This protein cake recipe is made with protein powder, a popular ingredient among fitness enthusiasts and athletes. Cake with protein powder is a healthier alternative to traditional cakes, with lower sugar and high protein, that can help to support muscle growth and repair. You can use this protein powder cake recipe to make flavor variations, such as chocolate, vanilla, or banana. Protein cake can be enjoyed as a tasty dessert or a post-workout snack.
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Can you add protein to cake mix? You bet! This chocolate protein cake is a great way to satisfy a sweet tooth while also getting in a bit more protein.
Best of all, it tastes like normal cake. If you'd rather skip the weird tasting fitness cake, this simple protein cake recipe comes without suffering. All you need is your favorite protein powder plus some ingredients you can find in a regular grocery store.
Sadly, protein chocolate cake isn’t the best option to build muscle or lose weight. However, this high protein cake recipe (i.e., higher protein cake) is delicious and easy to make at home. If you’re looking for a quick option using boxed cake mix, this is the best protein cake recipe around.
Table of Contents
🎂 Protein Cake Recipe
The general rule for protein cake is that you can replace ¼ of the boxed cake mix with protein powder by weight. This is a great way to use up cake mix when you have a recipe only using part of a box. Here’s what you need to make protein cake:
- 162 grams boxed cake mix (regular Devil’s food cake mix from a box or your favorite flavor)
- 54 grams high-quality protein powder (I tested this recipe with Tropeaka plant-based protein powder)
- ½ cup water
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
- 2 large eggs
- Cooking oil spray
You’ll also need a food scale to weigh ingredients, a 9-inch cake pan (22.9 cm) cake pan, electric hand mixer, and a toothpick (for testing doneness). I like to use chocolate frosting on this dessert, but that extra bit of sweet indulgence is optional.
How to Make Protein Powder Cake
Here are the step-by-step directions for making the best protein powder cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177C). Spray a 9-inch cake pan with cooking spray.
- Weigh the cake mix and protein powder using a food scale. Place the cake mix, protein powder, water, oil, applesauce, and eggs in a large bowl. Beat the ingredients together with an electric hand mixer for about 2 minutes. Don’t overmix the ingredients.
- Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake pan and even out the top with a rubber spatula. Bake for 30-33 minutes on a rack ⅓ down from the top of the oven. A toothpick inserted into the center of the cake will come out clean when it’s done. Don’t overbake!
- Cool the cake for 10-15 minutes before removing it from the pan. Chill the cake before frosting. I like to warm the frosting in the microwave a little for easier spreading. Sprinkle with dark chocolate chips if you’re feeling really indulgent. Enjoy!
I tested this recipe with applesauce replacing all of the oil, but preferred the applesauce/oil combo. Using just applesauce gives you better macros, but the cake was more moist with a bit of oil. Using all applesauce might be fine if you’re frosting the cake (but then you’re really bumping up the fat and sugar from the frosting).
I always flip the cake to frost it, so it’s no big deal if the cake cracks on top. (No one will know!)
Pro tip! Weigh the dry ingredients for the best results. You can’t just use half a box of cake mix in this recipe; your protein cake will be too dry. (Yes, even here in America you should weigh the dry ingredients in baking recipes instead of using cup measures.)
How to Make High Protein Cake Low Carb?
The easiest way to make high protein low carb cake is to use low carb protein cake mix made with sugar free sweeteners. Proteinfull gluten free protein cake mix is keto-friendly and uses a combo of flax, almond, and whey protein. You can’t use low carb cake mixes in this recipe because they don’t measure like regular cake mix.
Fitbake keto chocolate cake mix and other similar mixes are often made with almond flour or coconut flour. These may not make high protein cakes. Using soy milk in place of unsweetened almond milk in low carb cake recipes can help bump up the protein.
If you’re looking for something only a little lower carb, Kodiak Power Cakes birthday cake flavor makes cake-flavored protein pancakes. Add sugar free icing for a treat that’s delicious and a little more nutritious than your regular cake.
🌡️ Protein Powder Cake Leftovers
Store protein powder cake in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. Cakes made with protein powder also freeze well, just like regular cake. Here are a few fun ideas for using cake leftovers:
- Mix crumbled cake with almond butter or another nut butter to make energy balls
- Make cake pops with crumbled cake and frosting, then dip in melted chocolate and let cool
- Use leftover cake as a base for a protein-packed trifle or layered dessert
➕ High Protein Cake Recipe Variations
Protein cake recipes are versatile and can be customized to fit individual preferences. Here are a few substitutions and variations to try:
Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Cake
This cake is perfect for those who love the combination of chocolate and peanut butter. Simply add peanut butter powder to the cake batter along with the chocolate protein powder. Top with a peanut butter frosting and a dusting of cocoa powder for a sweet treat.
