A Visual Substitution Guide

Welcome to your Ultimate Guide to Baking With Protein Powder- “cakes” edition! If you want to see my visual guide for protein powder substitutions in protein cookies, check out my post here.

In this post, we’re going to take a simple chocolate cupcake recipe and swap the flour out for 9 different types of protein powder to see how each affects the final product.

If you check out my visual guide for cookies, you’ll see that most of the cookies looked decent. That’s because cookies are more forgiving. When it comes to cake recipes, achieving a light & fluffy texture is extremely important, so you’re going to see that the type of protein powder you choose makes a huge difference.

To be clear: no single protein powder is best for baking. With the proper substitutions, any protein powder can work out great, but you’ll quickly see that they are all certainly not the same.

And remember, we are testing a regular cupcake recipe here and swapping out the flour for a protein powder to see the differences more cut-and-dry. When it comes to high-protein recipes with larger quantities of protein powder required, the results may be even more drastic.

Why Bake With Protein Powder?

If you’re new to my blog, I create a lot of high-protein recipes using protein powder.

I won’t dive too deeply into why protein is important, but this graphic I put together summarizes it briefly for you:

Personally, I find it very important to eat a high-protein diet, so I love baking high-protein desserts to help me reach those goals.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying treats that aren’t high-protein, but I love making treats that not only taste delicious but also help me reach my goals.

When you bake with protein powder, the final product is generally lower in carbs than the original recipe. This is because protein powder will take the place of flour (at least some of it) in your recipes, so it naturally makes the carbs lower.

Carbs are NOT a bad thing, but you generally won’t find a recipe that is very high in both carbs and protein. Yes, the two can co-exist, but for our purposes, protein powder will typically replace some of the flour required.

The Science of Baking

This guide is going to specifically break down how different protein powder affects cakes.

I also put together a guide specifically for cookies, which you can find here.

Cookies and cakes are very different, so it makes sense to look at them separately.

First and foremost, cookies begin with dough, and cakes start with a batter, making them quite different.

Cakes are light & fluffy, as the base of them is made up of mostly flour and baking powder to give them a nice rise.

Cookies are higher in fat (generally a combination of butter & sugar) with only a little bit of flour, resulting in a soft cookie that spreads instead of rises.

Baking really is a science, and you can tweak the ingredients or processes in a recipe to create different end-products. I mean, just think about how many different cookie recipes there are, and how different the cookies end up turning out.

When you add protein powder to the mix, that science becomes even more complex, which is why I want to help you make sense of it all.

General Tips & Substitutions

When it comes to cakes, they are typically high in carbs and low in fat. This is because the main ingredient is flour. And while they will contain some kind of oil or butter to help keep them moist, it is not going to be a huge amount.

By adding protein powder to the mix, we’re going to create a very dry result. When it comes to baked goods, more protein almost always leads to a dry result. Think about any high-protein cookie or cake you may have purchased- odds are that it was much more dry than desserts you know and love.

When we add protein powder to cake recipes, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Add Fat. Protein will dry out your cake, but fat will keep is moist. Instead of trying to keep your cakes completely fat-free, make sure you add some butter or oil to the recipe. Without fat, you’re going to have a very dry cake.
  • Use a leaving agent. If you’re opting for protein powder to replace some of your flour, you don’t want your recipes to fall flat. Since you are removing a lot (or all) of the gluten, make sure you utilize baking powder in your cake.
  • Lessen the bake time. Protein powder bakes up faster than flour, so your cakes will become overcooked when you make the substitution. When protein powder is involved, check on your cakes before the recommended bake-time is up. I’d much rather pull them too early rather than wait until they are overcooked and dried out.

There are lots of tips & tricks I can give you, but the best thing to do if you aspire to bake with protein powder is practice. Check out my high-protein recipes here. I do my best to provide tons of notes and tips to make things as easy as possible for you.

Types of Protein Powder

There are tons of options for protein powder out there. The most common type of protein powder is whey protein, but there are plenty of others to choose from: casein, egg, plant-based, and more.

We aren’t going to cover EVERY protein powder in this guide (because I had to draw the line somewhere) but I did my best to cover the main types.

Let’s quickly look at what makes each protein different.

Whey Protein Powder

Whey protein is by far the most popular option out there. It’s advertised as the best protein powder to consume post-workout because it is fast digesting. And, between us, it’s actually the cheapest to manufacture, which is why it burst onto the fitness scene so prominently.

Whey protein is drived from milk- it’s what you get when cheese or yogurt is made. When you see that gross-looking liquid on top of your yogurt, that’s actually whey protein, so be sure to mix that in!

There are actually two main types of whey protein: whey concentrate, and whey isolate.

Whey Protein Concentrate: This is the type of whey protein you’re most likely to find. A concentrate means that 80% of the product is protein, so it will likely have a small amount of carbs or fat. Don’t worry, it’s still typically only 1-2g of fat per serving, and maybe 3g carbs total.

Whey Protein Isolate: Isolate is a “stronger” protein powder that must contain at least 90% protein. It will be virtually carb & fat free, but may contain small amounts of each (typically less than one gram per serving). People automatically assume that this is a better type of whey protein, but the differences are very minimal.

Casein Protein

Casein is the other protein found in milk. When you drink a glass of milk, you’re getting plenty of casein.

Casein protein is slower digesting, which is why you’ll see many people drinking it at night in an effort to remain full throughout the night.

Casein is much thicker than whey protein. If you put whey protein in a bowl with a little bit of water and mix it up, you’re going to be left with a very gritty goop. If you were to do the same with casein, you end up with a pudding-like consistency. Overall, casein is much thicker and absorbant than whey protein.

Egg Protein

If your body dislikes dairy, egg protein can be a great choice. Since egg whites are packed with protein, you can dehyrdate them into a powder to make a quality egg protein powder.

