You'll love these Birthday Cake Protein Balls! They're simple, easy to make, satisfying, and so cute! With 4g of protein per ball, these delicious bites are the perfect way to satisfy your sweet tooth while still fueling your body. They're both vegan and gluten-free!
Why This Recipe Works
- Healthy cookie dough - The combination of almond flour, almond butter, and maple syrup create a cookie-dough-like texture while vanilla and almond extracts give the bites a birthday cake flavor. They're chewy, perfectly sweet, and really tasty!
- Perfect on-the-go snack - These bites can be stored in the fridge or freezer and take only 15 minutes to defrost at room temperature. This makes them perfect for busy days! You can grab a few to take with you to work or school while they're still frozen and they'll be ready for you when you get hungry!
- One bowl - These protein balls are really easy to make because they don't require a food processor. You can mix everything up in one bowl!
- Versatile - You can keep the recipe as is or add cacao powder and chocolate protein to the dough and roll the balls in chocolate sprinkles instead of birthday cake for a chocolate cake flavor! Add hazelnut butter instead of almond butter or this homemade nutella!
- Almond flour - I use blanched almond flour which is made from ground-up almonds that have been blanched to remove the skins which makes them less bitter. You can also use coconut flour but it might need more liquid.
- Almond butter - Nut butter adds healthy fats and protein, and it binds everything together. Any nut or seed butter works but some might change the flavor of the dough.
- Maple syrup - Liquid sweetener is necessary because it's what helps everything stick together. You can also use honey, agave, coconut nectar, or date paste. Dates are also a great option but you'll have to use a food processor to blend everything together.
- Protein powder - You can use any protein powder you like. I recommend unflavored or vanilla flavored to get the best results. I used unflavored protein by Sprout Living that has 26g of protein per serving which translates to about 4g per ball. Add less or more based on preference.
- Flavorings - The recipe calls for both vanilla and almond extract to get that sugar cookie dough flavor. Almond extract gives these a different flavor than just almond butter and flour alone would. If you don't have any, you can just use vanilla extract, paste, or powder.
- Sprinkles - Any sprinkles work here! I like colorful birthday cake ones for fun protein bites but chocolate or single-color ones are just as great! Try to pick ones that don't have artificial flavors or colors. Mine are by the brand Watkins.
Making these is very straightforward. You can mix everything in a large bowl or in a food processor. Mixing the dough in a bowl will require more arm strength but it's usually my preferred method.
You can mix the almond butter, maple syrup, vanilla extract, almond extract, and sea salt separately first and then add them to the dry ingredients, or you can mix everything in the same bowl to have fewer dishes to clean.
- Add almond flour, protein powder, cinnamon, and sea salt to a large bowl and toss together to mix.
- Add maple syrup, almond butter, vanilla extract, and almond extract.
- Mix everything using a spoon until sticky dough forms. If the dough is too dry, add more almond butter or maple syrup. If it's too wet, add more almond flour.
- Form the dough into bite-sized balls (approx. 1 tablespoon) with your hands. You should get 18-20 balls. You can use a measuring spoon or a cookie scoop to make this more precise.
- Roll the balls in sprinkles one by one. You might have to apply slight pressure to make the sprinkles stick if your dough is a little dryer.
Serving and Storing
- Serving: You can eat these right away or pop them in the fridge for 30 minutes and enjoy them once they're a little colder.
- Storing: Store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer in a freezer-safe container.
- Defrosting: To defrost them, leave them in the fridge overnight or for at least an hour. You can also defrost them at room temperature in 15 minutes.
Yes! You can make a double batch and store them in the freezer to always have a quick snack on hand.
Almond flour and butter are integral parts of the recipe so you need to use something very similar. You can use coconut flour instead of almond flour or heat-treated all-purpose flour for true cookie dough flavor. Add coconut butter or sunflower seed butter instead of almond butter if desired.
This will depend on how much protein the protein powder you're using has and how big you make the balls when you roll them out. I added 26g of protein and made 20 balls which came out to about 4g of protein per ball with added protein from almond flour and butter.
Similar Snack Bites
If you enjoy these protein balls, definitely check out the four other snack bites below. The apricot brazil nut balls are always a hit and my personal favorite! They're all freezer-friendly too so you can make a big batch and always have a snack on hand. To see all the latest snacks, head over to the Snacks category.
These Birthday Cake Protein Balls are simple, nutritious, and so cute! They're packed with protein, easy to make, and freezer-friendly!
- 2 cups blanched almond flour
- 2 scoops vanilla or unflavored protein powder
- ¼ tsp cinnamon powder (optional)
- ⅛ tsp fine sea salt
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoon maple syrup (6 tbsp)
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoon almond butter (6 tbsp)
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp almond extract
- ½ cup sprinkles
- Into a large bowl add the almond flour, protein powder, cinnamon powder, and sea salt. Stir together with a spoon.
- Add the maple syrup, almond butter, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Stir everything together until it's well combined and forms into a dough. If it’s too dry, you can add a tablespoon more of almond butter or maple syrup.
- Form balls the size of approximately one tablespoon with your hands. You can use a measuring spoon or a cookie scoop for this to make them even.
- Add your sprinkles to a small bowl and roll each ball in the sprinkles. You might have to press them into the dough to make them stick.
- Store the protein balls in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.
It might be hard to make the sprinkles stick to the protein balls sometimes. You can add more almond butter or maple syrup to make them stickier but I don’t find it necessary. Just press the sprinkles into the balls and they’ll stay on.
You can store the protein balls in the fridge for a week or in the freezer for several months. Just let them defrost in the fridge overnight or at room temperature for 15 minutes.
Keywords: birthday cake flavor, protein balls