Berry Vanilla Protein Cake
This cake is a great option for those who prefer a lighter flavor. Use vanilla protein powder and strawberry cake mix. Top with a light whipped cream frosting and fresh berries for a refreshing dessert.
Matcha Protein Cake
For a unique twist, try adding matcha powder to the cake batter. Matcha is a type of green tea powder that adds a subtle earthy flavor and a vibrant green color. Top with a light glaze made with matcha powder and powdered sugar.
Coconut Protein Cake
For a tropical twist, use coconut cake mix and shredded coconut in the cake batter. Use vanilla protein powder and top with coconut cream frosting. Garnish with toasted coconut flakes and drizzle with caramel or maple syrup for added texture and flavor.
These are just a few ideas to get started. Experiment with different flavors and ingredients to create your own high protein cake recipes.
🗒️ Protein Cake Carbs
One serving of this protein cake recipe provides 26.7 grams total carbohydrates, 25 grams net carbs, 231 calories, and 9 grams of protein. Nutrition info may vary depending on the brand of cake mix and protein powder you use and doesn't include frosting.
Can I add protein powder to baking?
Yes, protein powder can be added to baking recipes to increase the protein content. However, it's important to note that protein powder can affect the texture and taste of baked goods, so it's best to follow a recipe specifically designed for protein powder use or experiment with small amounts to avoid ruining the recipe.
Why is my protein cake dry?
Protein cakes can become dry if there is too much protein powder or not enough moisture in the recipe. It's important to follow the recipe closely and not overdo it with the protein powder. Adding ingredients such as applesauce or yogurt can also help keep the cake moist.
What happens if you use protein powder instead of flour?
Using protein powder instead of flour can result in a denser and drier baked good. Protein powder does not contain the same binding agents as flour. It's important to follow a recipe specifically designed for protein powder use or experiment with small amounts to avoid ruining the recipe.
What type of protein powder is best to bake with?
Whey protein powder is a popular choice for baking due to its neutral taste and ability to add moisture to baked goods. However, plant-based protein powders such as pea, soy, or rice protein can also be used. This recipe was tested using vegan protein powder.
👨🍳 More Protein Cakes
Looking for more cakes with added protein? Try these:
- Protein Mug Cake Recipe (article contains recipe using Kodiak pancake mix for a whey protein cake)
- Kodiak Cake Waffles (recipe can also be used for protein pancakes)
- Banana Protein Cake
- Microwave Protein Cake without Protein Powder
These recipes are just a starting point. Feel free to experiment with different flavors and ingredients to create your own unique protein cakes. With a little creativity, you can indulge in a delicious dessert while still hitting your protein goals.
Watch How to Make It!
Protein Cake Recipe (Chocolate Cake with Protein Powder)
- 162 grams boxed cake mix regular chocolate cake mix from a box or your favorite flavor
- 54 grams protein powder (I tested this recipe with Tropeaka protein powder and the smoothie protein powder from Whole Foods)
- ½ cup water
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
- 2 large eggs
- cooking oil spray of choice
- frosting for cake (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Spray a 9-inch metal cake pan (22.9 cm) with cooking spray.
- Weigh the cake mix and protein powder using a food scale. (Yes, do this even if you're from the United States.) Place the cake mix, protein powder, water, oil, applesauce, and eggs in a large bowl. Beat the ingredients together with an electric hand mixer for about 2 minutes. Don’t overmix the ingredients.
- Pour the protein cake batter into the prepared cake pan and even out the top with a rubber spatula. Bake for 30-33 minutes on a rack ⅓ down from the top of the oven. A toothpick inserted into the center of the cake will come out clean when it’s done.
- Cool the cake for 10-15 minutes before removing it from the pan. Chill the cake before frosting. I like to warm the frosting in the microwave a little for easier spreading. Enjoy!
💭 Expert Tips from a DietitianThis is a level 3 recipe (weight maintenance and active lifestyles). Is protein cake healthy? Protein cake can be a healthier alternative to traditional cake due to its higher protein content. However, it's important to remember that protein cakes can still be high in sugar and calories and should be enjoyed in moderation as part of a balanced diet. This is admittedly not the most healthy way to make a protein cake, but it tastes as indulgent as regular cake. The protein powder gives the cake a slight protein bump, and eggs also add protein to cake. I hope you enjoy this fun way to use up an opened box of cake mix. It’s a treat! Nutrition information is for one serving of protein cake without frosting.
nutrition info disclaimer
All recipes on this website may or may not be appropriate for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician if you need help determining the dietary pattern that may be best for you.
The nutrition information is an estimate provided as a courtesy. It will differ depending on the specific brands and ingredients that you use. Calorie information on food labels may be inaccurate, so please don't sweat the numbers too much.
Hello! I'm Summer, a registered dietitian and home chef who loves to cook, eat, and create high quality content for you! Every recipe on this site has been tested by me to help ensure your success in the kitchen. All eaters are welcome here 🙂