If sodium is a concern, it’s worth noting that egg protein tends to be relatively high in sodium. Since one egg white contains 55mg of sodium, it can add up in a concentrated powder.

For reference, the brand that I used for this experiment (“It’s Just” brand) contains over 400mg per scoop serving, whereas the whey protein contains only 100mg.

Plant-Based Protein

Plant-based protein powder can come from a wide variety of sources: peas, hemp, almonds, brown rice, and many more.

Most vegan protein powder you find on shelves will be some type of blend of various sources. If not, then pea protein powder is going to be the most common plant-based protein you’ll see.

Generally speaking, plant-based protein has a very strong “earthy” flavor. No matter which brand you try, and whichever flavor you choose, you will absolutely taste a difference between the plant-based protein and a dairy-based protein.

Of all the plant-based protein out there, soy protein will have the most subtle flavor. Soy protein used to be a very popular ingredient, but I’ve been seeing it less and less frequently in recent years, so I did not include soy protein powder in this guide.

How Different Protein Powder Affects Cakes

For this experiment, I started with a very basic small-batch cupcake recipe.

It took a few tries to get the texture just right, but I ended up with a baked good that was light, fluffy, and still fudgy. Think of it almost like a cakey brownie.

I chose to go with a chocolate cupcake because cocoa powder is a very dry & absorbent ingredient, so when you combine that with protein powder, I knew it would create obvious results.

I swapped out the flour for protein powder in each experiment, and I actually just used vanilla protein powder for each. Life hack for you: chocolate protein powder is basically just vanilla protein with cocoa powder added, so I just stick with vanilla for most of my recipes!

Of course, you can grab some unflavored protein powder and add your own flavoring as well.

Basic Ingredients: Butter, Sugar, Vanilla Extract, Egg White, Baking Powder, Cocoa Powder, Salt.

Process: Mix all the liquid ingredients together, then stir in the dry ingredients until a thick but pourable batter is created. Pour into cupcake molds and bake.

Bake Time: 350 degrees F for 18 minutes (note that this is the bake time for a full batch of cupcakes. If you were to just make 1-2 cupcakes, they’d bake up faster).

Cooling Time: 10 minutes

Whey Concentrate

Whey concentrate is a dairy protein that is at least 80% protein, meaning that it has a very small amount of both fat and carbs per serving, vs whey isolate that is more of a “pure” protein.

Baking With Whey Concentrate

Brand Used: Bob’s Red Mill

Result: Extremely dry cupcake that ended up becoming very stiff and difficult to bite. The protein powder flavor became overpowering to the point where you could not taste much of the cocoa powder or sugar.

Tips: This cupcake was WAY too dry. If using whey protein for cakes, do not use any additional protein (in the case of this recipe, that would mean removing egg white) and cut the total bake time. As you can see, it baked up so dry that some of the interior exploded out of the side, so I would pull these from the oven with much less bake time.

Whey Isolate

Whey isolate is known as a “better” form of whey protein because it contains almost all protein, with very little fat or carbs. For baking purposes, it is quite similar to whey concentrate.

Baking With Whey Isolate

Brand Used: Dymatize

Result: This cupcake came out extremely dry and was very similar to the cupcake made with whey concentrate. From the top, this looks like a decent cupcake, but once you cut or bite into it, it’s clear that it is way too dry and inedible.

Tips: Just like the cupcake made with whey concentrate, this substitution requires lowering the total bake time way down to prevent it from completely drying out.

Whey Isolate + Concentrate Blend

Many whey protein products on the market are a blend of whey concentrate & isolate, so I mixed the two to test the result.

Baking With a Whey Isolate & Concentrate Blend

Brand Used: Dymatize + Bob’s Red Mill

Result: It’s no surprise that the blend of whey concentrate and whey isolate resulted in a very dry cupcake considering the previous tests produced the same result.

Tips: No matter which type of whey protein you use for cakes, be sure to eliminate any other protein sources (in this case, egg white) and lessen the time in the oven to prevent it from drying out.

Whey Protein Formulated for High-Temperatures

In my pantry, I also had Bowmar Nutrition protein powder, which is a blend of whey concentrate and whey isolate.

Surely it seems like something is wrong there.

Upon a little bit of research, I found out that Bowmar Nutrition is specifically formulated for high temperatures. Their “Protein Hot Chocolate” was made to mix with hot water, which is something most other whey protein powders do not do particularly well.

Because of this, when I used it in the cupcakes, it worked surprisingly well for whey protein.

I did not want to use this as the official test for a whey protein blend, but I wanted to be sure to note this difference. Most protein powder out there is not going to be formulated specifically for baking, but if it is, then you may find it working significantly better in your recipes.

Casein, the other main protein found in dairy, produces a drastically different result than whey protein.

Baking With Casein

Brand Used: Legion

Tips: Casein is extremely absorbent, and when you mix this batter up, you’ll notice that it becomes extremely thick (more like a dough than a batter). It was clear that this one would not turn out. When baking with casein, if the goal is to have a batter, be sure to add extra liquid to compensate.

Casein + Whey Isolate Blend

Blends of both whey & casein are very popular, but there are two main variations I’ve found: one that utilizes just whey isolate, and one that utilizes both whey isolate AND concentrate. This one is the former.

Baking With a Whey Isolate + Casein Blend

Brand Used: Quest Nutrition

Result: The structure of this cupcake was great overall (minus the small cavity in the center) but ended up being too dry.

Tips: The addition of casein helps this cupcake retain moisture, but it still ends up too dry from the whey isolate. To compensate, you’ll want to bake these cupcakes for a few minutes less than the recipe calls for.

Casein + Whey Isolate + Whey Concentrate Blend

Baking With a Whey Isolate, Concentrate, & Casein Blend

Brand Used: PEScience

Result: A cupcake with a structure that most closely resembles the original cupcake, but more on the dense side than light & fluffy. The taste was very similar to dense protein brownies rather than a chocolate cupcake.

