Cashew Date Shake (vegan, paleo)


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As a California girl I’m a date shake lover. And this cashew date shake version, while dairy-free, vegan and paleo, tastes exactly like the real-deal Palm Springs date shake.

Cashew Date Shake. Dairy-free, vegan and paleo.

It’s funny how recipe ideas come together. A few days ago I had a bunch of Medjool dates sitting on the counter, which I had planned to use as the base for a multi-layered s’mores tart. I ended up not using them for the tart, opting for a brownie layer base instead. The brownie layer was then topped with crumbled graham crackers, chocolate custard and marshmallows. It was four layers of s’mores decadence which was brilliant in theory…but…if you saw my snaps this week, you saw what happened.

A s’mores disaster! The custard layer never firmed up and when I pulled the parchment out of the pan, the entire thing oozed and blobbed everywhere. The custard layer squirted out like a chocolate waterfall and the other layers (which did turn out) just fell into a stack on top of each other, Tetris-style.

Yep, it was a complete recipe fail (and made for a very messy kitchen). But not wanting to waste lots of money in organic ingredients, I quickly transferred the goopy mess to a storage container, dubbed it a s’mores soup and proceeded to eat it (and probably way too much of it) for breakfast. #reallife

I’ve gone a totally different direction with my s’mores development and fingers crossed, you’ll have a new treat in about a week. But today, let’s get back to these dates. So I had them on the counter sitting next to a big bag of raw cashews and it was 108 degrees out (no joke) and instantly my brain screamed “date shake!”

(dairy-free, vegan, paleo) Cashew Date Shake. Inspired by the classic date shakes from Palm Springs, California.

Date shakes are a very Southern California thing. And more precisely, a Palm Springs thing. Date palms are grown throughout the low desert area but it wasn’t until one very smart date farmer created a roadside “shake shack” that dates surged in popularity. I still remember the first time I had a date shake. I’d actually avoided them for years on all our family trips to the desert. As a teenager, dates were the equivalent of prunes in my books, dark wrinkly and gross, so why on earth would I put either into a creamy vanilla milkshake?!

In my early 20’s my mom and I headed to Palm Springs for a girls weekend and I thought, alright, I’ll taste what all the fuss is about. So we hit up the historic Shield’s Date Garden and I still remember my mom laughing when a smile creeped up on my face and I blurted out, “oh, this is really good!” From that point on, I was a date shake lover.

Traditional date shakes are made with milk, ice cream, dates and a pinch of spices. Most of you know I’m not 100% dairy-free, but I am obsessed with using cashews for dairy-free creamy goodness. And you guys, this cashew date shake tastes so much like a traditional date shake it’s cr-a-zy. It’s thick, creamy, sweet and will definitely cool you down on a ridiculously hot day. I topped mine with coconut whipped cream, leftover from my video creation last week, but you can slurp it up plain as well.


Cashew Date Shake. Dairy-free, vegan and paleo.
Cashew Date Shake. Dairy-free, vegan and paleo.
Cashew Date Shake. Dairy-free, vegan and paleo.
Cashew Date Shake. Dairy-free, vegan and paleo.
(dairy-free, vegan, paleo) Cashew Date Shake. Inspired by the classic date shakes from Palm Springs, California.

Cashew Date Shake (vegan, paleo)

4.86 from 7 votes
Prep: 2 hours
Total: 2 hours
Servings: 2 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan


As a California-girl I’m a date shake lover. And this version, while dairy-free, vegan and paleo, tastes exactly like the real-deal Palm Springs date shake.



  • Blend together. Once your cashews and dates have been soaked, drain them, then add to a high-powered blender. Add the banana, water, ice, vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt. Blend on high until thick and creamy.
  • Serve. Pour the date shake into glasses. If you'd like, top with whipped cream and enjoy!

Lisa’s Tips

  • Pro tip: I always freeze my bananas in halves or slices, so they’re easier to blend when frozen.


Calories: 497kcal | Carbohydrates: 80g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 12mg | Potassium: 996mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 57g | Vitamin A: 145IU | Vitamin C: 5.1mg | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 3.7mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cashew Date Shake, Date Shake
Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

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Watch the video for how to make coconut whipped cream

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About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Thank you for sharing this recipe!
    Made this and it was absolutely delicious!
    I used only 4 medjool dates because they are big and may only use 3 next time and there will definitely be a next time. This is a great tasting, healthy treat that I can see myself making often to split with my husband who also thought it was great. 5 stars

  2. This date shake tasted surprisingly similar to your eggnog recipe which I loved. Must be the nutmeg. Definitely recommend.5 stars

  3. I already have cashew butter, made of only ground up raw cashews.  Can i use that instead of having to use whole cashews then soaking them?  

    1. Hi Pat – I haven’t tried this recipe using cashew butter. If you give it a try, let us know how it turns out!

  4. This is a great dessert! It’s a shake, not a smoothie. Perfect summer-time dessert! So simple to make in my Vitamix. Thanks for sharing!5 stars

    1. Yay! I’m so glad you enjoyed it Mary. It’s a perfect date shake recipe for the warmer spring and summer weather. :)

  5. Hi!  This looks delicious!  Can you make it ahead of time and freeze or refrigerate?   Looking for meal prep ideas.

  6. Can I just use cashew milk instead of the water & cashews separate? If so, how much would you add? Thanks!

    1. For this recipe, the ratio of cashews to water is double what you would find in normal (or homemade) cashew milk. That’s how it’s so thick and shake-like, so I’d stick with the recipe. :)

  7. What can you substitute for banana? I’m allergic to banana but this shake sounds so yummy! 

  8. Yummm. I made it and again, yumm. I soaked and subbed in coconut milk rather than the water. also added protein powder. Great Shake!!!5 stars

  9. This seems really good but I’m curious… what is the purpose of soaking the cashews and dates? Can you make the smoothie without soaking them?

    1. Soaking the cashews and dates makes them super smooth and creamy. Watch the video on my Vegan Caramel Cheesecake recipe to see how creamy cashews can become once soaked. ;) You could make this shake without soaking, but it just won’t be as creamy, so I don’t recommend.

  10. Already tried it! (of course, I just had to ;) ) The weather today was almost autumn like, so I skipped the ice and had it for breakfast with a hefty dollop of whipped coconut cream!!! Sooooo good!!!

    1. Love that you made this already! And I think that sounds like the perfect healthy breakfast (though I’m biased as well). ;) x

  11. While I’m sorry about the s’mores disaster, I think it was meant to be – LOVE this date shake recipe! Cashews & dates are a wonderful pairing (have you had the Cashew Cookie Larabar? Ingredients are just cashews & dates, and it’s actually quite tasty, haha).

    1. The cashew cookie bar is one of my favorites! I tend to grab the Larabars that use cashews versus almonds. But they’re all so darn good! :) x