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
    Mary @ Fit and Fed
    April 9, 2014 at 8:35 pm

    Hi Davida. How cool that you even made a healthy frosting ‘drizzle’ for these. Energy bars are the one type of recipe where I do often use protein powder– it really gives the snack some staying power when you are out and about.

  • Reply
    Cassie
    March 30, 2014 at 10:02 am

    Bars of these texture are SO DANGEROUS for me. I eat them like cookie dough. I have to try these though. They look like some quinoa energy bars I made… but I had an idea to improve them so I might remake and rephotograph!

  • Reply
    Consuelo @ Honey & Figs
    March 27, 2014 at 6:07 pm

    Cannot wait to hear more about those muffins! Meanwhile, I think that these lovely bars could do ; ) Seriously, a cinnamon roll in bar form??? You’re a genius Davida! I’ll take ten of these!

  • Reply
    Alex @ Kenzie Life
    March 27, 2014 at 12:21 am

    I love no bake bar recipes because I’m about 100x more likely to make those ASAP because I don’t have to deal with an oven! I used to be really into protein powders (who am I kidding, I have 6 different kinds in my pantry right now–yes, it’s a problem) but I haven’t used them a lot lately. I usually do more in the summer, so I need to replenish my vanilla stock!

  • Reply
    Megan
    March 26, 2014 at 4:57 pm

    I love this!! Especially your “icing” – what an awesome idea!

  • Reply
    Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli
    March 25, 2014 at 6:10 am

    You had me at cinnamon roll! And I’m definitely of the mindset that cooking/baking is like riding a bike…but it may take a couple of wobbly tried before you really get rolling! Trouble is, I have no patience for that…hence the reason it’s been FOR.EV.ER since I’ve (successfully) made a pancake. Whatevs…I’m a rebel…obviously without cause.

  • Reply
    Jess @dearhealthyness
    March 24, 2014 at 10:15 am

    I’m really lazy to do anything at all today! Can you send them to me via ups, next day delivery? They sound really yummy!

  • Reply
    Cassie
    March 24, 2014 at 10:03 am

    I’ve also resisted protein powder so far.

  • Reply
    Kelly - LEFT SIDE OF THE TABLE
    March 24, 2014 at 9:15 am

    Davida, love that you used Cashews! Wasn’t expecting that! These sound and look perfect! Always looking for a new way to get protein. Saving for later 😉 Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Cara's Healthy Cravings
    March 24, 2014 at 7:45 am

    I love to bake and cook, but I am with you on the inspiration front. If I am uninspired, it just doesn’t happen, apart from cooking for work and for myself 😉

  • Reply
    Deryn @ Running on Real Food
    March 24, 2014 at 12:45 am

    Awesomeness!! These look so yummy and easy. I love anything no-bake because, well, I’m pretty lazy when it comes to making healthy snacks! Who needs ovens, anyways??

  • Reply
    Brittany @ Barr & Table
    March 24, 2014 at 12:25 am

    Ha! I think my baking skills are a little rusty too.. I definitely didn’t knock it out of the park with my banana muffins this weekend. At least you have something delicious to replace yours with! I’ll definitely be making these 🙂

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