bars Featured gluten-free snacks

No-Bake Cinnamon Roll Protein Bars

June 15, 2020

No-Bake Cinnamon Roll Protein Bars – a healthy and portable snack packed-full of protein and made with healthy ingredients like dates, cashews, protein powder and rolled oats for a delicious and sweet no-bake treat.

While I’m a huge fan of baking I’m also a huge fan of not baking. Ha! Especially when the weather warms up, I like to keep our house cooler and keep the oven turned off when possible. And just on cue, our oven malfunctioned the other days so looks like we’ll be taking a week off baking anyway! So when I was craving a cinnamon roll the other day, I shifted gears in my mind and decided to make cinnamon roll protein bars! And let me tell you… they were a great substitute for the real deal!

Here’s What You Need:

raw, unsalted cashews – I’ve only made these with cashews but you could try using a different combination of nuts if you’d like!

dates – adds the perfect amount of sweetness and holds these bars together. 

vanilla protein powder – I have been liking the Garden of Life Vanilla Plant-Based Protein Powder lately but any vegan or whey protein powder will work! I do recommend vanilla flavor for this recipe. A note on my preference below.

cinnamon – can’t have a cinnamon roll without cinnamon!

sea salt

rolled oats – be sure to grab gluten-free if necessary 

almond milk – I recommend unsweetened almond milk but any non-dairy milk will work. 

There are two parts to these bars… the actual protein bar and then the “frosting” drizzle on top. Yes, the frosting is made from protein powder and milk but it’s a really great addition that I don’t recommend skipping! 

How much protein is in these bars?

This will ultimately depend on what type of protein powder you use. Here’s how to figure out the amount of protein per serving in each bar:

Determine how many servings goes into 3/4 of a cup i.e. for Garden of Life Vanilla protein there are 1 1/2 scoops in 3/4 cup so 1 1/2 servings. Each serving is 22 grams of protein so that means there are 33 grams of protein total. Now divide that by the number of bars- which I cut into 12. That means there are 2.75 grams of protein per bar. That being said, the cashews + oats also have small amounts of protein as well so likely around 3 grams of protein per bar

Generally whey protein tends to have more protein per serving than plant-based protein so if increasing your protein consumption is your goal then you’re better off going with whey.

 

Using Plant-Based Protein

So I’ve tested these no-bake cinnamon roll protein bars with both grass-fed whey protein and plant-based protein. I’ll be honest, the taste is a bit more authentic with the grass-fed whey. They also look a bit more like cinnamon rolls because the plant-based protein tends to add a “greenish” hue to the bars (which you’ll see in these photos). If that’s off-putting to you, stick with whey but if you’re vegan or just prefer plant-based protein powder know that they work just fine!

Storing No Bake Protein Bars

I recommend cutting and storing these bars in an airtight container layered with parchment paper. Keep them in the fridge for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 3 months. 

Print

No-Bake Cinnamon Roll Protein Bars

No-Bake Cinnamon Roll Protein Bars – a healthy and portable snack packed-full of protein and made with healthy ingredients like dates, cashews, protein powder and rolled oats for a delicious and sweet no-bake treat.

  • Author: Davida Lederle
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 12 bars 1x
  • Category: Snack
  • Method: No-Bake
  • Diet: Vegan

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 cup raw, unsalted cashews (could try substituting another nut)
  • 1 cup soft, pitted dates
  • 3/4 cup vanilla protein powder (whey or plant-based)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats (gluten-free if necessary)
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)

For the protein drizzle:

  • 1 tbsp vanilla protein powder
  • 1 tbsp almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)

Instructions

  1. Place cashews and dates in a food processor or high-speed blender and process until they come together in a ball (about 2-3 minutes)
  2. Break up ball and add in protein powder, oats, cinnamon and salt. Process until oats are broken up.
  3. Add in 1 tablespoon of non-dairy milk and process until it comes together in a ball again.
  4. Line an 8 x 8 baking dish with plastic wrap.
  5. Take “dough” from food processor and spread out in baking dish with hands. Top should be flat.
  6. Place in freezer for 15 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile make the protein drizzle by combining the protein powder and non-dairy milk until powder has absorbed the milk.
  8. Remove bars from freezer and lift out of dish by picking up the plastic wrap.
  9. Cut into 12 bars.
  10. Mix the protein drizzle in a small bowl. Add more almond milk if needed.
  11. Add the protein drizzle to a ziploc bag and cut a very small hole in one corner.
  12. Pipe mixture in desired pattern over bars.
  13. Place in baking dish and freeze for another 15 minutes or until drizzle has hardened.
  14. Keep in fridge for up to 1 month or longer in freezer.

