Special Report

27 Milkshakes With More Calories Than an Entire Meal

Wiktory / Getty Images

Milkshakes and malts (which are just shakes with malted milk powder added) have been around since the early 20th century, and started getting really popular in the 1950s. These blended combinations of (usually) milk, ice cream, various syrups or other flavorings, and add-ins like chopped up candies or crumbled cookies, are some of the most delicious things on fast food menus — part drink, part dessert.

They are also some of the most fearsomely caloric. Sometimes a single shake can match or exceed the total calorie count of an entire lunch or dinner, especially at a fast food restaurant. These are 45 fast food single items with the more than 1,000 calories.

Click here to see 27 milkshakes with more calories than an entire meal.

Of course, the number of calories each of us consumes when we sit down to eat varies widely. It is generally accepted, however, that to maintain current weight, an average adult male needs about 2,500 calories a day, and an average adult female about 2,000.

It has been estimated that the average American — one who is neither dieting nor splurging —
typically consumes 300 to 400 calories for breakfast and 500 to 700 calories each for lunch and dinner, plus about 200 for snacks. The balance would be made up with beverages. (A couple of glasses of red wine would add 250 calories, a fancy Starbucks Grande Frappuccino 500 to 600.)

Because Americans in general are more likely to overeat than undereat, 24/7 Tempo took the top number for lunch or dinner, 700 calories, and looked for chain restaurant milkshakes that exceeded that total. There were plenty.

Of course, chains aren’t the only places serving milkshakes, and many of the best ones — likely equally caloric — are found at independent diners, ice cream shops, and other outlets. These are the 25 best milkshakes in American and where to find them.

Surprisingly the milkshakes at some of the best-known fast-food operations actually fell below the 700 number, if not by much. McDonald’s shakes range from 490 to 530 calories. California-based cult favorite In-N-Out Burger serves just three flavors of shake — chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla — in a single size. Vanilla is 580 calories, the other two 590.

The shakes at Five Guys (vanilla only) come to 590 calories — though various extras (bacon, bananas, cherries, chocolate, coffee, malted milk, Oreo cookie pieces, peanut butter, salted caramel, or strawberries) add between 5 and 90 calories each. Chick-fil-A’s shakes don’t exceed 610 calories.

On the other hand, we found some shakes — at Baskin-Robbins and Sonic Drive-In, among other places — whose calorie counts not only exceed the standard for a single meal but approached the recommended intake for an entire day.

Methodology

Calorie counts were taken from the nutritional information offered on the official websites of all the chains covered, with the exception of Baskin-Robbins, which doesn’t offer such data on its site. Calorie counts for that chain were drawn from the website of Nutrition Charts.

Source: Courtesy of Arby's

1. Jamocha Handcrafted Shake (large)
> Chain: Arby’s
> Calories: 950

There are 310 calories in a snack-size Jamocha Handcrafted Shake, and 750 in a medium.

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Source: Courtesy of Arby's

2. Vanilla Handcrafted Shake (large)
> Chain: Arby’s
> Calories: 820

This is the “low-cal” entry among Arby’s shakes, with a snack serving coming in at 250 calories and a medium at 630.

Source: Courtesy of Baskin-Robbins

3. OREO Cookies n’ Cream Milkshake (large)
> Chain: Baskin-Robbins
> Calories: 1,440

A woman who wanted to meet a daily calorie goal of 2,000 could enjoy this extravagant shake and still eat one medium-size bagel all day, without butter or cream cheese. Period.

Source: Courtesy of Baskin-Robbins

4. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Milkshake (large)
> Chain: Baskin-Robbins
> Calories: 1,520

Even a small serving of this shake exceeds 700 calories, at 760.

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Source: Courtesy of Burger King

5. Vanilla Shake Made With M&M’s Chocolate Candies
> Chain: Burger King
> Calories: 780

Swapping chocolate for vanilla saves you 60 calories, though at this level, who’s counting?

Source: Anthony92931 / Wikimedia Commons

6. Chocolate Oreo Shake
> Chain: Burger King
> Calories: 740

A shake the Burger King menu describes as simply an Oreo Shake (without added chocolate?) is also over the limit, at 720 calories.

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Source: Courtesy of Cheesecake Factory

7. Oreo Milkshake
> Chain: Cheesecake Factory
> Calories: 1,630

This dinner house chain, famous for its extravagant portions, offers just four “creamy milkshake” varieties — chocolate, strawberry, vanilla, and Oreo — in one size only.

Source: Courtesy of The Cheesecake Factory

8. Chocolate Milkshake
> Chain: Cheesecake Factory
> Calories: 1,260

This calorie count for a chocolate shake without cookie or candy add-ins is higher than usual.

Source: LPETTET / iStock Unreleased via Getty Images

9. Vanilla Milkshake
> Chain: Cheesecake Factory
> Calories: 1,210

The Cheesecake Factory’s strawberry milkshake shares the same calorie count as this one.

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Source: Courtesy of Cold Stone Creamery

10. Reese’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Dream (large)
> Chain: Cold Stone Creamery
> Calories: 1,610

Cold Stone lists calorie counts for their milkshakes (which come in two sizes, regular and large) both with and without their “whipped topping” (made with hydrogenated palm, palm kernel, coconut, and/or cottonseed oil, corn syrup, and sugar, among other things). This number is without. With the topping, it would climb up to 1740.