Tips: Even though this result was solid overall, it was still a bit dry. As with all other protein powders, I recommend baking for a few minutes less than you normally would.

Collagen

Collagen powder is very unique. As you’ll see here, it’s best used as an addition to your recipes rather than a replacement.

Baking With Collagen

Result: Just like our cookie test, the collagen powder ended up providing absolutely no structure. The cupcake was impossible to pick up or cut, and it remained extremely sticky.

Tips: Don’t use collagen as a replacement for flour in any recipe. You can use it to add some collagen protein to your recipes, but on its own, it will not provide any kind of structure.

If you have a dairy allergy, you can either turn towards a plant-based protein or egg protein.

Baking With Egg Protein

Brand Used: It’s Just

Result: This cupcake turned out shockingly dense. The interior of the cupcake began to ooze out because it expanded too much, and the final product was very difficult to cut (not to mention, impossible to bite).

Tips: When you add eggs to recipes, it’s generally to give it some rise. But when you use whole eggs, you also get egg yolks, which help to retain moisture. When you use a concentrated form of egg whites, you get all of the rise with none of the moisture. If you need to use egg protein in cakes, you’ll need to significantly bump up the fat content.

Vegan/Plant-Based

There are many different types of vegan protein powders out there, but for this test, I went with one that is mainly pea protein powder. In most cases, other plant-based protein powders will react very similarly.

Baking With Plant-Based Protein

Brand Used: FLEX

Result: Since plant-based protein is very absorbent (even more so than casein protein) the batter turned into a chocolate dough instead. Because of this, it was clear that the result would not be cakey. These cupcakes were very crumbly and did not resemble cupcakes, and the plant-based protein created a very strong, earthy flavor.

Tips: When using vegan protein, you’ll need to use significantly more liquid in your batter. Adding milk to thin out this batter definitely would have helped, but you’ll also need to bump up the amount of sweetener used in order to improve the flavor.

Final Thoughts

You’ve made it. You’re now an expert when it comes to baking with protein powder.

Like I’ve mentioned, baking is truly a science. To make a perfect recipe, you need precise ingredient measurements and precise directions.

Throwing protein powder into the equation certainly complicates things, but it doesn’t need to be too complicated!

In most cases, you can take a “normal” recipe and swap out some of the flour for protein powder, but it will obviously depend on the type of protein you use and the total amount required. As a 1:1 replacement, it likely won’t work out well, but you can typically swap out about 1/4 of the flour in a recipe for protein powder and still end up with a great result.

This is assuming you are working with regular flour, however. If a recipe uses almond flour, coconut flour, or any nut flour, then the results are going to be altered even more. Don’t worry, I’ve got more guides on the way to help!

Here are some of my final observations for these cupcakes:

Whey Protein (any type): Bakes very dry, so will lead to dry cakes very easily. To compensate, be sure to use more liquid ingredients, and preferably some with a little bit of fat (like butter). I also recommend less time in the oven.

Casein: Casein is significantly more absorbent than whey protein, so your recipes will require much more liquid. Casein will also lack structure, so it’s recommended you don’t swap it out for ALL the flour in a recipe.

Casein Blend: In my experience, the best protein powder to use for cakes. The whey protein helps to provide structure, and the casein retains moisture. However, it still bakes dry, so be sure to bake for less time in the oven to prevent your recipe from drying out.

Plant-Based Protein: Not great for cakes, but will work fairly well in bread or muffins. Since plant-based protein is the most absorbent of all the protein powders, it will be tough to achieve a light & fluffy texture.

General Tips: When baking cakes with protein powder, you will want to lessen the bake time to prevent them from completely drying out. Since cake starts with a batter to achieve a fluffy texture, be sure to assess your batter before baking. If it seems too thick (or ends up doughy) add additional liquid to thin it out into a batter. Typically, some extra milk will do the trick, but it depends on the recipe.

My famous Air Fryer Donut Holes

Protein Powder Recipes For Each Type of Protein Powder

Whey Protein: Protein Donuts from The Clean Eating Couple

Casein Protein: Peppermint Oreo Protein Cupcakes from Macro Chef

Whey/Casein Blend: Chocolate Donut Holes by Me (or my original donut holes)

Plant-Based: Vegan Peanut Butter Protein Muffins by Fit Mitten Kitchen

Collagen: Chocolate Collagen Muffins from Meghan Livingstone

If you bake with protein powder, I’d love to hear which is your favorite! I know there are other types I didn’t test here, so let me know if yours didn’t make the cut and I’ll see if I can get it added in future experiments.

If you’ve ever baked with protein shake powder, you probably realized quickly that not all protein powders bake the same way. Not only do the different types of protein powders bake differently (whey, pea, casein, etc.) but you could have 5 different single-ingredient whey protein powders that bake differently. It’s all in how the protein is processed. So what’s the best protein for baking?

Well, I do have an all-around great protein powder to recommend, but the answer to that question really depends on what you want to make and if you have any dietary preferences.

Baking with Protein Powder Infographic

🌟 The best protein powder for baking – Quick answer

If you want to purchase one protein powder to start using protein in desserts and baked goods, I’d say the best option is this vanilla whey by ON. It’s my go-to vanilla whey protein powder. I used it to make these chocolate chip protein cookies, this creamy protein cheesecake, and these sweet potato protein cupcakes, to name a few. It is a blend of whey isolate, whey concentrate, and hydrolyzed whey.

Great choice for baking with protein powder

But please only use it in recipes that call for whey protein. If you use whey in a protein baking recipe that calls for a whey/casein blend or plant protein, the final product will likely be horrible. Using a different type of protein powder than what is called for in a recipe may work for no-bake recipes, but in baked recipes it generally doesn’t work unless the protein content in the recipe is very small.

