Find out which protein powder is BEST for baking Protein Banana Bread – plus tips and tricks for baking with whey, soy, and pea protein powders.
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Now…onto today’s featured Healthy Kitchen Hack:
Which Protein Powder is Best for Baking?
I’ve been hearing how you can replace some of the flour in baked goods with protein powder. This sounded like a good idea for my family – to replace some of the carbohydrates with muscle-building protein. I bake muffins almost weekly – and banana bread for lunches/snacks fairly often.
But I’ve also read that whey protein powder turns baked goods into hockey pucks.
And apparently, pea protein powder has a stronger flavor that may not be suited to baking.
So I tested my favorite banana bread recipe with three different protein powders to discover the differences in baking with:
- Whey protein concentrate powder
- Soy protein powder – isolated soy protein
- Pea protein powder – unflavored
I measured the ingredients using a kitchen scale to make sure my ingredient amounts were the exactly the same. The soy and pea protein banana breads were baked in a metal bread pan and the whey protein bread was baked in a stoneware pan. I added peanut butter to each bread to help boost the moisture – as I’d read protein powders (especially whey) need extra fat when used in baking. My recipe is low in sugar for a banana bread recipe. But it has A LOT of banana. If your family is not used to this lower-sugar bread, add another 1/4 cup sugar.
|Pea Protein Banana Bread||Whey Protein Banana Bread||Soy Protein Banana Bread|
|Appearance|| Darkest color
Most even interior with fewest holes
| Light golden color
Fell the most in the center due to early foil covering
|Raised higher than pea protein bread|
|Texture|| Dense and moist
Cake-like tenderness when warm, but gets more ‘squishy’ and less tender as cools
| Dense and moist
Best texture after cooling
|Taste & Aroma|| Slight earthy flavor
| Good banana taste – no off flavors at all
| Sweetest flavor without additional sugar
Honestly, I would use any of these protein powders again. Soy was a surprise winner in most categories, but the cake-like texture of the warm whey protein banana bread was a hands-down winner. And pea could be almost as good with the addition of chocolate chips.
Tips for baking with protein powders:
- Whey protein powder:
- Cover the pan with aluminum foil for the first half of baking time. I did this and my whey protein banana bread came out a lovely light golden color. (I read that one of the reasons that food companies use whey in baked products is because it helps food brown faster – but I didn’t want my bread to brown too soon.)
- If you don’t have a stoneware/ceramic bread pan, lower the oven temperature 25-degrees when baking with whey and bake longer to get a moister final result. Stoneware takes longer to heat up and bakes slower so my bread didn’t become a ‘hockey puck’ which occurs when whey protein powder baked goods cook too fast at a hotter temperature.
- Mix batter just until moistened
- Pea protein powder:
- Add strong flavors like peanut butter, chocolate or banana to cover the earthy, nutty flavor of the pea powder.
- Bake in stoneware/ceramic pan for a moister result.
- Soy protein powder:
- You may be able to replace even more flour with soy in some recipes. I replaced 1/3 cup of the original 2 cups of flour with soy protein powder. I would not go higher than this 16.5% replacement ratio for pea or whey, but you might substitute up to 25% for soy.
- Bake in stoneware/ceramic for a moister result. Which protein powder is BEST for baking? #HealthyKitchenHacks to bake with protein powders via @TspCurry Click To Tweet
Disclosure: None! I purchased all of the protein powders myself and have no affiliation with Bob’s Red Mill – who makes all the powders I used. I bought Bob’s Red Mill Whey Protein Powder, Bob’s Red Mill Soy Protein Powder, Bob’s Red Mill Unflavored Pea Protein Powder – as I believe these powders are the easiest to find in supermarkets or online – and they are available in pure forms without additional ingredients.Print
Protein Banana Bread
- Yield: 12 servings 1x
Replace some of the flour with protein powder for a protein-packed, lower-sugar, but still soft and banana-rich banana bread
1 cup (4.25 oz) unbleached all-purpose flour
2/3 cup (2.80 oz) whole wheat flour
1/3 cup (0.75 – 0.80 oz) whey, soy, or pea protein powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (3.5 oz) granulated sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 cup (8.80 oz) mashed ripe banana, about 2-3 large bananas
1/3 cup (2.80 oz) plain low-fat yogurt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons crunchy peanut butter
Grease an 8 1/2- x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan with butter (Don’t butter if using stoneware pan.) Place a rectangle of parchment paper on the bottom of the pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. (If using whey protein and a metal pan, preheat oven to 325-degrees F.)
In a medium bowl, combine flours, protein powder, baking soda and salt. Stir with a whisk to mix. Set aside.
In a large bowl, place sugar and butter, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended and light in color, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add mashed banana, yogurt and vanilla extract; beat until blended.
Add flour mixture to banana mixture, mix gently with a wooden spoon just until moist. Drop peanut butter on top of batter, swirl gently.
Spoon batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.Cool 10 minutes in pan on wire rack; remove from pan and let cool completely on wire rack.
Have you ever baked with protein powders? How did it work out?
If you like this, you may like:
Almond Milk vs. Milk: Which bakes the best muffin?
Thursday 25th of July 2019
Thanks for your post. I've seen protein powder in a recipe for a pizza base, it's supposed to help the base rise. I had no idea what to get, so this has been really helpful. Thanks!
Friday 26th of July 2019
So glad this was helpful Cath! (: Come back to visit again soon!
Monday 28th of August 2017
Wow I never thought about using protein powder instead of four! How creative and I love all the photos! I will have to try these sometime, thanks for sharing this!
Tuesday 29th of August 2017
Wednesday 12th of July 2017
Very cool post! This is such great info, I never knew you could bake with them! I have a blog where I try www.proteinguide.com I will have to try some of these tricks!
Wednesday 12th of July 2017
Thanks for visiting Nicole!
Wednesday 19th of April 2017
Good to know! I've seen so many recipes with protein powder but I usually shy away from them as there is only one protein powder I've actually found palatable. But, I may be rethinking that after seeing this demo. Love this kitchen hacks series!
Friday 21st of April 2017
Thanks Alex! I was surprised that I could replace this amount of flour with protein powder and still get good results. Happy baking!