Cocoa-Nut Cherry Protein Dessert Shake

Cocoa-Nut Cherry Protein Dessert Shake

Who says dessert has to be a cookie or a slice of cake? This dessert shake is incredibly delicious and actually full of amazing, wholesome ingredients. It is not low calorie, but then again, it's more of a dessert, than an actual smoothie. However, each ingredient is good for you, so I would definitely call this a healthy dessert! When I posted a teaser photo on Instagram, there were many eager for the recipe, so here it is! By the way, I often share sneak peaks of recipes before I post them on my blog here, so be sure to follow all the excitement @thevegan8.

SO, this shake.....cherries and chocolate, one of the best combos out there. Each one intensifies the other. Then, when you add a little coconut milk and coconut butter, it's pure bliss.

I also added some shredded coconut and chopped chocolate on top for both looks and extra oomph. Totally optional, but recommended!

I used these gorgeous rainier cherries, froze them overnight and did a blend of these with some dark cherries. Feel free to use whatever cherries you like.

My plant-based protein powder of choice is Sprout Living's Epic Protein "Chocolate Maca". They are not paying me for this post, I am just simply sharing my love, once again, for their amazing protein powders and products. They are the cleanest product on the market that I've found and has the best taste to me.

Speaking of smoothies, I have contributed a few of my smoothie recipes at the request of my friend Monica Parodi, who is an amazing nutritionist & fitness expert and also writes a monthly column in Vegan Health & Fitness Magazine. She just released an Ebook on amazing smoothies for just $10 with 44 recipes and tips! She has graciously included a few of my smoothies in her book. The book includes an array of different types of smoothies that contain protein and superfood boosters! It's a fantastic way to kick start your health and start your day with antioxidants and power-packed nutrients. I never start my day without a smoothie and I've never felt better. You can order yours HERE!

This is what Monica has to say about her book:

"Why blend, and how will this book impact your life? Well, I believe this little book is going to change your life! You’ve made the mental shift, and are ready for change and to start living the life that you deserve. True health, happiness, and WELLNESS are something we should all seek to experience. When you act with kindness and covet your well-being, all your dreams can come true. True health really is a gift, and it’s that gift I want to share with you.

I know it’s a bold statement for me to say that a few recipes are going to change your life, but never underestimate the profound effect small changes can make. Starting or improving a smoothie habit will quickly improve your health by pumping up the number of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and super foods you consume.

A daily smoothie (especially a green one) is a ritual I can’t go a day without. I miss the energy and the refreshment. I just feel off. Green smoothies ignite my mojo. Even if I am out of town, I travel with my blender, or I find places where I can get a green smoothie. Smoothies have improved my life and countless others that I have helped. It’s a powerful and easy place to start for better health. Now it’s your turn."

Yields 2 smoothies or 3 cups

Cocoa-Nut Cherry Protein Dessert Shake

An incredibly delicious and healthy way to satisfy your craving of both chocolate and cherries at the same time. With a hint of coconut added to it, it is a magical smoothie!

10 minPrep Time

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  • 2 cups frozen dark cherries (frozen is important, so there is no need for ice which would dilute flavor)
  • 1 cup lowfat coconut milk (I used canned, but you can use fresh)
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup (or agave)
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut butter or almond butter (I used coconut butter for a coconut taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoons raw cacao powder
  • 1 scoop Sprout Living Chocolate Maca Protein Powder (Or just use an extra tablespoon of cacao powder)


  1. 1. Add all of the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Garnish with coconut cream, shredded coconut and shaved dark chocolate, if desired, for presentation. I added a cherry on top as well! Gorgeous and delicious!


*Raw, vegan, dairy-free, oil-free, gluten-free, soy-free

*Nutrition per smoothie based on 2 smoothies: 335 calories, 15 g fat, 43 carbs, 9.25 g protein, 32.5 g sugar


You know what to do….come back and leave me feedback here after you make it and if you are on Instagram, tag me with your photo because I love, love seeing your creations each week! Tag @thevegan8 and also use hashtag #thevegan8, to make sure I don’t miss the notifications! You can also tag me on Twitter too!


