The best homemade no-bake Cookie Dough Protein Bars that taste just like a real cookie! Made with whole grain oat flour, cashew butter, and vanilla plant protein with a silky smooth chocolate coating. Vegan and gluten-free.
Ermygerd. Can I just say that this may be my favorite recipe ever to have graced this blog?
A super serious statement, I know.
We make cookie dough bites at Alchemy with oat flour, cashew butter, maple syrup, and vanilla protein powder and whenever I’m going to town on one, I wish so badly that it was smothered in a velvety smooth chocolate coating. (And flaked sea salt.) One that tastes like melted chocolate chips but isn’t super hard. Like, when you bite into it, it doesn’t crumble everywhere. Ya feel?
Melted chocolate chips + cashew butter + coconut oil. The chocolate coating of mah dreamssssss!
There are 298329461213 reasons why this recipe is superb, but the sheer ease of it tops the list. Zero cooking required. Simply combine everything in a mixing bowl, press dough into a pan, top with chocolate coating, freeze, cut, and devour while pondering how life could be so damn beautiful. They’re inspired by my No-Bake Raspberry Protein Bars which are also fantastical, in case you haven’t tried them yet.
Now let’s have an ingredient chat. The baking soda in this recipe adds to the cookieness in case you’re wondering what it’s doing in a no-bake recipe. I firmly believe that cashew butter is the key to the ultimate cookie flavor for these dream bars but I think almond butter would also work. Peanut butter would turn them into peanut butter cookie dough, which despite my affinity for PB, is still inferior to cashew butter in this recipe.
I used this oat flour but you can totally whiz up some old-fashioned oats in the blender or food processor if you don’t have oat flour. Oat flour makes it extra doughy tasting so I don’t recommend substituting another flour.
I should’ve named them unicorn bars because it’s clear they’re my spirit animal. Err, snack. Spirit snack! Spirit fingers? Meh.
So the vanilla bean protein powder used here adds not only a protein punch, but a hugh jass flavor boost. I used Plant Fusion LEAN Vanilla Bean Protein Powder, which has a whopping 21 grams of plant-powered protein per serving. My favorite part is that the protein comes from peas, algae, fermented organic sprouted millet, lentil, flax, chia, branched chain amino acids (BCAA), and glutamic acid. If all that sounds like a foreign language, allow me to take you back to my grad school sports nutrition days.
BCAA’s are essential amino acids (luecine, isoluecine, and valine) that help reduce fatigue and muscle soreness, accelerate muscle recovery, and promote muscle synthesis—AKA making mo’ muscle! You may have heard of chocolate milk as the ideal post-workout snack. That’s because milk is high in leucine and has that ideal 3:1 balance of carbs to protein. If you don’t do dairy, it’s lovely to have a plant-based source of BCAA’s in your post-workout snacks, dontcha think?
But wait, there’s more! It’s more 35% more effective than whey at curbing hunger. In fact, Plant Fusion boasts 20 different superfoods like acai, tart cherry, buckwheat, kale, spinach, broccoli sprouts, and tomato. And because gut health is everything, it also has loads of probiotics for digestion in addition to a fiber blend. Did I mention a serving has 22% of the daily value of iron? Nutrition aside, this protein tastes super balanced, non-chalky and actually quite yummy. Like, I enjoy it in my smoothie even when I haven’t just killed it at the gym. Woop woop!
Not feeling like committing to a whole tub? We gotchu. Try the $10 sample kit, which conveniently comes with a shaker bottle!
THE SEA SALT ON TOP. Don’t you skip it. That would legit be tragic.
Salted Chocolate Covered Cookie Dough Unicorn Bars! That’s what I shall call these in my heart. <3
- 1¾ cups oats flour (certified gluten-free if necessary)
- ½ cup Plant Fusion LEAN Vanilla Bean Protein Powder (or vanilla plant-based protein powder of choice)
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ⅓ cup pure maple syrup
- ½ cup cashew butter (can sub almond butter)
- ¼ cup almond milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup chocolate chips (dairy-free if necessary)
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tbsp cashew butter
- Sea salt, for topping bars
- Line an 8x8 inch square baking dish with parchment paper going both ways.
- Place oat flour, protein powder, salt, and baking soda in a large mixing bowl, stirring to combine.
- Add maple syrup, cashew butter, almond milk, and vanilla. Stir until you have a ball of "dough."
- Using wet hands, press evenly into prepared baking dish.
- Make chocolate coating by placing chocolate chips, coconut oil, and cashew butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 20-second intervals for about a minute, or until melted, stirring each time. Pour chocolate over bars and use a spatula to spread evenly.
- Freeze for at least 2 hours before slicing into 9-12 bars. Top with plenty of sea salt and devour!
This post is sponsored by Plant Fusion. Thanks for supporting the brands that make Hummusapien possible!