Food Concepts & Ideas

In addition to providing concession equipment and supplies, Gold Medal is committed to sharing expert food ideas that will keep you feeling creative. Fresh twists on old favorites, new food trends, and other menu suggestions offer inspiration for you to build on to surprise and delight your customers. Use these concepts to spark ideas of your own and add new energy to your concession business.


6 Over-the-Top Milkshake Topping Ideas

Create Loaded Milkshakes with These 6 Ingredients

It used to be that milkshakes were topped with a simple whipped cream and a cherry. That tradition has been upgraded to loaded milkshakes that boast gourmet dessert ingredients piled high into astonishingly photo-worthy creations. In fact, presentation is everything. Nicknamed “monster shakes,” these custom treats are a hit on social media for intriguing jaw-dropping images. This tasty trend has also become a valuable marketing tool for many ice cream shops, cafés, restaurants, and bars. Let’s explore how to make this ultimate indulgence work for you!

Chocolate Milkshake with chocolate syrup dripping down the sides surrounded by popcorn and whip cream.

6 Toppings for Your Gourmet Milkshake Recipes

The best milkshake recipes use toppings that are innovative, eye-catching, but most of all delicious. These over-the-top shakes take sweet tooth cravings to another level. The ingredients you use must offer a combination of appeal, creativity, and nostalgia. Concession foods are a great fit for this niche.

1. Gourmet Popcorn Flavors

One of the most popular loaded milkshake toppings is caramel corn. Ice cream and caramel sauce are a natural fit and caramel corn makes the perfect garnish. You can expand on this concept by using the candy glaze flavors of Signature Blends™.  Make a birthday cake-themed milkshake and top with birthday cake flavored popcorn. Or try any of the fruity varieties like blueberry or cherry. Your imagination is the only limit!

2. Cotton Candy

What can make your milkshake more whimsical than wisps of cotton candy? Pink and blue cotton candy can be used for unicorn milkshakes. But don’t stop there. The wide variety of Flossugar flavors means that you can incorporate cotton candy into your gourmet milkshakes other ways. Go tropical with piña colada cotton candy. Try a kids' favorite with bubble gum and add in gumballs for a pop of color. Or use strawberry, banana, and chocolate to make a banana split theme.

3. Funnel Cakes

Imagine a milkshake inspired by carnival food. One of the most beloved fair foods will definitely capture your customers’ attention. A miniature funnel cake, Funnel Swirls®, or Funnel Fingers™ are perfect milkshake toppings. Feel free to include fruit toppings, like strawberry or apple, to make it even more decadent.

4. Waffles

If you serve ice cream, you may already have a waffle cone maker. Use it to your advantage! An upside-down waffle cone can serve as the perfect horn for a unicorn milkshake. Or go with miniature-sized waffles paired with donuts for a breakfast-inspired milkshake. Waffles are easy to make and can even be flavored to accompany other themes, like red velvet or even maple and bacon!

5. Fudge

It can’t be said enough. Fudge is a canvas for any flavor! And it’s easy to see how bite-sized pieces of fudge could enhance the milkshake experience. Here are some ideas to inspire you. A swirled mint chocolate fudge is a visually appealing way to top a mint chocolate shake. Or for a fun flavor mix, try making s’mores fudge. It can be topped with mini marshmallows, chocolate chips, and graham cracker crumbles. You can also mix together pieces of peanut butter fudge and chocolate fudge for a classic flavor combo.

6. Caramel or Candy Apple

Another fair food favorite that can be incorporated into gourmet shakes is caramel or candy apples. A caramel apple milkshake is the perfect balance of tart and sweet. Top it with slices of apple coated in caramel around the rim of the glass. Try another twist with candy apples. Use frosting on the rim and decorate with cinnamon flavored candies and red sprinkles. To make it a true over-the-top milkshake, top it with a candy apple on a stick for a wow factor. (Check out Gold Medal’s candy and caramel apple supplies.)   

Milk shake with Pretzels, Marshmellows and Popcorn on top of Ice cream.


10 Tips for Making Irresistible Gourmet Milkshakes

Food service businesses of all sizes and types can enjoy the benefits of selling loaded milkshakes. Here are some tips to keep in mind if you’d like to add these indulgent shakes to your menu.

1. Be Creative

Don’t fear going over the top with your loaded milkshakes… that’s exactly what you want to do! This is your chance to get creative and go as crazy as you’d like with flavors and toppings. Make up your own signature recipes that keep customers coming back for more.

2. Practice Makes Perfect

Practice putting on your toppings to make sure nothing slips or falls. Remember the two most important factors are the look and taste!

3. Find the Right Milkshake Consistency

You want the milkshake to be thick enough to support all the toppings but not too thick, as it still needs to be drinkable.

4. Support Heavier Toppings

Use a straw, stick, or another form of support for heavier toppings. That way they don’t sink!

5. Offer Seasonal Shakes

Try seasonal gourmet milkshakes! Tie your menu to a holiday or special occasion. Red, white, and blue colors make a 4th of July hit. Think pastels and marshmallow peeps for Easter time. Orange and black Halloween candy is great for rimming the edge of the glass. People enjoy these kinds of specialized treats.

6. Let Customers Build Their Own Loaded Milkshake

For an even more interactive and personalized experience, offer a Build-Your-Own selection of toppings and let customers choose their own.

7. Use a Variety of Toppings

You can find milkshake toppings everywhere! From cereal to candy, cookies, fresh fruit, and more, there are a lot of places where you can get inspiration.

8. Details Matter

When making over-the-top milkshakes, little touches count. For example, adding sprinkles is easy, but it enhances the appearance of your shake. A splash of hot fudge or caramel makes the shake even richer. Pay attention to the details.

9. Try Different Coatings

Use different coatings on the rim of the glass. Frosting is commonly used, but you can also try peanut butter, chocolate, caramel, or marshmallow fluff.

10. Top Your Shakes with Whipped Cream

Don’t forget the whipped cream! This classic is still one of the best and most versatile toppings. Not to mention, people love it!


Other Creative Dessert Ideas for Food Businesses