Protein Cookies


5 from 1842 votes
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These protein cookies are soft, chewy, and made with just 4 ingredients! No flour and no sugar needed, each cookie packs in over 20 grams of clean protein!

protein cookies

When it comes to protein powder recipes, I have a handful of favorites on hand. If I’m not making protein brownies, protein muffins, or a protein mug cake, you’ll know I’m making some high protein cookies!

This protein cookie recipe was inspired by Quest protein cookies I saw at the grocery store. They were made with whey protein and had no sugar, barely any carbs, and claimed to taste like dessert. With a heft price tag, I had high hopes.

While they DID initially taste pretty good, several hours later I had the most intense stomach pains. Upon further inspection of the ingredient list, I was astounded to see a slew of hard-to-pronounce ingredients and SEVERAL kinds of artificial sweeteners!

Luckily, I’ve created a delicious and EASY version that will be quite the game-changer for all you protein dessert fans out there. Here is why you’ll LOVE these cookies-

  • They are made with just 4 ingredients and you will know every single one of them. There are no artificial sweeteners, no flour, and no fillers or additives whatsoever- Just wholesome and healthy ingredients.
  • All you need is one bowl and a mixing spoon to prepare.
  • You get protein from THREE different sources- the peanut butter, the egg, and the protein powder!

These protein powder cookies are sweet enough for dessert or perfect as a post-workout snack! Each cookie yields over 20 grams of protein and ZERO grams of added sugar. They are thick, soft, chewy, and loaded with chocolate chips.

What I love about these cookies is that they actually TASTE like normal cookies- No dense or powdery cookies here!

How do you make protein cookies?

The Ingredients

  • Peanut butter– Smooth and drippy peanut butter, with no added sugar. Avoid using crunchy peanut butter, as you’ll find the mixture harder to mix together.
  • Brown sugar substitute– A zero calorie and zero carb sweetener. You can also use erythritol, monk fruit sweetener, or coconut sugar.
  • Protein powder– The not-so-secret ingredient that gives the cookies a punch of protein. Stick to unflavored or vanilla flavored protein powders, as they don’t impact the overall flavor.
  • Egg– Room temperature eggs.

The Instructions

In a large mixing bowl, add all the ingredients and mix well, until a thick dough remains. Next, form 12 balls of dough and place them on a lined baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are just done. Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool completely.

high protein cookies

Which protein powder is best for baking?

Not every protein powder is created the same. Some are thicker than others, some are finer than others and some have different additives in them. As a general rule of thumb, all protein powders can work, but they will leave different textures. Here are the more mainstream protein powders and what texture and flavor profiles they have.

  • Brown Rice Protein Powder– Earthy in flavor and texture, this vegan protein powder keeps the cookies soft and chewy. Be sure to use a vanilla flavored one, otherwise, the cookies will be very bland. 
  • Casein Protein Powder– My favorite protein powder for baking. This blend of powder never dries out baked goods, and has the most delicious flavor.
  • Whey Protein Powder– My least favorite protein powder to use, whey is the most natural protein powder, and also the lowest in carbs. However, they are most prone to dry out baked goods, so be sure to keep an eye on it.

Tips to make the best protein cookie recipe

  • Do not overbake the cookies, as they continue to cook as they cool down. While the cookies may look a little underbaked, they will firm up beautifully while cooling down. 
  • For thicker and chewier cookies, refrigerate the dough for an hour before baking.
  • Be sure you like the taste of your protein powder, as the flavor will definitely come through (if you use an unflavored kind).

Dietary and flavor variations

  • Make them vegan! Swap out the egg for either a flax egg or a chia egg.
  • Add chocolate chips– Make chocolate chip protein cookies (as pictured) by folding through 1/2 cup of chocolate chips.
  • Oatmeal protein cookies– Fold through 1/2 cup of rolled oats and sprinkle a tablespoon of oats on top of each cookie.
  • Chocolate protein cookies– Add 1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder and use chocolate protein powder.
  • Birthday cake cookies– Fold through 1/2 cup of sprinkles!

Storing and freezing tips

  • To store: Leftover cookies can be stored at room temperature, in an airtight container, for up to 14 days. If you’d like them to keep longer, store them in the refrigerator. 
  • To freeze: Place leftovers in a ziplock bag and store them in the freezer for up to 6 months.
protein powder cookies

Frequently Asked Questions

Are protein cookies good for you?

