What is the best protein powder for baking?

drink wholesome is the best protein powder for baking. Learn more.

Written by Jack Schrupp and reviewed by Ella McGonagle, M.S. Nutrition

★★★★★

not chalky

“Really enjoy this protein powder. I like that it doesn’t have a chalky artificial taste, and I like that it’s not overly sweet.” – Mary

Read more reviews.

EGG WHITE PROTEIN POWDERS

vanilla protein powder

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drink wholesome is the best protein powder for baking.

Why bake with protein powder? 


If you are sick of protein shakes, baking with protein powder is a great way to ensure that you meet your protein goals. You can add protein powder to many of your favorite recipes for an easy protein boost. That said, not all protein powders are created equal, and different protein powders yield different results in the kitchen. In my experience, whey protein powder turns baked goods into hockey pucks and pea protein powder makes everything taste like chalk. In fact, when substituted for flour, most protein powders will ruin a recipe. With the right protein powder and a bit of trial and error, however, you can boost the protein content of almost any baked good. 

How do I bake with protein powder?


Baking with protein powder is easy, and in many cases, you can simply add a scoop or two of protein powder to a recipe without changing the flavor or consistency. In other cases, adding protein powder to a recipe will change it completely. It is therefore always a good idea to check if there is a high protein version of the recipe that you want to make. For instance, we have made a number of protein powder recipes that look similar, but not identical to the classic recipes. In order to get the flavor and consistency that we were looking for, we had to adjust the ratios and substitute a few ingredients.

How do I pick a protein powder for baking?


Some protein powders are simply better for baking than others. The average protein powder, for example, will make baked goods chalky and crumble because they are made with protein isolates, foods stripped of everything but the protein. You should therefore avoid protein isolates when baking. They are listed on the ingredient list as “soy protein” and “whey protein” as opposed to “soybeans” and “whey.”

Other protein powders, especially plant protein powders, will make baked goods gritty because they are high in insoluble fiber. Protein powders made with seeds (pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, etc.) tend to be the grittiest. As a rule of thumb, the more fiber a plant protein powder contains, the grittier it is.

For the best results, use unflavored protein powder. It is the most versatile, and can be added to almost any recipe without changing the flavor. Sometimes a flavored protein powder is preferable when baking, but the risk you run is the sweetness. Most flavored protein powders are sweetened with artificial sweeteners or stevia, both of which activate bitter taste receptors. This bitterness can really come through in the oven and ruin your recipe. My recommendation is therefore to choose an unsweetened protein powder and to add your own sweetener. If you want to use flavored protein powder, choose one sweetened with monk fruit. Monk fruit, a melon-like fruit native to Southeast Asia, is sweet like sugar and great for baking.

My final piece of advice has nothing to do with baking, but is arguably the most important. Whenever possible, avoid protein powders made with food additives like gums and lecithins. Ingredients like these can upset your stomach and cause permanent gut damage. Keep reading to learn more.

vegan vanilla protein powder serving suggestion
vanilla protein powder lifestyle image 1

Avoid food additives.

One of the reasons why we make the best protein powder for baking is that we do not use food additives. Most protein powders, on the other hand, are full of food additives. Although not necessarily bad for you in small quantities, additives can add up quickly (especially if you drink a protein shake every day) and cause gastrointestinal (GI) side effects like bloating, constipation, diarrhea, gas, and stomach pain. This is because food additives are hard to digest, and sit in your gut for longer than food should, which gives your gut bacteria more time to eat. As they eat, these bacteria produce gas, which causes bloating and stomach pain. Gas also slows colonic transit (the amount of time it takes food to travel through the colon), and can lead to constipation. In the long term, food additives can disrupt regulatory pathways in the intestine, which can result in the development of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and systemic inflammatory disorders.

When buying protein powder for baking, one ingredient to avoid in particular is artificial sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners are among the most harmful food additives in the long term as they alter the composition of your gut microbiota (the collection of microorganisms that help you digest food). This can lead to serious, chronic GI problems, widespread inflammation, and permanent damage to the gut microbiome. Some sweeteners, especially sugar alcohols like xylitol, are also poorly absorbed by the gut (meaning they feed those hungry gut bacteria), and cause diarrhea because they draw water into your intestine. Now you finally have something to blame for those post-protein shake trips to the bathroom!

