These healthy chocolate fudge protein cake bars are the perfect snack or healthy treat to enjoy anytime! Made with no sugar, flour, butter or dairy, these high protein cake bars are naturally gluten free and dairy free, and come with a tested paleo, grain free and protein powder free option!
Yesterday, I shared with you guys some delicious snacks to have on hand, including muffins, no bake bars and even pancakes (which taste amazing thawed with peanut butter on top). Something which was missing from that list was a snack I used to enjoy during my university days- Protein Cake Bars.
Firstly, I’d like to say THANK GOODNESS my taste buds have changed AND I’m no longer in the ‘build muscle to be sexy’ phase.
Oh, that silly, silly phase.
During that particular period in my naive, misinformed life, I tried to emulate several of my friends, who were into weightlifting VERY religiously. They had a set workout routine and carried around man bags which had a million compartments of various food.
Sorry, various ‘meals’.
We only spoke in ‘meals’ during those dark, dark days.
A typical day would involve 6-8 ‘meals’, and they ranged from oatmeal in the morning to ending the night with some protein ‘pudding’ concoction…if you’d call protein powder mixed with water pudding.
I call it lies.
A popular ‘meal’ (meal ‘4’, if I remember correctly) was several baked protein bars, based off this popular recipe. I remember my friends being obsessed with it, as they claimed it tasted ‘just like cake.’ I remember the first time I tried it and I immediately crossed ‘eating a hockey puck’ off my bucket list. However, after beginning a weight lifting routine and the subsequent meal plan, my taste buds were manipulated. soon enough, these baked protein bars were like Serendipity Sundaes. ‘Meal 4’ soon became my favorite meal, and each week, I’d prep a huge batch of these protein bars and go about my bodybuilding ways.
I eventually got over this phase, worked out when I wanted to, and stopped the 6-8 meals a day. I also went through a period of not making OR eating any of these baked protein bars.
A few months ago, I caught up with my friends who still partook in dedicated weight lifting routines (one of them recently took part in a figure competition!) and they were still enjoying the 6-8 meals a day. I relived my bodybuilding days by having one of those infamous baked protein bars again and well…
Dear GOD what did I put my taste buds through.
The basis of the recipe isn’t too bad- It just needed a few additions to make it palatable. The original recipe included no fat in it whatsoever. This was the first thing I added to the new updated version, in the form of drippy almond butter. I also used milk, and swapped out half the applesauce for dairy free yogurt. I also did NOT use whey protein, which I think also made a huge difference.
Oh….and I LOADED it with some dairy free chocolate chucks.
A few simple changes turned hockey pucks into palatable and cake like bars…..which you’d actually enjoy snacking on!
These healthy high protein chocolate fudge cake bars are easy, portable and a guilt free snack to enjoy anytime AND gives you a chocolate fix! They are packed with protein and pretty low in carbohydrates, so perfect for those following a lower carb lifestyle! They are a quick, fast, one bowl recipe which takes minutes to prep and an easy bake in the oven! For the original version, I’d recommend using this vegan-friendly protein powder or this casein protein powder. They both provide a much better texture, and (if you follow directions as specified), provide a delicious cake bar- No dry hockey pucks here! The original recipe is naturally gluten free, sugar free and dairy free. However, there is also a tested option for my paleo friends- Please take note that the latter does NOT include any protein powder and several different ingredients.
HACK! Oven temperatures and models are all different. If there is one tip I can provide, it would be to rotate your cake pan halfway through to ensure it is fully cooked through the center. In the past, I used to sometimes be presented with half baked/undercooked cake bars. This ensured they were fully cooked through.
If you want a more gooey, softer brownie-like bar, feel free to take it out just a tad earlier. Allow to cool completely in the pan before refrigerating for several hours.
Oh and please…..Feel free to add CHUNKS to the batter.
WANT A PROTEIN PACKED BROWNIE? See a similar recipe below using just FOUR Ingredients and no flour or grains!
Make these healthy High Protein Chocolate Fudge Cake Bars and snack and build muscles like a boss.
Ignore the latter part.
- 1 cup gluten free oat flour
- 2 scoops vanilla or unflavored protein powder (see my tested recommendations above)
- 1/2 cup granulated sweetener of choice*
- 3 T cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce OR canned pumpkin
- 1/4 cup drippy almond butter
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt (I used dairy free plain)
- 4 large egg whites
- 1/4 cup milk of choice (I used unsweetened almond)
- 1/4 cup + Chocolate chips/chunks, to stir through and drizzle on top (optional)
- 1/4 cup coconut flour
- 1/4 cup + 2 T cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup granulated sweetener of choice
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1/2 cup non dairy milk
- 1/4 cup dairy free chocolate chips (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line an 8 x 8 pyrex or glass baking dish with oil and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients and mix well.
- In a small bowl, mix together the applesauce, yogurt, almond butter, egg whites and milk of choice well.
- Pour into the dry mixture and mix until fully incorporated. Stir through chocolate chips/chunks and bake for 20-30 minutes, depending on your oven, and your desired texture (test using a tooth pick or skewer). Rotate the pan then too, to ensure fully cooked. Remove and allow to cool completely, before topping with extra chocolate drizzle then slicing into bars.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a small loaf pan (4 x 8 or similar) with oil and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients.
- In a seperate bowl, whisk the eggs, vanilla, coconut oil and non dairy milk until fully combined. Pour into the dry mixture and mix until combined. Stir through optional chocolate chips and bake for 20-30 minutes, checking halfway through. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before slicing into bars.
- * If your protein powder is sweetened, you can reduce slightly.
- It's best to use a pyrex baking dish to avoid cooking too fast- If you use a standard cake pan or loaf tin, you may need to adjust your baking time by a little bit.
- These cake bars need to be kept in the refrigerator. They are also freezer friendly.
Did you ever go through a specific fitness phase?
What is your current workout routine like?