If you’d like to have a wider variety of recipes to bake, I highly suggest you read further for the pros and cons of the different protein powders in baking.

🐄 By protein source

Whey concentrate is generally good for baking, depending on the rest of the ingredients in the recipe.

In cake or bread, whey typically needs other dry ingredients or carbs to offset its protein content (for example this protein cake and this protein bread).

Chocolate Protein Cake

In cookies and brownies, using nut butter can bring down the cake-like texture to something more dense, as in these protein brownies and chocolate chip protein cookies.

Whey concentrate is great for cheesecakes and puddings (like this chia pudding), as well.

A note about flours when baking with whey: Because whey adds protein to the recipe, it is usually best to use a gluten free flour like oat flour. Regular flour or whole wheat flour would make this bread recipe and this banana bread recipe very tough.

Healthy Banana Nut Bread

My go-to whey for baking is this vanilla whey protein. Even though it is a whey blend, I use it as I would a whey concentrate.

Whey protein isolate

Do you want to eat hockey pucks? Try baking with a clean whey isolate. No bueno.

I don’t recommend whey isolates for cakes, breads, or cookies. Unless you are using a small amount relative to your other ingredients, you’ll probably get something dry, rubbery, or hard. Go with whey concentrate or this whey blend for baking.

Whey isolate can be great for unbaked recipes like ice cream and puddings because some whey isolates blend nice and frothy. If your whey isolate makes a fluffy protein shake, it will be great for unbaked recipes, and probably ok for cheesecakes.

Protein Rice Pudding

Casein protein powder

Casein powder on its own (not in a whey/casein blend) is a good thickener for things like puddings and frostings. (I have a great recipe for protein peppermint patties using casein protein!) But I haven’t baked with straight casein because if I’m going the casein route in baking, I’d go with a whey/casein blend. I suppose casein would act like coconut flour in baking, and would suck the moisture out of your bake if not used in the right amount.

Whey/casein blends

The combo of whey and casein proteins is the closest you’ll find for a flour substitute. If you’re looking to add protein to a traditional baking recipe, I’d try replacing half the flour with a whey/casein blend, and experiment from there. These coffee cake muffins use a whey/casein blend, as do these sandwich cookies. But my favorite way to use a whey/casein blend in protein powder recipes is in no-bake recipes like these lemon poppy seed protein balls, and this chocolate protein frosting. Using just whey in these recipes would give wet results, but the whey/casein blend is just perfect.

Protein Coffee Cake with Crumble Topping

Pea protein

Pea protein powder (and pea blends) bake very fluffy when combined with egg whites. For example, see this simple protein pancake recipe and this delicious vanilla cupcake recipe. When combined with nut butters in cookies, they give a nice soft texture, as in this protein cookie recipe. Some pea proteins can taste bitter, but I find these pea blends to be great to work with.

Vanilla Protein Cupcakes

Almond and peanut proteins

Almond protein and powdered peanut butter also bake very fluffy when combined with egg whites, and are great in muffins. These would also be a good sub for rice or pea protein in cookies. I’m not sure it would have quite enough structure for a bread, as these proteins bake up quite soft.

Apple Peanut Protein Muffins

Rice protein

Usually made from brown rice, rice protein is the best way to get cookies that crumble and and melt in your mouth. (Whey will never do this.) One of my very first recipes, this one for peanut butter protein cookies, is a great way to bake with rice protein. Used in a cake, rice protein would need to be combined with another protein like whey, and many of my early recipes use this combo. A cake with all rice protein would be wet and dense. But for protein cookies, perfect!

Hemp protein powder

Hemp protein has a nutty flavor, and its texture would make it a good option for a rice protein sub in baking. I used hemp powder in this no-bake mint cookie recipe, and it is so so good! (I also happen to like chocolate hemp protein in a shake with frozen cherries. Such a good flavor combo!)

Hemp protein cookies

🍰 By recipe type

For protein cakes (include protein mug cake recipes), whey, whey/casein blends, and pea protein (and pea blends) would be great options. But again, I suggest you find a recipe that calls for the type of protein powder you want to use, and don’t sub the different protein powders for each other.

Protein cookies

If you’re looking for any sort of crispness, crunch, or crumble in your protein cookie, use a vegan protein powder like rice, hemp, or pea protein. If you want chewy protein cookies or cake-like cookies, go with whey.

Protein cheesecakes

Whey concentrates (or this whey blend) are the best here. Plant-base protein powders would leave a grainy, undesirable mouthfeel.

Meyer Lemon Cheesecake with Honey Hemp Crust

Protein breads

If you can include carbs in your protein bread also, use whey (as in this bread recipe) for a better taste. If you want a low carb bread, try this basic protein bread with pea protein. I don’t have a bread recipe with a whey/casein blend, but based on my Easter bread recipe, I think it would work well.

Protein muffins

I like using plant-based protein powder for muffins, like with these chocolate chip muffins and these apple peanut muffins.

Chocolate Chip Protein Muffins

Protein bars and balls

I have found whey/casein blends to be the easiest for protein bars and protein balls. Using whey powder alone gives a wet, sticky bar, and trying to dry that up with coconut flour doesn’t taste very good. Using plant-based protein powder can work here (as in these chocolate coconut protein balls) but they tend to be softer and more delicate than with a whey/casein blend.

Protein ice cream

Whey isolates are great here, as they tend to fluff up nicely (better than whey concentrates). Frozen bananas + whey isolate + milk of choice makes a great protein ice cream!

Note: Whey isolates that don’t fluff as a shake (like Isopure) are not recommended in protein ice cream.

Protein frosting

Whey/casein blends or casein would make a frosting you could pipe. Whey isolate or whey concentrate would make a thinner frosting or icing.