  1. WOW Brandi--your photos are looking so gorgeous!!! Did you change up your camera or lens or something? The light in these is just incredible! And this sounds totally delicious. The only problem I'd have is not eating all the cherries before they made it into my smoothie ;)
      Aww thanks so much Erika! That means so much to me to hear that from you because your photos are awesome! Basically, I have really been spending lots of time on my photography. No, I didn't change my lens, basically I have been practicing a few different things: learned a few different settings on my camera, and I have really worked with different angles to catch the best light as it's coming through my windows into my living room, or on some days I go outside. Lastly, I have learned alot about editing on my Lightroom software, but I have found I don't need too much editing, if I catch the right light and angle on my photos when snapping them. I just have been practicing a lot and am finally getting comfortable a lot with what works. You are SO sweet to notice, that means alot to me :) :)
  2. Love cherry + chocolate. Match made in heaven!
      Yes, I agree!
  3. I agree with Erika! You photos looks great! This dessert shake would be perfect to wake me up in this rainy and cold day here in Sydney! I have never tried protein powder. They have always scared me...I don't know why?! Can I please ask you why do you use them? A vegan diet is too poor in proteins so you need them to febalance this lack? xox
      Ema-haha! No, that isn't the reason at ALL! In fact, that's such a common myth that vegans don't enough protein....meat is definitely not the ony source for protein. I actually get tons of protein from quinoa which is one of the best complete proteins out there, also lentils, beans, nuts, avocados and even veggies have protein. I don't blame you for being scared of protein powders, that is because most are HORRIBLE and filled with nothing but additives or processed ingredients or artificial sweeteners. That is why the only reason I use Sprout Living, it is the only one I have ever found that ONLY uses superfoods in their products. They use no sugars, sweeteners, chemicals, gums and are all completely raw. Literally, the only ingredients in this Chocolate Maca powder is raw sprouted brown rice (excellent protein), cacao (which is extremely high in antioxidants, Maca, Mesquite and Baobab....which are all plant superfoods...that's it. The only reason I add them to my smoothie, which is only 1 scoop in my morning smoothie, is just for an extra filling smoothie and extra boost of nutrition and flavor! Hope all that helps!
  4. I agree with Erika and Ema - your photos are gaaaaaaw-geous! I could stare at them for hours and then be incredibly thirsty for one of these smoothies ;) I love the chocolate cherry combo. I would feel no guilt downing one (or three) of these!
      You are so sweet, thank you so much Nancy!! xoxo
  5. I love frozen cherries in my shakes. Sometimes, you just need a break from banana ya know? Also, I love this protein powder and I don't any problem using a raw, clean product in my smoothies. Just don't make the mistake I did Saturday morning while in a rush....went to use the last of my chocolate powder and thinking it was the last of the jar, I dumped it straight from the container to the blender. Blend, blend blend. Opened up the top to pour into my cooler before we rushed out the door to Gettysburg and there was a piece of paper floating on top of the smoothie. Turns out, the little silicone gel cap was still in the protein powder jar and got crushed up in the mix.....yuck! My chocolate dreamy breakfast ruined in a flash! Live and learn Girl. This one looks much better than mine did, especially without the paper ;)
      I never use bananas in my smoothies Angela, I can't stand the taste and they make me gag, haha!! I can only handle banana in small doses and it has to be baked into a bread or cake and it can't be too overpowering, just a hint. Oh no!! That is always a fear of mine! In fact, this morning I thought I did that very thing and was looking through my blender microscopicaly just to be safe, especially since I always split the smoothie with Olivia!
  6. Hi, Just wondering why you prefer maple syrup over honey? Thanks, Gail
      Hi Gail! I prefer maple syrup for 2 reasons: 1. I LOVE the taste and have actually never cared for the strong taste of always irritated my stomach. 2. It's not vegan so I don't list any ingredients in my recipes that aren't 100% vegan, but you are certainly welcome to use honey or any liquid sweetener you prefer if you like. :) Just keep in mind that honey is a lot sweeter and stickier, so you won't probably need as much as listed in the recipe. Just taste as you go :)
  7. I am LOVING cherries right now, and coconut is always a classic with the chocolate flavors. This looks delicious AND nutritious. Cliche phrase I know, but oh so appropriate. :)
  8. Ugh! I still have yet to try this EPIC stuff... And since it's EPIC - I MUST, right!??!?!!! I mean that's a PRETTY BOLD NAME for a company, LOL!
      Hahaha! Exactly!
  9. You are absolutely right! This shake is definitely a dessert too! :) Love how it's so healthy yet sinfully deadly as well. ^^ Thanks for sharing another yummy recipe and your beautiful photos of it too! :)
      You are so sweet Violet, thank you! Yes, healthy, but definitely a dessert since it's not low calorie and it is sweet :)
  10. Oh man, I love everything in this recipe! Making it for sure :)
      Thank you so much Leslie! Let me know if you do!
      Thank you so much Flora, I hope you like it and let me know if you make it!
  11. This smoothie looks so intense (in a good chocolatey way of course!), I'm salivating over your gorgeous photos!
      Thanks so much Irene! You are so kind!
  12. Chocolate + Cherry + Coconut = HOLY COW, so dang yummy! You are amazing. That smoothie looks so refreshing too. I NEED to try that protein powder too. It looks wonderful! Oh, and congrats for being featured in that book. You are so inspiring!
      Thanks so much my friend!! You inspire me all the time girl!
  13. What a great idea for a dessert. Don't normally think "protein" at dessert but this is a yummy way to serve it. Smart, and they look so beautiful.
  14. I love that it is a dessert ‘shake’ filled with such lovely ingredients, cherries and chocolate! As always, beautiful close-up shots! ;) Congratulations on contributing your amazing smoothie recipes to Monica’s eBook! The eBook looks marvelous! ❤
  15. What is the purpose of the almond/coconut butter? Is there a substitiute?
      Hi Kerry! I created this to be a dessert-style shake and the purpose of the nut butter is to thicken it and give it that rich taste like a traditional "milkshake", but you could leave it out if you like. I love the flavor and creaminess it gives though.

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