This Chocolate Cherry Milkshakes post is sponsored by the Cherry Marketing Institute. All opinions are our own; we love cherries and use them often. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who keep A Couple Cooks in action!
Growing up, my family tended to reward ourselves with ice cream for making it through a piano or dance recital (my sister or me for playing, my parents for not falling asleep). One of our favorite spots was in downtown Minneapolis: The Malt Shop, which served chocolate malts in gigantic frosted glasses. Nothing felt better post-adrenaline rush than slurping thick frozen goodness through a candy-stripped straw, with some onion rings on the side if I was lucky.
After an unhealthy milkshake craze in college, I put my milkshake habit to bed, and these days my stomach would have a heyday trying to digest a whole one. However, there’s something sweetly nostalgic about a milkshake that I’m not ready to give up.
These chocolate cherry milkshakes are a healthy-ish whole food version we’ve created based on the old standard. Instead of ice cream, we’ve used frozen Montmorency cherries and milk. Naturally sweetened with maple syrup, there’s a hint of cocoa powder and vanilla. In a frosted milkshake glass with a fancy red-and-white straw, it’s just as good as the real thing. And for added flair, we created chocolate swirls as a garnish: simply melt down a bit of dark chocolate, drizzle it onto parchment paper, then freeze it. (As a side benefit, it doubles as a cathartic adult art project.) Use a few swirls for a garnish, and you can stir the remaining swirls into the milkshake if desired for a bit more chocolate.
We’ve been working on trying to eat sweets in moderation, so this recipe is solidly in that bucket. And yet, it’s focused on whole foods, highlighting the sweet-tart goodness of cherries — which makes it a fantastic nostalgic treat in our household. It’s also customizable for dairy-free and vegan diets as well using coconut milk. We hope you enjoy it — let us know if you give it a try!
This is the last in a series of recipes with tart cherries we’ve created for the Cherry Marketing Institute. Montmorency tart cherries are mainly grown on small family orchards in the US and Canada — they’re available year round dried, frozen, and as juice in grocery stores and online. Rich in nutrients, they can help with anything from inflammation and exercise recovery to sleep. Cherries are a great snack food — either right out of the container (our favorite!) or with nuts or seeds for a fantastic combo of fiber + protein. More details about Montmorency tart cherries are at choosecherries.com.
More cherry recipes:Print
- 1/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
- 3 1/2 cups frozen Montmorency cherries, plus 2 cherries for garnish
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 1/2 cups 2% milk or coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- For the chocolate swirls (optional), melt the chocolate by filling a large skillet halfway with water and bringing it to a simmer. Place the chocolate chips in a heat-safe bowl (metal or glass). Once the water is simmering, turn off the heat and place the bowl of chocolate in the water, then stir until it is melted. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then use a spoon to drizzle the melted chocolate onto the paper in random swirl patterns. Place the baking sheet in the freezer and freeze until serving.
- For the milkshakes, in a blender combine frozen Montmorency cherries, cocoa powder, maple syrup, milk, and vanilla extract and blend until smooth. Pour into a glass and if desired, stir in chocolate swirls, leaving out 2 for a garnish. Serve immediately, garnished with chocolate swirls and extra frozen cherries.
About the Authors
Cookbook Author and writer
Sonja Overhiser is author and recipe developer of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the “best vegetarian cookbooks” by Epicurious, and a recipe developer and healthy & sustainable food advocate behind the award-nominated food blog A Couple Cooks.
Cookbook Author and photographer
Alex Overhiser is photographer and recipe developer of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the “best new cookbooks” by Bon Appetit, and a recipe developer, photographer, and technical expert at A Couple Cooks.