McDonald’s Shamrock Shake (Copycat)

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes

Shamrock Shake is the homemade version of the St. Patrick’s Day treat made with vanilla ice cream, mint extract, whipped cream, and a cherry!

If you’re looking for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, try our Rainbow Recipes for St. Patrick’s Day! You’ll love these Rainbow Waffles, Rainbow Cupcakes and then you can make some Rainbow Roasted Vegetables for a healthy lunch side!

McDonald's Shamrock Shake is the homemade version of the classic St. Patrick's day treat made with vanilla ice cream, mint extract, whipped cream and a cherry.

Shamrock Shakes are the dessert of choice for February and March. Because they’re only available for a limited amount of time, we can’t wait for the time of year when it rolls around. It signifies the start of all things St. Patricks Day! Now you can this fast food classic at home and at any time of the year! This copycat recipe gets all the fun shake flavors with only a handful of ingredients. Plus, you get to skip the long list of ingredients you can’t pronounce, the drive-thru, and the extra fast food you won’t be ordering!

As the early spring season is just upon us, the world will soon be filled with the fresh and vibrant colors of the newly budding flowers. Green leaves, buds, and grass start to pop through which help inspire the green from our yummy drink. They say the Irish really know how to party, and this minty fresh Shamrock Shake proves it!

This copycat McDonald’s Shamrock Shake is all about keeping the classic flavors in check. It uses classic vanilla ice cream (not vanilla bean or French) and mint instead of peppermint flavoring in the shake. This dish is so easy to make at home. And with homemade Vanilla Ice Cream and homemade Whipped Cream, you’re already halfway there with this recipe!

How to Make the Shamrock Shake

Making your homemade Shamrock Shake is so unbelievably easy that you’ll be wondering why you haven’t made it before! It’s literally just combining all the ingredients together and mixing them thoroughly. Check it out! 

  • Step One: Portion out all the ingredients into the blender. 
  • Step Two: Blend until ready. 
  • Step Three: Serve in a tall glass, top with whipped cream, sanding sugar, and a cherry, then enjoy! 

More Minty Treats

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a Shamrock Shake taste like?

This copycat version of the original shake is spot on. Shamrock Shakes taste like a creamy vanilla shake with a wonderful minty profile. Sometimes chocolate is added to it which gives it even more flavor! 

Can I use Peppermint instead? (Mint vs. Peppermint)

Many of the recipes on the internet for copycat Shamrock Shakes are using peppermint extract. While that would make a delicious shake, it is not the mint-flavored profile of the original, so if you can source mint extract from online, you’ll have a much more authentic minty McDonald’s Shamrock Shake experience.

If you do use peppermint extract just expect that this shake will taste something more like a candy cane shake than an authentic minty vanilla shake which is authentic to the McDonald’s experience we are making a homemade version of.

How can I make my shake creamier? 

Everyone loves the creamy goodness of a shake. Substitute the milk with heavy cream or half and half to make it extra creamy! 

Shamrock Shake

Key Ingredients in the Shamrock Shake

Everything listed here can be easily found at the store. A lot of stuff can actually be made at home. It’s your choice.

  • Mint: We are using mint extract, not peppermint extract which is stronger and has a bit different minty flavor profile. 
  • Ice Cream: We made our own Vanilla Ice Cream just for this recipe. Avoid the custardy French vanilla ice cream or the vanilla bean which has little bean specks in it. They are good, but will alter the specific flavor profile needed for this copycat recipe. 
  • Whipped Cream: Since this is all from scratch, we made our own Whipped Cream at home too! You can use the regular kind from the store without compromising flavor. 
  • Milk: Whole milk is the best for this recipe as it is helps give a thicker consistency with a fuller milk flavor. 
  • Food Coloring: The color is easy to add, start in very small doses. You can use any green food coloring. We’re using the green gel in this recipe.You can also use liquid food coloring drops (and it may be easier to add one drop at a time as needed), we just always have gel on hand. Keep in mind that the natural kinds usually don’t give off the deep green color of the classic shake. 
  • Maraschino Cherries: Make sure you dry your maraschino cherries well before adding them to the shake or it will run into the whipped cream.
  • Green Decorating Sugar: Sprinkles are perfect topper for an authentic homemade Shamrock Shake!

Substitutions for Shamrock Shake

You can substitute just about everything in the shake. But keep in mind that the flavor may not match the restaurant version you remember. But don’t let that stop you from making the minty vanilla shake your way!

