Every Cook Out Milkshake Flavor Ranked

Cook Out is a small, beloved Southeastern fast food chain specializing in good eats for cheap. Founded in Greensboro, North Carolina, in 1989, stores began popping up all over the state as the chain became more and more popular. It was exclusively just a North Carolina namesake until 2009, and today, there are more than 250 stores throughout the Southeast. To say Cook Out has a pretty extensive menu would be an understatement, and that especially rings true for its milkshakes, with over 41 flavors and customizations from which to choose.

If you look closely, you'll see that many offerings are just combinations of the various flavors, but that doesn't discount how delicious they are. This guide will list out the flavors you need to try next time you get a late-night Cook Out hankering, and the ones that you can skip. Let's start with the lowest contenders and work our way up to the milkshake must-orders.

41. Vanilla

If you're ordering vanilla milkshakes when 40 other fantastic flavors exist that is pretty, well, vanilla. While this flavor gets its props for serving as the foundation for the other shakes at Cook Out, it's definitely a choice to select this basic flavor over the other possibilities. If it's straight-up vanilla ice cream you seek, you may be better off with a Wendy's frosty. With that being said, why not opt for a Cheerwine or Coke float with vanilla soft serve? Just as with milkshakes, you can select these as your drink option when your order one of Cook Out's legendary trays of greasy, fast-food goodness.

40. Classic Chocolate

Going back to basics? There's always Classic Chocolate, a simple shake concoction of chocolate sauce and ice cream. The fudge sauce helps provide a decently sweet and full-bodied chocolate flavor, which also translates to a smooth texture when combined with vanilla soft serve. Even though chocolate is an ice cream staple, you cannot help but notice that something feels like it's missing from this shake. Since it's pretty plain, a heavy dose of extra chocolate would do it some good. But as it stands now, it's not really the first choice when you pull up to the drive-through –- not when there are so many other fantastic options. 

39. Caramel

Ooey, gooey, buttery caramel -– what could be better? Cook Out's Caramel Shake melds together this malleable, decadent candy with creamy vanilla ice cream. Sounds dreamy, right? Unfortunately, it's not really the case here. If left alone too long in the cold ice cream, the caramel swirl can harden into a stiff, sticky nightmare. You have to get the timing just right to truly enjoy it before the caramel transforms into something reminiscent of a Werther's Original hard candy. And if your shake melts too fast, the caramel turns into a goop-like substance in melted ice cream. Either way, it's hard to win with this flavor.

38. Chocolate Cherry

Unlike its Chocolate Chip Cherry counterpart, the Chocolate Cherry shake leaves a bit to be desired with the absence of those lovable chocolate chips. It's not exactly a standout flavor to begin with, as the chocolate and cherry flavors aren't very strong. There do seem to be real cherries, which adds a nice textural element and freshness while the chocolate has a classic Hershey's sweetness to it. Even still, it leaves much to be desired. A quick way to upgrade this milkshake is by adding in one of the other flavor options; weave in some cheesecake for a chocolate cherry cheesecake creation, or crushed-up Oreos for an extra kick of chocolate.

37. Double Chocolate

You may be asking yourself, what sets the Double Chocolate shake apart from the rest? The truthful answer is, not much. Fudge sauce gives it a smooth chocolate taste while chocolate chips are thrown in to help magnify the chocolate flavor and give the shake adequate texture. These don't truly seem to be chocolate chips though, as the "chips" Cook Out uses are more like flakes. While they do have a nice melt-in-your-mouth aspect to them, it's just not as much "bite" as you would get with traditional miniature chocolate chips. Simply stated, it does not compete as-is with the countless other chocolate options and combination-creation possibilities. 

36. Banana Nut

Forget banana nut bread, Cook Out has a Banana Nut milkshake. If only there were pieces of the aforementioned treat in there, that would be interesting. But alas, this shake isn't the best banana in the bunch. Since it really comes down to mashed banana, walnut pieces, and vanilla ice cream, the flavor is pretty mellow and even-keeled. If you were going simply for a milkshake, you may want to skip this one as it's just a bit lackluster compared to its other banana peers.

