4 Protein Powder Substitutes for Baking

Baked goods are rarely considered healthy foods. However, with the addition of one simple ingredient that can change: protein powder. Protein powder can give any of your baked goods a nutritional boost and improve the flavor of the food. 

Some of the best protein powder substitutes in baking are casein protein powder, egg whites, almond flour, and chickpea flour. All of these substitutes will work best with different based goods based on their texture and flavor profile.

Read on to learn some of the benefits of using protein powder in baking and which protein powder will be best for your next batch of cookies.

Why Use Protein Powder in Baking?

There are several benefits of using protein powder when you are baking. The first, and most obvious, is that protein powder adds nutritional value to baked goods. Protein powder usually contains a complete protein, most often from whey, that you will not get in regular baked goods. 

By adding protein powder to baked goods makes them more nutritionally dense, which can help keep you full longer. It can also help to prevent the blood sugar spike that can come as a result of eating sugary baked goods. 

Using protein powder in baking goods also has the benefit of reducing the amount of sugar that you need to add to the recipe. The majority of protein powders on the market are pre-sweetened and pre-flavored. When you use one of these powders in a baked good, the flavor and sweetness will transfer over to the food. With the sweetness of the protein powder, you won’t have to add as much sugar to the baked good.

The flavor of the protein powder will also transfer over to the baked goods. For example, if you are baking brownies you can use a chocolate protein powder to enhance the flavor of the brownies and reduce the amount of cocoa powder that you need to add.

What is a Good Substitute for Protein Powder in Baking?

Of course, protein powder is a great ingredient to use in baking. However, not everyone has access to protein powder but still wants to get the benefits of using protein powder.

Fortunately, there are several good substitutes for protein powder in baking that you are sure to enjoy.

1. Casein Protein Powder

The first protein powder substitute that you can use for baking is casein protein powder. Casein protein powder is also a dairy-derived protein powder however, the protein that it uses is different.

Casein is different from whey protein powder because it is much thicker. This can make it have a pudding-like consistency when mixed with water or milk. Since the texture is thicker, it is best to use this substitute in dishes where thickness is desired like brownies or cookie dough. 

Casein protein powder can also be used to make other thick desserts like puddings since it gives them a thicker texture.

Casein powder also bakes well and has a good flavor at the end of the baking process.

2. Egg Whites

If you’d prefer to make your own protein powder, egg whites are a great protein powder substitute that can also be used in baking. 

To make your own egg white protein powder you will want to dehydrate the egg whites and then grind them up into a fine powder. Once the egg whites have been ground into a powder they can be used similarly to regular protein powders, including in baking. 

One of the benefits of using egg whites as a protein powder substitute in baking is that they do not impart a noticeable flavor or texture to the baked goods. Eggs can also act as a binder which helps the baked good to keep its shape and texture.

Of course, if you are allergic to eggs this is not a good option and you should stick to one of the other options in this article. To learn about more alternatives to egg white protein powder, click here.

3. Almond Flour 

This next option is a great choice for people who have gluten sensitivity. You can find plenty of baking recipes that are based almost entirely on almond flour. It can provide the baked goods with a fluffy texture and a good flavor that many people enjoy.

In addition to being a good flour substitute, almond flour also has high levels of protein which make it a great way to add extra protein to any baked good. In addition to extra protein, almond flour has high levels of vitamin E, fiber, and healthy fats, all of which are not found in typical white flour.

If you do decide to use almond flour as a protein powder substitute, you will need to add more liquid to your dish. Almond flour absorbs more liquid than other flours so it can mess with the ratios that you are used to in your recipe. Make sure you add water until it reaches the right texture or your baked good could end up too dry. 

4. Chickpea Flour

Although this option is best left to savory baked goods, it is one of the best protein powder substitutes out there. Chickpea flour is made from ground up chickpeas and can provide your baked goods with a great protein boost. 

Compared to the other substitutes on this list, chickpea flour has a more savory, dense texture. It is a great source of protein if you’re making savory bread or other baked good. It is also a great gluten-free option.

Just like with almond flour, you’ll want to add extra liquid in your recipes when using chickpea flour or your recipe could come out dry. 

Which Option is the Best?

Out of all the substitutes above, the best substitute for protein powder in baking is either egg whites or almond flour. 

Egg whites are the best option if gluten is not a concern. They allow you to maintain the texture of the baked good as close to the original as possible and don’t negatively affect the taste. You are also able to make this substitute at home which means that you get to control all of the ingredients that are going into the powder.

If you’re looking to avoid gluten, almond flour is the best option. This flour will provide your baked goods with a light, fluffy texture that many come to enjoy. However, when using this substitute you need to be careful to add enough liquid. Almond flour absorbs a lot of moisture in the baking process which can leave your baked goods dry.

Final Thoughts

Protein powder is a great ingredient that you can use when baking to add extra protein to your favorite baked goods. However, not everyone wants to use regular protein powder or has access to protein powder. In that case, there are several great protein powder substitutes that you can use in your baked goods. 

The best protein powder substitutes are egg whites and almond flour. Both of these will only change the flavor of your baked goods very minimally and add a good amount of protein to any baked good.