While protein cookies are a better option than candy bars or potato chips, store bought protein cookies are not actually healthy. They often have an extensive ingredient list and use several kinds of artificial sweeteners. Furthermore, they also contain just as many calories as a candy bar or potato chips.

Luckily, homemade protein cookies are something that can be enjoyed on a regular basis. They are a fantastic way to add protein to your diet and they use wholesome ingredients too.

Are Quest protein cookies keto?

Most quest cookies are not keto friendly, as the net carbs are still quite high. The only exception is the chocolate chip cookie flavor that has 5 grams net carbs.

Can I substitute the peanut butter?

Easily replace the peanut butter with either almond butter, cashew butter, or sunflower seed butter. Be sure that it is smooth and drippy in texture, so it will form a thick cookie dough.

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protein cookie recipe

Protein Cookies (4 Ingredients!)

5 from 1842 votes
These protein cookies are thick, chewy, and made with just 4 ingredients! No flour and no sugar needed, they taste delicious and pack in over 20 grams of protein!
Servings: 12 Cookies
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 12 minutes
Total: 17 minutes



  • Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Line a cookie sheet or baking tray with parchment paper and set aside.
  • In a small mixing bowl, combine all your ingredients and mix until combined.
  • Using your hands, form 12 balls of cookie dough and place them on the lined sheet. Press down on each cookie to form a cookie shape. Bake the cookies for 12-14 minutes, or until the edges begin to brown.
  • Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet completely.


* Any smooth nut or seed butter will work.
** Or any granulated sweetener
*** For an eggless option, use 3 tablespoons of ground chia seed. 
TO STORE: Leftover cookies can be stored at room temperature, in an airtight container, for up to 14 days. If you’d like them to keep longer, store them in the refrigerator. 
TO FREEZE: Place leftovers in a ziplock bag and store them in the freezer for up to 6 months.


Serving: 1CookieCalories: 150kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 21gFat: 8gSodium: 116mgPotassium: 164mgFiber: 1gVitamin A: 23IUCalcium: 35mgIron: 1mgNET CARBS: 4g
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Author: Arman Liew
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website.

Arman Liew

I’m a two time cookbook author, photographer, and writer, and passionate about creating easy and healthier recipes. I believe you don’t need to be experienced in the kitchen to make good food using simple ingredients that most importantly, taste delicious.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    I made these (the oatmeal cookie version, and i added dried cranberries) because I wanted a cookie and I happened to have vanilla protein powder on hand rather than vanilla extract. They’re so good! Would definitely make again.

  2. 5 stars
    These are the best protein cookies I’ve ever made, and I’ve made lots of protein cookie recipes for a few years now.

  3. thank you for all these recipes. would be possible to add a button to switch from imperial to metric measure? most of the recipe i did try converting from cup to grams will not hit the macros. thank you!

  4. My husband isn’t a fan of peanut butter, so I used almond butter. Almond butter is way thicker than natural peanut butter, so I added a few tablespoons of softened butter and a bit of almond milk, which helped. I wanted a bit of extra sweetness, so added a few tablespoons of more sweetener. I thought they were really good. My husband enjoyed them too but thought they were cakey ( I didn’t think so). I liked the protein in them, my husband remarked he couldn’t at the time eat more than a few bites, which is a win for palatable cookies.

  5. 5 stars
    Dude, you’ve gotta try these protein cookies—they’re like a flavor party in your mouth, all chewy and packed with protein, making snack time a legit celebration!

  6. 5 stars
    this is an amazing recepi.
    i made it the other day and it turned out yum and it is so healthy. one must try it.

  7. These protein cookies are a taste sensation, delivering a chewy, delicious treat that doubles as a guilt-free protein boost—total snack game-changer!

  8. Okay, can we talk about these protein cookies for a sec? They’re basically a taste party in your mouth! Super chewy, insanely yummy, and the fact that they’re packed with protein just makes them the MVP of my snack game.

  9. 5 stars
    While this recipe is a great idea for me to use to replace my occasional Lenny & Larry cookie…what I am really wanting to do is create a copy cat for their “complete crunchy cookie which is so crispy and addictive! I’m wondering if you have any ideas about how to create the texture of those? I note that they use protein powder and vital wheat gluten for starters. Just hoping with your expertise you might have some suggestions?
    Love following your insta and trying many of your recipes!

