If you’ve been on the lookout for a pumpkin protein cake to kick off the arrival of fall, then I have just the thing for you. With swirled layers of chocolate and pumpkin cake with chocolate chips sprinkled throughout, you’d never believe this decadent cake had protein powder in it. Speaking of, every slice has 8 grams of protein and just 265 calories.
This cake comes to you via my wife, Vanessa. She made a Chocolate Pumpkin Bundt Cake over on our other blog, With the Woodruffs, and we knew it would be perfect for a Kinda Healthy makeover. By swapping some flour for protein powder and pumpkin pie filling for canned pumpkin, we’ve created a protein cake that some of our friends liked even better than the original.
Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Protein Cake Recipe Walkthrough
You’ll find a printable recipe card at the bottom of this post, but I’ve also included extra tips with a visual walkthrough below. If you have any questions that have not been answered in the instructions, feel free to leave a question down in the comments.
As always, any substitutions made in protein baking can be tricky, so for the best results you’ll want to stick to the recipe.
Step 1: Cream the butter and brown sugar together in a stand mixer until light and fluffy.
Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.
Unlike most of my protein powder recipes, this recipe calls for full fat butter and sugar instead of things like light butter and sugar substitutes. If you want to make substitutions, you know we like Swerve as a sugar substitute. Let us know how it turns out!
Step 2: Slowly add the eggs, mixing well after each addition.
You will want to slow the mixer to the “stir” setting in the beginning of each addition. But, you can speed up the mixer once the eggs have started to incorporate into the mixture.
Step 3: In a small bowl, add the pumpkin, Greek yogurt, and vanilla.
Mix everything together until it becomes a smooth pumpkin mixture.
Like I mentioned in the introduction, the protein cake version of this chocolate pumpkin cake uses canned pumpkin instead of canned pumpkin pie filling like the original. This is because the protein powder is sweetened and using canned pumpkin saves around 200 calories.
Step 4: In another bowl, add the sifted flour, protein powder, and baking soda.
Be sure to mix everything together to ensure that all of the ingredients are evenly dispersed.
We always use vanilla PEScience Select protein powder for our recipes. But in this case, we used the new limited edition pumpkin spice flavor. If you didn’t get your hands on any, you can use vanilla with some added pumpkin pie spice. I think I would use around 1/2 to 1 teaspoon, depending on your taste preferences.
Step 5: Alternatively fold in the pumpkin mixture and flour mixture into the protein cake batter.
Add one third of the pumpkin mixture and fold into the batter, before folding in one third of the flour mixture. Keep alternatively adding the pumpkin and flour mixtures until the batter comes together and is smooth.
Step 6: Transfer one third of the batter to a small bowl, stirring in the cocoa powder and milk.
This creates the marbled or swirled effect in the finished protein cake.
You’re looking for a smooth chocolate batter here. Set aside when finished.
Step 7: Fold the chocolate chips into the remaining batter.
Make sure the chocolate chips are evenly dispersed throughout the protein cake batter. To save some extra calories, you can omit the chocolate chips. If you want to add nuts or other types of chopped chocolate, make sure they’re chopped into small pieces. Otherwise they’ll sink to the bottom of the cake during baking.
Step 8: Alternatively add the chocolate and pumpkin mixture into the greased pan.
Don’t overthink this part, the goal is to create swirls of chocolate and pumpkin batter. The way I did this was by adding distinct portions of each mixture before using a spoon to swirl the batter together.
Step 9: Bake at 350ºF for 50 minutes.
The cake is done when the center reaches 210ºF, or when a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Wait 15 minutes for the cake to cool before flipping it out onto a cooling rack.
And that’s it! Once you allow the cake to cool completely you can treat yourself to a slice of this tasty protein cake. It’s well worth the calories and the 8 grams of protein per slice are an added bonus.
For a Finished Protein Bundt Cake
We decided the unfinished look was best, but you could add a topping to your chocolate pumpkin protein cake. If you’re trying to keep the calories in check, however, it gets a bit tricky.
I would recommend a chocolate ganache like the one from our German chocolate bundt cake, but that’s a lot of chocolate. Your best bet would probably be a simple powdered sugar (or Swerve powdered sugar) dusting. A cream cheese frosting would also be nice. Check out my high protein carrot cake or banana bread cake recipes for examples of making a fat free, low carb cream cheese frosting.
More High Protein Recipes to Try
If you’re picking up some PEScience protein powder for recipes, I have you covered. Here’s a handful of reader favorites:
- 3-Ingredient Protein Powder Pancakes
- Chocolate Chip Protein Cookies
- Snickerdoodle Protein Muffins
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Oatmeal Bakes
- Air Fryer Apple Fritter
- Protein Granola
That’s the way the cake crumbles. What other kinds of protein cakes or desserts would you like to see in the future? Let us know in the comments. And when you try this recipe and love it, we always appreciate recipe reviews.
Chocolate Pumpkin Protein Cake
A high protein chocolate pumpkin swirl bundt cake with chocolate chips.
- 14 tablespoons (200g) Unsalted Butter, softened
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons (225g) Light Brown Sugar
- 2 large Eggs, beaten
- 1 1/2 cup (380g) Canned Pumpkin
- 2/3 cup (150g) Fat Free Greek Yogurt
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1 1/4 cup (150g) All Purpose Flour, sifted
- 3 scoops (93g) PEScience Pumpkin Pie Protein Powder*
- 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
- 2 tablespoons (20g) Cocoa Powder
- 2 tablespoons (30mL) Milk
- 2/3 cup (100g) Dark Chocolate Chips
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Generously grease the bundt pan with butter.
- Cream the softened butter and brown sugar together until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.
- Gradually add the beaten eggs into the butter and sugar mixture. Make sure that the eggs are completely incorporated after each addition.
- In a small bowl, add the canned pumpkin, Greek yogurt, and vanilla. Fully combine.
- In another bowl, sift the flour, protein powder, and baking soda together. Fully combine.
- Gently fold in one third of the pumpkin mixture, followed by one third of the flour mixture. Continue adding the rest until fully combined.
- Remove one third of the pumpkin batter and place in a small bowl. Add the cocoa powder and whole milk. Fully combine.
- Add the dark chocolate chips to the remaining pumpkin batter and gently fold in until the chocolate chips are evenly dispersed in the batter.
- Alternatively add the chocolate and pumpkin batters into the greased bundt pan, swirling the batter to create a marbled design.
- Bake for 50 minutes, until the cake reaches 210ºF or a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Remove the cake from the oven and cool for 15 minutes before flipping onto a cooling rack. Allow the cake to cook completely before serving.
*If you only have vanilla protein powder, you can add 1/2-1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice. PEScience protein powder is a blend of whey and casein protein, and I don't recommend using a whey-only protein powder. You can save 15% on PEScience products (even sample packs) using my affiliate code MASON.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 250Total Fat: 12gCarbohydrates: 28gProtein: 8g
Thursday 14th of October 2021
This is absolutely delicious! I used PE science vanilla protein instead and added the pumpkin spice as mentioned and it turned out great. I am so excited to eat this over the weekend and share this recipe with others!! Yum yum!
Saturday 16th of October 2021
Thanks for trying it out, Lauren!
Tuesday 12th of October 2021
Curious if I could use the can’t believe it’s not butter spread in place of the butter? Would love to cut out a little fat. I have to try this!
Tuesday 12th of October 2021
I would start with substituting a third or one half, if possible. You may also be able to add a bit more pumpkin to replace some of the butter. Let us know if you do some tinkering and come up with a winner!