If you love cake and ice cream then this Chicago style chocolate cake shake recipe is perfect for you! This dessert inspired by the Portillo’s chocolate cake shake is simple, delicious, and full of chocolate flavor!
A couple of years ago I had the chance to go visit one of my old college roommates in Chicago. Before my trip I asked one of my other good friends who is from Chicago for recommendations on things to do and places to eat.
She gave us plenty of different options for real food but as soon as she mentioned that Portillo’s served a chocolate cake milkshake (along with their famous hot dogs), I knew we would be eating there.
Chocolate cake and ice cream all mixed into one thick milkshake, I had to try it. And yep, it was pretty much as good as I could have imagined. And I knew as soon as I tried it that I had to try making one at home to see if it was as yummy at home.
I love eating ice cream with my chocolate cake, so it only makes sense that I love the cake mixed into the ice cream. And if you’re an ice cream + cake lover, you’re gonna love this milkshake too. Kind of the best thing ever.
It almost makes me wish I personally had thought of this great idea! I’m already thinking about other things I can put into milkshakes – maybe dirt cookies, homemade brownies, mint chocolate cheesecake, or even pieces of this chocolate chip cookie pie!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Simple – There are just a few ingredients – ice cream, milk, chocolate cake, chocolate sprinkles, and whipped cream (if you want it on top), which means this is about as simple as it gets. The total time to make this is less than three minutes!
- Unique – forget a traditional vanilla milkshake and go for this one instead, I can almost guarantee people have never tried it (unless they’re been to Portillo’s).
- Slice of chocolate cake – I mean does it get any better than a big slice of chocolate cake with some vanilla ice cream? This way you get them both all in one shake! Plus, it’s a great way to use up leftover cake slices.
- Chocolate cake – any chocolate cake will do but I recommend making sure it’s covered in chocolate frosting, not just like a chocolate cake mix that’s baked without frosting. The thicker and more decadent, the better. I typically use a piece of leftover chocolate cake for this rather than baking an entire cake specifically to make milkshakes! I typically use milk chocolate but you could also do a dark chocolate cake if you prefer dark.
- Milk – I recommend whole milk but your preferred milk will work just fine (but full cream milk will make this creamier). You’ll also notice I included a general range for the milk measurements in the recipe because if you want a thick milkshake, you’ll want to use less milk and so on.
- Ice cream – classic vanilla ice cream is the best with this so you’re really getting to enjoy the chocolate flavor! If you really want this to be super chocolatety, you could use chocolate ice cream instead – but I prefer vanilla.
- Chocolate sprinkles – if you want to add some more chocolate flavor, it’s always fun to top this with whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles, but that’s up to you! You could also even add some chocolate sauce (or this homemade hot fudge would be amazing) or caramel sauce if you really want to mix things up!
How to make a chocolate cake shake
If you’ve ever made a milkshake, this one is not much different other than the fact that you’ll be putting a full slice of chocolate cake inside. I mean, other than that.
The perfect way to make this shake is to start by combining the scoops of regular vanilla ice cream in a tall glass with cold milk. Stir that up until they’re mixed together well.
Then it’s time for the fun part – add that entire piece of chocolate cake right into the glass (or you can break it up and do small pieces of cake if you want). And stir gently to break it up into the milkshake.
You don’t want to stir it so much that you totally mash it in and make a chocolate milkshake, you still want big chunks of the cake there for enjoying with a spoon.
I mean that’s the only way to enjoy a Portillo’s cake shake – with a spoon!
Top with whipped cream and sprinkles once you get the shake to the thickness you want. If it’s still a bit too thick, you can add another splash of milk and stir it in again. And if it’s too thin, you can always add a little more cake!
Next time you’re in Chicago, check out the closest Portillo’s location for a Portillo’s cake shake and let me know how mine compares. I think it’s pretty yummy, but it’s been a while I’ve tried the real thing!
Keep the pieces of cake big enough that you can still taste the cake. That’s why I like to stir this in with a spoon compared to chopping up the cake in the food processor or mixing it all in the blended. You really want to get the taste of the cake!
Don’t make this ahead of time. Just like with any milkshake recipe, it’s best made and served right before serving.
Portillo’s chocolate cake shake combines vanilla ice cream, milk, and a full slice of frosted chocolate cake. Everything gets mixed together for one decadent and delicious chocolate cake milkshake.
More Easy Chocolate Recipes
If you like this chocolate cake shake recipe, make sure to check out these other delicious chocolate desserts!
- Hot cocoa bombs – all the tips and tricks you could ever need for making perfect hot chocolate bombs!
- Hot chocolate dip – this simple chocolate dip is amazing with strawberries, pretzels, and pound cake!
- Brownie lava cake – the best chocolate lava cake you can make at home, it’s so good!
- Chocolate pudding cookies – triple chocolate cookies that are soft, chocolatety, and delicious!
- Hot chocolate cupcakes – chocolate cupcakes get filled with a chocolate and marshmallow center for one delicious treat!
Chocolate Cake Shake Recipe
- 3-4 scoops vanilla ice cream
- ¼ cup whole milk change amount depending on thickness preference
- 1 slice chocolate cake
- 1 tsp chocolate sprinkles (optional)
- Start by combining the scoops of regular vanilla ice cream in a tall glass with cold milk. Stir that up until they’re mixed together well. Use more milk if you would like a thinner, more drinkable shake, and use less milk if you want a thicker, spoonable milkshake.3-4 scoops vanilla ice cream, 1/4 cup whole milk
- Break your piece of cake into pieces and add into the milkshake, stirring until just combined.1 slice chocolate cake
- Top with chocolate sprinkles (if desired).1 tsp chocolate sprinkles