  10. Can I add pwodered peanut butter along with the creamy peanut butter? If so, how much for this recipe?

  11. 5 stars
    I like these! Easy to make and a great snack to keep in the freezer. Super satisfying. Similar to the Quest cookie, but better because they don’t leave that funky chemical taste in your mouth.

  12. Yummy peanut butter but is there a sub my cousin is allergic to peanut butter and nuts and she is in the hospital right now

  13. 5 stars
    Making it again! I’m out of chia seeds and flax and I used to be vegan and was always used to sample everything without worrying about anything raw. I also didn’t try to sample anything with raw all puppies flour. Anyway because I didn’t want to use a poultry egg, I Googled if a fruit puree would work as a substitute and it said it should work. I went with pumpkin puree because that’s what I have. I also used PB2 powder and maybe 2 tablespoons of regular peanut butter. Used 1 1/4 of mixed white and brown sugar, and 1/2 raisins and half Skinny Dipped Baking Bits which is 67% less sugar or so it claims. I have a very bland palate so this is good for me. My husband and 11 year old daughter both prefer super sweet stuff though but I don’t really need their votes on these cookies. 😆 Happy to report that all mods worked! Thanks again!

    1. 5 stars
      😂 “all puppies flour” instead of all purpose flour! 🤣 Sorry! I don’t know how “puppies” got in there! 🤣 I wasn’t talking because with my accent after stroke, it’s nearly impossible to understand my speech! But you get me, right? All purpose flour!

  14. Do these taste like peanut butter? This reminds me of a basic peanut butter cookie recipe plus chocolate chips.

  15. 5 stars
    I’ve made this a thousand times and one of my favorite recipes! I just made it again and I’m stoked that my subs worked. I used approximately 1/2 chocolate PB2 and 1/2 regular peanut butter, and 2 heaping tablespoons of chocolate chips and 2 of raisins. Got 15 1& 1/2 or 2 tablespoons cookies. I just rolled into balls so I don’t know exactly. Used KOS protein powder. Yummy! Thanks again!

  16. 5 stars
    OMG! So good!!! My 11 y/o made it by herself. We ate some of the cookie dough and couldn’t wait for them to cool off haha

  17. 5 stars
    Great recipe! But one important warning on your sweetener recommendations: Recent news (March 2023) reports that erythritrol and some other artificial sweeteners are linked to a significant higher risk of heart attack and stroke. I’ll use the coconut sugar.

  18. 5 stars
    These are really good! The first time I made them as written, minus chocolate chips. Since then, I’ve tried powdered confectioners Swerve, added cinnamon, and rolled them in cinnamon & Truvia mix. Thanks for sharing such a yummy & easy recipe!

  19. 5 stars
    Yummy! I’ve made enough stuff from Arman’s website to know that I would like it so straight away I doubled the recipe since I eat a high protein diet. I have Lily’s butterscotch chips and Orgain’s pumpkin spice latte protein powder so those were my modifications. I had to bake in my toaster oven because big oven is currently on strike. 😆 Too soft for my liking which I remembered is what happens when you bake with peanut butter. I was able to pick up cookies off the baking pan but ate with a spoon. Nonetheless, thank you and this will be a repeat.

  20. I love the taste but the texture was very crumbly. Any suggestions? I used organic pea protein and brown rice protein.

  21. 5 stars
    I love the recipe, it was delicious and healthy. But just wondering if I am able to use hazelnut butter or would it not be as healthy.

  22. 5 stars
    I struggle to get enough protein in to my 13 year old. I have wasted so much money on protein bars and drinks he doesn’t like. Not any more…whilst these were cooling he ate THREE! Ooops! Thank you 😁

  23. 5 stars
    Absolutely loved these cookies! I added an additional egg to get the consistency of the dough right. They were a hit with friends and at work. I can’t wait to make them again!

  24. I’d like to try this with one of my quest protein powders, particularly the cinnamon crunch one. It’s already sweet, so would I need the same amount of sweetener? Thank!

  25. 5 stars
    texture was on point!! great if you like a chewy cookie. waaaaay too sweet though so would definitely cut at least half. this is especially important if you know your protein powder is naturally sweet.

  26. 5 stars
    I used pb2. I probably added too much water to it. Next time no water just the powder. But delicious. Thanks for the recipe

  27. Terrific recipe! I added a little vanilla and cinnamon…also 1 teaspoon baking powder because I live at high altitude. They turned out beautifully, just like the picture in the recipe!

