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Coconut Chai Milkshakes

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Thick. Luxurious. Coconut

coconut shake

coconut chai

A few years ago, after drinking a coconut chai shake at Bonobos, I created my own version of the delicious spicy-sweet shake. I’m re-posting an updated version of the recipe today, because the old one was a little hard to follow.

coconut drink

Put on a lei, close your eyes, and pretend you’re lounging under a palm tree in Hawaii.

Coconut Chai Shakes

  • Meat and juice of one Thai coconut (or 1 can full-fat coconut milk plus 1 cup coconut water)
  • 1 tbsp Indian chai masala (Or 1/2 tsp ginger, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/8 tsp cloves, dash pepper and cardamom. Or omit completely for a plain-jane coconut shake.)
  • Sweetener (I like it without, but for a taste like Bonobos’, add 2-3 tsp agave or other sweetener to taste.)
  • Cinnamon for sprinkling on top, if desired

Blend all of your ingredients together (I use a Magic Bullet). You can also try freezing this and then re-blend in your Vita-Mix for an amazing ice cream!

See the following link if you’d prefer a coconut-free version: Vanilla Chai Breakfast Shakes.

coconut splash

Don’t cry over spilled coconut milkshake.

NYC Recap Continued…

#Fail. That’d be yesterday’s lunch, if this were Twitter.

Neither my friend, Jess, nor I were impressed with our food at The Organic Grill. It was mediocre and bland. We quickly paid our bill and moved on to yummier things. Yummier things such as chocolate-strawberry cheesecake from Whole Earth Bakery. (I ordered two, to-go. They’re sitting in my fridge right now, and I can’t say I haven’t been dreaming about them!)

We spent a few hours exploring after our lunch and bakery stop. In NYC, you really don’t need to have a jam-packed itinerary, filled with trips to museums and tourist attractions. Just walking around is entertainment enough!

Hot and thirsty, we arrived just in time for snack at Bonobos.

I went straight for the coconut chai, which they gladly blended up for me sans sweetener. Jess ordered the gingerade. Our drinks offered the perfect antidote to the summer heat, and they totally made up for our less-than-stellar lunch experience!

What are some of your favorite spices?

My favorites are probably cinnamon and ginger. Oh, and oregano and basil. And my least favorites are nutmeg and cilantro!

For more milkshakes, see: Healthy Milkshake Recipes.

Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 
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  1. Sara says:

    You are SO gorgeous!

    I just stumbled across your blog a few weeks ago, and I’m so glad I did. I already made three things and all were gobbled up by me and my roommates. I’ll try this shake for sure!


    1. Sarahishealthy says:

      Agreed! Katie, you are just glowing and beautiful. Must be all that chocolate you eat ;).

  2. Katie, you are so AMAZING! Your recipes are the BEST! Your blog is INCREDIBLE! I don’t know what I would do without you.

  3. Jen says:

    Cinnamon and ginger are two of my favorite spices too, and crushed red pepper! If we’re talking herbs (you mentioned oregano and basil) then I would have to agree on the basil part. I also love rosemary. Did you know that cilantro is the most hated herb? I read an article on that once. So you’re not alone! Haha!

    1. I didn’t. Poor cilantro… now I feel sorry for him and want to eat him!

  4. Ann Claire says:

    I love Chai and coconut, totally making that smoothie!!
    No shame in recycling outfits, it’s green :)

  5. Love cinnamon and ginger too. I really do not like the flavour of cloves or nutmeg either :) I like the outfit btw- I recycle outfits too haha!

  6. Jeska says:

    Ahh man, I don’t like nutmeg either :L Poor nutmeg!

    Cumin + basil are my favourites. Basil is a herb, yes, but… yum!

  7. Jeska says:

    Oh, and cinnamon… ahhh, cinnamon <3

  8. This looks so amazingly rich and delicious! I loooove coconut drinks!

  9. Emma says:

    Mmmmm I tried Bonobos coconut chai once, last year, after reading about it on your blog actually! It really was delicious. But expensive! Thanks for this recipe so I can try making my own. Oh, and you look so pretty in the last photo :).