35. Peach

When it comes to the peach milkshake, some may say that it's simplicity at its finest; others may say that the flavor is not enough to make it a standout Cook Out shake, especially compared to its Peach Cobbler counterpart that's chock full of Nilla wafers. The absence of Nilla wafers also creates a texture dilemma, as all you're left with in the Peach shake are uneven, squishy chunks of fruit mingled in with vanilla soft serve. Even with all that peach, this is by no means "peach-flavored ice cream" either, as the flavor is pretty rather underwhelming.

34. Chocolate Chip Mint

If Oreo Mint isn't your thing, rest assured that Cook Out also offers a Chocolate Chip Mint shake. It's just how it sounds: mint ice cream with chocolate chips that resemble flakes. Unless you are a hardcore fan of this classic ice cream flavor, you may just want to stick to the Oreo version. With the cookies, you can expect far more crunch and chocolatey goodness than with the chocolate chips. In a pinch, it's still a thirst-quenching option with a fair amount of sweetness with every sip. One way this shake could be improved is by adding fudge sauce to add a deeper chocolate taste, as the chocolate chips only go so far in this one.

33. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

This shake is sinful, and not in a good way. One would think that this flavor would have so much potential, however, it falls short. The milkshake consists of vanilla ice cream, chocolate flakes, and bits of cookie dough. As for the cookie dough, it's not crumbled, half-baked chocolate chip cookies or a ribbon of dough as many would hope. Instead, the texture and flavor of the mix-ins are really similar to Taste of Nature's Cookie Dough bites, which is the candy you often find at movie theaters and grocery stores. While it makes sense that it's an effective way to crank out shakes on a busy evening, there are so many ways this shake could improve.

32. Walnut

Walnuts contribute a bold, creamy, earthy, and of course, nutty flavor to any dish they're added to. Cook Out's Walnut shake captures the bold flavor notes of walnuts but only to a certain extent. The shake's composition is simple: Walnuts are crumbled with vanilla ice cream to create a nutty, sweet, and slightly savory dessert. Cook Out doesn't lightly sprinkle in walnuts either, it loads it up. Despite the seemingly overflowing amount of walnut goodness in this shake, the flavor isn't boldly shining through as it tastes pretty balanced with the ice cream. Compared to the rest of the shakes, Walnut is just okay. Should it be your first choice when you get to the drive-through? Probably not.

31. Red Cherry

When you think of red cherries, what's the first thing that comes to mind? Maraschino cherries, right? One could assume that's the star of this particular flavor, but interestingly it's not. Instead, you'll receive real dark cherry bits swirled into your ice cream that leaves behind a lovely shade of pink-purple goodness. Unlike sugar-charged Maraschinos, these cherries are just a touch of sweetness infused with velvety vanilla. The cherry bits also fuse a light cherry, fruity flavor into the ice cream along with a bit of chewiness from the cherry pieces. It's pretty decent as is, but if you're looking for a flavor that spikes your blood sugar levels, opt for Cherry Chocolate Chip instead.

30. Chocolate Chip Cherry

Any Ben and Jerry's Cherry Garcia fans in the house? Admittedly, while the Cook Out Chocolate Chip Cherry shake isn't quite as rich in flavor as that from the famous ice cream giant, it's still a strong choice. Cherries present a fruity, tangy flavor that complements the richness of the fudge sauce and chocolate chips in the shake. In terms of mouthfeel, you'll get tiny, leathery pieces of dried cherry with the crunchiness of chocolate chip flakes. This shake flavor is pretty decent, but there is always room for improvement to make it more of a standout. Doubling up on cherries will help maximize the sweet fruit flavor and an extra helping of chocolate sauce makes it much like a ganache.

29. Snickers

Snickers bars, this candy is defined by its thick caramel, peanuts, chewy nougat, and fudge. To create its namesake shake at Cook Out, the candy is pulverized into small pieces and lends its signature flavors to the overall drink. With each swig (rather, spoonful as you're not going to have any luck drinking this through a straw), you can taste the sweetness of chocolate fudge and caramel along with salty undertones from the peanuts. The candy is the workhorse of the shake, lending all the flavor as the vanilla simply serves as a vessel for the tiny pieces incorporated throughout. To really transform this shake, more fudge sauce, caramel, and peanut butter should be added to truly make it into a "liquid" version of a Snickers bar.

