Protein powder desserts

The best protein desserts to satisfy your sweet-tooth craving

9 min read


01 Apr 2024

Grab your cheat sheet

  1. What is a craving?
  2. Protein-packed cakes
  3. Protein-infused cookies
  4. Quick, easy, no-bake protein delights
  5. Vegan-friendly protein desserts
  6. Fruit-forward protein treats
  7. Protein-packed cheesecakes and tarts
  8. Protein smoothies and parfaits
  9. Post-workout protein treats
  10. Protein dessert tips and tricks
  11. High-protein desserts: Final thoughts

On a quest for desserts that boost your protein intake and tickle your tastebuds? Well, you’re in for a treat. 

Whether you’re trying to find high-protein alternatives for your favourite desserts or looking to experiment with healthier sweet treat recipes—you’re in the right place.

Here, we'll explore a variety of protein-packed desserts that not only satisfy your sweet tooth, but support your nutritional needs, too. 

Oh yeah, with our exclusive list of high-protein recipes, you can enjoy a sweet treat (or two) and keep your fitness goals in sync. From guilt-free cakes and cookies to delicious protein shakes, we've got you covered.

Let’s dive in.

What is a craving?

Man has donut food craving

Simply put, a craving is an intense desire for a specific type of food or substance. Cravings can be triggered by physiological, psychological, and environmental cues.

Often, the foods that a person craves are likely to be sugary, salty, fatty, or all. You may feel increasingly excited as you imagine how it will taste and how you'll feel eating it.

Why do cravings happen?

Cravings are usually caused by several physical or mental factors. They can be influenced by nutrient deficiencies, hormonal fluctuations, and blood sugar levels. Strong cravings can feel uncontrollable and may not be particularly healthy for you.

Similarly, fluctuations in hormones can affect hunger and appetite which can influence you to crave certain types of foods.

Many people struggle with cravings as they use eating as a coping mechanism for stress and boredom. Food can bring comfort, pleasure and a strong sense of satisfaction, which can alter your emotions and psychological state.

Another trigger for food cravings may be the sight, smell, and availability of the food. For example, seeing a commercial for a strawberry cheesecake may give you cravings for that specific dessert. 

But, going for high-protein desserts that not only taste great but pack a real nutritional punch means you can give into your cravings. And, we’re going to serve up some tastebud-tingling suggestions right now.

Healthy dessert recipes and ideas

Protein-packed cakes

Protein cake

Cakes, a staple of any dessert menu, can also be a source of protein. Take a vanilla protein cake for a simple yet delicious delight. All you need is one cup of almond flour, two eggs, one scoop of vanilla protein powder, paired with ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract for extra flavour. For added sweetness, you can lightly drizzle a tablespoon of honey or maple syrup. 

Alternatively, a protein-rich blueberry-lemon ricotta pound cake is a delightful choice for brunch or alongside a hot drink.

If you usually go for a carrot cake, you can make it high-protein by adding a scoop of vanilla protein powder alongside some Greek yoghurt to your usual recipe. 

Be sure to minimise unrefined sugar and go for natural sweeteners or spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg to give it an extra kick.

High-protein cake substitutes …

    • Almond flour, which is a healthy substitute for regular flour, provides more protein, heart-healthy fats, and fibre, while being lower in carbohydrates, making it ideal for gluten-free baking.

    • Imagine biting into a scrumptious almond flour cake flavoured with almond extract and orange zest, topped with sliced almonds.

    • Paired with fresh fruits like cherries or strawberries, it’s a delightful sweet treat that doesn’t compromise your protein intake.

Note: If you’re allergic to almonds, oat flour, whole wheat flour or coconut flour can be a great alternative.

Protein-infused cookies

Pecan protein cookies

Cookies are a universal favourite, and rightly so. Imagine enjoying your favourite cookie while also increasing your protein intake…a win is a win!

If you have a chocolate craving, you could go for a chocolate pretzel-banana protein cookie. To make it, you can combine Crazy Nutrition’s chocolate tri-protein powder and dutch-processed cocoa powder for a flavour-rich treat.