    My favorite spices are cinnamon and cinnamon and cinnamon!

  10. kate says:

    whoooa amazing I love milkshakes and cinnamon is by far my favorite thing ever yum!

  11. I don’t like nutmeg either! People always think that’s crazy. I love cinnamon, ginger, basil, curry, and herbes de Provence (which is a bunch of stuff together, but it goes with so many things).

  12. I am a cinnamon addict. I’ve been trying to find out if I can grow a cinnamon tree here in Colorado. I’m sure it isn’t actually called a cinnamon tree, but you know what I mean. I put it in everything. The McCormick cinnamon grinder is my best friend.

    Chocolate Strawberry Cheesecake sounds amazing!

    1. Sarahishealthy says:

      Yes! I want to know more about this cheesecake!

  13. Cinnamon! And Garlic and basil if they’re spices too! 😀 I don’t fancy coconut so I’m going to try your banana version as soon as my mum surrenders her sad, black bananas 😀

  14. Cinnamon, chili powder. I’m anti-cilantro as well. It’s so overpowering!

  15. Sarahishealthy says:

    I am a HUGE cinnamon addict, and I LOVE chai tea. I also love coconut of course, so I WILL be trying this. Only question is how soon. Hopefully today ;).

  16. Em says:

    Yummy! I want one!

  17. judy says:

    I absolutely love your blog! I am trying to gain weight the healthy way because I am underweight due to an E.D. so this site really has some good recipes, I like the way the recipes give options, depending on your daily fat/calorie needs. Keep it up :)

  18. VEGirl says:

    Oh, my favorites are your least favored I guess! Freshly grated nutmeg and cilantro are a couple of my favorite flavors (although not together. hmmmm….. *light bulb*). I also love basil , which goes very well with chocolate! I LOVE fresh herbs! And does chocolate count as a spice? Cocoa powder gets sprinkled on a lot of my food (although NOT cilantro! Ooohhhh…. *another light bulb*)

    1. Chocolate counts as everything! 😉

  19. Ragnhild says:

    Ola-la, pretty lady ! 😉 I love your outfit! And thanks for sharing this recipe! Sounds delicious, and I have half a can of coconut milk sitting in my fridge- I hope I get around to make this tomorrow!
    Favorit spice: Fresh basil , and cinnamon! But I cant stand fresh cilantro :S (I like it dried though!)

  20. Lauren B. says:

    Did you used to live in NYC? You seem to be really familiar with it.

    1. LOL I wish! I’ve been coming every summer since I was a baby, though. My parents both grew up on Long Island and in NYC, so they know the area really well and have imparted some of that knowledge onto me… but I am nowhere near as knowledgeable as they are. Sometimes I’ll call my mom up and ask the best way to get to a certain place, or for recommendations of things to do in an area or how long it will take to get from place to place. :)

  21. I put cinnamon in everything! Oats, yoghurt, baking…I also love freshly ground black pepper and cumin!

  22. Alyssa says:

    (Did you know that some people have a gene that makes cilantro leave a bad taste in their mouths? Same with pine nuts. The human body is fascinating!)
    It’s funny, I’m reading your post and “Groove is in the Heart” by Dee-Lite, from 20 years ago, is on the radio. That song came out during my senior year of college in New York, and always makes me think of walking around the West Village.
    Thanks for the memories!!!!!

    1. Wow, I wonder why that is! I also wonder if anyone has a “dislike chocolate” gene. I hope not!!

  23. Heidi says:

    Well of course you must recycle outfits… how else does one fit in a Magic Bullet on Vay-Cay? LOLz LOVE IT!!

