I’m not personally a keto dieter (I love carbs too much), but I’m no stranger to low-carb, high-protein recipes.
Regular cookies are incredible, but I know that they’re not the easiest thing to fit into your daily diet between the high sugar and calories they tend to contain.
Well, how about a delicious chocolate chip cookie that’s keto-friendly, high-protein, and gluten-free?
It’s been almost 2 years since I first took a stab at a keto chocolate chip protein cookie, and my original recipe yielded a crunchy keto cookie similar to Lenny & Larry’s crunchy cookies.
If you’re a fan of crunchy cookies, that’s totally fine, but I’m on Team Soft Cookie.
I want a soft & chewy cookie with gooey melted chocolate, and that’s exactly what this keto protein cookie recipe delivers.
These may not be as good as a traditional, homemade chocolate chip cookie (you really just can’t beat the classics), but these are damn good for protein cookies. Dare I say, significantly better than anything you’ll find on shelves.
By using almond flour and protein powder, we’re replacing all of the flour (and carbs) to create these soft, chewy cookies.
Each cookie contains only 60 calories with 4g of protein, and only 1g net carbs each!
I know that 4g of protein is not a ton of protein for this to be called a “protein cookie.” But with only 60 calories, that means you can enjoy 4 keto protein cookies and it will come out to 240 calories and 16g of protein, which is similar to a protein bar!
But hey, if that’s not enough protein for you, you can try my chocolate chip protein cookie recipe with 50g of protein.
How to make keto chocolate chip protein cookies
A lot of cookies will require chilling before baking (like my giant half-pound protein cookies) but I wanted to keep this recipe very simple, so there is no chilling required!
Once you preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, you only need about 5 minutes to get everything prepped and ready to go.
To start, we’ll be mixing up our dry ingredients; almond flour, protein powder, brown sugar substitute, and baking soda.
Note that for this recipe we are using PEScience protein powder, which is a whey & casein blend (remember to use the code “Matt” to save on your order if you buy any protein powder).
I’ve tested this recipe with both the vanilla protein powder and the unflavored protein powder, and I can assure you that either works great here. I personally prefer sweeter cookies, so I lean towards vanilla, but unflavored protein powder works really well.
I use PEScience in all my recipes because I love the way the whey & casein blend bakes. I know that whey protein powder is the most common type used in recipes, but I have not tested it here. Whey protein tends to lead to crunchier cookies, which you can see as the result of my Protein Cookie Crisp recipe.
Pea protein will not work in this recipe, and to see a good visual guide explaining why, check out my Baking With Protein Powder write up.
Anyway, back to the keto protein cookie recipe.
Add the butter and vanilla extract to your bowl, then mix it all up until it comes together to form cookie dough.
Chop up your chocolate and fold that into the cookie dough. You can use chocolate chips, but I love the varying sizes you get from chopped chocolate.
Once the chocolate chip cookie dough is ready to go, you’re going to use a small cookie scoop to form 12 cookies.
If you don’t have a cookie scoop, a small kitchen spoon will work great.
Space them out evenly on your baking sheet (I line mine with parchment paper) then use your hands to roll them into balls.
Bake these keto protein cookies at 350 degrees F for 6 minutes. These cookies are small, so they require less baking time than traditional cookies.
After 6 minutes, the protein cookies are going to look like they have puffed up quite a bit.
If we were to just let these cool as-is, we’d have relatively cakey cookies. This is where one of my favorite “hacks” comes into play.
This is something I learned from my High-Protein Oatmeal Cream Pies recipe: if you press the tops of the cookies down gently, they’ll firm up into soft and gooey cookies with crackly tops.
Since the cookies are super soft right out of the oven, it will be easy to press them down. Don’t worry about completely flattening them, but press them down just enough to form that crackly top and a nice round cookie shape.
If you were to pick up the cookies and try to eat them right away, they’d taste undercooked (which is actually okay because all of the ingredients used are safe to consume raw). However, once you let these cookies cool for about 15 minutes, they will firm up inside and become perfectly soft and chewy.
These cookies hold up great as leftovers, so they can be stored in an airtight container to enjoy throughout the week. They will hold their structure but remain incredibly soft!
And if you want to take these cookies to the next level, check out my brownie batter stuffed protein cookies.