Healthy Chocolate Frosting

Protein pancakes

Similar to what I suggest for breads, if you can add carbs, go for whey protein like I did with these pumpkin protein pancakes. If you want a low carb pancake, go with pea protein blends like in this protein pancake recipe.

Fluffy Peanut Butter Protein Pancakes

📝 More protein baking tips

Want more helpful protein baking tips? Download my Protein Baking Cheat Sheet, free when you subscribe here:

These tasty whey protein recipes will quickly become your go-to recipes.

You can do way more with whey protein than just down it after your workout, though that is a great strategy.

From tasty desserts to quick snacks and shakes, these are our top 20 whey protein recipes guaranteed to make your tastebuds happy and help keep your progress in the gym on track.

3-Ingredient High-Protein Fudge

Chocolatey, fudgey goodness that packs a protein punch.

• By Monica Green

High-Protein Salted Caramel Frappe

29g of protein per serving and a whole lot of flavour, this frappé is the way forward.

High-Protein Salted Caramel Frappé

Say goodbye to overpriced coffees, here’s the high-protein answer.

Protein Churros

If you’re unfamiliar with churros, firstly, I’m sorry, secondly, they’re a type of fried dough, usually covered in sugar and dipped in chocolate or caramel sauce.

6g of protein and just 49 calories per churro. Sign me up.

Easy Protein Churros

A taste of the fun fair in your kitchen.

• By Emily Wilcock

Easy High-Protein M&M Sundae

Zack Chugg just keeps on giving us incredible protein milkshake and sundae recipes. And I can’t get enough.

Simple Protein Chocolate Flapjacks

These flapjacks are enrobed with protein chocolate (made with whey) and deliver 8g of protein and just 180 calories per portion. Win.

Post-workout, mid-morning, or before bed. Every occasion is just right for a protein flapjack.

3-Step High-Protein Cookie Brownies

Cookies and brownies are two words no one is ever sad to hear. So when they’re joined together in protein heaven? Even better.

These cookie brownies from Zack Chugg feature a massive 49g of protein for the whole batch and provide ooey-gooey cookie brownie goodness.

Phew, we’re not even halfway through the list and I’m getting hungry.

Fresh brookies in three easy steps.

• By Lauren Dawes

Low-Calorie Speculoos Donut Holes

As if donuts weren’t already good enough, Zac Kerr filled these donuts with Biscoff spread. Yep.

And of course, these are high protein and low calorie, providing just 36 calories and 2.5g of protein per donut hole.

That caramel biscuit spread, in fluffy donuts.

4-Ingredient Clear Whey Jelly

I simply had to include at least one Clear Whey recipe on this list. But don’t worry, we’ll also have a comprehensive list of clear protein recipes coming to the blog soon.

Cinnamon Baked Oat Cake

Cake for breakfast? OK, silly question.

This fluffy cinnamon baked oat cake is topped with an indulgent cream-cheese glaze that’s guaranteed to start your day off on the right foot. 33g of protein and 332 calories, I can’t wait to give this one a go.

High-Protein Overnight Weetabix

After seeing this breakfast idea take over TikTok, we couldn’t resist making our own.

This salted caramel overnight Weetabix recipe couldn’t be simpler, and it delivers a massive 54g of protein. Perfect for anyone who prefers a sweet breakfast over savoury.

Japanese Style high-Protein Fluffy Pancakes

Another viral recipe, these fluffy Japanese pancakes will make all your aesthetic dreams come true.

High-Protein Cookie Cereal

OK, OK, this recipe may have been intended for Valentine’s Day, but who says you can’t make yourself heart-shaped cereal any day of the year?

This breakfast option couldn’t be more adorable, and it delivers 11g per serving. For anyone who wants to start the day in style.

Valentine’s Day High-Protein Cookie Cereal

These are the cutest little cookies to spread some love.

High-Protein Chocolate Orange Energy Balls

It’s 3pm, you’ve been staring at the clock and you’re not sure you’re going to have enough energy to make it to 5pm.

But then you remember you pre-made some chocolate orange energy balls, and all is well in the world.

No, but really, these energy balls are the perfect pick-me-up or pre-workout snack. 4.6g of protein per serving and covered in chocolate. Ideal.

4-Ingredient Banana Protein Pancakes

This ridiculously easy, foolproof recipe will become your go-to breakfast pancakes recipe (and maybe even lunch and dinner).

https://youtube.com/watch?v=26XHSMWT9Lk%3F

New York Protein Cheesecake

This tasty New York protein cheesecake contains a fraction of the calories, fat and sugar of the classic but without skimping on the flavour.

New York Baked Protein Cheesecake

Get one step closer to the Big Apple.

• By Jennifer Blow

Frozen Yoghurt Unicorn Bark

This dessert is way easier than it looks — simply blend and freeze. Enjoy for breakfast, dessert, or after a workout for the ultimate healthy protein snack.

Almond Butter & Raspberry Protein Pancakes

This stack of almond buttery goodness is all you need to get through your mornings. Switch the almond butter up for peanut butter if that’s more your bag.

Matcha Whey, Peach & Ginger Smoothie

With the bittersweet Matcha Whey Protein in combination with spicy root ginger and fresh sweet peaches, this smoothie was just made to make you feel revitalised all morning.

Low-Carb Flax & Whey Protein Pancakes

These whey and flax pancakes contain a mere 2 grams of carbs in the entire stack.

30-Second Protein Ice Cream

All you’ll need for this protein ice cream recipe are four simple ingredients and a spare 30 seconds.

Yes really, just 30 seconds.

Tasty 30-Second Protein Ice Cream

All you’ll need is a blender and few simple ingredients.

Vimto® Clear Whey Gummy Bears

These Vimto® Clear Whey Gummy Bears are easier than you’d think, and they’re the perfect treat without the cheat. And at just 65 calories and 15g of protein per serving, what more could you ask for?