  24. Lyza says:

    Chai sounds so wonderful, but coupled with coconut sounds like a drink from the heavens :) I need to get on making this one day soon! :)

  25. PBnJ Fam says:

    Hi Katie!! I recently stumbled across you *by accident* if I must confess… but I can’t thank my lucky stars enough that I found you!!!! I am so inspired by you and in awe of your talent and drive!! So, on to my question… I would LOVE to make this recipe… but not sure about the Chai ingredient… is that a powder, loose tea leaves, or a tea that has already been made?? I actually have a masala chai in loose tea leaves, but am not sure what is the best way to add it to the recipe?? (maybe brewing up a small amount of concentrated tea??) Would love to hear your input! And again, you are such a wonderful talented woman, thank you for taking the time to share with all of us out here!!

    1. Awww thank you so much for your sweet comment! I found the Chai Masala (which is one spice, all together) at an Indian grocery store. But it is hard to find, which is why I gave the alternative in my recipe. It’s just as good with the substitution :).

      I wish I could help you with your tea-leaf question, but I really don’t ever use tea leaves, and so I wouldn’t know how to use them in this recipe at all. LOL if I gave you directions, you’d probably end up with grainy pieces of floating tea leaves in your shake! 😕

  26. L. says:

    I’ve never been to Bonobos. What a funny name for a restaurant! But it sounds fun, and that drink looks heavenly. I love your NYC posts, Katie :).

  27. Lisa says:

    hahah totally ok to recycle outfits! leaves room to buy stuff on vacation in the suitcase 😉

    my fav spice is cinnamon. Im really not a spice kind of girl, so when I use cinnamon, its usuualy for sweet things!! :)

  28. Rebecca says:

    Coconut chai’s sound amazing right now! My favorite spices is cinnamon. I have it at least once a day. Nutmeg is another favorite along with ginger. If I’m cooking I like cumin, oregano, cilantro and parsley.

  29. Abby says:

    As yummy as that coconut chai sounds, I’m even more intrigued by your friend’s gingeraid. It sounds like something that would be right up my ally :).

    Great picture of you too :)

  30. youa re TOO CUTE! and is it just me or are there more photos of you on your blog lately? I LOVE it! and i love seeing your pretty face!
    I LOVEEEE coconut! never had it with that chai spice! my fav spice is cinnamon!

    1. LOL it’s because there aren’t really opportunities to post photos of myself when I’m doing a recipe post. Much easier when I’m doing recap posts :).

      P.S. my mom and sister are in England right now!

  31. WOW, this shake sounds amazing! Sorry about your bummer of a lunch :(

  32. Jenny says:

    I think I love all spices and herbs… I can’t think of one that I DON’T like! Cinnamon is my absolute favourite spice, followed by ginger. Cilantro is my favourite herb, followed by basil, and then dill. :) About cilantro (or coriander) – I always hear that people either love it or hate it! And I’ve yet to actually meet someone who’s indifferent about it… Interesting how that is!

    Of course, I also love spicy things, so Indian spices along with crushed and/or powdered peppers are also favourites while cooking!

    Thanks for adapting the recipe so that those of us who can’t (or don’t like to?) consume coconut can enjoy something similar! Love how you always offer ways to alter your recipes to cater to different tastes or dietary needs. So considerate!

    1. Erika K says:

      Yes, thank you for thinking of us!!!

  33. Amber K says:

    I LOVE cilantro! And cinnamon, but not together 😉

    Thanks for the non-coconut version of the milkshake. I wish I liked more of the good-for-you stuff, but I just can’t stand the taste of coconut.

  34. I’m game for this…. and any other recipe you make!!!!
    I <3 cinnamon for a spice and basil for a herb. Not together. 😉

  35. Lilly says:

    love it! ohhh and recycling outfits is totally fine, you got to bring a magic bullet instead :) i think it was a good choice!!! 😀

  36. I am so with you on the cinnamon and ginger – my two faves! I also LOVE cardamom. That Bonobos shake looks crazy good!! I’ll have to try your version :)

  37. Mellie says:

    Oh, I’m sooo jealous of your NYC vacation! I love coconut but I’ve never had chai, because I don’t usually like tea, but I’m open to trying new things.

  38. Sarah says:

    Wow, I live in NYC and have never even heard of Bonobos! I should check it out sometime. The coconut chai sounds too good to pass up. Thanks Katie!