Here is a list of the most common food additives in protein powder:

acacia gum, acesulfame potassium, artificial flavors, aspartame, carrageenan, cellulose gum, dextrin, dextrose, erythritol, gellan gum, guar gum, gum arabic, inulin, locust bean gum, “natural” flavors, maltodextrin, rice syrup solids, soy lecithin, silica, sucralose, sunflower lecithin, xanthan gum, xylitol

When it comes to identifying food additives, go with your gut. 😉 As a rule of thumb, they are the ingredients that you cannot pronounce. Food additives are not the only thing to look out for when buying baking protein powder, however. There are several other ingredients that can upset your stomach.

the alternative:

Protein Matrix Comprised of (Whey Protein Concentrate,  Whey Protein Isolate, Calcium Caseinate, Micellar Casein, Milk Protein Isolate, Egg Albumen, Glutamine Peptides), Polydextrose, Sunflower Creamer (Sunflower Oil, Corn Syrup Solids,  Sodium Caseinate, Mono- and Diglycerides, Dipotassium Phosphate, Tricalcium Phosphate, Soy Lecithin, Tocopherols), Natural and Artificial Flavor, MCT Powder (Medium Chain Triglycerides, Nonfat Dry Milk, Disodium Phosphate, Silicon Dioxide), Lecithin, Cellulose Gum, Salt, Yellow 5, Sucralose, Acesulfame Potassium, Papain, Bromelain.

*This is the actual ingredient list of one of the best-selling protein powders in the United States.

Avoid dairy. 

Another reason why we make the best protein powder for baking is that we do not use dairy-based proteins. Many protein powders are made with whey and casein, which are byproducts of cheese and yogurt production, are known to cause digestive issues, especially for people with lactose intolerance and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Over one in three Americans are lactose intolerant, and the prevalence of IBS is somewhere between 10 and 15 percent in the United States. It follows that you may be lactose intolerant or have IBS and not even know it. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a poorly understood condition, and it is unclear why dairy triggers symptoms. Lactose intolerance, on the other hand, is clearly understood. People with lactose intolerance are unable to fully digest lactose, the sugar in dairy. As you just learned, partially digested food feeds the bacteria in your gut, which produce gas. 

Avoid protein concentrates and isolates.

A final reason why we make the best protein powder for baking is that we do not use protein isolates. Most protein powders, on the contrary, are made with protein concentrates and/or isolates, foods stripped of everything but the protein. They are listed on the ingredient list as “pea protein” and “whey protein” as opposed to “peas” and “whey.” I will not go into the details, but protein concentrates and isolates undergo heavy mechanical and chemical processing before becoming protein powder. Sometimes, manufacturers use chemical solvents like hexane to isolate (separate) the protein from the food. This means that what you end up putting into your body looks nothing like real food. This is a problem because the less an ingredient looks like real food, the harder it is to digest. Your gut always prefers the real thing, not some heavily-processed imitation.

vegan chocolate protein powder lifestyle image 1
chocolate protein powder serving suggestion

Instead of protein concentrates or isolates, we make the best protein powder for baking with egg whites and almonds. Egg whites are simply pasteurized and dried before becoming protein powder. Almonds are just roasted, pressed, and ground. Minimally-processed ingredients like these are an easy to digest, gut-friendly alternative to protein concentrates and isolates. Unless you have a sensitivity or allergy to eggs, egg white protein is the best protein for your gut. Egg whites are low in fiber, low-FODMAP, naturally alkaline, and have the highest protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS) of any whole food. Our customers have experienced fewer digestive issues with egg white protein than with any other type of protein. If you cannot eat eggs, try our almond protein powder. Unlike protein concentrates or isolates, almonds contain lots of healthy fats, fiber, and other nutrients like calcium and vitamin E. We prefer almonds to other minimally-processed plant protein sources because they are more gut-friendly. Research suggests that almonds possess prebiotic properties and can improve the diversity and composition of the gut microbiome.

Why drink wholesome


We make the best protein powders for baking. They are additive-free, dairy-free, and made with real foods, not protein isolates – 99% of supplements fail to meet at least one of these criteria. They are therefore perfect for people with gut issues and sensitive stomachs, as well as for people just looking to boost their protein intake without the processing and added junk. If you suffer from Candidiasis, Crohn’s, diverticulitis, gastritis, gastroparesis, GERD, leaky gut, IBS, IBD, SIBO, or ulcerative colitis, order samples to see for yourself. 

Again, drink wholesome makes the best protein powder for baking with simple, easy to digest ingredients. Order samples to see for yourself.

drink wholesome is the best protein powder to bake with. 

VEGAN ALMOND PROTEIN POWDERS

vegan chocolate protein powder

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Hi! My name is Jack. I created drink wholesome because I was sick of protein powders that upset my stomach. It is handmade in Plymouth, MA. 

This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. drink wholesome is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.