These decadent, moist brownie sandwiches have only 125 calories, are packed with 12g protein, only 2g net carbs, and are gluten AND grain-free! You need this in your life!
I wouldn’t say I’m addicted to Oreos, but it’s far and away one of my favorite flavors.
If you need further proof, check out any of these other Oreo related recipes on my blog:
- Oreo Protein Cupcakes
- Protein Oreo Cheesecake Bites
- Protein Oreo Cheesecake Cookies
- Protein Oreo Waffle Recipe
Yeah, I like Oreos.
One of my absolute favorite recipes on my blog is my brownie recipe, so why not take that recipe and change it up a little bit to make it OREO?
This isn’t just replacing the cocoa powder in my brownies with some extra dark powder and calling it a day. If we did that, these would come out incredibly dry and bitter.
Allow me to quickly break down the secrets to this recipe and WHY they are important.
These aren’t foolproof, but they’re close
When we’re dealing with high-protein baking, it can get very tricky. With something like a brownie, the texture is SO important. If it’s too cakey it’s no longer a brownie, and if it’s too dense it’s just kind of… gross.
These brownies combat that because we’re making them super thin. While I typically bake in an 8x8in pan, I make these in a 9x13in pan. The brownies are super thin, and that’s on purpose so we can create the sandwiches. By making thin brownies, it makes it way less offensive if your brownies are on the cakey or dense side.
These might look a little bit dense, but they actually came out exactly how we want ’em.
Even better, since we’re adding the frosting in between, it adds instant moisture! If your brownies are a tad dry, it won’t matter once you add the frosting.
Okay, but why might your brownies be dry in the first place? That’s where specific ingredients come into play…
You know the drill: high-protein, low-carb baking requires specific ingredients. If you deter too much from the recipe as written, you’re setting yourself up to fail. Here are some of the main ingredients and why I use them!
Black Dutch Cocoa Powder
I fought this one for years. I never wanted to buy black cocoa powder because I would just find “Hershey’s Special Dark” at the grocery store and figured it was dark enough. And for the most part, it worked. But it never quite gets dark enough:
You can tell in my Oreo Cupcake Recipe that they’re still a bit brown compared to these brownies. The secret truly is the black cocoa powder. I bought a pound of it on Amazon, and it is absolutely, 100% worth it!
Not only will this cocoa powder give you the rich, black color, but it will also give you an Oreo cookie flavor that regular dark chocolate can’t provide! Trust me, you want to get yourself some. Here’s the one I bought.
If you’re in a pinch, “Hershey’s Special Dark” will work. You can probably find that at a local store- it’s what I used for my initial version of these brownies and it still tasted very good.
But if you want that rich black color, I definitely recommend getting yourself some of the black Dutch cocoa powder.
As with most of my recipes lately, I used PEScience protein powder, which is a whey/casein blend.
However, I know that many people like to use pure whey protein, and you can for this one! I added the instructions in the notes at the bottom of the recipe card, but the recipe is virtually the same if you want to use a whey protein powder.
When I tried this recipe the first time around (about a year ago) I used regular whey protein and it worked quite well:
To be exact, I used Bowmar’s Chocolate flavor. If you have a chocolate protein powder, I definitely recommend using that! The extra chocolate flavor really helps- in the recipe card below you’ll see I used vanilla, and it still absolutely works, but if I had chocolate in the pantry I definitely would have used that.
And in this photo, I ended up cutting into these way too early so they were really breaking apart, but it worked well!
Light Butter/ Buttery Spread
I’m still figuring out what to call this stuff. We can call it margarine too, I suppose.
Whatever you call it, I used the brand Country Crock. It’s a “buttery spread” made with oil instead of dairy, so plant-based eaters can use it as well. It’s got half the calories of regular butter, which is why I choose to use it in most recipes.
Whenever one of my recipes calls for this stuff, you can really use any source of fat you’d like. Butter, coconut oil, etc, it should all work!
The frosting we’re making is basically going to be a simple buttercream, which is butter + powdered sugar (but of course we’re going to add a little extra hit of protein). Since we’re using quite a bit of butter, I like to stick with the light stuff.
