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High-Protein Oreo Cupcakes

These Oreo cupcakes are so good that you would NEVER know that each cupcake contains a sneaky 13g of protein.

In fact, I had numerous people try this recipe, and everybody said that they do not taste like protein powder in the slightest.

I’ll take that as a win.

Any time you can make a high-protein treat that tastes like the real deal, you need to take full advantage.

Each Oreo cupcake with the buttercream frosting comes in just under 200 calories with 13 grams of protein. I know, these aren’t PACKED with protein. But sometimes you need to sacrifice a little bit of protein for maximum flavor.

Rather than try to pack as much protein as possible into these cupcakes, I wanted them to taste amazing. I believe I’ve succeeded.

I recently learned in making my apple cider donuts that when you scale back the protein a bit, it can make a huge difference, so I followed that same principle here. Plus, 13 grams of protein is nothing to sneeze at for an Oreo cupcake.

That’s still more protein than other cupcakes out there!

 

Ingredients needed for high-protein Oreo cupcakes

These cupcakes come together with just 4 ingredients, and they could not be easier…

Cake mix, black cocoa powder, vanilla protein powder, and seltzer or diet soda is all you need.

Here’s why I chose the ingredients I did for this Oreo cupcake recipe

 

Oreo Cake Mix

The first time I made these Oreo cupcakes, I used a yellow cake mix, and it actually worked out just fine. Since we’re adding cocoa powder, the base that you use can be altered a bit.

But, with that being said, this Oreo cake mix made a world of difference (for obvious reasons). It actually contains crushed oreo cookies in the cake mix, which added some great texture to these cupcakes.

I highly recommend going with an Oreo cake mix if you can find one, but if not, I’d recommend going with chocolate cake mix.

 

Whey/Casein Protein Powder

I use PEScience in all of my recipes, and I highly recommend you do the same (you can save money with my discount code “Matt”). If you want to see WHY I use this protein powder, check out my visual guide for protein powder substitutions.

It’s worth noting that I used vanilla-flavored protein powder in these cupcakes, but you certainly don’t need to do the same. Chocolate protein powder will work great, and you can even use cookies & cream powder with Oreo crumbs to really elevate the flavor.

 

Black Cocoa Powder

Black cocoa powder

I added 5g (about 1 tablespoon) of black cocoa powder into my cupcake batter to really bump up the Oreo flavor.

Black cocoa powder is the secret ingredient that gives Oreos its iconic black color and slightly sweet flavor. Unlike pure cocoa powder, there is a subtle sweetness to black cocoa powder.

The first time I made this recipe, I used Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder. As you can see below, it lead to a cupcake that looked much more like chocolate, but it still had great flavor!

If you do not have black cocoa powder, Hershey’s Special Dark would be the next best thing.

 

Seltzer/Diet Soda

If you take a box of cake mix and combine it with soda (or any carbonated beverage), it’ll turn into a cake without any eggs or oil.

I won’t lie and say I understand why it works, but it does, and I’ve tested it numerous times.

I used an unflavored seltzer in this recipe, but you can truly use any flavored soda you have.

Since we’re going with a chocolate cupcake, you can go with a darker soda like Coke or Pepsi for great results. But, even if you go with something like grapefruit seltzer, the flavor will be baked right out of it and you will not taste it in the final cupcake. Promise.

 

How to make Protein Oreo Cupcakes

To make these chocolate Oreo cupcakes, we’re going to mix all of the dry ingredients together first.

Then, we’re going to gently mix in the seltzer (or diet soda) until a thick batter forms.

Once the batter is ready to go, we’re going to line a cupcake tin with cupcake liners. You don’t necessarily need to use a cupcake liner, but it helps to make these cupcakes portable.

If you need to fill the cupcake pan without liners, that’s totally fine! The final product will be great.

Fill each cavity with the cupcake batter, being careful not to go completely to the top. These cupcakes will puff up in the oven, so you want to leave a little bit of room.

Bake the cupcakes at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, then remove them from the oven and allow them to cool. When it comes to adding frosting, you want to make sure you’re dealing with a cooled cupcake so you don’t have a total mess on your hands.

If you want to eat these as-is, you certainly can. They’re light, fluffy, and plenty moist to enjoy on their own. The Oreo buttercream frosting truly makes these taste like an Oreo cookie, but I won’t judge ya if you leave it off.

If you eat these without frosting, each cupcake will have only 115 calories, 2g fat, 18g carb, and 7g protein!

But, the Oreo buttercream frosting is what really makes these cupcakes.

A good frosting can make or break a recipe, and man, this frosting is GOOD.

When it comes to high-protein desserts, you’ll often find some kind of Greek yogurt or cream cheese frosting. That works in some cases, but I wanted a true buttercream frosting here.

We’re going to be mixing up butter, protein powder, and powdered sugar to make our Oreo buttercream frosting.

If you want to take this frosting to the next level, you can even throw some Oreo cookie crumbs right in there, too. Or you can even crumble some crushed cookies right over the top.

I can not tell you delicious this Oreo cream frosting tastes. You’re going to have to just trust me and give it a taste for yourself… and try not to just eat the entire batch with a spoon.