28. Chocolate Nut

Ever have a fudge brownie with walnuts? What about in ice cream form? That's right, it's an option at Cook Out in the form of the Chocolate Nut shake. This flavor is a hybrid of two other shakes — Chocolate and Walnut. A hefty helping of walnuts with fudge sauce creates a cold, sweet chocolate shake with nutty, toasty undertones. While it's no warm chocolate fudge brownie with walnuts, the chocolate is nicely evened out with the presence of a heartier walnut flavor. If Cook Out can introduce a brownie crumble to accompany this flavor, it would be game over and this flavor would immediately shoot to the top of the list.

27. Chocolate Malt

Chocolate Whopper candies are a bite-sized version of what Cook Out's Chocolate Malt shake tastes like. Since its introduction into soda shops in 1922, malted milkshakes have been on the scene. Malt powder provides a slightly gritty and salty undertone to ice cream. While that might sound a bit off-putting, it's actually really tasty, especially combined with chocolate. Since Cook Out's fudge sauce is pretty sweet, adding a salty component in the form of malt powder helps dial it down while adding a subliminal, unique texture that you don't usually get in shakes.

26. Fresh Banana

You won't find artificial banana flavoring here, just a banana artfully jumbled up in some vanilla ice cream. As one Reddit user states, "Their bananas always taste like they are super green." If that's not a problem and you're #teambanana, great! But unlike the other banana flavors offered, there's no complementary peanut butter or chocolate to be found here. Since the fruit is pretty mushed in amongst the ice cream, this shake has a chunky texture instead of a silky smooth one. If you insist on keeping it as lump-free as possible, one Reddit user offers some advice, "Ask for a little extra blend if you are doing banana or cherry as the chunks tend to get really stuck in your straw."

25. Mocha

With Cappuccino making an appearance later on the milkshake menu, one may ask why Mocha is present as well. After all, Cook Out is a fast-food chain, not a coffee bar. As coffee lovers know all too well, both these coffee beverages in their true form present completely different taste experiences. Cappuccino takes more of a bold flavor approach with less sweetness than a chocolate-based mocha. The same can be said for the milkshake versions. While a Mocha shake will have a coffee-centered flavor, you'll also be able to distinctly pick up on the chocolate as well. If you're really after the coffee flavor, opt for Cappuccino and combine it with Mocha.

24. Banana Pineapple

The Banana Pineapple milkshake at Cook Out is a fruit mashup of fresh banana with pineapple pieces. The fruit presents two different kinds of sweet notes, with banana providing more of a fresh, creamy flavor and pineapple sharply pushing through. It would be delicious as a fruit cup served by itself, but adorned with vanilla soft serve makes it so much better. Since this isn't necessarily going to be a shake with the smoothest of textures (remember, Cook Out workers have to make these guys quickly), you can always request a bit more blend time to even things out.

23. Fresh Watermelon

Sweet summertime is only made that much sweeter with the reintroduction of the Fresh Watermelon milkshake. Cook Out takes slices of ripe, juicy watermelon for a fruit-forward, cold treat. The watermelon pieces and juice provide a refreshing flavor while vanilla adds a creamy base. It's definitely an acquired taste, as one Reddit user proclaims, "The watermelon shake is one of the few things in my life I have ever spit out of my mouth. It's vanilla ice cream with chunks of watermelon and those two things should never go together." Regardless of where you stand, kudos to Cook Out for sticking with real, fresh fruit over fake syrup.

22. Heath Toffee

Take heed, toffee lovers, as there is an option for you too on this expansive milkshake list in the form of the Heath toffee shake. The hallmark feature of toffee is its buttery, caramel flavor candy-coated in chocolate, providing a hearty crunch that's surely going to get stuck in your teeth. By crumbling it into ice cream you can expect to get satisfying flavor pops of toffee and chocolate, not to mention tiny candy bits to crunch down on with every sip. If you're in the mood for a crunch overload, ask to double up on Heath pieces. Apologies in advance to your dentist!

