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I'm on a mission to make myself the highest of high-protein brownies. However, the recipes I've found for "high-protein" brownies are lacking in the protein area and I'm after some delicious gains here. I don't care about low carbs, low fat, low calorie, keto, paleo, whatever. Honestly, I'm just sick of drinking protein shakes and I've decided I'm just baking my own brownies.

So far, I've found the following recipe, which has an acceptable protein content, and I'm using it as a starting point.

1 scoops chocolate whey protein
2 tbs powdered peanut butter
2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 dash cinnamon
1 pinch salt
1 tbs syrup any flavour
1 large egg
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

  1. Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Combine all wet ingredients in a separate bowl; beat in egg until incorporated. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until there are no clumps. Pour batter into a greased mug and microwave for 60-90 seconds. Enjoy immediately.

I made it yesterday and, while it tasted good, I wouldn't quite call it a brownie. It was airy and fluffy, more like a cake. So, I'm looking to change a few things but I have pretty poor baking knowledge.

  1. Is there a way I can bake this in the oven? In the end, I'd like to make larger batches.
  2. What can I change to make it denser, like a brownie, rather than airy?
  3. Can I change anything to increase the protein per calorie factor?
    • Sub soy milk for the almond milk, that's easy.
    • Can I sneak in more whey protein?
  • have you tried just scaling it up and baking it in the oven? That seems like a good jumping off point. – FuzzyChef Feb 27 at 23:56
  • I have not tried that, @FuzzyChef. I wasn't sure how to convert 90 seconds in the microwave to an amount of time in the oven. I might just try 350F for 15-20 mins? Trial and error doesn't sound too bad, considering it's brownies. – C. Lange Feb 28 at 0:33
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    Yeah, it's not like you can't tell when they're done. Just use the toothpick test. – FuzzyChef Feb 28 at 5:42
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Your goals here contradict each other. The reason that a brownie has a brownie-like texture is that it is made out of brownie batter. When you start leaving out some ingredients and pushing different ingredients into the batter, the texture of the resulting product changes. And when you add more protein, you end up with something that's drier than a brownie, because protein produces baked goods with a dry mouthfeel.

To make the whole thing more brownie-like, you will have to add fat and some sugar. Flour is not needed, as it will increase the airiness. Maybe start by replacing the cocoa powder by dark chocolate which you melt over a water bath and add butter into it to melt. Also reduce the liquid (the almond milk - if you wish, add soy milk instead, it is the water content that is problematic here), and add more syrup, or better, dissolve some sugar in the liquid. Also, using powdered cream is likely to give you better results than powdered whey, and you won't need the chocolate flavoring from the whey mixture anyway when you are working with real chocolate. The mixture should be suitable for baking in the oven.

Once you have gotten something reasonably brownie-like that way, you can try to start sneaking protein back in in increments, but pay attention to the texture. It will start going more in the direction of commercial protein bars with too much extra processed protein. You may get away with a bit more by adding more egg yolks, but do not increase the egg whites or you will get the texture further away from a brownie.

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  • Do you have any proportion recommendations for the dark chocolate and the less-liquid-more-syrup? 2 tsp of cocoa powder for xx g dark chocolate? Half the milk, double the syrup? – C. Lange Feb 28 at 19:29
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In addition to rumtscho's answer:

Replacing the almond milk with made up whey protein should get the proportions up.

You might want to experiment with different types of protein (I've heard good things about brown rice protein though I haven't tried it on its own myself) for their effect on the texture.

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  • When you say "made up whey protein" do you mean replacing the almond milk with water + protein already mixed? So the recipe would have 1 scoop dry whey protein powder as well as 1/4 cup pre-mixed? – C. Lange Feb 28 at 19:25
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    Yes, replace liquid with liquid. You may be able to simplify once you've tried it, and add all the whey powder in one go plus water, but to start with, swap out the ingredients keeping the method the same – Chris H Feb 29 at 19:47
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Nuts are good for protein so as well as the peanut butter so why not add chopped pecans or walnuts etc which hopefully won’t affect the texture but will add a nice crunch and more protein. Also Organic Einkorn flour has around 20% protein as opposed to other wheats which have about 9-12%, unless of course you’re gluten free? You can find great recipes eg Mocha Fudgy Einkorn brownies on Jovial website. They’re simple and delicious with only a few ingredients. Jovial make Einkorn flour which is reputedly the first simple wheat cultivated when we became settler-farmers rather than hunter gatherers some 15,000 years ago give or take a few!

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  • Nuts are a good suggestion but I don't have any flour in this recipe -- I'd think lentil flour would be even higher protein content. I've never baked with it though. – C. Lange Feb 28 at 19:28

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