 

How to frost Oreo cupcakes

If you love buttercream frosting as much as I do, you’ll really want to pack it on here. I added the frosting to a plastic bag and cut the tip off to be able to pipe the frosting right on top of the cupcakes.

By doing this, you’re able to pile the frosting up nice and high.

If you’d rather just spread the frosting on top of the cupcakes with a butter knife, that works great too. But, if you go that route, you’re going to end up with leftover frosting.

That’s when you make a Stuffed Oreo Cream Cupcake.

If you take a butter knife, you can easily carve out the middle of the cupcakes, creating a cavity that you can fill with frosting.

Then, cover the top of your cupcakes with more frosting. They’ll look like any other frosted cupcake, but once you bite into these, you’re greeted with an explosion of Oreo frosting and flavor.

 

How to store leftover Oreo cupcakes

I kept my cupcakes in the fridge for a couple of days and enjoyed them.

The vanilla frosting sets well in the fridge and I kind of like it when it “hardens” a bit.

You can keep these out at room temperature, but since the frosting contains light butter, it will become quite soft if left out.

My suggestion is to keep these stored in the fridge and eat them within about 3 days or so.

 

Need more Oreos in your life?

High-Protein Oreo Cookies

I love Oreos as much as anything in this world (don’t tell my wife) so I have a TON of Oreo cookie recipes here on my site. Here are some of my favorites…

 

Protein Oreo Cupcake

High-Protein Oreo Cupcakes

Yield: 6 Cupcakes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

These Oreo cupcakes come together with only 4 ingredients, and they're topped with an absolutely delicious, high-protein oreo filling icing!

Ingredients

For Cupcakes

For Icing

Instructions

  1. Start by making the buttercream frosting. Mix together the butter and powdered sugar in a bowl until smooth. Since we're using a butter spread, it's very easy to mix with a silicone spatula, but you can use an electric mixer if preferred.
  2. Add the protein powder to the bowl and mix until you have a thick frosting. Add to the fridge to set while you prep the cupcakes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  4. In a large bowl, mix together the cake mix, protein powder, and black cocoa powder until they are fully combined. Note that I used an Oreo cake mix, so I did not need a ton of extra cocoa powder. If you use a regular chocolate cake mix, you can bump the black cocoa powder up to 10g total.
  5. Slowly pour your seltzer or diet soda into the mixture while stirring until a batter forms. 2/3 cup of liquid should be the perfect amount, but you can adjust slightly based on the absorbency of the protein powder you use.
  6. Spray your muffin/cupcake tin and fill it with your batter to form 6 cupcakes. Add to oven and bake for 15 minutes.
  7. After 15 minutes, remove the cupcakes from the oven and carefully remove them from the pan onto a cooling rack or plate. If you let them cool inside the pan, they will continue to bake and we do not want to dry them out. Let the cupcakes cool for about 15 minutes.
  8. Once the cupcakes are cool, remove your Oreo frosting from the fridge and add it to your cupcakes. I like to add the frosting to a bag and cut the tip off of the bage to pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes, but you can also spread the frosting on top of the cupcakes with a butter knife.
  9. These cupcakes can be enjoyed right away, or they can be stored in the fridge to eat as leftovers!

Notes

  • If you prefer a frosting that is slightly hardened, leave these Oreo cupcakes in the fridge uncovered. I left mine in the fridge overnight and they tasted great the following morning.
  • The protein powder I use (PEScience) is a blend of whey & casein protein. In my opinion, it leads to the best results here! To see how different types of protein powder affect cake recipes, check out my Ultimate Protein Powder Substitution Guide. I jused vanilla flavor in the cupcakes, but you can use chocolate or even cookies & cream.
  • If using 100% whey protein: Lower the amount of protein powder in the cupcakes to one single scoop (around 30g) to avoid these cupcakes drying out.
  • Want to leave the protein powder out? You can! Just use less seltzer to make the cupcakes, likely around 1/2 cup total.

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Nutrition Information
Yield 6 Serving Size 1 Cupcake
Amount Per Serving Calories 195Total Fat 8gCarbohydrates 19gProtein 13g

Note that I do not count sugar substitutes in my carb totals since they are 0 calories. If you are very strict about carbs, be sure to take those into account.

Did you make this recipe?

Share your photos and tag me on Instagram!

Rebecca Lapid

Tuesday 2nd of February 2021

If I use whey protein isolate would the measurements for the recipe still be the same?

Kade Lewis

Saturday 26th of December 2020

If I use a chocolate cake mix, would I still need to use cocoa powder?

Matt

Monday 19th of October 2020

If you make these again and want the frosting to be less sweet, you can definitely scale back the confectioner's sugar. Regarding the aftertaste, I can see that with light butter & sugar substitute- if you let it sit int he fridge longer, those tastes really mellow out. I'm not sure what kind of weird voodoo science is going on, but when I let it sit in the fridge for longer, the sweetness mellows and the flavors all blend together much better. Just a note!

Matt

Sunday 18th of October 2020

Thanks Nicole! I'm sure hoping you meant to write "were really tasty" based on the rest of your review, haha!

Matt

Sunday 18th of October 2020

Thank you Maddie!!

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