Protein Cake Bars: White Chocolate Strawberry Cheesecake Bars
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Man oh man, if you’re a fan of the white chocolate and strawberry combo, I can’t wait to hear from you after making these protein cake bars. The bars themselves are super moist but actually stick together, and the white chocolate topping hardens so you can pick them up like brownies. Each cake bar has roughly 7 grams of protein and only 113 calories which is great news because you’ll be wanting more than one.
One warning: they’re dangerously delicious. But on a positive note, the strawberries and cake are high volume to fill you up, and the white chocolate is rich enough to keep you in check.
Ingredient Notes for Protein Cake Bars
I’ll cover the two primary structural ingredients—coconut flour and protein powder—first.
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.
The short answer is meh, maybe. 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 extra).
All that said, if you want to give it a go, a recipe that’s baked like these protein cake bars 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 give a spiel about using any protein you’d like, and that remains true here. 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 egg or two to help with the granular texture. Between the coconut flour and a plant-based protein powder, you run the risk of a sandpaper-ey finished product.
Sweetener & Pudding Mix
Similar to coconut flour, pudding mix is frequently asked about in terms of substitutions. I typically recommend adding more protein powder, sweetener, and possibly a bit of corn starch. The recipe calls for a 1-oz box (28g) which is more than most recipes on my blog. Therefore, I’d probably go with an extra 1/2 scoop of protein powder and an extra tablespoon of sweetener and coconut flour each.
It’s important to note, doing this will remove the cheesecake flavor from the recipe beyond the cream cheese on top.
Speaking of extra sweetener, I’ve become an official fanboy of Swerve. They make both granular and powdered sugar substitutes that are calorie-free and amazing. I’ll spare you the details but if you want to read more, check out my Protein Donut Holes recipe.
Other options include the ol’ faithful stevia for baking or any calorie-free sugar substitute.
Chocolate Chips and Cream Cheese
Here’s a big potential calorie saver. The recipe as-is creates a hard shell chocolate coating that allows the protein cake bars to be handled and potentially enjoyed without a fork. If you don’t care much about having the chocolate hardened and want to serve them a bit soft, you could use something like the chocolate layer from my Skinny Hello Dolly Pie (use white chocolate and omit cocoa powder). It will still solidify slightly, but you won’t want to handle them for very long to keep your hands clean.
Okay, that’s about it for ingredient notes. Find the full recipe below.
Protein Cake Bars
High protein cake bars topped with fresh strawberries and a creamy white chocolate sauce.
Protein Cake Bar Toppings
- 1 lb Fresh Strawberries quartered
- 4 oz Fat-Free Cream Cheese room temp or softened
- 1/2 C (112g) White Chocolate Chips
Preheat oven to 350F and spray an 8x8 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
Set cream cheese out to warm to room temp.
Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
Gradually add the Greek yogurt and eggs to the dry ingredients. Stir until everything is evenly mixed. The batter should be fairly thick but spreadable.
Transfer the cake bars batter to the baking dish and spread it evenly to cover the entire dish. (A rubber spatula or spatula sprayed with cooking spray helps prevent any sticking.)
Bake the bars for 14-16 minutes or until the center of the cake bars can pass the toothpick test.
While the bars are in the oven, wash, de-stem, and cut the strawberries into 4 pieces each. Set aside.
Add the chocolate chips and cream cheese to a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 45-60 seconds or until melted, stirring often. Stir until everything is evenly incorporated.
Once the cake bars are baked, remove to cool.
Add the strawberries on top of the cake bars and pour the white chocolate and cream cheese mixture on top. Place the cake bars in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to allow the chocolate to set.
Slice the cake bars into 16 pieces. Store in the refrigerator.
- To reduce calories and sugar content, use something like the chocolate layer from my Skinny Hello Dolly Pie (use white chocolate chips and omit cocoa powder) instead of the chocolate chips and cream cheese mixture.
- To sub for pudding mix, try an extra 1/2 scoop of protein powder and an extra tablespoon of sweetener and coconut flour each.
- Subbing coconut flour is not recommended but if you live dangerously, start with equal amounts all purpose flour and add as needed until you reach the desired consistency.
If you make these protein cake bars, be sure to let me know what you think on Instagram. Remember, #picsoritdidnthappen.
And if you’d like nearly 30 high protein chocolate-themed recipes, check out my free cookbook for chocolate lovers. You can also enter your info below to have a copy sent straight to your inbox.