  39. Oooh, that looks so yummy! I love chai spice, I really can’t get enough of it but if I had to choose just one spice, cinnamon for sure 😀

  40. Marianne says:

    If I liked chai, I’d be all over this.

    My fave spices are garlic, dill, and pepper. You can’t go wrong with any of those! I’m not a big ginger fan, and I absolutely despise cilantro. Makes me want to hurl thinking about it near my food.

    1. Erika K says:

      MMmmm garlic yes, my favorite!

  41. I love cinnamon the most :) I love cilantro- I think it’s impossible to be ambivalent about it, you either love it or hate it!

  42. Stephanie says:

    Count me among the cilantro lovers! I could it eat with every meal – especially summer rolls! Also addicted to cumin, turmeric, herbes de Provence, and Thai basil.

    While in NYC, don’t forget to swing by the Bra Rabbi at Orchard Corset Company in the Lower East Side on Orchard Street! They are geniuses and don’t mind the lack of decor.

  43. ellen says:

    that shake looks delicious!

    my favorite spices/herbs are cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, dill, basil, cilantro, cumin, and mint. hard to narrow it down to just a few! i just love food =)

  44. Misha says:

    Just had one (the lower calorie version) as an afternoon snack. YUM!!! It was delicious. Tasted like a chai tea milkshake. :) :) :)

  45. Emilia says:

    Yum! I love coconut and chai, so I’m sure I’d love that drink! I’ve heard quite the rave about Bonbos and their coconut chai– lucky you! :)

  46. I can.not.wait. to try the coconut chai. Gotta hit the grocery store first though…no coconut milk/water or cardamom in my pantry. so looks like I’m going to have to wait.

    Enjoy NYC!!

  47. Michaela says:

    I hate going out and eating crap food at a restaurant.
    My favorite spices definitely include: ginger, cinnamon, chili, cumin, vanilla, paprika, coriander, cardamom… quite a lot, no? You can tell I love Indian food 😉

    1. I love Indian food too! But it’s gotta be GOOD Indian food. Mmmmm channa masala, saag, vindaloo…

      1. Michaela says:

        I agree! I think I will head for some Indian dinner tonight 😀

  48. I LOVE CHAIII. My fave spices FASURE include cinnamon. As for others…I’d probably use cinnamon ahah.

  49. OoooOOooOO I love coconut chai!

    And cinnamon is my favorite spice 😀

  50. megan says:

    Wow I can’t wait to try your coconut shake. I don’t like coconut though but I do love spices. My favorite is probably a tie between cinnamon and ginger. Red pepper flakes are up there too for heat. I absolutely agree with you though on cilantro though, I personally think it ruins salsas.

    1. If you don’t like coconut, try the linked banana version. Haha I bet you like banana, judging by your avatar photo ;).

  51. Leslie says:

    Just like many of your recipes, I made this as soon as I saw it. Verdict? Do you even need to ask? 😉
    I gulped the whole thing down in an instant. Too good!
    I used coconut milk, but I’d love to try it with a real coconut! Thanks for yet another awesome recipe. I don’t know how you do it, CCK! :)

  52. Beautiful milkshakes!!

    The overhead shot, shot on wood planking, these pics SCREAM for submissions. I am sure you are already :) Fingers crossed for you.

    “What are some of your favorite spices?

    My favorites are probably cinnamon and ginger.”

    We are soul sisters. Those are my #1 and #2 spices that I use…daily on the cinnamon and 3x week on the ginger, at least! And if stevia could be considered a spice, I am a big lover of that too…haha :)

    1. Oh my gosh, Averie I love you. You raise my self-esteem with your sweet words. I can only imagine what a self-confident lady Skylar is going to grow up to be! Haha I wasn’t even sure I was going to bother submitting these… the white seems so overexposed to me.

      P.S. I saw your delish-looking cookies made the “most gawked” list :) :).

      1. they did!!????