If you’re looking for a fruity and nutty dessert, the apricot-pecan protein cookies offer a satisfying high-protein indulgence. And for those seeking a healthier alternative, the chocolate chip protein cookies deliver 20 grams of protein per cookie, catering to sugar-free, egg-free, and vegan diets.

Quick, easy, no-bake protein delights

Chocolate peanut butter protein delights

Quick and convenient, no-bake protein delights allow for effortless indulgence in high-protein desserts. For instance, protein bars can be made without baking, using ingredients such as…

  • Natural creamy peanut butter
  • Honey or coconut palm syrup
  • Coconut oil
  • Vanilla
  • Ground flaxseed meal
  • Protein powder
  • Dark chocolate

This results in a healthy treat with around 8.6 grams of protein per bar. It tastes a little like peanut butter cups, making these sweet treats an excellent post-workout snack or afternoon energy boost.

Another no-bake protein delight is the shamrock protein shake. This healthy shake is low in calories but high in protein. It features…

  • 39 grams of protein per serving when made with a vanilla protein shake, Greek yoghurt, and sugar-free vanilla pudding mix
  • This festive shake offers a protein-rich dessert with less sugar and fewer calories compared to commercial shakes
  • It can be quickly prepared in about 5 minutes using a standard blender

Vegan-friendly protein desserts

Avocado chocolate mousse

On a vegan diet, desserts can remain luxurious, high-protein, and dairy-free. Take a chocolate avocado mousse for example. Ripe avocados are blended with…

  • Vegan dark chocolate chips
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Unrefined brown sugar
  • Almond milk
  • Vanilla extract
  • Maple syrup

The mixture is blended in a food processor until smooth and then chilled to set. This results in a divine dessert that’s not only vegan but also high in plant-based protein.

Tofu-based vegan desserts offer another creamy, plant-based alternative that’s high in protein. Silken tofu chocolate pudding and mousse, for instance, can be enhanced with various toppings like fresh berries or whipped coconut cream.

If you’re looking for a high-protein breakfast or dessert option, vegan protein pancakes are a great choice. Made with a blend of plant-based milk, vegan protein powder, and a variety of flavours and spices, these pancakes offer over 30 grams of protein.

These vegan-friendly protein desserts are not just indulgent but nutritious. Options like protein pudding provide 10 grams of protein and 6 grams of fibre per serving, while also being simple and convenient to prepare.

Fruit-forward protein treats

Fruit protein dessert

Refreshing and delicious, fruit-forward desserts can enhance your protein intake. Take chia pudding, for example. This healthful dessert uses Greek yoghurt to provide additional protein, and chia seeds offer fibre and Omega-3 fatty acids. 

A variant of this is blood orange chia pudding, which incorporates greek yoghurt, chia seeds, and blood oranges, creating a dessert rich in protein and flavours ranging from tart to sweet. The preparation is simple…it needs several hours or overnight for the chia seeds to expand, and can be adjusted with full-fat or lower-fat Greek yoghurt to vary protein content.

Another fruit-forward protein treat is the grilled fruit salad with vanilla yoghurt. This protein-rich dessert features a medley of fresh and grilled fruits with low-fat vanilla yoghurt.

If that doesn’t appeal to you, what about an oatmeal cookie fruit pizza? This dish offers a nutritious oatmeal cookie base, creamy yoghurt sauce, and sliced berries and kiwi. It’s a creative and unique high-protein dessert!

Protein-packed cheesecakes and tarts


Transforming classic desserts like cheesecakes and tarts into protein-packed indulgences allows for guilt-free enjoyment. These high-protein desserts offer indulgent flavours such as no-bake cherry cheesecake and lavender cheesecake while delivering a healthier profile suitable for a balanced diet.

A single serving of high-protein cheesecake contains 479 calories and 34g of protein, while a low-carb keto cheesecake provides more than 8 grams of protein per slice.

