My name is Ashley McLaughlin and this is my blog, Edible Perspective. To learn more about my journey head on over to my about + FAQ pages. I'm thrilled that you stopped by. Enjoy!


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Almond Joy Smoothie + Milkshake

That’s right, two lusciously thick + creamy, drinkable recipes in one post!  After seeing your excitement over the Vanilla Bean Shamrock Shake I’ve been trying to come up with another variation just as enticing as that.

And I think I got it.

Almond Joy Smoothie // edible perspective

  • coconut milk
  • shredded coconut
  • almonds
  • chocolate
  • medjool dates

ALMOND JOY milkshake!!!  And smoothie!  I wanted to create a dessert version and a breakfast version.  And let me tell you, I can’t decide which I like more.

Almond Joy Smoothie // edible perspective

If you aren’t a fan of the Almond Joy candy, not to worry, this is no where near as coconutty + sweet as that.  It has a smooth + mild coconut flavor from the coconut milk + shredded coconut, a light sweetness from the sticky + caramel-like dates, a hint of almond flavor from the almond butter, and a nice punch of chocolate from, well, chocolate!

However, if you want a more robust coconut or almond flavor feel free to add in coconut and/or almond extract to your liking.  I tried to make these as simple as possible, choosing to leave those ingredients out.

Almond Joy Smoothie // edible perspective

Also, did I mention??

No ice cream needed!!  Just an ice cube tray to freeze the milk and a blender powerful enough to crush ice!

I’m not excited about this at all…

Almond Joy Smoothie // edible perspective

To keep the smoothie version a bit lighter I used lite coconut milk and cocoa powder, instead of full fat coconut milk and dark chocolate.

Still quite indulgent tasting, but definitely breakfast worthy. 

Almond Joy Smoothie // edible perspective

Finished with a toasted coconut topping and an extra-wide straw.

Almond Joy Smoothie // edible perspective

Now for dessert.

Milkshakes have to be one of my favorite treats ever.  I would take a milkshake over cookies or cake or pie.  I’m not sure what it is about milkshakes that I love so much.  I’m a definite ice cream girl, which obviously has something to do with it.  It may also be a product of my child-like habit of stirring my ice cream into a pool of ice cream soup.  Maybe it’s because you can pack so many flavors into one drinkable treat?  Maybe it’s because they’re so easy to make? 

I just don’t know!! 

But it doesn’t really matter.

Almond Joy Milkshake // edible perspective

Can I stop for a moment to talk about the photographing of this milkshake?

Ice cream can be a challenge to photograph.  And milkshakes + smoothies, even more so.  This is because of the melt factor.  You have to be READY!  Everything set up.  Camera in place.  Pour, click, done!

You have a little more time with scooped ice cream in comparison to milkshakes, though.  Once you pour the milk shake [or smoothie] a thin liquid almost immediately starts to pool around the rim of the glass.  This also happens with things like marinara sauce.  It’s not the most appealing look as it resembles a watery liquid.

Almond Joy Milkshake // edible perspective

So, I was all ready with this empty glass.  I poured the milkshake while simultaneously clicking the shutter button on my camera. 

I scooped the coconut whipped cream from a bowl and miraculously got that adorable little peak to form just before sliding it off the spoon.

I was nervous as it slid onto the top of the milkshake because as you can tell I filled the glass to the brim.


The coconut cream landed.

The glass overflowed.

And then it froze in time.

Almond Joy Milkshake // edible perspective

No, seriously.

I must have photographed this thing for 5 minutes. 

The overflowing drips didn’t move. The coconut cream stayed perfectly in tact right on top.  It was like a photography dream!

Almond Joy Milkshake // edible perspective

Time froze.

Or maybe it’s just that thick.


Almond Joy Milkshake // edible perspective

Print this!

Almond Joy Smoothie gluten-free, vegan // yields 1 smoothie

both recipes adapted from: vanilla bean coconut shamrock shake

  • 1 cup lite canned coconut milk
  • 1/2 – 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded/flaked coconut
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons creamy almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Shake the can of coconut milk then pour 1 cup of milk into an ice cube tray and freeze until solid. 
  2. Once frozen, place the ice cubes, 1/2 cup almond milk, and all other ingredients in a high powered blender.
  3. Blend and stir/scrape the sides until fully smooth.  Add more milk as needed to thin out.
  4. Serve and top however you like. ie: raw chopped almonds, toasted coconut, cocoa powder, melted coconut butter, etc.

