If I’m being honest, I wasn’t entirely sure to call these protein brownies. Titling recipes has to be one of the most difficult parts of food blogging. Layer brownies, caramel poke brownies, Heath bar brownies, and about ten other titles crossed my mind. Though I inevitably decided the title should match my recipe style—simple.
So, I present chocolate caramel protein brownies. You’ll poke holes for caramel, add a layer of whipped cream, and top with milk chocolate toffee bits. But underneath it all lies chocolate protein brownies with 80 grams of protein, 97 grams of carbs, and 13 grams of fat.
Like most of my recipes, there’s plenty of room to modify things and make it your own. Speaking of, let’s get into the ingredient and modification notes.
Ingredients for Protein Brownies
I’ll briefly tackle a few common questions about ingredients in this recipe.
A common question on my recipes that call for coconut flour is whether or not it’s possible to substitute all purpose flour or almond flour for coconut flour.
It really depends on the recipe, but a recipe like this that uses a larger amount of coconut flour may be challenging. Not to mention, the calorie difference in substitutes since you’ll need more. Coconut flour is super-duper absorbent, and something like all purpose flour might require 2-3x as much to have the same effects. In this case, that could be an extra cup of flour (roughly 440 calories).
All that said, if you want to give it a go, a recipe that’s baked like these protein brownies would be the one to try it on. Since you don’t need to form them, start with equal amounts and add as needed until you reach the desired consistency.
I always use a whey concentrate or some type of whey-based blend like Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey or Dymatize 100% Whey. If you wanted to use a plant-based protein powder, that’s fine, but you may want to add an extra tablespoon or two of apple sauce to help with the granular texture. Between the coconut flour and a plant-based protein powder, you run the risk of dry or gritty protein brownies.
Update 3/2019: I’ve added a note to the recipe card for my Bowmar Nutrition readers.
And in case you’re wondering why the recipe calls for vanilla, it’s because I find adding cocoa powder to vanilla protein powder to be far superior for flavor. Not to mention, buying vanilla protein gives you the ability to make vanilla recipes like my birthday cake protein pancakes AND chocolate recipes by simply adding cocoa powder.
I typically recommend adding more protein powder, sweetener, and possibly a bit of corn starch in place of pudding mix. The recipe calls for a 1.5 oz box which is more than most recipes on my blog. So, if you’re going to leave it out, I’d try adding 2/3-1 scoop of protein and an additional 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder. I would also add 1-2 tablespoons of a sweetener like stevia or Swerve.
What to Top Your Protein Brownies With
The recipe calls for Cool Whip Lite (or a generic alternative). I find this is the easiest and possibly the tastiest way to add another layer to these protein brownies.
If you’d like to add a bit of protein and a different twist, you could try the white chocolate topping from my white chocolate strawberry cheesecake protein cake bars recipe.
As for the toffee bits on top, I originally wanted to use the Snickers bits but my Instacart shopper decided to give me the Heath bits. You can’t go wrong either way, if we’re being honest. Since you’re only using two tablespoons, that’s only twenty additional calories per brownie. Nothing crazy so enjoy and have fun with this part of the recipe!
I think that’s everything you need to know. If you have any recipe questions, feel free to drop a comment on this recipe or send me a DM on Instagram.
- 1/2 C (56g) Coconut Flour
- 2 scoops (68g) Protein Powder, vanilla
- 1.5 oz package (40g) Sugar Free Fat Free Chocolate Pudding Mix
- 2 Tbsp (10g) Unsweetened Dark Cocoa Powder
- 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 C (227g) Fat Free Greek Yogurt, plain or vanilla
- 1/2 C (123g) Unsweetened Apple Sauce
- 2 Tbsp (30mL) Walden Farms Caramel Syrup, or another sugar free caramel
- 2 C (144g) Lite Cool Whip, thawed from frozen or refrigerated
- 2 Tbsp (30g) Heath Toffee Bits, from the baking aisle
- Preheat an oven to 350F and spray an 8x8 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
- Mix the dry brownie ingredients together in a large bowl. Gradually add the Greek yogurt and apple sauce until a smooth brownie batter forms. (It should be thicker than normal brownie batter.)
- Add the brownie batter to the baking dish and use a spatula or spoon to spread it to the edges.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes or until the brownies are cooked through in the center. Remove to cool.
- Once the brownies have slightly cooled (5-10 minutes), use the handle of a wooden spoon or large-pronged fork to poke holes in the brownies. Pour the caramel syrup over the top as evenly as possible.
- Add the whipped topping and spread it evenly on top of the brownies. Sprinkle the toffee bits (or your choice of topping) on top. Cut the brownies into 8 squares. You can serve the protein brownies warm, but I find the dish tastes best when it's been refrigerated.
- Each serving has 5 Smart Points.
- For Bowmar Nutrition Protein Hot Chocolate, use 3 scoops (84g) and keep everything else the same.
- Avoid adding the whipped cream too soon. If the brownies are too warm, the whipped cream will melt and soak into the brownies.
- Feel free to swap the toffee bits for any other baking bits or crumbled treats.
- Macros for protein brownies only: 873 calories, 80 grams of protein, 97 grams of carbs, and 13 grams of fat
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 brownies Serving Size: 1 brownie
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 165Total Fat: 5gCarbohydrates: 20gProtein: 10g