  28. I just made these…fantastic! Used monkfruit sweetener, eliminated the sprinkles – and rolled each cookie in unsweetened cocoa before baking. Added a nice chocolate vibe.

  29. I printed off the actual recipe and it fails to tell you to gently press the rolled balls of dough a little bit flatter before cooking. Would’ve been a great cookie otherwise

  30. Making these tomorrow!! Can I use Whey protein? Also Can I sub for dairy milk if I don’t need it to be dairy free?! I don’t have anything else on hand.

  31. Thanks for the recipe, the cookies just came out of the oven and smell great ! How long do you think they can stay good at room temperature/in the fridge ?

  32. I’m allergic to nuts, so I can’t have any nut butters. Can anyone recommend any kind of alternatives?

  33. hi! I was wondering if I could sub the nut butter for anything (like applesauce?) that would still hold the cookie together? Only just found your website via Insta and all your recipes look amazing! So many vegan options 🙂

    1. Hi Daisy! I haven’t tried it with applesauce, I assume it will dry it out a little too much- I’d be keen to hear your thoughts if you try it ut with applesauce 🙂

      1. I made it with 2 Tbsp apple sauce and turned out lovely 🙂 kind of like a stodgy pancake rather than a cookie but I love it that lol

  34. Just made these, great recipe as they’re so easily customisable. I can foresee trying out all sorts of flavour combos, thanks!

  35. Hi! LOVE your site and recipes. Thank you. Do you have a version of this recipe that makes a dozen or so? xo

  36. Okay, I apologize for this ridiculous question…but..when you say 3 or 2 “T” for the recipe, do you mean tablespoon??? >.< Thank you!

    1. Hi Miranda! Not ridiculous at all- Sorry for the confusion- It’s ‘tablespoon’ which is 15 mls 🙂

      1. Oh good! I just wanted to double check because I am going to make these ASAP!!!! They look and sound so good! Thank you for sharing!!! Love it!

  37. Thanks so much for the recipe! We are addicted to L&L at our house for our pre-lifting carb boost, so I’m dying to make this. Do you thinking substituting sun butter for the nut butter would be viable? My husband is allergic to nuts. Thanks!

    1. You are so welcome, Yvonne! Sunbutter will definitely work- Just be wary that the color is slightly green once baked, so don’t be concerned 🙂

  38. You naughty little Australian. I JUST made this cookie, with a few of my own alterations, and holy FRICK now I want another. Who needs Lenny & Larry when you’ve got Arman? Thanks for the great recipe!! <3

  39. Omg yes. so ready for these.

    Question – which protein powder did you use in the picture? I know often you say which is pictured but I can’t find that in the text!

    1. YES! Can’t wait to share each flavor over the next week! 🙂

      The pictured one was a vegan blend but I’m going to test out a new brand today because I want to see if I can get a better texture which can last for a week- I’ll let you know!

  40. You’re such a liar! Not because of the sprinkles…. 😛
    And I am with Alison. Birthday cake should taste like carrot cake. No competition.

  41. There’s that cashew butter!! 🙂 Ugh I want this cookie right now. Birthday cake tastes like extra delicious vanilla cake with sprinkles. But if you think about it, shouldn’t birthday cake flavor be subject to your own preference? So like, I want carrot cake on my birthday. Birthday cake should taste like carrot cake to me.
    I’m being obnoxious k bye.

  42. Fun recipe! I have to say this one I’ll have to save…and maybe make for my husband as a treat for his birthday!

  43. I remember when we went to Farm Boy and you helped me decide to buy the GIANT Lenny & Larry’s white chocolate macadamia cookie along with the snickerdoodle one! The macros are absolutely AMAZING for your cookies!! Birthday cake has always been cake batter for me! 🙂 tastes awesome!

  44. Such an awesome recipe, I’ve never tasted the cookies you mention but have definitely seen them around, these look so tasty!!

  45. Oh, wow, thank you for shedding the light on ‘Lenny’s and Larry’s.’ I’ve been wondering what they are. They are all over Instagram. They have a great PR campaign. This looks just as tasty!

