How to Make a Wendy's Frosty at Home
There’s nothing quite like that first spoonful of a Wendy’s Frosty. The cold, sweet drink is as old as the red-headed girl on the logo; the Frosty premiered as one of founder Dave Thomas' original creations on the day the first Wendy’s opened in 1969, says Denny Lynch, senior VP of communications at Wendy’s. "[Thomas] wanted a really thick shake at first, but was concerned that restaurants couldn’t produce it consistently," he says. So Thomas went to a dairy supplier and told them to take half vanilla and half chocolate dairy products and mix them together — and to make it thick.
The result was a creamy treat so thick that you can’t even sip it through a straw. Of course, the official Wendy’s Frosty recipe is on lockdown. But Lynch shared with us that the original recipe has remained almost exactly the same in the 40-plus years Wendy’s has been whipping them up. "The only difference is that ice cream has a large amount of butter fat, so we’ve lowered the [percentage] of butter fat in our Frostys to meet customer demand,” Lynch says.
Of course, a Frosty isn’t as simple as a batch of ice cream: According to the Wendy’s website and its nutritional guides, a true Frosty contains not just milk, sugar, and cream, but also corn syrup and artificial flavorings. But the secret to the thickness of the Wendy’s Frosty just might be the guar gum, a natural food thickener similar to cornstarch or tapioca flour. Guar gum also prevents unwanted ice crystals from forming in ice creams by binding with water molecules, creating a creamy texture minus the watery mess.
Still, it’s not hard to try to replicate a Wendy’s Frosty at home: Brandie Skibinski of the blog The Country Cook has an at-home recipe for a Wendy’s Frosty — Wendy’s fries not included. (The custom of dipping fries in Wendy’s Frostys was never actually promoted by Wendy’s, Lynch says, but was a consumer trick that caught on.) So what's Lynch’s advice for getting the Wendy’s Frosty taste at home? Stockpile them in your freezer. "We have a lot of people doing that," he says. "We had one college — presumably a dorm — submit a photo to us of an entire freezer just filled with Frostys. It’s a pretty common practice." But in case you don't have the space (or the cash) to stock up on a freezer full of Frostys, we're here to show you how to make your very own Frosty at home.