Drumstick Clear Whey Isolate Frozen Yoghurt Treats

These Drumstick Clear Whey Yoghurt Treats combine the iconic Layered Bar with Clear whey to create something incredible. They might use Drumstick flavour Clear Whey Isolate, but that can easily be swapped for another of your favourite Clear Whey flavours.

And per piece is just 63 calories and 7.7g of protein. Delicious.

Clear Whey Mojitos 2 Ways

This could be your new summer drink this year. Clear Whey Mojitos are the perfect refreshing option that supports your macros and goes perfectly with a BBQ.

Only 100 calories per serving and 20g of protein per mojito.

Post-workout mocktail? Yes, please.

Clear Whey Rainbow Ice Lollies

Summer is here, and we’re all for incredible summer recipes. This one is no exception.

Super simple and unbeatably refreshing, these ice lollies don’t disappoint. Featuring 101 calories and 9.5g of protein, these are perfect for laying in the sun post-sweat sesh.

Clear Whey Rainbow Ice Lollies Recipe

Yep, we’re in denial about summer being over too.

Clear Whey Jelly Sweets

Ok, these might look like soap, but stay with me. These are delicious.

Clear Whey Jelly Sweets are super simple to make, and will satisfy that sweet-tooth without any added sugar. And at just 18 calories and 3.5g of protein per sweet, you can much all day long.

Can’t shake your sweet-tooth? Try these.

Can you bake with protein powder? How to bake with protein powder? Which protein powder is best for baking? Does baking destroy protein powder?

If these are your questions, then you are in the right place. This guide will teach you all you need to know on baking with protein powder instead of flour.

After introducing the different types of protein powders in the market, we will see the best practices, tips and tricks for baking with protein powder.

Can you bake with protein powder?

Baking with protein powder is definitely possible and is easier than you think. You will love to hear that you can swap out part of the flour with protein powder and put together a delicious yet healthier and macro-friendly dessert.

But before you head straight to the kitchen and start baking, there are a couple of “dos and don’ts“ you should get familiar with. Make sure you read through this guide on how to bake with protein powder and you will never get a dry, tasteless cake anymore!

Healthier baking with protein powder

Replacing part of the flour with protein powder is an excellent way to make a healthier dessert. From increasing and repairing muscle mass to appetite control, research shows that eating more protein has plenty of health benefits.

Baking with protein powder instead of flour makes it possible for you to enjoy sweets without compromising your diet. You can put together a protein mug cake, protein cookies or protein pancakes that have both great taste and macros! And this will make it easier for you to satisfy your cravings while still sticking to your diet.

It’s like the best of both worlds: you get to eat your favorite treats and you reach your goals at the same time!

Different types of protein powder

Protein powders are not all the same.

There are different types of protein powders out there, and each one has different compositions. As a result, they behave differently when baking.

Here is an overview of the most common types of protein powder.

  • Whey protein powder
  • Casein protein powder
  • Vegan protein powder

Baking with whey protein powder

Whey protein is probably the most known protein powder in the market. And for a good reason!

Whey is a very high-quality protein powder which contains all nine essential amino acids (especially leucine) for the functioning of the organism. On the top of that, whey protein has also one of the highest biological values. This makes this product the perfect food to consume after a strenuous workout.

Depending on the protein content and level of filtration, there are different types of whey: whey protein, whey concentrate, whey isolate and whey hydrolysate.

When it comes to baking, whey protein powder mixes very well with other ingredients and makes a good dough. However, you should never replace more than 1/4 of the flour with whey protein otherwise it will make the baked goods dry and rubbery.

Another thing to keep in mind: whey protein powder dissolves very easily when combined with wet ingredients. For this reason, when it comes to replacing flour with whey the substitution ratio is not 1:1. You will need either more flour or less milk to get a good dough.

Whey protein powder is great for baking bars, brownies, cookies, pancakes or energy balls. It is not the best option for baking fluffy desserts, instead. For fluffy cakes and pastries, casein protein powder comes into play.

Baking with casein protein powder

As for whey, casein protein powder is also a byproduct of milk. Its protein content averages 80% and comes with all essential amino acids. In terms of properties, the main difference between casein and whey is that casein exhibits slower absorption rates.

When it comes to baking with protein powder instead of flour, casein is one of the best options. Differently from whey, when combined with other ingredients casein makes a creamy mixture and does not dry out when heated. This makes casein the perfect protein powder for baking any kind of dessert.

You may also find casein/whey protein mixes. Similar to casein, these multicomponent protein powders are also great for baking almost anything.

Baking with vegan protein powder

From soy isolate to pea protein, vegan protein powders come in different forms. Each type of vegan protein powder has different nutritional properties and amino acid profiles.

When it comes to baking with protein powder instead of flour, plant based products show similar characteristics. They are very absorbent because of the high fiber content, which means that you will need less flour or more milk to get a good dough. Moreover, vegan protein powders are well known for their intense earthy taste.

Therefore, there are two things to keep in mind for baking:

  • You will need to adjust the dough or batter with more milk, or reduce the amount of protein or flour.
  • If you are using unflavored protein powder, you will need some more sweetener to cover the plant taste.

Here are the guidelines on how to bake with protein powder.

Don’t skip the flour!

  • Although you can replace part of the flour with protein powder, you should never replace more than 1/3 of the flour with protein powder. Ideally, you should be aiming to replace just 1/4 of the flour with protein. Anything above will get you a dry texture.
  • For a healthier dessert, opt for wholegrain and unrefined flours – such as oat flour, spelt flour or Teff flour.

Add some moisture!

  • To prevent the baked goods from drying out, you should always add some moisture to your recipes. As a rule of thumb, you need around 1/4 to 1/2 cup of wet ingredients for 1 cup of dry ingredients.
  • The best ingredients here are mashed banana, applesauce, pumpkin purée, mashed potato or Greek yogurt.

