It’s funny, I have so many recipes for protein cookies, protein muffins and protein cakes (including the best protein pancakes on the internet), but I haven't done a round up of them lately.
Why You’ll Love these Protein Powder Recipes
They’re all gluten free, low-carb friendly and high in protein. For the most part, they all use protein powder, which can be a tricky ingredient to bake with, so I wrote an entire post on how to bake with protein powder.
Most of all, these recipes offer you something a lot of us on a fitness or weight loss journey crave - comfort foods! Hey, I get it. There’s nothing like a warm cookie or a little slice of cake with your coffee, but when you’re trying to clean up your diet, these are obviously not the best choice.
That said, all-or-nothing dieting never worked for me, and I bet you’ve found the same for yourself. Instead, gradually making better choices will help build momentum without feeling deprived. If you are ever feeling super deprived on a diet, that’s a sign that you’re pushing too far, and there’s always a downward spiral that follows.
So protein treats like the options below, provide a really good “in-between” option. It’s not quite broccoli and chicken, but it’s a heck of a lot better than Oreos!
The Benefits of Adding Protein Powder to Recipes for Baked Treats
Like I said, these treats are not Oreos. They have a much healthier nutrition profile with no added sugar and the bonus of added protein. However, it’s also important to expect a flavor and texture difference with most of these recipes. They aren’t going to be super sweet, so it may take some getting used to. I also don’t use a ton of grease in my recipes, so they aren’t the same as a store-bought treat.
Expect them to be different, but know that they’re still good. It just may take your palate a little time to adjust to eating less sugar and fat.
The other benefit of making your own baked protein cakes, muffins and cookies is that the added protein helps you keep you satisfied longer, so you’re not craving another hit of sugar 10 minutes after eating. This is SO important when you’re trying to reduce calorie intake for weight loss.
Ingredients You’ll Need for these Protein Powder Recipes
As a general rule, I encourage you to keep the following items in your pantry at all times, so whenever you get the urge for a treat, you can whip something up.
I recommend having a chocolate and a vanilla flavored protein on hand. I find that whey protein makes the best baked product because it melts better. Plant-based proteins can have a grainy texture, so I don’t recommend using it.
My favorite proteins to bake with are Designer Whey, Trutien and Beachbody’s Chocolate Recover (<- makes the BEST chocolate protein pancakes).
I’ve talked a lot about my favorite sweeteners and what I prefer to avoid. Swerve is by far my favorite choice now as it doesn’t have an aftertaste and it has a 1-1 sweetness profile with sugar. I’ve also used xylitol, erythritol and stevia and I think all of these are the healthiest options for non-sugar sweeteners because they do not spike insulin.
Low Carb, Gluten Free Flours (optional)
Because I only bake gluten free items, I recommend having almond, coconut and a good gluten free baking mix. I love combining these flours to find the right balance of texture that isn’t too dry or spongy.
Other staples to have on hand
It's always ideal to have eggs, egg whites, vanilla extract, baking powder, cinnamon, almond milk (or whatever milk you prefer) and coconut oil.
And now that we have all that covered, get ready…. Because I’m about to drop the best protein treats on the internet. I hope you enjoy them!!!!!
A Note About Vegan Protein Powder in Recipes
Years ago, when I owned a protein baking mix company, I tried desperately to formulate a plant-based protein blend. Unfortunately I wasn't successful for two reasons:
Plant-based protein powders don't melt into a baked good as well as a whey product. As a result, the texture can be grainy.
Eggs are (almost) critical.
7 Great Options for Adding Protein Powder in Recipes for Healthier Treats
- 1 scoop vanilla whey protein
- 1 tablespoon gluten free all purpose flour (or use what you have)
- ⅓ cup canned pumpkin puree
- ⅓ cup egg whites
- ⅓ frozen blueberries
- 1 sachet stevia (optional)
- In a small bowl, mix together dry ingredients, then add the wet ingredients and stir well.
- Pour contents into a mug or small bowl and microwave on high for 3 minutes.
- Let stand for 1 minute before eating.
if you want a sweeter cake, add the sweetener. I prefer to sweeten after the fact with Walden Farms Pancake Syrup.
Nutrition InformationServing Size 1 mug
Amount Per Serving Calories 209Total Fat 2gCarbohydrates 18gNet Carbohydrates 13gFiber 5gSugar 7gProtein 30g
- 2 bananas
- 3/4 cup vanilla protein
- 1/3 coconut flour
- 5 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 cup swerve
- 1/2 tbsp baking powder
- pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Grease a baking loaf or muffin tin
- Add the bananas, eggs and vanilla extract to a bowl and whisk together with a hand blender.
- In a separate bowl, add the dry ingredients, mix well, then add to the wet ingredients. Mix once again with the hand blender.
