Zero Proof: Creamsicle Milkshake Recipe

Zero Proof: Creamsicle Milkshake Recipe

[Photo:Christianne Winthrop]

Is there anything that brings back childhood memories more than the sound of the ice cream truck rounding the corner? In my neighborhood, he plays "Pop Goes the Weasel" to let the kids know he's outside. He still carries the Good Humor bars and Drumsticks I remember, but the Pink Panther pops are now shaped like Sponge Bob. I haven't seen a Creamsicle in years, but the creamy orange and vanilla combination is a flavor memory I refuse to forget.

I could certainly make my own Creamsicle pops by blending ice cream and sherbet together and refreezing, but a milkshake is just as satisfying and takes a fraction of the time.

Achieving the right balance of orange and vanilla while maintaining a thick milkshake consistency proved more challenging than anticipated. A quick look around the Internet gave links to several vodka, orange liqueur and ice cream combinations, but I was chasing that creamy orange confection, not brain freeze and a hangover.

I started with a shopping bag full of ingredients: milk, cream, orange juice, orange juice concentrate, vanilla ice cream and orange sherbet. The cream made every recipe too heavy and rich, especially when using premium full-fat vanilla ice cream. Combining orange juice with ice cream made for a thin shake, because by the time the right orange flavor was achieved, the ice cream was swimming. A few tablespoons of orange juice concentrate added to the ice cream and thinned with a little milk was much closer, and would work in a Creamsicle emergency, but for the best Creamsicle flavor, you have to use sherbet.

If you're unaware of the difference between ice cream and sherbet, it's all about the milk content. True ice cream has no less than 10% milkfat, and sherbet no more than 2%. Ice cream makes this milkshake creamy, sherbet keeps it light, the milk and orange juice make it just liquid enough to suck through a straw. Though if you're one of those people who likes a milkshake they can hold upside-down, decrease the milk and orange juice by a quarter cup each. If you're feeling fancy, chill the glass in the freezer and garnish with a slice of orange, but it will still taste just as good if you don't.

  • Yield:2
  • Active time: 5 minutes
  • Total time:5 minutes


  • 1 cup vanilla ice cream, softened
  • 1 cup orange sherbet, softened
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 orange slices for garnish, optional


  1. 1.

    Add all ingredients to blender and mix until thoroughly combined.

  2. 2.

    Pour into serving glasses and garnish with orange slices.