Adjust with milk!

  • As we have seen before, different types of protein powder have different compositions. Therefore, your recipe may require more or less milk to get to get fixed.
  • Whey protein mixes well and dissolves easily – you may need less milk.
  • Vegan protein powders are very absorbent – you may need more milk.

Add some healthy fats!

  • Fats make baked goods fluffier and much softer because they prevent the flour from absorbing too much water. This holds true especially for baking with protein powder, which tends to dry when heated.
  • For a healthier recipe, make sure to use healthy unsaturated fats. Great picks are peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter or avocado oil.

Don’t over-bake!

  • Baking with protein powder instead of flour requires lower temperatures or shorter baking time. When exposed to high temperatures, protein powder – especially whey – gets dry and rubbery.
  • Side note for baking with whey protein – cakes and baked goods with whey protein get brown quite easily. Overcome this by decreasing the baking time and temperature.

Adjust the sweetness!

  • Most protein powders are already flavored and sweetened. For this reason, your recipe may need less sweetener. Taste and adjust according to your preferences.
  • For most recipes, stick to simple protein powder flavors – such as vanilla, chocolate or peanut. More elaborate options may spoil the taste of your baked goods.
  • Bonus tip – for healthier recipes, use protein powders that do not contain any added sugar.

Low carb baking with protein powder

If there is one thing you should have learnt is that you can’t substitute all the flour for protein powder. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t put together a low carb dessert!

If you want to make a low carb protein recipe, replace carbohydrate-rich flours with almond flour, peanut flour or coconut flour. But be cautious with coconut flour. You always need to use it in combination with other flours (such as almond flour) because it absorbs plenty of liquid.

Does baking destroy protein?

Exposing protein powder to high temperature does not destroy the protein in it.

The only thing that may happen to protein when heated is that it changes its structure. But this is nothing bad. The nutritional value of the protein powder remains intact and your body still absorbs all the protein in the food!

So nothing you should worry about. If the macros count of your recipe says 40 grams of protein before baking, your food will still contain 40 grams of protein after baking!

Recipes with protein powder

I first started baking with protein powder when I was 17 years old.

Here are some of my favorite recipes with protein powder for you to try!

Protein Blueberry Vanilla Mug Cake

This protein blueberry mug cake has a vanilla dough and juicy blueberries. Vegan, gluten-free and so healthy, this blueberry cake in a mug comes together in just 3 minutes!

Mocha Protein Mug Cake

Some days we just need chocolate. Some days we just need coffee. And most days we just need both, that’s why this healthy mocha mug cake is the solution! This mocha mug cake is the quick-fix dessert you’ve always desired. It is healthy, high protein, gluten-free and vegan-friendly.

Protein Banana Crumble with Oats

This protein banana crumble with oats is a healthy way to use up your ripe bananas. Made from oatmeal, this banana crumble is vegan, nourishing and free from added sugars. The perfect healthy treat!

Protein Keto Chocolate Cake for One

This keto blueberry chocolate cake for one is low carb and high protein. With juicy blueberries, this fluffy protein keto cake is the ultimate healthy Dessert for Breakfast. So moist that you will never believe it’s oil free and gluten-free!

Easy Banana Protein Pancake

Have some ripe bananas? Then you should make these banana protein pancakes with oats. With just 4 simple ingredients, this is the easiest protein pancakes recipe ever!

Low Carb Coconut Flour Protein Pancakes

These are the ultimate low carb and high protein coconut flour pancakes. Gluten-free and oil-free, these coconut flour pancakes turn out fluffy every time. Make these easy protein pancakes for a healthy breakfast that keeps you full for hours!

To help you find easy protein powder desserts all in one place, here is the list I put together with the best recipes out there.

Protein powder is making waves in the fitness industry because of its benefits, which is why desserts made with protein powder instead of flour are becoming more and more popular in the baking (and nutrition) world.

In a nutshell, whey protein powder is an isolated protein derived from a dairy source and comes in powder form.

But there are other kinds of protein powder that are suitable to bake with, such as soy, pea protein, hemp, casein, and others.

Some home bakers would prefer protein powder over grain flour for their sweet treats because it provides a high-protein profile to their recipes.

Protein powder can be used as a substitute for all-purpose wheat flour in some, but not all, baked goods.

However, using protein powder for baking some desserts can entirely change the game.

It can change your dessert’s texture, consistency, and even flavor, depending on the type and protein concentration.

It’s good to get acquainted with the many forms of protein powder, such as soy, peanut, casein, whey, pea protein, and more, maybe before you start cooking.

For instance, choosing whey protein is popular among bakers because it’s a water-soluble milk powder that can easily dissolve in water.

On the other hand, some claim that soy protein may also have a distinct taste, which may change the outcome of your baked goods.

Plus, soy protein powder doesn’t dissolve in water very well.

So if you’re new to baking, try whey protein in your first protein powder dessert.

So here are easy protein powder desserts you can try, especially #24 because who doesn’t love blueberries and coffee in one delectable cake?

Let’s kick this list off with a 1-minute mug brownie that’s gluten-free and sugar-free.

Forget grabbing your all-purpose flour because you only need coconut flour to give this cake a nice texture.

Mix all ingredients in a mug, fold it with the chocolate chips, pop it in the oven for 60 seconds, and voila, dessert!

This banana chocolate chip cake is a sure crowd pleaser with its delicious flavors and moist texture.

You need full-fat butter and brown granulated sugar to achieve the flavor.

Keep this recipe light by using fat-free yogurt as well.

You can never go wrong with a succulent, fudgy chocolate truffle with a decadent chocolate ganache in the middle to satisfy your sweet tooth.

And the best part about this recipe is that you don’t even need an oven to make this!

