Coffee Cabinets (Rhode Island-Style Coffee Milkshakes) Recipe

Alexandra Penfold

Rhode Islanders take their coffee/dairy beverages seriously; coffee milk was named the state drink in 1993, so it's no surprise that the Ocean State would be home to a mean coffee milkshake, known locally as a coffee cabinet.

If you prefer you can use your favorite brand of coffee syrup, but making your own at home is easy and allows you to customize the flavor to your favorite coffee roast or blend.

Note: Because this homemade syrup is made with just sugar rather than corn syrup, it won't be as viscous as the store-bought variety. Be careful not to over reduce the mixture or you'll end up with a syrup that's too thick to blend.

Recipe Details

Coffee Cabinets (Rhode Island-Style Coffee Milkshakes) Recipe

Active 20 mins
Total 60 mins
Serves 2 servings


For the Coffee Syrup:

  • 1 cup brewed coffee

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Coffee Cabinet:

  • 1 pint coffee ice cream

  • 1/4 cup whole milk

  • 1/4 cup chilled coffee

  • 2 tablespoons coffee syrup


  1. In a medium saucepan dissolve sugar in coffee. Bring mixture to a light boil then reduce to simmer. Simmer until the mixture has reduced to form a slightly thickened syrup, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in vanilla extract. Cover and refrigerate to cool.

  2. Add ice cream, milk, chilled coffee and coffee syrup to blender. Blend until smooth. If you prefer a thinner shake, you can add additional milk and/or chilled coffee, if desired.

Special equipment

Medium saucepan, blender

This Recipe Appears In

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
533 Calories
31g Fat
56g Carbs
8g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2
Amount per serving
Calories 533
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 31g 40%
Saturated Fat 20g 100%
Cholesterol 175mg 58%
Sodium 130mg 6%
Total Carbohydrate 56g 20%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 53g
Protein 8g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 255mg 20%
Iron 1mg 4%
Potassium 364mg 8%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)