        I am off to check it next! omg that’s pretty cool…I didnt even know that!!!

        And I do hope Skylar has good self esteem…doing my best to raise an empowered and confident yet still sweet and humble lil girl over here.

        And yes, SUBMIT thy photos my dear :)

  53. Bonobos lover says:

    OMG must try this! Thanks!

  54. Russ says:

    I can’t think of many herbs it spices that I don’t like, they are delicious in their own way! A curry without coriander is just soup, apple pie without nutmeg is…well still apple pie, but nutmeg wouldn’t hurt! I love cinnamon in my porridge, and what would I do without garam massala. My least favourite is probably that leafy herb that tastes like celery, but I’m sure it would be alright boiled into a soup. Ok thats enough rambling about food!

  55. Katherine says:

    So shake question for ya’: I love making shakes with watermelon and honeydew. But well, it ends up to just be flavored water because there is so much water in both of those fruits. This is literally the best mix ever, but I really want to thicken it up.
    Any ideas, without adding a lot of calories?

    1. I love blending honeydew! Do you actually add water? If so, I wouldn’t do that… I just blend the honeydew up by itself, to make a sorbet of sorts :).

      1. Katherine says:

        No, I add no watermelon. The honeydew and watermelon just have so much water in them, that it ends up be very water-like and not much smoothie-like.

  56. Lisa C. says:

    Looks great, Katie! I don’t have coconut milk right now, but I have everything to make the banana shake. Excited! :)

    1. Lisa C. says:

      P.S. You’re enjoying NY to the fullest. I love it!

  57. Nathalie says:

    My favorite spices are probably cinnamon, chili powder, garlic (does that count as a spice?) and ginger (ditto?). I got through containers of the first two like crazy.

    Side note: Have you ever tried using muesli to make the oatmeal cakes? It’s awesome o_o!

    1. Nathalie says:

      Oh, forgot to ask about this recipe: do you think it would alter the flavor too much if I used half a can of coconut milk (~200ml), plus a package of tofu (~150g)? I would think the tofu would give you a thicker end product, plus I feel like I could use the extra protein.

      1. Museli baked oats sounds like an incredible idea!
        No idea about the tofu… the only way you’ll be able to know is if you try! 😉
        And let me know if it works :) :)

        P.S. I love your many comments!

  58. Sara N. says:

    Your recipe looks so awesome and is totally timely with the heatwave we are experiencing! I’ve stumbled across your blog a couple of times now and only until yesterday have tried one of your recipes. This spring I went gluten-free. While I’ve always tried to limit sweets, it’s been even more difficult on a more restrictive diet. I was so happy to see your funfetti cookie balls that I had to try them. Brown rice flour works great for the regular flour. You are really on to something! I look forward to future posts and recipes!

    1. Thanks, Sara! I’m really happy to know that they work with brown rice flour. I try to include gluten-free options for as many of my recipes as possible, because I know a lot of people are on gf diets… but I admit I am not very knowledgeable about working with gf flours!

  59. You’re so pretty!!! And this looks fantastic… I have to say cinnamon. Pretty standard.

  60. Valerie says:

    Hahaha I love the spilled milkshake photo and caption best :).
    And the photo of you, pretty lady!
    My favorite spices…. I don’t know that I’ve ever thought about it. But for sure, cinnamon would be up there. And red pepper flakes!

  61. congrats on the glamour article I saw online! How cool! And luxurious is the perfect word to describe such a shake, I bet it was soo rich and delicious. Perfect for this killer heat wave, although its probably nothing compared to your texan heat back home. My favorite spices/ herbs are sage and rosemary.

    1. I think it was actually worse in NY yesterday than Texas! At least in Dallas we don’t have humidity. Humidity = blech!

  62. Nathalie says:

    I’m on your blog, spammin’ your comments.

    Lol, no. I just always forget about stuff so I have to repeat-comment.

    Here in Japan, I love love LOVE the herb/leaf called “shiso”. It’s in the mint family, and I adore mint as well (I ate the mint leaf garnishes off of my friends’ desserts usually).