Blending the nut butter and protein powder and coating it with melted chocolate chips are all it takes!

This cheesecake is extra creamy and crunchy because of the crust that doesn’t fall apart when you have that perfect slice.

This vanilla-flavored cheesecake is not too sweet, with hints of tangy flavor.

Here’s another protein powder dessert that you can devour in minutes!

This recipe only requires 5 to 6 ingredients, and you can enjoy this treat after mixing all ingredients in a bowl.

But you may also chill this in the fridge for 15 minutes and eat it all!

If you love Reese’s cups, then you’ll love this peanut butter cup recipe that will surely hit your sweet spot.

It’s made with peanut butter, semi-sweet chocolate chips, and protein powder.

The treat is a chewy, dense peanut butter filling that’s sweet and salty at the same time!

Who would’ve thought black beans are a perfect ingredient in protein powder desserts like this black bean fudge recipe?

Black beans make this recipe extra fudgy and soft because they add bulk and structure.

All it takes is to drain, rinse, puree your black beans, add all the ingredients, then bake!

Banana Bread is excellent as a snack or dessert.

It’s one of those desserts that’s light yet leaves you full and satiated.

This recipe uses pea protein powder and oat flour to ensure it doesn’t get overly dense.

A secret to thick and creamy pudding is the thickening agent that gives it its beautiful structure.

In this recipe, mix Greek yogurt with other three ingredients, such as vanilla protein powder, stevia, and unsweetened almond milk.

Eat immediately or chill in the fridge for a few minutes for that cold, custard-like texture.

Nothing can awaken your taste buds than a yeasty, buttery, and irresistibly soft cinnamon roll!

This recipe is gluten-free, and you’d be amazed by the filling made with a pinch of cinnamon and sticky brown sugar mixed with butter.

Making parfaits is fun because you can decide what fruits or toppings you like.

These layered delights are quick and easy to make by mixing whipped cream and protein powder, cutting up berries of your choice, and alternating them in a parfait glass.

Imagine a fudge brownie that’s fudgy on the sides, lusciously gooey in the middle, and has no oil, flour, or sugar!

With this recipe, you’ll only need cocoa powder and chocolate protein powder as the sweet base!

If a slice of chocolate peanut butter pie doesn’t make your mouth water, I don’t know what will!

This Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie with a crunchy crust, creamy peanut butter, and cream cheese filling is a delicate and appetizing dessert.

If you haven’t decided on a Thanksgiving dessert, try this pumpkin pie recipe with spiced pumpkin puree and vanilla protein powder.

Serve this divine Pumpkin Pie dessert with fall sprinkles, ice cream, or both!

Everyone loves the nut and chocolate combo because of the nutty and gritty texture combined with the fudgy and soft chocolate.

And this Pecan Pie Brownie is a crowd-pleaser with Medjool dates that give it its caramel flavor.

The protein powder, almond butter, maple syrup, and chocolate protein powder underneath a crunchy, sweet pecan pie topping is heaven!

This Strawberry Sorbet reminds you of summer vibes due to its refreshing and fruity taste.

The slightly tangy and candied flavor from the strawberries is enough to make you take a couple of scoops!

If you’re craving something cold and creamy, this Vanilla Ice Cream will save the day!

This unique recipe only takes 30 seconds to make with a blender.

It’s also not sugar-laden like an ordinary vanilla ice cream because you’ll use Stevia Extract so it’s refined sugar free!

Another ice cream flavor you can try without the loaded sugar is this chocolate ice cream recipe, similar to the vanilla ice cream recipe.

To make this extra chocolatey, blend almond milk, cocoa powder, chocolate protein powder, and frozen bananas.

Serve with your favorite toppings like chocolate chips or rainbow sprinkles!

Here’s a crunchy dessert you can store in the fridge anytime!

These Rice Krispies are made with brown rice crisps and melted peanut butter for that extra gooey and chewy texture.

It’s low in sugar, also making this a light snack if you want something on-the-go.

Another peanut butter and chocolate dessert tandem that will surely make you want more is this simple protein Oreo Cake recipe.

The key to this recipe is selecting an excellent chocolate powder.

And in this recipe, Macro Supps ONE protein powder mixed with cocoa powder give this cake a black base.

How about pairing mint with chocolate?

These Mint Chocolate Bars are dense and are similar to brownies in terms of texture and taste.

Try this recipe if you want something that doubles as a protein powder snack and dessert!

It gives you a robust minty flavor and a pleasant succulent taste from the chocolate.

Also known as molten cake or chocolate moelleux, this Lava Cake is a mix of chocolate cake and soufflé.

You’ll enjoy the decadent exterior and creamy and lush center.

Add some arrowroot starch to build that base and microwave in the oven for only a minute and 15 seconds.

If you want a better-for-you yet equally filling donut as dessert, don’t miss out on these Protein Donuts!

It’s made with protein powder, oat flour, honey, coconut oil, and almond milk.

The frosting is also a yummy nut butter!

This Blueberry Coffee Cake with a lemon glaze will be the limelight of your parties!

Wow your guests with that natural coffee flavor, a hint of cinnamon and tanginess from the blueberries.

Top with a lemon glaze that’s zesty and fresh, and this dessert won’t disappoint.

These Lemon Cheesecake Balls will excite every sweet tooth out there because of their tangy and mildly sweet flavor from the cream cheese.

This recipe requires no baking, with only five ingredients!

One bite, and you’ll enjoy that chewy texture, especially when served chilled!

The bottom line

Try these protein powder desserts if you want something sweet, refreshing, and light.

Replacing flour with protein powder is easy if you choose the right brand.

So remember to experiment with a few protein powder brands first, and pick one that will become your go-to for baking delightful treats!

Ingredients

  • Skim through our Protein Powder Desserts list.
  • Select the recipe you’re looking for.
  • Prep the ingredients as instructed.

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