- Add mixture to greased pan
- Bake for about 30 minutes or until golden on top.
If you are using a muffin tin instead of a loaf, you may need to bake for a few minutes less.
Feel free to add extra goodies to your protein banana bread. My favorites are:
- Mixed berries
- chopped walnuts
- sugar free chocolate chips
Nutrition InformationYield 12 Serving Size 1 slice or muffin
Amount Per Serving Calories 70Total Fat 2.5gCarbohydrates 7.2gNet Carbohydrates 5.2gFiber 2gProtein 7.2g
- 1 cup gluten-free baking flour
- 1/2 cup vanilla protein powder
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 1 mashed banana
- ½ cup almond milk
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 tablespoons of pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ cup Lily's stevia sweetened chocolate chips
- 1 cup pumpkin puree, just the pumpkin, not the pie mix
- 2 range free eggs
- 1/2 tablespoon of liquid stevia
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
- Lightly spray your muffin tin so they don’t stick.
- Combine wet and dry ingredients separately, then mix together.
- Portion mix into muffin pan and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden on top and cooked in the middle.
Nutrition InformationYield 12 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 112Total Fat 3.1gCarbohydrates 17gNet Carbohydrates 12gFiber 5gProtein 6.5g
- ¾ c gluten free oats
- 1 banana
- ¼ c egg whites
- ¼ t vanilla extract
- 5 teaspoons of Stevia
- ¼ c protein powder
- 1 T coconut oil
- Makes 6 cookies.
- Preheat oven to 350, combine ingredients in a bowl and then spoon portions on a lined cookie sheet.
- Bake for 15 to 20 mins until golden brown.
Nutrition InformationYield 6 Serving Size 1 cookie
Amount Per Serving Calories 68Total Fat 1.5gCarbohydrates 8.5gNet Carbohydrates 3.5gFiber 1.5gProtein 5g
- 2 whole eggs
- 2/3 cup of egg whites
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 2 sachets of stevia, or a 1/4 teaspoon
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons coconut flour
- 2 tablespoons vanilla protein powder
- pinch sea salt
- Mix ingredients together in a small bowl. Ensure there are no clumps.
- Heat up a skillet (or two) ?? and coat with non-stick spray. Coat generously because these babies are delicate.
- Pour a small amount in the skillet that only covers the bottom of the pan.
- Let cook until sides look almost crispy, then do your best to flip!!!
- Once slightly browned, remove from pan and keep warm until served
- Each serving makes about two crepes depending on how big you make them.
- I used Designer Whey Vanilla protein for this recipe, but use what you have.
- Whey protein is recommended. Plant-based protein doesn't work well.
Nutrition InformationYield 2 Serving Size 2 Servings
Amount Per Serving Calories 170Total Fat 6.3gCarbohydrates 6.6gNet Carbohydrates 3.1gFiber 3.5gProtein 21.1g
- 1/4 cup pb2
- 1/4 almond
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 scoops vanilla protein powder (or Shakeology)
- 1 cup greek yogurt
- 1 eggs
- 1/2 cup egg white
- 1/2 cup xylitol, or your favorite sweetener
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- Pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 350
- Grease your donut, muffin or bread tin
- Put dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
- In another small bowl, combine wet ingredients well, then add to the dry ingredients and mix well.
- Pour ingredients into your preferred baking pan and bake for about 15 minutes (until slightly brown on top)
- Let cool and devour!
Nutrition facts: Cals 69, fat 2.3g, carbs 5.6, fiber 1.2, protein 8g
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Nutrition InformationYield 12 Serving Size 1 donut
Amount Per Serving Calories 69Total Fat 2.3gCarbohydrates 5.6gNet Carbohydrates 6.8gFiber 1.2gProtein 8g
- 1 scoop protein powder - I recommend chocolate whey
- 1/2 banana
- 2 Tbsp Trader Joe's Coconut Cream
- 1 sachet of stevia, optional
- 1 pinch of salt
- blend ingredients in a food processor and enjoy!
Feel free to play with your flavors!
- If you're using chocolate protein, try adding a tablespoon of nut butter or PB2
- Creating a vanilla pudding? Add a 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract to enhance the flavors
- I love Walden Farms Maple Syrup on either chocolate or vanilla pudding.
- Toss in some chocolate chips or shredded coconut for an additional texture.
Nutrition InformationServing Size 1 cup
Amount Per Serving Calories 262Total Fat 12gCarbohydrates 21gNet Carbohydrates 16gFiber 5gSugar 9gProtein 22g
Caren is a certified yoga teacher, fitness instructor and author of The Fit Habit. Here she shares simple, low carb recipes, quick home workout ideas and practical ways to foster mind + body wellness.