Adding whey protein powder to your baking recipes is a great way of getting both a protein boost and a sugar fix.
Baking staples are no longer limited to flour, eggs and baking powder, with protein powders providing a great addition to cakes, cookies, brownies and pancakes.
Knowing how to get started with baking powder is often the hardest step, with many people’s first attempts leaving a lot to be desired. So, we’ve compiled this guide with all the help you need for baking with whey protein powder.
Why Add Protein Powder to Baked Goods?
Adding protein powder to baked goods is a simple way to turn all of your favourite sweet treats, like cakes, muffins and pancakes, into something more healthy and filling.
Most flour-based baking recipes are low in both protein and nutrition, which means adding protein powder can provide a nutritious boost with limited impact on taste and texture (when done correctly!)
Types of Protein Powders Suitable for Baking
There is more than one type of protein powder and some work better than others when it comes to baking. The best types of protein powders to add to your baking recipes are:
Whey Protein Powder
Whey protein powder is one of the most common protein powders and whey protein is one of the top proteins found in milk.
A complete protein, whey protein often doesn’t taste great on its own and is therefore usually flavoured with chocolate or vanilla when manufactured in powder form.
Whey protein powder is great for adding to baking recipes however it’s NOT vegan therefore if you’re looking for a plant-based option, you’ll need to find an alternative…
Pea Protein Powder
Speaking of alternatives, pea protein powder is a vegan protein choice that is also high in fibre and iron.
Pea-based protein powders mix easily and our vegan protein powder also includes no added sugars, no gluten and no artificial colours or additives.
Adjusting Traditional Recipes for Protein Powder
As a general rule, you should never replace more than ⅓ of a recipe's flour quantity with protein powder.
We recommend starting off with a smaller amount, like one scoop, in order to test the taste and texture of the end product. You can then play around with the amount of protein you substitute.
You can also add more water in correlation with the more protein powder you add, to ensure the mixture doesn’t become too dry.
Tips for Achieving the Perfect Texture
One of the biggest hurdles for baking with protein powder is the texture. Too much protein powder can make bakes dry and hard to eat.
Our top tips for achieving the perfect texture when baking with protein powder are:
- Use in moderation, if more than half your mixture or batter is made up of protein powder the end result is probably going to taste something like rubber.
- Add a moisturiser to compliment the “dryness” of the powder such as yoghurt, cream cheese, banana or honey.
- Try not to cook your cakes and sweet treats on a high heat. Too much heat can cause the protein powder to clump together.
Common Mistakes to Avoid When Baking with Protein Powder
Like we said at the start of the guide, it’s common for your first attempt at baking with protein powder to be a bit of a disaster. Some common mistakes to avoid when baking with protein powder are:
- Don’t use too much protein powder.
- Don’t overmix your batter or mixture.
- Grease your trays, protein bakes are notoriously sticky.
- Don’t skip out on the flour. It’s tempting to totally replace flour with protein powder, they’re similar right? Wrong. Flour offers an array of binding and rising properties that your bake needs.
- Don’t avoid sugar altogether. Usually protein bakes taste awful because you’ve opted to remove everything “bad” from the recipe but the fact is, they need some sort of sugar or sweetener to provide flavour.
Delicious Protein-Packed Baking Recipes
Want to try out baking with protein powder for yourself? Take a look at some of our favourite protein powder baking recipes:
- Vegan Protein Pancakes
- Protein Chocolate Doughnuts
- Protein Coffee Cake
- Protein Chocolate Cookies
- Mini Egg Protein Bar Cookies
Storing and Preserving Protein-Enriched Baked Goods
Protein powder should be stored in a cool, dry place and your protein-enriched baked goods are no different.
The ideal storage spot is a kitchen or pantry cupboard away from sunlight and heat. It’s particularly important to keep your protein baking away from a heat source as exposure to heat can have a negative effect on the protein powder's nutritional value.
Pop your baked goods into an airtight container and remember to replace the lid after you’ve sneaked out a snack or two!
Nutritional Benefits of Protein-Infused Bakes
Adding protein powder to your bakes can come with a whole host of nutritional benefits such as:
- More protein. The obvious nutritional benefit of adding protein powder to your bakes is the protein boost you’ll receive. Protein is great for helping us feel fuller for longer and strengthening our muscles, particularly after exercise.
- Macro-friendly. If you track your macro intake, adding protein powder to your bakes is a great way to ensure your sweet treats align with your nutrition goals.
- Less sugar. Most, if not all, protein-focused baking recipes also use reduced sugar or opt for more natural sweeteners such as honey, dates, syrup and coconut sugar.
Frequently Asked Questions about Baking with Protein Powder
How much protein powder should I add to a recipe?
As a rule, don’t substitute more than ⅓ of the flour amount stated in the recipe for protein powder. It's always best to start off small, adding just one scoop of protein powder first. You can always add more to the mixture later if it seems too wet.
Does protein powder change the taste of cakes and muffins?
Yes, too much protein powder can totally overpower the taste of the mixture resulting in a dry and unappealing texture and taste. This is why it’s so important to add small amounts at a time and taste as you go.
What type of protein powder is best for baking?
The best types of protein powder for baking are whey protein and pea-based protein. Both of these can be mixed well and result in light, fluffy and tasty bakes when added correctly. As whey is not vegan, a pea-based protein is best if you’re looking for a plant-based option.
Can you add protein powder to any baking recipe?
In theory, yes, you can add protein powder to any baking recipe. We would recommend only adding it to recipes that already include flour and if you’re a beginner, why not stick to an existing protein powder baking recipe that’s done all the substitutions for you?
Conclusion: Elevating Your Baking Game with Protein
Protein powder can be a great addition to your baking and works amazingly in muffins, cookies, brownies, biscuits and pancakes. You can use protein powder in practically anything you make, adding a protein punch to your sweet treats, just be sure to match your protein powder flavour to the bake.
Baking with protein powder can be trial and error at first but by following the tips in this guide, you’ll be headed for more baking successes than kitchen disasters.