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  • Reply
    Emily @smilemilegirl
    March 23, 2014 at 11:07 am

    These look DELICIOUS!! 🙂 I’ve been searching for a new protein bar recipe. I’m getting bored of my staple. I can’t wait to try these.

  • Reply
    Melissa @ Nourish By Melissa
    March 23, 2014 at 10:50 am

    I seem to always be impressed with the amazing creations cashews can make! This recipe looks incredible 🙂

  • Reply
    Amanda @ .running with spoons.
    March 23, 2014 at 10:13 am

    I’m kind of obsessed with that drizzle… and the fact that these are no-bake. You know me — I love not having to worry about the oven 😉 And you know all those failed experiments just mean you have to spend more time baking, so stop slacking 😛 Less savoury, more sweet!

  • Reply
    Miss Polkadot
    March 23, 2014 at 9:49 am

    Even if you had a few baking fails you’re always on a roll with every of your no-bake bars/ balls. And on a cinnamon roll roll here – I like it!
    Despite my iron stomach when it comes to legumes I don’t handle protein powders – or the ones I tried so far – too well so I go very easy on them. In fact, I don’t remember the last time I used any. Same goes for not remembering the last time I baked [something non-savoury] and that clearly has to change. Keeping the bike riding skills in check, so to say.

  • Reply
    Alison @ Daily Moves and Grooves
    March 23, 2014 at 9:19 am

    Oooo anything that tastes like cinnamon rolls has my attention! Even if it’s not baked. 🙂

  • Reply
    Gabby @ the veggie nook
    March 23, 2014 at 9:16 am

    I haven’t been baking too much either! I think it’s because somewhere deep inside I know it’s supposed to be spring and that means less baking and more raw/no-bake treats. Soon mother nature will catch up with me!

  • Reply
    jill conyers
    March 23, 2014 at 8:36 am

    The bars look amazing! My fails in making protein bars outweigh the successes but the successes are so worth it!

  • Reply
    Sam @ Better With Sprinkles
    March 23, 2014 at 8:34 am

    These look awesome! I do love my Quest bars but I hate paying for them…so I need to make more protein bars at home. I definitely do use protein powder on a pretty regular basis, but now that I’m not exercising as much I imagine I’ll be cutting back on those a bit.
    It’s been a little while since I’ve baked anything, but I’ve been craving banana bread…I think I’ll have to whip up your recipe again soon!

  • Reply
    Kim @ Hungry Healthy Girl
    March 23, 2014 at 8:26 am

    I love to bake, but I try not to do it every weekend or I’d be as big as a house because I really love to eat too! 😉 Sorry about all of the fails, but these definitely look like a win. Love that you used cashews… one of my favorite nuts to use with bars. Can’t wait to see what kind of muffins you cooked up!

  • Reply
    Tina Muir
    March 23, 2014 at 7:10 am

    Yes! Those look perfect! Definitely worth a failed effort of cookies I think! I will have to make a batch of these to take with me after hard runs. Thanks for the suggestion!

  • Reply
    meredith @ The Cookie ChRUNicles
    March 23, 2014 at 6:23 am

    I don’t use protein powders either. I am definitely not in my baking mode even though I made cookies last week, I am no way close to baking like I used to all of the time. I think I go through phases. Lately, I think the main reason I am not baking is because I don’t feel like cleaning the kitchen!

  • Reply
    Arman @ thebigmansworld
    March 23, 2014 at 5:29 am

    Whomp whomp indeed.

    This is the first no bake protein bar I’ve seen with dates in it- and withOUT a nut butter. Then I saw the damn food processor AGAIN. Can you stop catering to those with food processors (aka everyone) and cater for those without (aka me).

    • Reply
      Carol
      May 15, 2020 at 8:38 am

      These bars are good, I’ve made them twice now. I sure would like the nutritional info on these though. Couldn’t see it anywhere! Thanks!

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