Almond Joy Milkshake gluten-free, vegan // yields 2 milkshakes

  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 3/4 – 1 1/4 cups lite canned coconut milk
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened shredded/flaked coconut
  • 1/4 cup creamy almond butter
  • 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4-6 medjool dates, pitted, or 3-4 tablespoons honey, agave, brown rice syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup chopped dark chocolate, vegan if needed
  1. Vigorously shake the can or whisk contents in a bowl until the liquid and solid are combined, then pour into an ice cube tray and freeze until solid.
  2. Once frozen, place the ice cubes, 3/4 cup lite coconut milk, coconut, almond butter, cocoa powder, dates, and vanilla in a high powered blender. Reserve the chocolate until the end.
  3. Blend and stir/scrape the sides until fully smooth. Add more milk as needed to thin out.
  4. Add the chopped chocolate and pulse until chocolate is finely chopped throughout the smoothie, keeping some of the crunchy texture.
  5. Serve and top however you like. ie: coconut whipped cream, toasted coconut, chocolate coconut butter magic shell, etc.

tips/substitutions: For a more robust coconut flavor, toast your coconut before blending.  You can do this by spreading coconut on a baking sheet and broiling over low with the oven door cracked.  Stir frequently and watch the entire time as it burns very quickly.  Coconut extract will also add a stronger coconut flavor. The dates are used to naturally sweeten both drinks and they do add to the thickness.  If you can’t find dates use your favorite liquid sweetener.  If your dates are not fresh and soft you’ll want to soak them in water for about an hour.  Drain the liquid and then remove the pit.

Almond Joy Milkshake // edible perspective

The crunchy, chocolaty bits were my favorite part!


Drink up!


Reader Comments (60)

These photos are gorgeous! I've been drinking a lot of things like this lately (OK. chocolate smoothies with green beans aren't really the same hahaha), so I will try to give it a go soon. YUM!!!!!!
That is some awesome luck for shooting! I am in love with the way the light hits these photos. Simply gorgeous. Thanks for sharing. Can't wait to try this out!
March 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMorgan
Beautiful shots, Ashley!!
March 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLauren @ sassy molassy
Woa! Looks great, can't wait to try this!
Ohhh girl I just got a food processor yesterday, so I am SO making this!
@Abby - You'll definitely want to use a blender! :)
March 28, 2013 | Registered CommenterAshley
Sexiest milkshake I've ever seen!
March 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLee
You didn't even have to tell me - I can tell how much you love milkshakes by how friggin beautiful the photos of this one are! The chocolate bits are making me crave a cold milkshake for breakfast...the Greek yogurt I'm currently eating is no longer at all desirable :)
March 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKatie @ Blonde Ambition
This looks SO amazing and some of my favorite photos of yours yet! Bravo! :)
Love your commentary on the photography…that would have brought a smile to my face too! ;-)
March 28, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterjo @ including cake
Your blog rocks! I love your recipes and this one- well I had to wipe the drool off my face:)! You literally make the best recipes that I would actually eat. I'm a healthy eater and hate finding recipes on blogs I love that I wouldn't actually eat. I would eat every single one of yours. This one is MY FAVORITE!!:) I was always a Mounds girl at heart and love to recreate that type of milkshake, so I will definitely give this one a try too!! That photograph is beautiful! You should frame one in your kitchen for the photo hall of fame:)
March 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHeather McClees
Both of these sound unbelievably decadent--and delicious! And what a lucky photography situation, and beautiful pics. I'm jealous!
March 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEileen
I dunno which one to try first! But I think the milk shake is calling my name, even if I have to wait for the icecubes to form! They both look unbelievably divine. You make me want to lean in and lick the drippings off the glass in those photos. :drool:
March 28, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersonia the mexigarian
Oh my goodness...that looks beyond delicous! I will so be recreating!
I am so in love with that last picture. Absolute heaven in a glass!
Oh my gosh! I have no words to describe this decadence. And yes, this photo is definitely a photography miracle ;)
March 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKiran @
These recipes look amazing, seriously mouth watering. I'll definitely be making them this weekend!
March 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLaura B.
Ok so this looked delicious to being with, and then I kept scrolling and it just kept getting better and better!
March 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSarah @ An Apple A Day
This looks sooooooo thick and delicious!!! Amazing!
March 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMr. & Mrs. P
Um, just looking at those GORGEOUS photos I am sold sister!! Wow, looks absolutely mouthwatering!
I think you've mentioned it before, but where did you get those amazing straws? This looks so indulgent (without a huge side of guilt). Love it.
That last photo was the best one! So yummy with all the chocolate and coconut! Yum!
March 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMaria Tadic
This looks so good! I love milkshakes and this is one of my favorite flavor combinations! Can't wait to try it!
March 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoy
This milkshake looks phenomenal!!! I posted an Almond Joy-inspired recipe this week too. Great minds think alike ;)
(Although, mine isn't nearly as healthy. lol)
Wow, those photos are amazing!! I laughed out loud ((at 2AM)) reading how it froze in place :D . Did you chill the glass beforehand?? Awesome recipes, "screen-licking-worthy" pictures, I may have to bookmark this one for a special someone :)
March 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJade C
pretty please can I lick those big drips rolling down the side of the glass???
March 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKatie
Just made the smoothie. Totally delicious! Love it!
March 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRachel
I am frothing at the mouth for both of these! Wowzers, these just sound so good!
March 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTieghan
This sounds delish! I'm not a big fan of foodie photography because I feel like the pics are all the same, and pretty contrived. But your photo of the milkshake frozen in time looks great :) Definitely going to make this.
How did you make the coconut cream? Is it just whipped cream with something like coconut extract?
March 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJackie
OHHH...this is such a great smoothie...dates, coconut and almonds married to chocolate! Loved this combo!!
March 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPurabi Naha
My jaws dropped to see all photos. I'm definitely going to make it soon :-)
March 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSonia
Is it too early to have this shake at 5am???
March 29, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermarla
@Jade - Nope! No glass chilling. I just think it was a reallllly thick milkshake, haha. :)

