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A Guide to Baking with Protein Powder (& Best Recipes)

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Baking with protein powder can be a great way to add a protein boost to your baked goods, whether you’re aiming to increase your protein intake or looking for an alternative to traditional flour.

Most athletes realize that getting more protein in their daily diet can help overall health and recovery. Increasing the daily dose of protein can prove challenging, especially for people who are not big meat eaters.

This is where consuming protein powders can be helpful.

Can You Bake with Protein Powder?

The answer is yes, you can bake with protein powder.

Cooking with protein powder helps you to take care of sweet cravings without sacrificing your healthy eating.

7 Rules to Baking with Protein Powder

  1. Add Fat: Putting butter, coconut oil, or nut butter in your protein powder baked goods will help keep the item moist and improve flavor.
  2. Avoid Overstirring: Mixing your batter should be avoided when cooking with protein powder.
  3. Be Intentional About Your Protein Powder Choice: No matter how good a protein powder tastes in a shake, not all protein powder choices bake, as well as others. Be very aware of how the flavors will mix and what your powder’s ingredients are.
  4. Binders: You often need a binding ingredient such as whole eggs or egg whites to keep the baked good together.
  5. Choose Flour Carefully: Some flours, such as coconut flour, are more drying than others. Choose carefully to ensure your product turns out well.
  6. Moderation: When using protein powder instead of flour in any baked goods recipe, it is essential to do so in moderation. You cannot replace flour or other dry ingredients with protein powder at a 1:1 ratio.
  7. Moisturize: Since protein powder tends to dry out your baking product, adding other wet ingredients can help prevent your baked good from drying out. Components that can add moisture include applesauce, pumpkin puree, Greek yogurt, jam, and berries.
Protein brownies
Protein brownies; recipe available here

What are the Different Types of Protein Powders?

  • Plant-Based Protein Powder: Plant-based proteins work very well for baking anything from protein cookies to protein brownies.
  • Rice Protein: Rice protein is best used in baking cookies. If you are whipping up some cookie dough, you can use rice protein to replace regular flour. If you attempt to tweak a recipe and not follow one, start by using only 1/4 cup of protein powder instead of the flour and see how that turns out.
  • Soy Protein: Soy protein is excellent in bread or cake recipes. Just remember to add some extra moisture. For example, if you make banana bread and replace soy protein with flour, start with 1/4 of the flour replaced with protein powder. Also, be sure to add extra bananas. You can even throw in some other fruits for good measure if you wish.
  • Whey Protein: While whey proteins bake up nicely, whey isolate does not. However, whey isolate can be used in things that are not baked (think protein ice cream, pudding, or no-bake cheesecake). Whey protein concentrate does well in cakes, bread, cookies, and protein pancakes.

What Does Protein Powder Taste Like in Baked Goods?

Protein powders can have incredible tastes to them. A deep dive into protein options will find flavors ranging from standard ones like chocolate and vanilla to more complex options like chocolate chip cookie dough or Oreo cookies.

Pea protein powder has a strong, earthy taste, making it a challenge to cook with. Baking a chocolate dessert with chocolate protein powder will provide flavors likely to complement the flavor. Vanilla protein powder will mix into a fruit protein muffin well while adding sweetness.

It is worth noting that too much protein in a recipe can make the product turn out dry, so that should be avoided.

Protein powder pancakes
Protein powder pancakes, recipe available here

Do You Need to Mix the Protein Powder with Water Before Baking?

When working with protein powder recipes, you do not need to mix the powder with water (or any liquid) before using it.

Does Protein Powder Lose Potency When Baked?

The nutritional properties of protein powder are not impacted by cooking. It does bear repeating that whey isolate protein powders do not bake well.

Can I Add Protein Powder to a Cake Mix?

Adding protein powder to a cake mix is an excellent way to get extra protein in your cake or cupcakes. You can experiment using different flavors of cake mix and protein powder. If the cake mix you use is chocolate, feel free to use a diet cola.

To make six delicious Funfetti cupcakes, try this recipe:


  • 1 Cup Funfetti cake mix
  • 1 Scoop (31 grams) of vanilla protein powder (whey/casein protein powder works well in this recipe)
  • 1/2 cup (plus a little more) diet white soda (like 7Up, Sprite, etc.)


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Mix Funfetti cake mix and protein powder. Add 1/2 cup of white soda, stirring lightly. You will need a tiny bit more than the 1/2 cup. The mixture should be the consistency of a regular cake mix.
  • Spray muffin tin and fill with batter.
  • Bake for 15 or 16 minutes.
Funfetti cupcakes
Funfetti cupcakes

Best Baked Protein Powder Recipes

Here are some delicious baked protein powder recipes to try. Remember that these recipes can be adjusted based on your dietary preferences and the protein powder you use.

Feel free to experiment with flavors, textures, and ingredients to suit your taste.

Protein Pancakes:

    • Ingredients: Protein powder, oats, baking powder, eggs or egg substitute, milk or milk alternative, optional sweetener.
    • Mix the ingredients to form a pancake batter. Cook on a grill or skillet as you would regular pancakes. Top with fresh fruit, yogurt, or nut butter.

Protein Muffins:

    • Ingredients: Protein powder, whole wheat flour, baking powder, eggs, milk, sweetener (such as honey or maple syrup), optional add-ins (berries, nuts, chocolate chips).
    • Combine dry and wet ingredients separately, then mix. Fold in any optional add-ins. Divide into muffin cups and bake until a toothpick comes out clean.

Protein Bars:

    • Ingredients: Protein powder, oats, nut butter, honey or other liquid sweetener, optional add-ins (dried fruits, nuts, seeds, chocolate chips).
    • Mix the ingredients until well combined. Press into a baking dish and refrigerate until set. Cut into bars and enjoy it as a portable snack.

Protein Cookies:

    • Ingredients: Protein powder, almond flour or oat flour, baking powder, nut butter, sweetener, egg or egg substitute, vanilla extract, optional add-ins (chocolate chips, dried fruit).
    • Mix the wet and dry ingredients separately, then combine. Stir in any optional add-ins. Drop spoonfuls of dough onto a baking sheet and bake until golden.

Protein Banana Bread:

    • Ingredients: Protein powder, whole wheat flour, ripe bananas, baking powder, egg, milk, sweetener, vanilla extract.
    • Mash the bananas and mix them with wet ingredients. Combine dry ingredients separately, then mix with wet ingredients. Bake in a loaf pan until a toothpick comes out clean.

Protein Brownies:

    • Ingredients: Protein powder, cocoa powder, almond flour, baking powder, nut butter, eggs or egg substitute, milk, sweetener, vanilla extract.
    • Mix the wet and dry ingredients separately, then combine. Bake in a square baking pan until set. Let cool before cutting into brownies.

Protein Coffee Cake:

    • Ingredients: Protein powder, almond flour, baking powder, eggs, milk, sweetener, vanilla extract, cinnamon, streusel topping (nuts, oats, coconut oil, sweetener).
    • Make the cake batter and layer it in a baking dish. Add a layer of streusel topping and bake until golden and cooked through.

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