You can enjoy a delicious and creamy red velvet cake in under 20 minutes with these easy Red Velvet Cake Protein Bars. The addition of cream cheese in the protein powder dough makes these protein bars taste like a dense bite of red velvet cake.
Here's why I love this recipe
- easy to prepare
- high-protein and high-fiber, so it'll keep you fuller longer
- low calorie and low carb, to support your weight loss goals
- the best guilt-free dessert & post-workout snack
Ingredients used to make Red Velvet Cake Protein Bars
**I've linked some of these ingredients to amazon.com to give you an idea of what they are, but you should also be able to find them in your local grocery store (usually, the natural & organic food section). They are also affiliate links, which means that I earn a commission as an Amazon Associate if you decide to purchase the items. The price will be the same for you, link or no link 🙂
- Protein Powder – My go-to protein powder is a vanilla plant-based protein powder, like this Orgain Protein Powder.
- Notes on using other Protein Powders in this recipe: Most frothy protein-shake type powders like whey, casein, pea, hemp, brown rice, egg protein powders should give you similar results, but slightly different textures. (Whey tends to produce gummier protein bars, for example). Collagen Peptides protein powder DOES NOT work with this recipe, so I highly recommend that you stick with the recommended protein powders. For collagen protein bar posts, check out this collagen page instead.
- Coconut Flour - Coconut flour is a great low carb flour that is gluten-free, wheat free, and grain-free. Coconut flour is also nut-free (even though it's called coco-nut) because it's made from coconut flesh (which is a fruit, not a nut) that’s been dried and then grind into small flour particles. Here is a brand of coconut flour I like to use.
- Sugar of Choice – I used monk fruit sweetener in this recipe to keep this recipe low-sugar and low carb, but raw cane sugar, coconut, date, and maple sugars are perfectly acceptable substitutes.
- Cream Cheese - I used low fat dairy cream cheese. For a vegan friendly recipe, try using dairy free (vegan) cream cheese made from almond milk or coconut milk.
- Almond Milk - I used unsweetened almond milk, but any milk (dairy or dairy free) works in this recipe. You can even use water.
- Red Food coloring – I used this no-taste red icing gel from Wilton to color the red velvet cookie dough.
- Chocolate Chips - you can use any chocolate chips. To make these protein bars low-carb, use a lower sugar, stevia-sweetened brand like this one below.
More Protein Powder Recipes (HERE)
Step by Step
How to Make Red Velvet Cake Protein Bars
In a clean bowl, mix the dry ingredients: protein powder, cocoa powder, coconut flour and sugar (I used monk fruit sweetener).
Next, add in the red food coloring and milk, using your hands to knead and get the dough to combine together.
You can change the dough to a softer or firmer consistency you prefer. Add more coconut flour if the dough is too soft, add more of milk or water if the dough is too thick. TRY TO ADD A TEASPOON AT A TIME! The final dough should be firm, but soft enough that you can roll the dough into a ball without it falling apart.
Shape the protein dough into a rectangular mound, then wrap in plastic wrap or an airtight container lined with parchment, and let the dough set in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.
Use a sharp knife to cut the protein dough into 7 bars. Keep the bars in the freezer until the next step. The longer they stay in the freezer the better!
Melt chocolate chips in the microwave in 20 second bursts until melted, stirring in between. Dip the protein bars into the melted chocolate and then set it aside on a clean parchment paper.
Recipe Variations and Optional Add Ins:
- Go for the classic red and white aesthetics! Cover these red velvet protein bars in white chocolate chips, instead of the dark chocolate.
- Also, feel free to experiment with natural flavoring / extracts. Add a teaspoon of vanilla extract (I didn't feel like it was essential so I left it out in this recipe), or other flavorings or extracts, such as cream cheese extract.
Just keep in mind that some extracts contain alcohol, and since this is a no-bake recipe, the alcohol won't have a chance to fully evaporate. If serving this to kids, or if you're sensitive to alcohol, be sure to use non-alcoholic extracts or flavorings. Here are some non-alcoholic brands, here: Non-alcoholic peppermint extract, non-alcoholic vanilla extract
How to Make this Healthier
- Make Red Velvet Cake Protein Bars healthier by adding a handful of nuts, seeds and old-fashioned oats to add texture and nutrition. Even better, add a tablespoon of ground flaxseed, hemp seeds, or chia seeds.
How to Store Red Velvet Cake Protein Bars
- You can keep the protein bars out at room temperature for 1 day but for maximum freshness and best texture, it's best to store these protein bars covered in the fridge. They'll be fresh for up to 5-7 days.
- These protein bars also freeze very well! Seal them inside an airtight container or Ziploc bag and freeze them in a single layer so that they don't stick together. I recommend double-bagging if you want to keep out the fridge smell. They can be frozen for up to 4 months.
- For best results, use cream cheese that's softened to room temperature
- If you want to make the chocolate coating process easier, freeze the protein bars for 2-3 hours before coating so that they're easier to handle.
- Also, I like to mix in 2 tsp coconut oil (or olive oil) to the melted chocolate. This thins out the chocolate and makes it easier to coat the protein bars.
Gluten Free Red Velvet Cake Protein Bars (The Best Guilt-Free Dessert)
- 1 cup vanilla protein powder , see notes for more info*
- ½ cup coconut flour
- 3 Tbsp cocoa powder , use dark cocoa powder for deeper color
- ¼ cup monk fruit sweetener , or any granulated sugar of choice**
- 4 oz low fat cream cheese , softened to room temperature. See notes on using vegan cream cheese***
- 2 tsp no-taste red coloring gel 16g
- ⅓ cup plus 1 Tbsp unsweetened almond milk , or other dairy free milk like cashew or coconut milk
- ½ cup white chocolate chips
- In a clean bowl, mix the dry ingredients: protein powder, coconut flour, cocoa powder and sugar of choice (I used monk fruit sweetener).
- Next, add the cream cheese and red food coloring gel and use your hands to incorporate them throughout the dry ingredients.
- Add in the milk, using your hands to knead and get the dough to combine together.Add more coconut flour if the dough is too soft, add a teaspoon or more of milk or water if the dough is too thick. The final dough should be firm, but soft enough that you can roll the dough into a ball without it falling apart.
- Shape the protein dough into a rectangular mound, then wrap in plastic wrap or an airtight container, and let the dough set in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.
- Use a sharp knife to cut the protein dough into 7 bars. Keep the bars in the freezer until the next step.
- Melt chocolate chips in the microwave in 20 second bursts until melted, stirring in betweenOPTIONAL: for a thinner chocolate shell, mix in 2 tsp coconut oil (or olive oil) to the melted chocolate. This thins out the chocolate and makes it easier to coat the protein bars.
- Dip the protein bars into the melted chocolate and then set it aside on a clean parchment paper.
- Let the chocolate set before serving. Enjoy!