Tip top high-protein cheesecake recipe tweaks include using…

  • Cottage cheese
  • Greek yoghurt
  • Flavoured protein powders
  • Flavours like fruit compotes and chocolate

For the best baking results, you should combine whey protein with casein to prevent drying out the cheesecake, creating high-protein cheesecake recipes that will literally make you salivate.

Protein smoothies and parfaits


Delicious and convenient, protein smoothies and parfaits offer an easy way to enjoy high-protein desserts. 

Greek yoghurt serves as a high-protein base for parfaits, which you can combine with mix-ins like granola, toasted coconut chips, and various fruits such as mango, apples, and berries. 

For convenience, protein yoghurt parfaits can be assembled ahead of time with the exception of crunchy granola, which should be added just before serving to maintain texture.

Protein smoothies offer a diverse range of flavours, from the dessert-inspired blueberry pie protein shake to the breakfast classic oatmeal raisin ‘cookie’ smoothie. 

Smoothies can also cater to specific dietary preferences by using different sources of protein and ingredients, such as Greek yoghurt, tofu, nut butter, or specialised vegan protein products.

Post-workout protein treats

Banana bread

Integrating protein into your post-workout dessert can enhance muscle recovery and make your routine more enjoyable. Protein rice crispy treats offer a delightful post-workout snack that aids in muscle recovery with added protein powder.

Chocolate protein crispy treats use freeze-dried strawberries as the main ingredient, adding a sweet twist while infusing additional protein.

High-protein banana bread, prepared with protein powder, makes for a nourishing vegan snack, and protein peanut butter cups offer four grams of protein each to help replenish energy stores after exercise.

Snickers protein rice cakes are made with lightened-up whipped cream, protein powder, chocolate chips, and zero-calorie sweetener, creating a delicious and guilt-free snack option. These ingredients come together to provide a satisfying treat with added protein for a satisfying snack.

Acai bowls, enhanced with almond butter and pea protein, provide a smoothie-like post-workout treat that is both nutritious and protein-dense.

Protein dessert tips and tricks

Athlete taking snack

Making your own protein-packed desserts can be fun and rewarding. Here are some tips and tricks to level up your desserts.

Ways to add protein into desserts 

  • Adding pureed beans into dense desserts like brownies to increase protein without affecting texture significantly
  • Using chocolate or vanilla protein powders to add flavour and sweetness to desserts, reducing the need for additional sugars
  • Creating desserts like halvah using sesame paste for richness and a protein boost

Ways to make your dessert healthier

  • Use natural sweeteners instead of refined sugar
  • Substitute refined white flour with whole grain flours (whole wheat flour, almond flour, or oat flour)
  • Add ingredients like nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables to desserts to boost their nutritional value
  • Replace unhealthy fats (butter or shortening) with avocado, coconut oil, or olive oil
  • Use spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, or vanilla extract to add flavour to desserts without adding extra sugar
  • Opt for dark chocolate with a high cocoa content (70% or higher). Dark chocolate contains antioxidants and is lower in sugar compared to milk or white chocolate
  • Bake or grill Instead of frying desserts to reduce the amount of unhealthy fats

Remember: While adding protein increases the nutritional value of desserts, it’s essential to enjoy these treats in moderation within a balanced diet.

High protein desserts: Final thoughts…

Understanding your cravings and learning how to integrate healthy desserts into your diet can be a harmonious way to enjoy sweet treats. 

Having a healthy diet does not mean saying goodbye to desserts. If you’ve been misinformed, special diets do not need to prevent you from enjoying delicious desserts​​what matters are the ingredients and how they’re made. 

There’s always a way to adjust and tweak a sweet treat, to make it still taste just as scrumptious without it costing you your fitness goals. 

High-protein snacks and desserts can help with muscle recovery and can fuel your muscles for your next workout. 

As well as enjoying these scrumptious desserts, proper nutrition, regular exercise and great sleep hygiene are essential to improving your overall health. 

From protein-packed cakes to fruit-forward protein treats, from post-workout protein snacks to guilt-free indulgences, the world of protein desserts is vast and delicious. So, why wait?

Start exploring these high-protein dessert recipes and give your sweet tooth a treat without compromising your health goals.