@Alicia - The straws are from Glass Dharma and they are awesome! They're not as delicate as glass straws seem and can even go in the dishwasher!

@Katie - Sure thing lady! xo

@Jackie - Coconut cream comes from the cream at the top of canned coconut [not the "lite" version, though]. Check the link in the recipe post for "coconut whipped cream" and you'll find a full explanation. I appreciate your kind words about my photos. Thanks!

@Marla - It definitely is not. :)
March 29, 2013 | Registered CommenterAshley
Very refreshing and healthy milkshake.. Love the presentation too. .First time here.. Happy to follow your space :)
March 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHari Chandana
YUM!!! I immediately thought of how quickly you had to photograph this. Luckily, the melty, drippy milkshake makes it look even more delicious!
Your pictures are insane. I can NEVER get smoothies to photograph well! I love every shot here. It was such a stand-out on Foodgawker! :-)
March 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLauren
I am not crazy for milk shake and hardly drink one, but the ast photo in this is post is AWSM, seriously making me drool here!
March 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKankana
This looks amazing!!!!
March 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMy Recession Kitchen
Oh wow, this looks so so good. I love that it can be both breakfast and dessert with just a few tweaks. Gorgeous photos too - sounds like the milkshake behaved for you!
March 30, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterthelittleloaf
@Hari - Thanks for saying hello! :)

@Lauren - That means a lot. Thank you so much!
March 30, 2013 | Registered CommenterAshley
I am so glad to have found you! Your site is beautiful and I just love your recipes. This one caught my eye! Almond Joy is one of my favorites. I'm going to give this a try soon!
March 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCaroline
Hey Ashley! Just came across your site and it has been a wonderful introduction with your Almond Joy Smoothie. I am also a big milkshake fan, they can be so satisfying! Very impressed with the photography as well. I have bookmarked your site and will be back for more.
March 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGeorgina
My friend and I made the milkshake for Easter Breakfast (Brunch?) this morning. It was amazingly thick and delicious. We only added 1tbsp of honey and it was plenty sweet. The toasted coconut flakes are totally necessary. Thanks Ashley!
March 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGrace
These recipes look amazing! I have the coconut milk freezing right now and plan on making the shake tomorrow. In the last few weeks I have made your gluten free blueberry muffins, triple chocolate bread, the millet and kale salad, and the curried lentil rice burgers. All were a complete hit with my family. Thanks for all of your hard work!
March 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLori
Now THAT is a sight for sore eyes. And a hungry belly. Yum!
holy yum. must try this soon!!
April 2, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterkris
The milkshake and smoothie look amazing! You've inspired me to experiment with this idea :) Thank you!!
April 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSonja / A Couple Cooks
This looks so delish!! Do you think i can just add ice to the blender vs freezing in ice cube trays?
April 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMegan
@Megan - It will work but the mixture won't be as creamy and rich because the ice will water down the flavor.
April 5, 2013 | Registered CommenterAshley
Love that smoothie. I like almonds!

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