Assembling the brownies
I purposely make these brownies very thin- that way, we can just slice them up and assemble sandwiches. I can tell you from experience, it is MUCH easier than trying to slice brownies in half.
But what if you don’t want to make sandwiches?
If you bake these in a smaller pan (8x8in is my preferred size) you can bake them as regular brownies! You’d cut a whole buncha calories out by leaving out the frosting, but you’re also getting rid of lots of flavor. You can follow the baking instructions of my original protein brownie recipe if you want to go that route.
If you screw something up in the process, I have a little life hack for you.
I did a really poor job spraying my pan when I made these apparently, so some of the brownies got stuck. Instead of throwing them out, I just crumbled up the extras and adding them to a bowl with some of the Oreo frosting we make in this recipe…
It’s basically an Oreo parfait, and I am here for it.
If you end up screwing something up and the brownies are too dry, falling apart, or get stuck to the pan… do what I did! There’s no wrong way to eat a brownie.
Storing the Oreo Brownies
The frosting/icing in the middle of these brownies is made from mostly light butter, which will stay more firm the colder it is. So, I like to store these in the fridge.
To be honest, I liked these Oreo brownies even more the following day! After a full day in the fridge, the frosting settled really well and tasted even better.
You can keep these in a container at room temperature (if you were bringing them to work, for example) but just note that the frosting will be a little bit on the softer side in that case.
- 75g (2.5 Scoops) Vanilla or Chocolate Protein Powder (see notes below)
- 40g Black Dutch Cocoa Powder
- 90g (roughly 1/4 cup) Canned Pumpkin
- 85g Brown Sugar Substitute
- 2 Large Eggs
- 28g Light Butter
- 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 Tsp Baking Powder
- 1/4 cup Sugar-Free Maple Syrup
- Pinch of Salt
For Cream Filling
- Preheat your oven to 350°F
- We're going to prep the frosting first to be able to get it into the fridge (the longer is sits, the better it tastes). Add your butter to a bowl with powdered sugar and mix it up until well combined. Add a scoop of protein powder (it's important to add the protein last) and fold that in until the mixture is thick. You can add more powdered sugar if the mixture isn't thick enough as it will depend on the type of protein you use.
- Add the frosting to the fridge to thicken. It will also become slightly less sweet once refrigerated, which will really help the flavor, so it's important that it has time in the fridge.
- On to the brownies! Using a hand mixer or whisk, mix together your wet ingredients (eggs, vanilla extract, brown sugar, butter, maple syrup, and pumpkin). It's okay if it's not completely smooth at this stage.
- Add the dutch cocoa powder, baking powder, and pinch of salt, and use a silicone spatula to mix it together until smooth.
- Add the protein powder last and mix it up until you have a thick but pourable brownie batter.
- Generously spray a 9×13 baking pan with cooking spray, pour your batter in and make sure it is spread evenly throughout (it’s okay if it seems thin- that’s what we want). Add to your oven and set a timer for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, remove the brownies from the oven and let them cool for about 20 minutes. It's important to let them cool before cutting! If you rush it, they will fall apart on ya.
- Remove the frosting from the fridge, cut the brownies into 18 individual pieces, then compile your brownie sandwiches for a total of 9. If you'd like them larger, you can cut out 12 brownies instead to make 6 sandwiches.
- For the protein powder, I used a vanilla flavor. For the brownies, feel free to use chocolate powder for extra flavor!
- I used a protein powder that is a blend of whey & casein, which creates a thicker product. If you are using a 100% whey powder, follow the brownie recipe exactly as is, but use 3 scoops of protein (about 90g) in your brownies. Cook time should be the same. For the frosting, you may need extra powdered sugar if using just whey.
- I do not count the sugar substitute as part of my carb count because they do not contribute any calories. If you're strict about total carbs, be sure to add those in (but net carbs will still be the same!)
Nutrition InformationYield 9 Serving Size 1 Stuffed Brownie
Amount Per Serving Calories 125Total Fat 8gCarbohydrates 4gFiber 2gSugar 1gProtein 12g