How To Make Vanilla Protein Shakes Taste Better (3 Tips)

Although protein shakes are a convenient way to increase your protein intake, if you hate the taste of your vanilla protein shakes, it might not feel worth it. That’s why I’ve come up with various ways to make vanilla protein shakes taste better.

Key Takeaways

  • You can improve the taste of your vanilla protein shakes by adjusting the sweetness with flavor enhancers such as stevia extract, honey, or vanilla extract.
  • You can also improve the consistency to suit your preferences by adding, subtracting, or substituting ingredients, such as mixing it with plant-based milk or blending it with ice or bananas.
  • Sometimes, switching protein brands can make all the difference when looking for a vanilla protein powder.

3 Tips On Making Your Vanilla Protein Shake Taste Better 

1. Adjust The Sweetness

To improve the taste of your vanilla protein shake you might have to adjust the sweetness because some vanilla protein powders are incredibly sweet, but others may not taste sweet at all.

Increasing The Sweetness

If your protein shake isn’t sweet enough, then you can increase the sweetness by:

  • Choosing A Protein Powder With Sugar Or Intense Sweeteners. Protein powders that are manufactured with added sugar or more intense artificial sweeteners (sucralose and acesulfame potassium) can help to increase the sweetness of your protein shake.
  • Using A Sweeter Liquid. Mixing your vanilla protein with sweetened plant-based milk or juice can help to increase the sweetness of your protein shake.
  • Adding Your Own Sweetener. You could also add your own sweetener like stevia, sugar, honey, money syrup, or fruit to increase the sweetness of your vanilla protein shake.

Decreasing The Sweetness

If your protein shake is too sweet, then you can decrease the sweetness by:

  • Choose A Protein Powder Without Added Sugars Or Intense Sweeteners. You can easily cut back on sweetness by using a brand of protein powder that is sweetened with xylitol or erythritol, which are less sweet than other artificial sweeteners.
  • Contrast It With A Tart Flavor. There will always be some sweetness to a vanilla protein powder but you can balance it out by adding it to Greek yogurt, which naturally has a more sour taste.

2. Enhance The Flavor

One of the best ways to make your vanilla protein shake taste better is to enhance the flavor. You can do this by improving the vanilla flavor or adding in other flavors and textures that compliment the vanilla.

Enhancing The Vanilla Flavor

The best ways to enhance the vanilla flavor are:

  • Mixing It With A Vanilla Plant-Based Milk. A great way to enhance the vanilla flavor in a protein shake is to use a vanilla flavored plant-based milk (almond, oat, cashew), which can improve the flavor and the creaminess of your protein shake.
  • Adding Vanilla Extract. You can also add a dash of vanilla extract to your protein shake to increase the vanilla flavor and make it more enjoyable. If you want a sweeter vanilla taste, then try Vanilla Stevia Drops.

Adding Other Flavors

The best ways to add other flavors with vanilla protein powder are:

  • Blending It With Fruit. A great flavor addition for vanilla protein shakes is fruit because vanilla allows fruit to be the star of the show. The best fruits to add to a vanilla protein shake are berries, bananas, mango, and pineapple.
  • Crushing Cookies Into Your Shake. One of my favorite ways to enhance the flavor in a vanilla protein shake is to crush up 1 or 2 Oreos or pre-made chocolate chips cookies and add it to the protein shake. 

Related Article: Best Fruits For Protein Shakes (8+ Tasty Combos)

3. Improve The Consistency

Another way to make your vanilla protein shake taste better is to change the consistency of your protein shake. If your shake is too thick or thin for your preferences, then this can easily be fixed.

Thickening Up Your Shake

To thicken up your protein shake you can add:

  • Add Oats. Adding oats to your shake makes it thicker, adds more fiber, and can improve the flavor as well. I personally like to grind the oats into a flour consistency before adding them to a shake because I prefer the texture.
  • Use A Protein Powder With Xanthan Gum. You can also change the protein powder brand that you’re using for one that contains xanthan gum, which is a thickening agent that makes your protein shakes creamier.
  • Use Less Liquid. If you’re adding too much liquid to your shake, then it could be affecting the consistency. Try adding less liquid so your protein shake is more concentrated.
  • Blend It With Ice. Another great way to thicken your shake is to blend it with ice to make a protein ice cream, which is more satisfying than a regular protein shake.