  • Natural Food Coloring: If you’d prefer to use a natural green color, they have them available online. Keep in mind that they usually don’t lend the super green color that the artificial kinds can give. You can also add matcha powder or spirulina powder a bit at a time to the blender until you get a nice green color. The flavor profile might change a bit, but it won’t be off putting, especially if you’re used to using those kinds of powders.
  • Dairy Free: If you want to make the shake dairy free you can make it with a coconut milk ice cream and coconut whipped cream. 
  • Cool Whip: If you prefer cool whip to whipped cream you can try making our Homemade Cool Whip too. The consistency is thicker than whipped cream and the homemade version is healthier than the store bought. 
  • Less Calories: If you’d like to make this low-fat and lower the calorie count you can use a low calorie ice cream and less whipped cream or skip the whipped cream altogether.
  • Chocolate: If you miss the other delicious limited edition Chocolate Shamrock flavors that have been released over the years, then you can make them all yourself with the instructions in All The Shamrock Shakes. By adding chocolate pieces and chocolate syrup to your shake you can get a whole new world of flavor!

More Easy McDonald's Inspired Recipes

How to Store Shamrock Shake

  • Serve: Shakes should be served immediately after they have been blended. Since they are made with ice cream, they will melt pretty quickly. You can hold the mix in the freezer for about 15 minutes before serving without it getting too frozen. 
  • Store: Shakes are supposed to be stored as they are designed to be eaten immediately. If you store it, keep it in the freezer. Then you can reblend the mixture with some more milk to reconstitute it to the sippable shake!
  • Freeze: The shake will freeze like ice cream and will stay good for up to 6 months. You can try eating it like ice cream or add it to the blender with some milk to turn it back into a shake!
All The Shamrock Shakes from McDonald's made in all three minty ways they've released this year! Classic, Chocolate Shamrock Shake and Shamrock Chocolate Chip Frappe.

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McDonald’s Shamrock Shake

Shamrock Shake is the homemade version of the St. Patrick's Day treat made with vanilla ice cream, mint extract, whipped cream, and a cherry!
Yield 3
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder



  • Mix the ice cream, milk, extract and food coloring on high in your blender.
  • Top with whipped cream, sanding sugar and a cherry.


Calories: 323kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 66mg | Sodium: 140mg | Potassium: 370mg | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin A: 690IU | Vitamin C: 0.8mg | Calcium: 261mg | Iron: 0.1mg
McDonald's Shamrock Shake is the homemade version of the classic St. Patrick's day treat made with vanilla ice cream, mint extract, whipped cream and a cherry. Less expensive and healthier (minus the green coloring!).
McDonald's Shamrock Shake is the homemade version of the classic St. Patrick's day treat made with vanilla ice cream, mint extract, whipped cream and a cherry. Less expensive and healthier (minus the green coloring!).
McDonald's Shamrock Shake is the homemade version of the classic St. Patrick's day treat made with vanilla ice cream, mint extract, whipped cream and a cherry. Less expensive and healthier (minus the green coloring!).
McDonald's Shamrock Shake is the homemade version of the classic St. Patrick's day treat made with vanilla ice cream, mint extract, whipped cream and a cherry. Less expensive and healthier (minus the green coloring!).

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

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  1. I was so excited to try it, but so disappointed that it tastes nothing like the real Shamrock Shake. I even added triple the amount of mint extract after tasting it needed more mint, but still not even close. The color was right (added more drops of that too), that was about it. I would not make this again.

  2. i gave a 5 star because i have not tried this recipe yet.
    we only have mint peppermint extract (combination of both) and im going to try that so i will let you know how it turns out! 🙂

  3. This was so yummy and easy. I could not find mint extract at my store, so I substituted 3 T creme de menthe in its place. I may have started an annual St Patrick’s Day tradition.

  4. Tried this recipe at home. Shamrock shakes are my wife’s favorite, so I surprised her with homemade ones for her birthday.
    This recipe was a good base to get the right ingredients, and it does look amazing when you’re done. However I had to actually use 3/4 teaspoon mint extract to get the right taste, and I had to use a whole tube of green gel to get the right color.

    Ended up working out well. It was a hit with my wife.

  5. This looks like the perfect treat! I don’t see the link to the awesome straws – I’m sure it missing it. The text doesn’t look hyperlinked above. Is it me?

  6. Am I the only one who can’t find the links for the mint extract or the straws that another commenter mentioned?

    1. Nevermind, I found the mint extract. Straws are gone I guess =(

      Thanks to the author for posting this, I have severe food allergies (milk, egg, soy, tomato, etc)

    2. I can’t find the mint link either. Can we have a brand name to look for ? I have found frontier. McCormick. Watkins. Hard to know which would be best especially since many are in a multi pack

      1. Oh no! Not sure what happened to the link. I used McCormick mint extract for this recipe. I hope you enjoy it!

  7. Yum…. I haven’t had a mint milkshake in forever (just can’t bring myself to get one from a fast food restaurant!). This looks so perfect!

    (And I knew I shouldn’t have clicked on that link for the straws – because I now I absolutely do need them in my life!)

    1. it didn’t say to put in 1/4 of the mint it said to put in 1/4 teaspoon did you put 1/4 the bottle in its only a fourth of a teaspoon