This recipe is dedicated to Brint, Meekus, and Rufus who tragically lost their lives in a freak gasoline fight accident while enjoying their Orange Mocha Frappuccinos.

…You do know what I’m talking about, right? Watching Zoolander (every day) was a significant part of my younger years, but if you didn’t see it (gasp!), here’s a refresher:

In addition to being really, really, really, ridiculously, good looking, this drink tastes amazing. Fresh orange with chocolate and coffee blended into a creamy smoothie. Even better, we’ll be using nothing but real foods for the base, adding a frozen banana to make it creamy, and sweetening with only dates.


Makes 1 large smoothie


  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 3-4 ice cubes
  • 1 medium orange (peeled)
  • 3 medjool dates
  • 1.5 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 packet Starbucks Via
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla



This one is really difficult… are you ready? Add all the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. If the drink is too thick, add another splash of almond milk. Done! The process is that simple, but here are a few notes and clarifications:

  • If you’re not using a high-powered blender like a Vitamix, the dates may not fully puree. In that case, feel free to use a tablespoon of sweetener (maple syrup?) in place of the dates.
  • It might seem strange to use a banana in a Frappuccino, but it serves several purposes here. First, the banana adds creaminess and body that holds everything together. Second, we’re using a frozen banana which further cools the drink and gives it that milkshake consistency of Frappucinos. Finally, it adds a nice complimentary flavor to the orange and coffee without being overpowering.
  • I love using Starbucks Via. It’s Starbucks’ brand of instant coffee that works perfect to make homemade espresso drinks in seconds. Since you can add the whole packet to a drink, you can recreate the highly-concentrated taste of espresso without the expensive espresso machine. Awesome.
  • Optional: top with chocolate shavings and a dollop of my coconut whipped cream recipe.

* Each time you make this drink, I will make a small donation to the Derek Zoolander Center For Kids Who Can’t Read Good And Wanna Learn To Do Other Stuff Good Too (the full-sized center – not the center for ants). 😀



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  1. Oh man, I nearly spit coffee all over the keyboard when I read this. It’s a good thing I didn’t, because saying a yagoogaly for a computer component would be completely ridiculous. Hilarious! That smoothie will make its way into my glass soon. I love the chocolate-orange combo!

    • Hahaha, I’m happy you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. 🙂 It would have been a shame to say a yagoogaly for your computer… especially because there is no yagoogalizer better than Derek.

  2. Bahaha! This is awesome. So awesome. Perfect for summer and I already even have frozen bananas.

    That coffee glass is definitely nailing “Blue Steel” right now. So chic. 😉

    • Hahaha, thanks Michael! That glass definitely has Blue Steel down… I bet it could even turn left! 🙂

  3. This looked so good I immediately drove to my local Starbucks to get me some Via. I had no idea there were so many options! I looked for an espresso option but these all had dairy products and the rest were for non-espresso coffees of various roasts. Is that what you used?

    • Hey Sonya! Oh, yes it’s just the regular coffee version of via. The idea is, you can add the full “cup” of coffee to the smoothie in powder form without adding any water (as you would if you actually brewed the coffee) so it’s very concentrated just like an espresso shot. And, the via is just one ingredient. But as you saw, they do have new weird latte version of via with dairy – I wouldn’t try those :p

  4. This is amazing!!! I make a lot of smoothies, but this is DEFINITELY at the top of my list. Thank you for posting this! Also, the dedication to Zoolander makes it better too, haha.

  5. Forget Blue Steel, this drink is getting the “Magnum” look!
    I am totally making this for breakfast tomorrow. 🙂

      • Heck yes I mean it! I made this drink with coconut milk instead of the almond milk and it is better than anything I ever had at Starbucks! (And that’s saying a lot, because I LOVE Starbucks) 🙂

  6. I love Zoolander!

    But, I’m allergic to bananas. 🙁 What would you suggest I use instead? I would love to make this.

    • Hey Liz, you can probably get away with adding a handful of ice cubes. It won’t be quite as creamy, but that should work well!

      • This comment is a bit late, but I’d try replacing the frozen banana with some coconut butter in addition to the ice cubes. It would replace the creamy ‘body’ that the banana adds while the ice replaces the ‘cold’. I’d start with maybe 2 tablespoons.

  7. When I saw this [best ever] movie, I didn’t think an orange mocha frappuccino sounded very good UNTIL I tried your recipe. Delicious! I think it’s totally deserving of a “Magnum” look. Merman!

    • Merman! Hahaha, I didn’t know I had so many Zoolander fans. These comments are the best… Oh, and I’m glad you liked the smoothie, too! 😀

  8. Sounds AMAZING!! Living in Ireland means I don’t have a Starbucks on every corner ( or even in my county, shock horror!!) so I was wondering, would any instant coffee work? And how much is in a packet?

    • Hey Lèan! No Starbucks on every corner? How do you survive?! Actually, I’m kind of jealous of that. 🙂 Yes, any instant coffee should work, 1 packet of via is designed for about 8 oz / 1 cup of coffee.

  9. Just found your blog today and I’m in love. This will be the first thing I make!! Every recipe is wonderfully simple (but not in a Cup-of-Noodles kind of easy way) with ingredients I can actually find in my rinky dink small town! I’m very excited about you.

    Also, Zoolander is amazing. End of.

  10. This looks so yummy. Is there an alternative to the banana? Every drink recipe I see has a frozen banana. I really can’t tolerate them in smoothies.

    • Hey Devorah, that’s funny, I don’t much like banana flavor either (and doesn’t it seem like EVERY vegan recipe uses banana?) so I usually try to avoid it. This time, I mostly used it to give the smoothie the right consistency. I’d recommend just using a few ice cubes in place of banana.

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