6 Over-the-Top Milkshake Topping Ideas
Transform Your 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 “freakshakes” or “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!
6 Toppings for Your Freakshake Recipes
The best milkshake recipes use toppings that are innovative, eye-catching, but most of all delicious. These dessert 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
Probably one of the most popular toppings is caramel corn. Ice cream and caramel sauce are a natural fit and caramel corn make 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 whisps 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 in other ways. Go tropical with piña colada. 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 toppers. Feel free to include fruit toppings, like strawberry or apple, to make it even more decadent.
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!
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 dessert shake 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 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, then add on top a candy apple on a stick for a wow factor. (Check out Gold Medal’s candy and caramel apple supplies.)
10 Tips for Making Irresistible Freakshakes
Businesses of all sizes and types can enjoy the benefits of adding loaded milkshakes. Here are some tips to keep in mind if you’d like to add these indulgent shakes to your menu.
1. Don’t fear going over the top… 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.
2. Practice putting on your toppings to make sure nothing slips or falls. Remember the two most important factors of the freakshake are the look and taste!
3. Consistency matters. 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. Use a straw, stick, or another form of support for heavier toppings. That way they don’t sink!
5. Try seasonal shakes! 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. And orange and black Halloween candy is great for rimming the edge of the glass. People enjoy these kinds of specialized treats.
6. For an even more interactive and personalized experience, offer a Build-Your-Own selection of toppings and let customers choose their own.
7. Find toppings everywhere! From cereal to candy, cookies, fresh fruit, and more, there are a lot of places where you can get inspiration.
8. Little touches count. For example, adding sprinkles is easy, but it enhances the appearance. A splash of hot fudge or caramel makes the shake even richer. Pay attention to the details.
9. 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. Don’t forget the whipped cream! This classic is still one of the best and most versatile toppings. Not to mention, people love it!
Looking for more creative dessert ideas?