21. Banana Berry

The Banana Berry milkshake formula includes fresh bananas meshed with three berry flavors — blueberry, strawberry, and cherry –- for a fruity and creamy shake. With the extra jolt of fruit flavor, you can't really detect any vanilla from this shake. Banana and berry pieces give you something to chew on, but this is by no means a smooth-textured shake. One could argue that it does indeed have a healthy aspect to it thanks to all the fruits used, however minuscule the fragments may be. Bottom line: This milkshake is just okay.

20. M&M's

If you want to talk about a challenging milkshake when it comes to sucking it through a straw, look no further than the M&M's milkshake. There is no denying that a generous amount of M&M's are thrown into every shake, and you can anticipate a treasure hunt to find whole ones lurking in your cup. The M&M's bits give the shake a nice chocolate undertone amid the vanilla soft serve, with a fun crunch from the candy-coating. As a bonus, the shake has a light rainbow hue from the colorful candy being mixed in. Keep a spoon or wide straw handy if you're trying to cut to the chase and enjoy your shake.

19. Banana Fudge

The Banana Fudge milkshake includes fresh banana that is mashed with vanilla soft serve and fudge sauce, creating a thick shake overflowing with fruit and chocolate flavor. The banana flavor is very strong, and the complimentary chocolate helps to bring it down a notch. Left as is, the banana and chocolate would be almost too sweet, so the presence of the ice cream mellows it out. It's a harmonious flavor trio that's both satisfying and refreshing. If you consider yourself a texture person, this shake does have small lumps of banana hiding amid the ice cream, so you may have to ask for it to be extra blended to even it out.

18. Blueberry

An underdog on the milkshake menu, Blueberry may not initially jump out at you amid the overwhelming amount of flavor options available. Needless to say, you may want to consider adding it to your milkshake to-do list. This shake's tiny blueberry pieces and jam-like ribbons give a full-bodied berry essence accompanied by dense vanilla soft serve. The fruit fragments give it the slightest bit of chewiness and turn the ice cream into a soft shade of lilac. The flavor ends up being pretty similar to blueberries and cream, or even blueberry pie and ice cream, just in milkshake form.

17. Caramel Fudge

If you consider yourself someone who's a sucker for a good chocolate-covered caramel, then you need to try the Chocolate Caramel shake. Vanilla ice cream is transformed into a chocolate-caramel soft serve, with ribbons of excess sauce clinging to the sides and bottom of the cup waiting to be scooped out. While the chocolate does a better job of evenly distributing through the ice cream, you can clearly taste both with every sip. Since both sauces have a high viscosity, they create a coating that leaves a pleasant but fleeting taste in your mouth that keeps you going back for more.

16. Peanut Butter

Two simple ingredients make up this shake: peanut butter and vanilla ice cream. If you thought your milkshake was thick before, think again; the consistency of this flavor is that of molasses in the best of ways. Best of luck drinking it with a straw, as it'll probably be easier to use a spoon for this milkshake. The ice cream's abundant peanut butter infusion helps to create that flavor from the get-go, so you don't taste any vanilla, just peanut butter. With the amount of peanut butter used in this shake, it's almost always guaranteed that you'll have thick, salty ribbons all the way down to the bottom of the cup –- a different kind of gold at the end of the milkshake rainbow. The Peanut Butter shake makes plenty of guest appearances on the menu but is a star in its own right.

15. Cappuccino

Coffee lovers may want to take a long look at the Cappuccino milkshake. There's no denying that this is coffee-flavored ice cream, but one Reddit user went so far as to say that the secret ingredient is actually black coffee, saying in one thread, "I worked there, the cappuccino is just black brewed drip coffee mixed in the plain ice cream! It's tasty!" Turns out, this is true! After speaking with a representative at Cook Out, we found out that the standard recipe is simply coffee blended with ice cream. There's no better way to capture the coffee taste than by just adding the real deal, and Cook Out has that part down.

14. Strawberry

Unlike other fruit flavors like banana and cherry, Strawberry appears to be the opposite of the seemingly status quo at Cook Out as it seems to use a fruit compote over fresh strawberries. This is also surprising given that Cook Out's home state of North Carolina is one of the leading exporters of strawberries in the United States. Nonetheless, this does not mean this flavor is bad or artificial-tasting by any means. You can still pick up on itty-bitty strawberry pieces coming through the straw, and the strawberry flavor is spot-on. The soft serve makes this a creamy strawberry treat that's not over-the-top sweet.

