald’s, the Philadelphia Eagle’s tight end Fred Hill was looking for a way to help his 3-year old daughter get treatment for leukemia in 1974. His vision: the Ronald McDonald’s House for children and families to have a "home away from home" treatment. Hill, with the support of McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc and local McDonald’s managers, worked up a Shamrock Shake promotion with profits going toward the cause; the first-ever Ronald’s McDonald’s House opened near the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in 1974.

But of course, paying for a signature green shake with a maraschino cherry on top has a price to your waistline — a cool 530 calories and 15 grams of fat in a 12-ounce Shamrock Shake. (At least, Philadelphia magazine points out, there’s 11 grams of protein in it.) The pro of making one at home is that you can easily control your portion sizes and make a less-fattening version. However, there’s also a con — you can feel free to add as much whipped cream, chocolate syrup, Oreos, and whiskey as you want — which may result in an even bigger calorie-buster than the Mickey D’s version.

Fortunately, it’s not hard to make your own Shamrock Shake at home. If you have the supplies for a vanilla milkshake, plus extra essentials for baking, you have basically all you need to make the shake yourself. However, there are lots of ways to update the Shamrock Shake — including a little boozy treat for the adults. (Because why drink green beer when you can drink an alcoholic, and green, milkshake?) Click ahead for tips and recipes on how to make the Shamrock Shake at home.

Shamrock Shake (McDonalds Copycat)

Published: Feb 2, 2021 · Modified: Feb 2, 2021 by Bintu · This post may contain affiliate links.

Enjoy a bit of the luck o’ the Irish while you sip on this easy to make copycat shamrock shake. It’s deliciously creamy, minty, and the perfect way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day!

Suitable for gluten free and vegetarian diets.

This fun St. Paddy’s Day treat is a highly anticipated annual favorite at McDonald’s, but it doesn’t stick around forever. Fortunately, this tasty milkshake is easy to make at home with just a few ingredients, so you can enjoy it all throughout the month of March, or anytime you get a craving for a delicious shamrock shake.

Making this green shake at home has some major advantages. First, you don’t have to contend with a broken ice cream machine at the drive-through. Seriously! What is the deal with those machines? Second, you can control just how minty this shake is, and you can even leave the mint out altogether. Finally, you can have it anytime you want! That’s worth its weight in the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

This shake is sooooo easy to make and only requires a few ingredients that you probably already have on hand. Make these for dessert, and your kids will be grinning from ear to ear!

Here's how to make a McDonald's-style Shamrock Shake at home

As all those craggy gray snow piles melt and robins start to flit among budding branches, another harbinger of spring arrives: the signature Shamrock Shake at McDonald’s. The shake comes around once a year around St. Patrick’s Day — and is now available at all McD's locations instead of a select few — but there’s no reason to wait in the drive-through line to get your fix. With only a few ingredients (and a dash of green tint), you can blend up a cool shake that tastes just like the real thing in your own kitchen.

Or, if your tastes lean toward more toward the healthy side of the spectrum, you could whip up a mint-tinged smoothie inspired by the seasonal favorite. Our creamy, sweet shamrock smoothie gets its verdant hue from spinach and fresh mint — add a dash of natural mint extract if you want to amp up the flavor further.

Bonus: Both versions have far fewer calories than a small McDonald's Shamrock Shake, which clocks in at 530 calories for 12 ounces — subtract 200 to 300 calories for our shake (depending on what kind of ice cream and milk you use) and take off more than 300 for the smoothie. Whether you choose the shake or the smoothie, you'll have a green treat will give you the refreshing rush you crave, so why not have one for breakfast and one for dessert?

Copycat Shamrock Shake Recipe

Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

Around St. Patrick's Day. it's easy to run to McDonald's to get a shamrock shake. But what do you the rest of the year when McD's isn't selling their iconic green ice cream treat? Answer: Make a copycat shamrock shake at home, obviously…

Get the same taste of the real thing with this easy-to-make recipe, which follows our old-fashioned milkshake recipe, then adds a little something extra to give it that shamrock shake look and flavor that we all know. It's an indulgent treat, so make sure to save it for a special occasion! While you're at it, why not make a copycat Big Mac to pair?

Makes 1 serving

How To Make This Copycat Shamrock Shake Recipe

Having an Irish heritage these homemade shamrock shakes fall close to my heart and I love the festivities that come with St Patricks Day.

With mint chocolate ice cream being my favorite in general, this recipe ticks all of the boxes for me. No need for complex ingredients, get this recipe up and running in less than 10 minutes. Best of all, you make this recipe even on a whim without having to go to the restaurant or drive thru.

With only 315 calories in total and an effortless 10 minutes of your time, you can be indulging in this same drink that is available across the globe to Mcdonalds’ customers. When I say effortless I really mean it.