  46. You are a SAINT! As someone who is obsessed with Lenny & Larrys cookies I can only scream thank you for these!! Making this giant cookie of bliss asap. Gimme more flavors!! 😉

  47. Is it normal that my “reintroduction” of trying to eat wheat again has come solely in the form of Lenny & Larry’s cookies? Our booth was next to them at the Fancy Food show and needless to say 3 days of cookie samples was irresistible =l

    Which one is your fave!? I thought it would be birthday cake HANDS DOWN but i have to say snickerdoodle might have taken the (cake?..) for me. although I am sure your FULL SIZED ONE SERVING cookie is going to take all of my cakes, snickers and doodles and allow me to remain cookie full and gluten free 😉

    P.S. expo west.. what’s happening!?!?

    1. Nooo…the double chocolate. SO GOOD. I went through a few batches to get the proportions of that right!

      YES!!! I’m going to pop by one of my clients around 11 but have most of the day(s) free!

  48. So funny- I have never really thought of what flavor birthday cake is- it’s just…birthday cake flavored!! I love this recipe though and I’m bookmarking it to try! Thanks for the link up and Happy Wednesday!

  49. Baha I just love your “research outings.” You are like the hella suave detective of the cookie world.
    Also love that you made all nine flavors. This is amazing.
    Also. Mmm tempura.

  50. I will never buy a lenny and larrys cookie ever if I can make one that is DOUBLE the size for the almost the same macros. Giant cookies with good macros is the equivalent of catching a full twisting jaeger on the first try!

  51. I happen to LOVE those cookies and so your versions sound delish. Nice work, Arman. Cookies and cake in one? YES! Happy eating!

  52. I once made a mud cake in my grandmas garden… but it wasn’t marbled 😛 And ‘birthday cake’ to me usually means something vanill-y or funfetti-y, but I 100% always go the chocolate route for my birthday – bust out those cookies next!

  53. I’m going to pretend you made this in honor of my birthday today 😉 Except, you forgot to mail me one. My definition of birthday cake? That’s a tough one since I don’t always have cake on my birthday . I guess it’s whatever free dessert the restaurant decides to send out after we mention 8 times that it’s my birthday.

  54. I can’t believe you made so many different flavors – your cookies (and SIZE) look monumentally better.

  55. Well sir, you’ve done it again! I’ve never had an actual L&L cookie…but now I don’t think I have to! I can’t find them near me and I hear they are pretty expensive. Luckily, I have ALL these ingredients (minus the cashew butter)…so I am excited to try these out! And there are so many different versions to try. Awesome job, dude!

  56. That looks amazing! I just looked up those cookies online (I was curious) but then I looked at the ingredients list vs. yours… yeah I’m going with yours!

  57. Wow, they look pretty damn good! I have only tried one flavour of the Lenny and Larry’s cookies but I have to say they are great. I have wanted to experiment with coconut flour for a while. Do you recommend it as a like for like substitute? A part of me wants to try it but a bigger part of me looks at the price-tag and wonders if it’s worth it.

    1. Hi Aubrey! I LOVE coconut flour- Seriously, I promise if you get some, you won’t regret it. If so, you can make all my protein/snack recipes on here haha- I use it as one of my most used ingredients!

      1. I think I will get some, been wanting to make protein bites and that sort of thing for ages and so many recipes are coconut flour based!

  58. I haven’t tried that brand of cookie but I’m already put off by the fact that serving size is for half a cookie. Who wants just half a cookie? I love that you made all the different flavors though- so festive!
    I ate out twice yesterday too… it was an accident, but hey, we porbably spend more than enough time in the kitchen anyways.

    1. Right? It’s like those chips which the serving size is like…1.3 per packet!

      And yes….that’s what I always tell myself haha!

      1. I have made these cookies multiple times and love them! They are soft and chewy right out of the oven and firm up well. I use stevia and they always taste great.

        1. Is the peanut butter sweetened or unsweetened? Can use unsweetened since we’re adding granulated sweetner right?

  59. I had no idea protein cookies were all the rage but I’m sure your version is better all around 🙂 I think if bday cake being all vanilla and buttercream with sprinkles 🙂

    1. 5 stars
      These protein cookies are a flavor-packed delight, offering a chewy, satisfying treat that effortlessly combines deliciousness with a wholesome protein kick—snacking goals achieved!

  60. Uhhmm blueberry ricotta pancakes? Gimme!! And no judgement – holidays are meant for eating out!!

    1. 5 stars
      These protein cookies are seriously a game-changer! They manage to be chewy and satisfyingly sweet while sneaking in that protein punch, making them my new go-to guilt-free treat.

    1. Hi I have not tried this recipe yet. Can I use a plant based protein powder like sun warrior in this recipe?