13. Orange Push-Pop

Orange push pops are reminiscent of childhood and hot summer days, with their orange juice from concentrate flavor and unnaturally bright orange color. Cook Out isn't serving these paper-tube popsicles, though; rather, they're recreating a nostalgic experience by adding this orange flavor to vanilla soft serve. The end result that's handed to you at the drive-through window is essentially a Creamsicle shake, with a light touch of orange flavor propelled by luscious vanilla ice cream. One Reddit user exclaims, "Seriously? They make a milkshake of this flavor? It's already my favorite and I haven't tried it. When I was a kid those things were unbeatable." Congratulations friend, you've got your next Cook Out order ready to go.

12. Peanut Butter Banana

If you're a big fan of getting peanut butter banana smoothies or eating the duo as a filling snack, the Peanut Butter and Banana shake is here to answer your prayers. This shake is saturated with salty, thick peanut butter, which balances out the fresh and sweet notes banana brings to the table...er, shake. The addition of vanilla ice cream gives it a creamier, dessert-like taste that sets it apart from its smoothie counterpart.  The chunky banana bits, vanilla soft serve, and gooey peanut butter give this shake a thick, almost goopy consistency. If you're really hungry, this is the one to get.

11. Pineapple

Similar to the famous Dole Whip from Disney World, the Pineapple milkshake at Cook Out is a unique flavor offering that is shockingly good. The pineapple tidbits ooze sweet, tangy, almost-sour juice that seamlessly soaks into the creamy vanilla ice cream. These aren't ginormous chunks of pineapple either, just teensy little tidbits that let you chew on the stringy-sweet fruit between sips. Even still, the fruit is often prone to blocking the straw, so you're probably better off with a spoon for this one. It's ideal for hot days, or when you're really craving something like Dole Whip or freshly cut pineapple. 

10. Butterfinger

Another peanut butter and chocolate superstar shake, the Butterfinger follows the same blueprint as the other candy flavors in Cook Out's lineup. Butterfinger bars are chopped into small pieces and added to, you guessed it, the standard soft serve vanilla shake. The biggest difference between the other peanut butter candy shakes and a Butterfinger milkshake comes down to the candy itself. When infused into a milkshake, the Butterfinger passes some of its peanut butter and chocolate flavors off to the ice cream but still gives you plentiful amounts of satisfactory crunches as you work your way through the shake. If you're big on texture, start with the Butterfinger shake.

9. Peanut Butter Fudge

There may not be a more magical combination than the union of delectable chocolate and piquant peanut butter. These are the key elements of popular candies like Reese's and Butterfingers, which you can enjoy in a more deconstructed form by way of the Peanut Butter Fudge shake. It uses copious amounts of both ingredients, creating a smooth chocolate soft serve with ridiculously thick peanut butter swirls. The chocolate's sweetness is only elevated with the saltiness of peanut butter. Expect a surplus of these mix-ins emulsified into the ice cream, with a bit leftover at the bottom to scoop out when you're done. Consider it a lil' extra treat.

8. Pumpkin Pie

Fall season? Move over pumpkin spice lattes, it's time for a Pumpkin Pie milkshake. Cook Out ushers in the seasonal, fan-favorite pumpkin pie shake around October each year. Following the standard practice of its other cake- and pie-centered milkshakes, expect a pumpkin pie slice blended into the shake so that there are smooth ripples of pumpkin pie filling and bites of slightly-savory crust. Each sip (or spoonful, your choice) gifts you the inviting autumnal spices of creamy pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and love. Okay, it maybe debatable on that last one, but we promise, it's a flavor you'll fall for year after year.

7. Eggnog

Cook Out's Eggnog shake is its holiday gift to customers. Eggnog has a pretty thick consistency thanks to the copious amounts of cream and egg yolks, but it's even denser in milkshake form. While you'll have to supply your own booze to make it the grown-up version of eggnog many know and love (please do so at home!), it's a seasonal sweet treat you can look forward to having as a milkshake. Eggnog effortlessly blends in with vanilla soft serve, so as soon as you take your first sip of this shake, you can immediately taste the cinnamon and nutmeg shining through. This shake maintains a super creamy texture, so instead of milk with your cookies, maybe opt for an Eggnog shake with them instead.