To serve 6 people, quickly add 6 scoops of vanilla icecream, some whole milk, coloring and mint extract you too can be on your way to having some happy friends and family around you. Keep in mind, 10 minutes is how long it takes if you operate at a slow pace. The final result can be achieved much quicker than that.

How do you make a Shamrock Shake?

For this recipe you’ll need vanilla bean ice cream, milk, mint extract and green food coloring. I used peppermint extract, but you can use spearmint as well.

Add all ingredients to a blender. Slowly blend until the ice cream breaks up then turn up the speed to the highest setting to blend altogether. Pour the shake into your favorite glass then garnish as desired. I chose to use whipped cream, VISIT THE RECIPE INDEX TO SEARCH FOR MORE RECIPES BY CATEGORY.

What is a Shamrock Shake?

McDonald’s introduced Shamrock Shakes for a limited time back in 1970 but started out a a lemon lime sherbet flavor. When that wasn’t a hit they changed the formula in 1973 to vanilla ice cream and green food coloring. Talk about a tasteless shake. Thankfully, they changed the formula again in 1983 of the creamy, mint milkshake that became a hit where Shamrock Shakes are sold. It makes a comeback to the menu every year in the middle of February and stays till just after St. Patrick’s Day.

Homemade alcoholic Shamrock Shake recipe

WARNING: This one's just for the adults! Enjoy responsibly!

It's McDonald’s legendary Shamrock Shake time but we thought you might want to try to make the famous mint green concoction yourself. And it isn't just for March 17! When you think about it, March isn't a great time to be drinking shakes so keep using this recipe well into the summer months to enjoy it to the utmost.

Here’s a grown-up version of the McDonald's Shamrock Shake you can make at home for your St. Patrick's Day celebrations.

Alcoholic Shamrock Shake recipe


  • 1 ¾ cups low-fat vanilla ice cream
  • ¼ cup vanilla vodka (or unflavored vodka + ½ tsp vanilla extract)
  • ¼ cup Crème de Menthe
  • ½ tbsp grated dark chocolate + 1 tsp for topping
  • A few sprigs of mint

Throw ice cream, vodka, and crème de menthe in a blender and mix until it’s just evenly combined. Make sure not to over-blend. If you do, just add more ice cream.

Here's some background history to the classic McDonald's Shamrock Shake:

The Shamrock Shake was developed in 1970, according to McDonald’s. It was created to raise money to buy the four-story house which would become the first Ronald McDonald House.

When Philadelphia Eagles tight end Fred Hill's daughter was diagnosed with leukemia and began treatment, the family had to camp out in the hospital waiting rooms in hospitals. They saw other families doing the same and realized that many families traveling long distances to visit sick family members needed a place to stay.

Hill and his team decided to raise funds for the project. Jim Murray, the team’s general manager, called a friend who worked in McDonald's advertising and suggested the team take part in the next promotional push. It just happened to be St. Patrick's Day.

Rogers Merchandising in Chicago created the drink, with James Byrne, the executive artist at the firm, using a family recipe for the shake.

What recipes do you like to try for St. Patrick's Day? Let us know in the comments!

Oreo Shamrock McFlurry Copycat Recipe

Another popular drink at McDonald’s is the McFlurry, which is basically a flavored soft serve. For St. Patrick’s Day, McD combined these two popular frozen treats into one with the Oreo Shamrock McFlurry.

The result is the green minty Oreo Shamrock McFlurry. It’s a green mint flavored soft serve with Oreo cookie pieces mixed in.

The delicious green minty concoction developed in the early 1970’s, every kid couldn’t wait to slurp down. One sip, and that flavor is imprinted on your memory. So, even as an adult, sipping a Shamrock Shake instantly transports you back to your childhood.

Todd Wibur from Top Secret Recipes, has deconstructed McDonald’s secret Oreo Shamrock McFlurry Recipe. He reconstructed here, so now you and your kids can save money and make this delicious minty dessert in your own kitchen.

Now you can make you own Oreo Shamrock McFlurry at home.

  • Add generous amounts of whipped cream, green sprinkling sugar, and maybe some mini chocolate chips.
  • Green food gel coloring will work, but because shamrock shakes are a paler shade of green, a few drops of food coloring will work the same.

Did you enjoy these Shamrock Shakes? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!

Shamrock Shake

These light & creamy Shamrock Shakes are the perfect way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day!

Calories: 562 , Carbohydrates: 64 g , Protein: 10 g , Fat: 29 g , Saturated Fat: 18 g , Cholesterol: 118 mg , Sodium: 224 mg , Potassium: 571 mg , Fiber: 2 g , Sugar: 58 g , Vitamin A: 1169 IU , Vitamin C: 2 mg , Calcium: 375 mg , Iron: 1 mg

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword best Shamrock Shake, how to make a Shamrock Shake, shamrock shake, Shamrock Shake recipe