Have you tried virtually every protein bar on the market and can’t seem to find one that actually tastes good?
It’s time to make your own!
These homemade protein bars require no baking, are gluten-free, and have 18g of protein per bar!
Imagine some of the best cookie dough you’ve ever had, but with a chocolatey coating and in the shape of a bar.
Oh yeah, and packed with tons of protein.
These protein bars are not only very easy to make, but are sure to be some of the best protein bars you’ve ever had.
Ingredients needed to make cookie dough protein bars
Here’s everything you need for this cookie dough protein bar recipe:
- Vanilla Protein Powder
- Oat Flour
- Granular Sugar Substitute or regular sugar
- Butter Spread/ Light Butter
- Vanilla Extract
- Sugar-Free Syrup (or another sticky sweetener like maple syrup or honey)
- Dark Chocolate for coating
The protein powder I use is a blend of whey & casein protein, which I’ve found to produce the best results. Whey protein alone tends to be very sticky, so the addition of casein protein powder really helps the overall consistency of these cookie dough bars.
You can use another type of vanilla protein powder, but I cannot guarantee the same results. A quality plant-based protein powder will work with the right modifications, so I’ve added some notes to the recipe card on how to use a vegan protein powder.
Otherwise, the ingredients for these bars should be pretty simple and straightforward!
The butter spread I use is “Country Crock Original,” which is a buttery spread that contains 50 calories per tablespoon compared to the usual 100 calories in each tablespoon of regular butter. If calories are not a concern, you can certainly use regular butter or coconut oil in its place, you’ll just need to make sure it is softened so you’re able to work with it.
If you want to switch up the flavor of these bars to something other than classic chocolate chip cookie dough, you can swap the butter out for peanut butter, almond butter, or cashew butter. This will change up the calories, but any kind of nut butter should work great.
Note: I prefer to use oat flour in all of my cookie recipes because I love the flavor, plus it is gluten-free. If you are low-carb, I don’t think swapping it for almond flour 1:1 will work very well because almond flour is not nearly as absorbent as oat flour.
How to make homemade cookie dough protein bars
As much as I am in love with my Protein Cereal Bar recipe, it requires a bit more prep than some people would like.
With these no-bake protein bars, all we really have to do is mix everything up and form the dough into bars. It couldn’t be easier!
We’re going to mix together most of the ingredients, but we’ll be mixing in the protein powder last.
I’ve found that the order in which you mix your ingredients can make a huge difference; adding the protein powder last makes the dough way less sticky and easier to work with.
Unlike my edible chocolate chip cookie dough recipe (which is a very similar recipe, but contains slightly different ratios and a small amount of coconut flour), this cookie dough comes together to form a ball of cookie dough that can easily be worked with your hands.
Refrigerate the cookie dough for one hour to firm up, then use your hands to flatten the cookie dough into a rectangle.
You can use a pan to shape these homemade protein bars if you want perfectly straight edges, but I don’t mind eyeballing it.
For this protein bar recipe, I chose to cut out 6 bars, so make sure you flatten the cookie dough enough to make 6 bars.
Using a pizza cutter or butter knife, slice the cookie dough into 6 roughly equal-sized bars.
These bars will be firm enough to hold, but they’re still on the soft side, so we’ll be adding a chocolate coating layer to the bottom to help them hold up.
Melt chocolate in a wide bowl in the microwave until smooth. The type of melted chocolate you choose to use is completely up to you, but I really like using dark chocolate melting wafers for my recipes.
Regular chocolate chips will work, but the melted chocolate ends up being quite thick. Melting wafers are meant to be melted down (as the name implies) so they’re great for dipping.
Once dipped, add the protein bars back onto the parchment paper with the chocolate side up. The chocolate coating should only take a couple minutes to fully harden.
Once the chocolate has hardened, flip the protein bars back over. Take any remaining melted chocolate you have leftover and drizzle it over the tops of the bars.
If you have no chocolate left over, you can skip this step, or you can melt down additional chocolate if you’d like extra chocolatey flavor.
At this point, the protein bars are ready to go, but we’re going to add them to the fridge to firm up a bit more.