6. Peach Cobbler

Peach cobbler isn't just a dessert shared at summertime backyard barbecues and potlucks. This dessert has a deep history dating back to the first American colonies. In milkshake form, the Cook Out shake covers all the bases of the traditional recipe with generous amounts of peach slices, Nilla wafers, plus vanilla ice cream. Juicy pieces of peach and bready, vanilla wafers mimic the peach filling and sweet-savory biscuit topping of the traditional dessert to a "T." The vanilla ice cream brings it all together, giving the shake creamy richness and depth, mimicking how the frozen treat is served on the side with peach cobbler. Spoon alert: The peach bits may be a bit tricky to drink through a straw, so be ready to pop the lid open.

5. Oreo Mint

Just when you thought the Oreo milkshake couldn't get any better, mint brings it to a whole other level. This classic combination of cookies and creme with mint ice cream yields a refreshing, bright green shake that consistently hits the spot. The mint flavor is strong, but not overwhelming, and Oreos add sweet undertones of cookies n' creme flavor. Even though there is a chocolate chip mint, there's something about the extra crunchiness and Oreo bits that propels this shake to the top of the list. You can even double up on Oreos! Since the Oreo cookie chunks can be pretty tricky to drink through a straw, keep your spoon handy as you're going to need it.

4. Cheesecake

By far one of the most underrated milkshake flavors, Cheesecake is another standout that should not be overlooked any longer. In its own cheesecake category, you can choose between cherry, blueberry, caramel, chocolate chip, or strawberry. The fruit flavors will have plenty of tiny pieces woven in with the shake, while Caramel blends more smoothly into the ice cream. Chocolate Chip also has small chocolate flakes for extra texture. The cheesecake itself isn't flavored with syrup either; rather, it's an actual slice of Philadelphia cheesecake blended into the shake. The savory flavor is on point — dare we say it's perfection — given its cheesecake foundation, and you get tiny, creamy pieces for a bit of extra bite. If you always order a slice of cheesecake at dinner covered in strawberry compote or caramel sauce, wait till you try this shake – it's going to change your life.

3. Reese's Cup

For mega-fans of all things peanut butter and chocolate, Cook Out's Reese's shake is the milkshake to end all other shakes. Reese's peanut butter cups are crushed into smaller pieces that are still big enough for you to bite into. This adds a nice texture sip after sip, but they're still small enough for you to feel flustered as you attempt to suck them through the straw. As the candy is blended into the soft serve, the bits that break off help to distribute the saltiness of the peanut butter and sweet milk chocolate throughout the shake. It's hard to beat this milkshake as it is, but you can add fudge sauce and peanut butter for a full-send chocolate-peanut butter experience.

2. Oreo

Come on, what could be better than an Oreo cookies n' cream milkshake? Cook Out doesn't skimp on mix-ins and is pretty heavy-handed when adding these cookies to a shake. It's an ideal amount of Oreo pieces as is, but if you're really in the mood for extra cookie action just ask to double up on them, because why not? Since Oreos crumble fairly easily, the texture of them in this shake is a mix between cookie dust particles and bigger bites of Oreos throughout. If you're lucky, they might throw in some larger pieces to scoop out when you're finished drinking the shake.

1. Banana Pudding

True to the chain's Southern roots, Banana Pudding is the top-tier flavor you'll find on Cook Out's milkshake menu. Just like the strong barbecue opinions you'll find across the chain's home state of North Carolina, people are just as preferential when it comes to this dessert. Some people love banana chunks in their banana pudding, and others don't; the common denominator, though, is generous amounts of Nilla wafers. The shake's wafers contribute the perfect vanilla cookie crisp balanced with natural banana flavor from smashed bananas; it's truly as if you were taking a bite of banana pudding. There's already a hearty amount of Nilla wafers in this shake, but you can always ask for more. You won't find a milkshake quite like this anywhere else, so grab one next time you're at Cook Out.