  63. BroccoliHut says:

    I add chili powder and cayenne to pretty much everything, and when it comes to sweet, I like cinnamon and cloves:)

  64. coconut chai sounds delish!
    My favorite spices are cinnamon and basil. Not together of course 😉

  65. I love the creativity of this! I would have never dreamed coconut and chai would mesh, but it looks so delicious that I’m going to have to try this pronto!

  66. Diane says:

    I have everything on hand but the coconut water? Where can I find that?

    1. Most health-food stores, and even many regular grocery stores (in the health food section) have containers of coconut water. Look for names like Zico or One. Or ask the people who work at the store :).

  67. I am so addicted to chai anything lately. I recently made chai rice pudding – delicious!

  68. Lori says:

    Do you know if Chai Masala and Garam Masala are the same thing? I have the garam masala and am wondering if I can use that. Thanks!

    1. They’re definitely not the same thing. If you don’t have chai masala, use the alternative listed in the recipe (the combination of other spices listed). :)

  69. Priscilla says:

    I made your low-fat Chai-Nana milkshake the other day. Delicious! I made a double batch and turned part of into posicles. Also delicious!! Thanks for the great, easy, and VEGAN!! recipes! :)

    1. Oh wow, popsicles? That sounds like something I MUST try!

  70. Marie says:

    Great milkshake, I tried it and I loved it!! Another fresh healthy drink that I do a lot for breakfast, very tasty and healty is that one: it was suggested by an integrative nutrition doctor and it totally rocks! :)

    1. I’m so glad you liked it! And the pear banana shake looks yummy!

  71. M says:

    I tried the Nana-Milkshake because I don’t have all of the ingredients for coconut. But it was delicious! And it made like 2 cups. It was so creamy :)

  72. Katie says:

    I love this milkshake……. I didn’t have coconut milk or water in the house, so I used almond milk and shredded coconut instead. (The shredded coconut makes the milkshake a bit chewy, like pulp in your orange juice. But I always like pulp in my orange juice ;p)
    And I love the chai spices… I mixed them all up straight from my spice cupboard. It tastes just like the chai mix from Starbucks!
    Thanks 😉

  73. Katie says:

    Your recycled outfit is soooo cute and this shake looks delish!!!!

  74. Tanya says:

    I think no one has mentioned my favorite spice yet: cardamom!
    I also eat the whole cardamom seeds pure… just like that. Cardamom is heaven…

  75. Thuy Duong says:

    I was wondering if you would recommend using vanilla extract with alcohol free rather than vanilla extract with alcohol as for the flavoring would it alter in your food?

  76. Thuy Duong says:

    What is so special about the Vita-Mix because it seems like every time you talk about something frozen you suggest using the Vita-Mix (ex: for this recipe you said to blend in a Vita-Mix for an ice cream but can’t a regular blender work also?), I don’t own one so I was wondering if it freezes for you as you blend it or something like that? Isn’t it just like a blender and that’s all?

  77. Thuy Duong says:

    Katie please make a drink using Thai tea or Bubble tea.

  78. Thuy Duong says:

    Does the 1 can of full-fat coconut milk contain coconut water already in it or is it just plain water?

  79. Whitney says:

    Hi Katie,
    I’m a HUGE fan of your blog and your desserts. I came across this recipe and see that it’s been a while since you posted it. I work with a chai company called Tipu’s and their product, “The Simple Life” (instant black tea and spices, no sweetener) would probably work perfectly for something like this, or even for your baking (It happens to be vegan and gluten free too). I’m not usually out to “sell-y sell” online, but I read this and just thought it would be a perfect fit. If you ever want me to send you a bag to try, just let me know! :) I’m happy to hook you up!

  80. Shannan says:

    Cause I try to be as simple as possible, is there anyway to do this with a Chai teabag???

  81. Key says:

    I HATE coconut.

  82. Sarah says:

    Favorite spices are garam masala and smoked paprika. Favorite dried herbs are rosemary and lavender!