The Best -- And Easiest -- Vegan Chocolate Milkshake

August  7, 2014

Every other Thursday, Gena Hamshaw of the blog Choosing Raw shares satisfying, flavorful recipes that also happen to be vegan.

Today: A smooth, chocolatey milkshake, with frozen bananas and almond milk standing in for dairy. Stop what you're doing, and make one now.

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This milkshake recipe is so intuitive and familiar to me that I tend to take for granted how absolutely delicious it is. I've made banana and almond butter shakes, often with the vital addition of cocoa powder, dozens of times.

So when I whipped up this chocolate "milkshake" (there's no regular milk involved, but see if it doesn't taste like one of the richest, creamiest shakes you’ve ever had) last week, I wasn't expecting to have the reaction I did; I was amazed at how a mixture of such simple things (bananas, almond milk, cocoa, dates) could taste so good. I took my first sip, sat down at my dining room table, and stopped everything so that I could savor the entire glass. I suppose it's never too late to rekindle your love affair with an old standby.

More: Make your almond butter from scratch -- here's how.

This shake will benefit tremendously from bananas that have had time to get nice and ripe before you peel, chop, and freeze them; the riper they are before freezing, the creamier and sweeter your shake will be. If you don't have almond butter, cashew and coconut butter are great substitutes, and soy or hemp will also do nicely for the milk base (just don't use rice milk here -- it's not quite creamy enough). Peanut butter works well in the recipe, too, though its flavor is so strong that the taste profile will shift immediately from "chocolate milkshake" to "chocolate peanut butter milkshake" -- which may not be such a bad thing, after all.

Vegan Chocolate Milkshake

Makes 4 small or 2 large servings

2 ripe medium or large bananas, peeled, chopped into pieces, and frozen
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 pitted medjool dates
1/4 cup almond butter
1 1/2 cups almond milk (soy or hemp will work well, too)

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photo by James Ransom

Choosing RawGena's new book Choosing Raw: Making Raw Foods Part of the Way You Eat is a thorough, relatable guide to incorporating raw and vegan foods into any diet. It's full of no-fuss recipes for every meal, which range from fully raw to mostly cooked, with plenty of snacks and desserts to keep everyone happy.



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The Food52 Vegan Cookbook is here! With this book from Gena Hamshaw, anyone can learn how to eat more plants (and along the way, how to cook with and love cashew cheese, tofu, and nutritional yeast).

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

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Gena is a registered dietitian, recipe developer, and food blogger. She's the author of three cookbooks, including Power Plates (2017) and Food52 Vegan (2015). She enjoys cooking vegetables, making bread, and challenging herself with vegan baking projects.


Denise January 16, 2016
Just made a 1/2 order. No dates, so I used your "touch of maple syrup" suggestion. No almond butter, so I used peanut. Nut milk was homemade cashew-macadamia. Hubba hubba. So good! And I'm drinking it with a straw. ;)
Amy August 13, 2015
I made this yesterday and the taste was great but I had trouble with the dates staying in little chunks and not blending properly...any tips or tricks to get them blended into the same smooth consistency as the rest of the milkshake?
Lyana S. August 9, 2015
For people who are not a fan of banana, can try substitute with egg free tofu & add vanilla essence to add some oomph to the taste.
Caitlin N. August 11, 2014
Delicious! Please try swapping the almond butter for a teaspoon of tahini! It's a nice option and high in calcium!
Cococi August 7, 2014
I'll have to try this one. I am lactose intolerant but I adore milkshakes so this seems like a great idea. I made a diary free milkshake with cashew milk on my blog a few months that is a great option too.
Gena H. August 8, 2014
Hope you enjoy!
Joy B. August 7, 2014
I make this all the time. Sometimes with a tiny splash of vanilla extract, if I'm feeling fancy. It's SO GOOD.
Gena H. August 8, 2014
Oooh, vanilla. Good call :)
Angie August 7, 2014
I wonder if the taste of it would be vastly different or worse if I used coconut butter instead.
Gena H. August 8, 2014
Nope. I think it'd be great.
Beth August 7, 2014
I wish there was a good substitute for dates because I don't like them. :-(
HFog August 7, 2014
IMO it's way too sweet with the dates. You don't need them. the bananas provide enough sweetness
Kristen M. August 7, 2014
I loved the dates -- I didn't identify them at first taste, but once I realized they were in there, I credited them (plus the almond butter) with making this more nuanced than my average black & white shake.
Gena H. August 8, 2014
Beth, you can also use a touch of maple syrup. To taste. The dates definitely enrich this -- they give it a caramel-like flavor that's perfect for a milkshake -- but it's sweet on its own.
Sarah J. August 7, 2014
Ever since I tried this milkshake, I've been coveting a blender -- and that's a true story.
Gena H. August 8, 2014
Annaliese August 7, 2014
Wow! I have been noticing a lot of this type of shake/smoothie in the past few days on many food blogs. These are wonderful, and are also a great post-workout treat! What a great version :)