Mocha Choco Loco


I’m going to trust you with this recipe, goofy title and all. Do you have sisters? I have two, and when all three of us put our heads (and cravings) together, amazing recipes emerge. This is one.

Of course, I can’t pinpoint exactly when it started, but it was a long time ago. I definitely remember a sunny Saturday in high school. Katie, my younger sister, and I were reading on the deck, and we experienced that late-afternoon desire that comes from neither hunger nor tiredness nor thirst alone, but a combination of all three. Those, and the call of our sweet teeth. We set down our books and raced into the kitchen.

Was that the first Mocha Choco Loco of all time? I can’t say. The evolution from plain chocolate milk to Mocha Choco is subtle indeed–but crucial. The update comes in the form of espresso powder, an ingredient we always had on hand for making mom’s famous chocolate cake but never used for actual drinking coffee. That day, and many after, we dissolved cocoa, espresso powder, and sugar in hot water in our glasses, then poured in cups of milk, added ice cubes, drank up. This miniature cooking session was followed by us running around the house for the rest of the day yelling about Mocha Choco Locos.

You, on the other hand, might be wise to think of this as a simple, not-too-sweet, homemade version of the Frappucino. That makes a lot more sense than the internal sister name.

For this recipe, I’ve used Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Breeze Almond Milk instead of dairy-milk, since it’s 2014, not 2002, and we’ve all got dietary restrictions. Fortunately, we’ve still got those late afternoon sugar-hunger-caffeine cravings, though, and this is the ticket to curing them.


Mocha Choco Loco
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
Depending on your tastes when it comes to the balance of bitter and sweet, you may want to increase or decrease amounts of sugar, espresso, and cocoa. Play around!
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2½ teaspoons sugar
  • 1¼ cups Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Breeze Almond Milk(you can also use original, or whole milk)
  • 2 drops almond extract (optional)
  • About 6 ice cubes
  1. Combine the espresso, cocoa powder, and sugar in the bottom of a tall glass. Add 3 tablespoons of boiling water and stir to dissolve the ingredients. Pour in the almond milk and add the extract if you're using. Stir, then fill up the glass with ice cubes. Drink up!


This post is sponsored by Almond Breeze. Thanks for supporting the sponsors that keep Big Girls, Small Kitchen delicious!

  • Kelly

    Love the addition of espresso! It’s a caffeinated version of a childhood treat :)

    • BGSK

      You hit the nail on the head – exactly!

  • Kelly @

    Love the addition of espresso! It’s a caffeinated grownup version of a childhood treat :)

  • Everything of Cooking

    Great drink with great ingredients! Tweeted!

    • BGSK

      Thanks for sharing!

      • Everything of Cooking


  • Živa

    Looks absolutely delicious! I must make this soon :) x

    Živa from Nothin’ Fancy. Really.

    • BGSK

      Hope you love it!

  • aurélie Blondin

    It actually made me wanna drink it all right now! Great post!

    • BGSK

      Yay! So glad you liked.

      • LoriD

        I was wondering, is there something that could be substituted, for the expresso powder, in order to get the coffee flavor, but not all the caffeine? Thanks!

        • Katie

          I just made this recipe with Nescafe instant coffee (with delicious results) and I noted when picking it up that they had a decaf version if you’re okay with a milligram or two of caffeine.

  • Liz

    I didn’t have almond milk but I used 2% milk and it was sooo good. Don’t skip the almond extract – it makes this drink extra delicious!!

  • LNSP

    Where do you find espresso powder? I tried these places and struck out: Starbucks, Wegmanns,Trader Joes and other local coffee shops. The best I found was from Starbucks a natural roasted instant microground coffee.Help!!

    • Carole

      I don’t know if you’ll see this after all of this time, but I found espresso powder in the coffee aisle of a local grocery store. It’s never been easy to find in my area, but I finally did find it (needed it for Tiramisu). The brand I purchased was Medaglia D’Oro. Amazon probably has it as well.

Buy Now - In The Small Kitchen