Since we were working with warm melted chocolate, the bars will have softened during this process. Add the protein bars back to the fridge for about an hour (you can get away with about 20 minutes if necessary) and they’ll be good to go!
These protein bars are absolutely delicious, and they’re the same size as most protein bars out there!
Since these cookie dough bars are made with butter, they’ll need to stay refrigerated, but they’ll remain soft and fresh for a full week.
If you’re in the mood for a chocolate chip cookie but you also want to hit your protein goals, you will not be disappointed by this cookie dough protein bar.
More high-protein cookie dough recipes
If you’ve made it this far, that must mean you love cookie dough as much as I do.
Fortunately, I have no shortage of cookie dough recipes here on my blog to dive into! Here are some of my favorites:
- Stuffed No-Bake Cookie Dough Bites
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Frozen Yogurt Popsicles
- Edible Cut-Out Sugar Cookie Dough
- Brownie Cookie Dough Sandwiches
- Protein Cookie Dough Parfait
- 120g (4 Scoops) Vanilla Whey/Casein Blend Protein (a protein blend works significantly better than whey protein alone- see notes for more)
- 60g Oat Flour
- 60g Sugar Substitute (or regular sugar)
- 70g Light Butter / Butter Spread (I use Country Crock Original)
- 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 2 Tbsp Sugar-Free Syrup or sticky sweetener of choice
- Pinch of Salt
- Optional: 15g Mini Chocolate Chips
Chocolate Coating Layer
- 60g Chocolate of Choice (I like Ghirardelli dark chocolate melting wafers)
- In a large bowl, mix together all of the ingredients for the cookie dough except for the protein powder. Mix until there is no dry powder left and it forms a thick paste.
- Add your protein powder last and mix it up until it comes together to form cookie dough (I end up using my hands to bring it all together). Mix some mini chocolate chips into the dough if preferred, but they are not necessary with the chocolate layer being added.
- Refrigerate the cookie dough for one hour to allow it to firm up and become easier to work with.
- After an hour, add the cookie dough to a sheet of parchment paper and use your hands to flatten it out into a rectangle. I chose to make 6 protein bars, so you'll want to shape it so you can cut the right amount of bars depending on how many you'd like to make.
- Using a pizza cutter or butter knife, slice the cookie dough into bars.
- In a wide bowl, melt your chocolate in the microwave until smooth for the coating.
- Carefully dip each cookie dough bar into the chocolate to coat the bottom, then return each bar to the parchment paper with the chocolate side up to allow the chocolate to harden, which should only take a few minutes.
- Flip the protein bars over, then drizzle any leftover chocolate over the top, or melt additional chocolate if you'd like even more.
- Add your protein bars back to the fridge to allow the bars to solidify a bit more since they will have softened from the warm chocolate. Another hour is ideal, but you can get away with less time if needed.
- Keep these cookie dough protein bars stored in the fridge to keep them fresh!
- Make these bars vegan: check out my sugar cookie protein bar recipe where I included notes in the recipe card for using vegan protein powder to make vegan birthday cake protein bars.
- Note that the type of protein powder you choose really matters here! The protein powder I use is a blend of whey & casein protein which works best for these protein bars. Whey protein powder alone is going to make these stickier and less like true cookie dough. I highly recommend PEScience, and you can use my code "Matt" to save 10% on any order.
- Since these protein bars are no-bake, you can get away with more substitutions than you normally would be able to. However, these ingredients are the only ones I tested with. You can try to save calories by swapping the butter for something like applesauce or canned pumpkin, but the result will not be as authentic a cookie dough flavor.
- I didn't try it, but you can likely swap the butter out for peanut butter to make peanut butter protein bars. If you go that route, each bar will have about 255 calories and 21g of protein instead.
- Note that I don't count sugar substitutes in my carb totals because they contain 0 calories. If you are very strict about carbs, be sure to include them.
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Nutrition InformationYield 6 Serving Size 1 Protein Bar
Amount Per Serving Calories 215Total Fat 10gCarbohydrates 14gProtein 18g