Thinning Out Your Shake

To make your protein shake more thin you can:

  • Mix It With More Liquid. If you’re not using enough liquid, then your protein shake might be thicker than you prefer. Try using more liquid when you’re mixing your shake to adjust the consistency.
  • Avoid Protein Powders With Xanthan Gum. If you want a thinner shake you should avoid protein powders that have xanthan gum, which will make your protein shakes thinner.

Related Article: How To Make Chocolate Protein Shakes Taste Better (5 Tips)

3 Vanilla Protein Shake Recipes That Taste AWESOME

Not Your Average Vanilla Shake

Serves 1 or 2


  • 6 fl. oz. almond milk unsweetened
  • 1/2 cup plain or vanilla non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 1/2 cups ice cubes
  • 1 tsp. stevia (or sweetener of your choice)


Add ingredients to a blender and blend until well combined.

162 Calories, 2g Carbs, 10g Fat, 16g Protein (divided into 2 servings)

324 Calories, 4g Carbs, 20g Fat, 32g Protein (for the full batch)

Cookie & Cream Protein Shake

cookie & cream protein shake

Serves 1


  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 1/2 cups crushed ice or more as needed, to thicken
  • 1/2  cup unsweetened vanilla cashew milk, almond milk, or regular milk of choice
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Oreo cookies


Add all the ingredients except the Oreos to a blender and blend until well combined. Then add the Oreos and pulse until desired consistency is achieved.

191 Calories, 14g Carbs, 2.5g Fat, 28g Protein

Creamsicle Protein Shake

creamsicle protein shake

Serves 1 or 2


  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup almond milk 
  • 1/4 cup greek yogurt
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder 
  • 1/4 banana 
  • 1/2 cup ice  


Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until the ice is well incorporated.

133 Calories, 18g Carbs, 1g Fat, 13g Protein (divided into 2 servings)

270 Calories, 37g Carbs, 2g Fat, 26g Protein (for the full batch)

Check out some of our other protein shake recipes, such as the Egg White Protein Shake

What Are The Best Tasting Vanilla Protein Powders?

My 3 favorite vanilla protein powder based on taste are:

  1. PEScience Gourmet Vanilla (click to read my review) – Best for protein ice cream because of its creamy texture and smooth flavor
  1. Premier Protein Vanilla Milkshake – Best for a standard vanilla shake because of it’s rich flavor
  1. Optimum Nutrition Natural Vanilla – Best light vanilla flavor to be used as a base for fruit or juice

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can I Add Cocoa Powder To My Vanilla Protein Shake? 

Yes, you can add cocoa powder to your vanilla protein shake to give your shake a chocolate flavor without purchasing both vanilla and chocolate protein powders. Additionally, unsweetened cocoa powder can be used to tone down the sweetness on a shake that’s just too sweet.

Can I Add Peanut Butter To My Vanilla Protein Shake?

Yes, adding peanut butter to your shake is a great way to add additional calories to a vanilla protein shake if you’re someone who needs a higher calorie shake. I would suggest mixing vanilla protein powder, peanut butter, banana, and milk for a great flavor combination.

What Fruits Are Good With Vanilla Protein Shakes?

I like the taste of all fruit in a vanilla protein shake, but the most notable flavor combinations would be berries, oranges, pineapple, cherries, and bananas.

Can I Add Vanilla Extract To My Protein Shakes?

You can add vanilla extract to your protein shake to amp up the vanilla flavor in a protein shake that lacks flavor; but if it’s also lacking sweetness, then you may want to add a sweetener like stevia along with the vanilla extract.

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About The Author

Amanda Parker

Amanda Parker is an author, nutrition coach, and Certified Naturopath.  She works with bodybuilders, Olympic weightlifters, and powerlifters to increase performance through nutrition and lifestyle coaching.

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