Source: Courtesy of Cold Stone Creamery

11. Cake Batter ‘n Shake (large)
> Chain: Cold Stone Creamery
> Calories: 1,300

With whipped topping added, this shake reaches 1,440 calories.

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Source: Courtesy of Cold Stone Creamery

12. Milk and OREO Cookies (large)
> Chain: Cold Stone Creamery
> Calories: 1,280

Cold Stone lists just six varieties of shake. With two sizes and the whipped topping option, that adds up to 24 in all. Of that number, only one shake — the smaller, untopped Savory Strawberry, is under 700 calories.

Source: Courtesy of Dairy Queen

13. Peanut Butter Shake (large)
> Chain: Dairy Queen
> Calories: 1,250

Dairy Queen’s shakes come in small, medium, and large — no snack or mini sizes.

Source: Courtesy of Dairy Queen

14. Hot Fudge Shake (large)
> Chain: Dairy Queen
> Calories: 990

The chain takes a signature drink, adding whipped topping. A small shake has less than twice the calories, at just 430.

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Source: Courtesy of Dairy Queen

15. Caramel Shake (large)
> Chain: Dairy Queen
> Calories: 980

Some 13 Dairy Queen shakes in all — including the three on this list — exceed 700 calories. The chain’s trademark Blizzards, which are soft-serve ice cream with various cookies, candies, or brownies blended in, also frequently contain more than the limit.

Source: Courtesy of Jack in the Box

16. Oreo Shake with Whipped Topping (large)
> Chain: Jack in the Box
> Calories: 1,170

This chain’s “whipped topping” — made with fully hydrogenated palm kernel oil, sugar, and a bunch of things that end in “-ate” — is responsible for 110 calories of the 1170. (An equivalent quantity of real whipped cream would come in slightly higher, at 124 calories.)

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Source: Courtesy of Jack in the Box

17. Chocolate Shake with Whipped Topping (large)
> Chain: Jack in the Box
> Calories: 1,150

Get a smaller version of this shake — 16 ounces instead of 24 — and it’s a mere 800 calories.

Source: Courtesy of Jack in the Box

18. Strawberry Shake with Whipped Topping
> Chain: Jack in the Box
> Calories: 1,120

Of the four varieties of shake on the Jack in the Box menu, each available in two sizes, the only one whose calorie count doesn’t exceed 700 is the smaller Vanilla Shake with Whipped Topping — and that’s 700 calories exactly.

Source: Courtesy of Shake Shack

19. Loaded Chocolate Cookies & Cream Shake
> Chain: Shake Shack
> Calories: 1,160

You know a chain with this name has got to be serious about shakes. Shake Shack lists 13 varieties (one size) on their nutritional chart, but only six on their menu. This is the biggest calorie bomb in both places.

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Source: nycshooter / Getty Images

20. Salted Caramel Shake
> Chain: Shake Shack
> Calories: 840

It’s not on the menu, but in the chain’s nutritional data, what would otherwise be the second-most-caloric shake isn’t this one, but something called the TKO’ Clock Chocolate Cookies and Cream Shake. If this is a reference to TKO Chocolate Cookies, as it appears to be, Shake Shack might have plans to move onto higher ground: That’s also the name of THC-laced edibles.

Source: jeepersmedia / Flickr

21. Black and White Shake
> Chain: Shake Shack
> Calories: 770

The only other shake on the Shake Shack menu besides this one that exceeds 700 calories is the plain chocolate version, at 750.

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Source: Courtesy of Sonic Drive-In

22. Oreo Peanut Butter Shake (large)
> Chain: Sonic Drive-In
> Calories: 1,720

This is one of a special category Sonic calls Master Shakes — which it describes as classic shakes “made even more indulgent with premium flavors and ingredients.” Like all the chain’s shakes, it’s available in mini, small, medium, and large sizes.

Source: Courtesy of Sonic Drive-In

23. Peanut Butter Shake (large)
> Chain: Sonic Drive-In
> Calories: 1,490

The absence of Oreos demotes this shake to the simple “classic” category, with a loss of 230 calories compared with its more masterful sibling.

Source: Courtesy of Sonic Drive-In

24. Cheesecake Shake (large)
> Chain: Sonic Drive-In
> Calories: 1,230

Of Sonic’s 48 shakes in various sizes, 27 (including the three here) exceed 700 calories, and 15 of those come in at 1000 or more.

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Source: Vera H. via Yelp

25. Oreo Cookies Double Stuf (regular)
> Chain: Steak ‘n Shake
> Calories: 1,010

Another chain whose very name calls out milkshakes, this operation lists some 40 varieties, each available in regular or small/kids sizes.

Source: elizabeth_albert / Flickr

26. Oreo Red Velvet Milkshake (regular)
> Chain: Steak ‘n Shake
> Calories: 960

Many of the offerings here involve mix-in ingredients like Oreos, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, M&Ms, and Heath, Snickers, and Kit Kat bars.

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Source: Courtesy of Steak 'n Shake

27. Reese’s Chocolate PB (regular)
> Chain: Steak ‘n Shake
> Calories: 980

Some 21 Steak ‘n Shake milkshakes (the three here included) exceed the 700 calorie mark.

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