It utilizes this recipe along with my edible brownie batter to create these epic brownie batter stuffed protein cookies:
Whether you go with the original chocolate chip keto protein cookies or the brownie batter stuffed version, I know you will not be disappointed.
Keto-friendly protein recipes to explore
While I myself am not keto, I have tons of low-carb & high-protein recipes here on my blog. Here are some of my favorites worth checking out:
- Protein Peanut Butter Cups
- High-Protein Snickerdoodle Cookies
- The Softest Protein Pumpkin Cookies
- The Perfect Low-Calorie Sugar Cookies
- Low Calorie Cookies With Only 25 Calories
Soft Chocolate Chip Keto Protein Cookies (1g Net Carb)
These aren't your typical dry & crumbly keto protein cookies. These chocolate chip cookies are soft and gooey, contain only 1g net carbs each, and will be ready to eat in under 20 minutes.
- 45g (1.5 Scoops) Vanilla or Unflavored Whey/Casein Blend Protein Powder (Code "Matt" to save on PEScience)
- 56g Almond Flour
- 56g Light Butter Spread (I use Country Crock)
- 40g Brown Sugar Substitute
- 1-2 tsp Vanilla Extract (1 tsp if using vanilla protein, 2 tsp if using unflavored)
- 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
- 15g Chopped Sugar-Free Chocolate or Chocolate Chips (I use Lily's)
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
- Combine all of your dry ingredients (minus the chocolate) in a large bowl.
- Add in the butter and vanilla extract, then mix together with a silicone spatula until a dough forms.
- Chop up your chocolate and fold it into the dough.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, then use a small cookie scoop to create 12 small cookie dough balls. Use your hands to smooth out each cookie dough ball and space them evenly on the baking sheet.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 6 minutes.
- When you remove the cookies from the oven, they're going to look puffed up. Gently press the tops down with your fingers to flatten and create that crackly top, then let the cookies cool for 10-15 minutes to firm up.
- Enjoy these keto protein cookies warm, or store in an airtight container to enjoy leftovers throughout the week.
***I do not count the sugar substitute in my carb count. If you are very strict Keto, there is 5g of sugar substitute to account for in each cookie. Since they do not contribute any calories, I do not typically count those towards my totals. Similarly, this nutrition is based on using sugar-free chocolate chips (Lily's brand) so you may need to adjust if you use regular chocolate chips.
- Coconut flour is a popular keto baking flour, but it will not work as a substitution for almond flour in this recipe.
- The nutrition below is based on 12 cookies, but if you want slightly larger cookies, you can make 6 medium-sized cookies. If you go that route, adjust the bake time to 8 minutes.
- I only tried these cookies with a whey/casein blend protein powder, but I would venture to say that a whey protein powder should work just fine. To see how different types of protein powder affect cookie recipes, check out my Ultimate Protein Powder Substitution Guide.
- Instead of butter spread, you can use full-fat butter or coconut oil, but you may not need quite as much overall.
- "Light Butter" is simply a butter spread that has half the calories of regular butter. It's essentially margarine, and the brand I use (Country Crock) is actually dairy-free. It can be subbed for any butter or butter spread.
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Nutrition InformationYield 12 Serving Size 1 Cookie
Amount Per Serving Calories 60Total Fat 5gCarbohydrates 2gFiber 1gSugar 0gProtein 4g
Wednesday 16th of November 2022
NEEDED TO ADD A FEW DROPS OF WATER. AT 6 MINUTES I HAD RAW DOUGH STILL.
Wednesday 16th of November 2022
Thanks for the comment, Susan. I've made these cookies countless times without issues though. If your cookies were raw after baking them, I have to imagine you made a substitution along the way that ruined the dough.
Tuesday 22nd of September 2020
Hi Matt, I was craving something different but quick and easy to make and came across this recipe.
I used cinnamon whey protein, added a dash of vanilla essence, and instead of applesauce used low fat yoghurt.
Wow! The end result was delicious. Nice and crispy on the outside. The inside was a little dry, but I did leave them in the microwave oven as it cooled so that’s probably why. Nothing a bit of yoghurt smeared on couldn’t fix!
Thank you for sharing!
Tuesday 22nd of September 2020
Thank you so much Heather- I'm glad you enjoyed them! Great to hear the substitutions worked out for you too :]