The TLS Guide to Baking with Protein Powder

By: Amanda Belo

If you’ve never thought of using your protein powders for more than just shakes and smoothies, what are you waiting for?!  Pack in more protein and cut carbs by subbing in whey or plant protein powders where you would normally use flour. You can bake delicious alternatives for foods you love that won’t break your diet!

Tips for Baking with Protein Powder

  • Protein powders bake best in stoneware or a ceramic bread pan. If you do not have a stoneware or ceramic pan, bake longer and 25-degrees lower than the recipe calls for to promote moistness.1
  • When using whey protein, try covering the pan with aluminum foil for the first half of baking time so that it browns at a steadier pace.1
  • Use peanut butter, chocolate or banana with pea protein powder to mask its earthy tones.
  • If following recipes specifically for protein powders (i.e. not as a substitution for flour), you should not replace a plant-based protein powder with whey protein. Whey protein does not absorb as well and affects the density of food.2

*For more information about protein powder substitutions, Protein Pow3
has an informative chart with recommendations on what to modify or not.

  • Never bake a batter comprised of primarily protein powder or it will turn out dry.4
  • For plant-based proteins, like pea or rice proteins, and whey and casein powders, include ingredients that will add moisture (e.g. bananas, yogurt, cottage cheese, applesauce).4
  • For protein cookies, use fats like oil or butter to ensure a better cookie texture­.4


Protein Powder Recipes to Try:

Protein Donuts

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Serves: Makes 8 servings


  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 cup oat flour
  • 1/2 cup protein shake – vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • Optional: 4 tablespoons nut butter to use as frosting


  • Preheat oven to 325 F
  • In a bowl, whisk together almond meal, oat flour, protein powder, baking soda and baking powder.
  • Stir in wet ingredients. The batter should be somewhat thick, but if it is clumpy or difficult to stir, add a little more milk or water.
  • Spray your donut pan with coconut oil or cooking spray.
  • Spoon batter into a ziploc bag, cut the corner off, and “pipe” donuts into your pan.
  • Bake for 10-15 minutes, until golden brown
  • Allow donuts to cool. Frost if desired.


Carrot Cake Quinoa Flake Protein Loaf

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Serves: Makes 2 servings


  • ½ cup grated carrots
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • ½ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 4 packets natural sweetener (e.g. Stevia, Truvia, etc.)
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • 1½ tbs protein shake – vanilla
  • 51g (½ cup) quinoa flakes


  • Preheat oven to 350 F
  • Spray a ceramic mini loaf pan with cooking spray.
  • In a medium-sized bowl, stir together the grated carrots, zest, almond milk, applesauce, cinnamon, sweetener, and salt.
  • Stir in the protein powder.
  • Stir in the quinoa flakes.
  • Scoop batter into the prepared tin,
  • Bake for about 20-30 minutes or until the surface springs back when tapped.
  • Let cool.


Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Chickpea Blondies

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Servers: Makes 12 servings


  • 1 can (15 ounce) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup all natural creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 medium ripe banana
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup (about 1 scoop) Plant-Based Protein Shake or Whey Protein Shake – Vanilla Flavor
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 oz. bittersweet chocolate (70% coaco), coarsely chopped


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and spray 8×8 inch pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  • In a food processor, add all ingredients except chocolate chips and process until batter is smooth. Fold in 1/2 of the chopped chocolate.
  • Spread batter evenly in prepared pan then sprinkle the rest of the chopped chocolate on top.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean and edges are browned. The batter may look underdone.
  • Cool pan for 10 minutes on wire rack, then store covered in the fridge. Bars will last about 3 days.



Brownies with Chocolate and Avocado Frosting

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Serves: 9-12 servings



  • 1 cup overripe mashed banana or applesauce
  • 2/3 cup nut butter of choice, or allergy-friendly substitute (e.g. sunflower seed or pumpkin seed butter
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder (unsweetened or Dutch-processed)
  • 3 tbsp Whey Protein Shakes – Chocolate Flavor, or additional cocoa
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup, honey, or agave, OR additional banana
  • Optional: mini chocolate chips, crushed walnuts, etc.

*If using applesauce or unsweetened protein powder, or if planning to eat the brownies unfrosted, you may use the sweetener of choice. Using almond or cashew butters taste more neutral.



  • Preheat oven to 325 F.
  • Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper.
  • If using natural nut butter, gently warm it until you can easily stir.
  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl, stir until completely smooth, and spread into the prepared pan.
  • Bake on the center rack for 20-25 minutes (20 for super fudgy brownies). Brownies will be undercooked when you take them out.
  • Let cool, then loosely cover with a paper towel and refrigerate overnight, during which time they will become firm.

Once cut, the brownies can either be stored in the fridge for 2-3 days or in the freezer for up to a month. You can even eat them straight out of the freezer if you wish!



  • 2 soft, ripe avocados
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 6-8 tbsp pure maple syrup or sweetener of choice
  • 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • Optional: 2 tbsp oil for a richer, smoother taste


  • Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender until completely smooth.
  • Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for a few days. It is best to make up a batch of this avocado frosting right before you plan to use it.




How are you baking with protein powder?
Tell us your favorite recipes, tips, and tricks in the comments below!