A delicious recipe for baked vanilla protein donuts made with a blend of oats and flour, whey protein, eggs, whipped cottage cheese, and maple syrup. When that donut craving strikes, these baked healthier donuts are the perfect solution!
These donuts are delicious and we love them, with a cake-like texture and the perfect amount of sweetness. One of these protein donuts (without glaze or topping) is only 136 calories, 8 grams of protein, 14 grams of carbs, and 5 grams of fat! How about them macros?! I love them glazed, but also love them plain topped with a little butter spread and puréed strawberries. So delicious!
If you like your protein donuts plain with some peanut butter or homemade jam spread on top, you definitely need to check out my favorite recipe for Homemade Strawberry Jam (no refined sugar. For another tasty variation, I cut them in half, spread peanut butter on one side and jam on the other, making my own epic version of a PB&J. I often double the recipe and freeze the unglazed donuts for meal prep.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- These protein-packed donuts actually come out moist and delicious! They were teenager approved and let me tell you, that's a big thumbs up!
- The macros on these moist protein donuts are great. I even helped myself to a second. 😉
- Vanilla protein donuts are delicious pre or post-workout fuel.
- Top them with a classic donut glaze or a protein-packed frosting.
Ingredients You'll Need
For the donuts:
- Whole Oats- you'll grind them in a food processor or blender to a fine flour texture
- Flour- this recipe calls for unbleached all-purpose flour. I use and recommend King Arthur brand. You can also use King Arthur's measure-for-measure gluten-free flour for a gluten-free version (just make sure you use certified GF oats).
- Quest vanilla milkshake protein powder- I tested out a few other vanilla protein powders and did not get the same moist fluffy donut texture. Quest uses a protein blend and is great for baking. The vanilla milkshake flavor is perfect for this recipe.
- Baking powder +salt- This duo plays a role in supporting the dough, so it rises into a soft fluffy donut. Additionally, salt makes everything sweet taste just a bit sweeter.
- Eggs- You'll use two whole eggs for this recipe.
- Maple syrup- go with a good quality real maple syrup for adding the perfect amount of natural sweetness.
- Milk- I use unsweetened almond milk for this recipe, but regular milk works too.
- Cottage cheese- adds moisture and extra protein to this recipe. Make sure to blend it before adding it to the batter.
- Oil- avocado oil, olive oil, and melted and cooled coconut oil can be used for this recipe.
- Cooking spray- Baker's Joy is recommended but go with a regular cooking spray if making gluten-free donuts.
For the protein glaze:
- Quest vanilla milkshake protein powder
- milk of choice
- melted butter
For the classic glaze:
- powdered sugar
- milk of choice
- vanilla extract
How To Make Protein Donuts
Step 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and spray a donut pan with non-stick spray.
Step 2. Grind the oats in a food processor until it reaches the consistency of flour. Make sure to measure the oats before grinding. Blend cottage cheese until smooth (you'll use ¼ cup of blended cottage cheese for the batter). Add all ingredients to a large bowl and mix well with a wooden spoon until combined and smooth.
Step 3. Pour batter evenly into the six molds of the donut pan. If you have smaller donut pans it may make 7 donuts. Bake for 12 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean (do not overbake).
Step 4. Whisk the frosting ingredients together, stirring the milk and protein powder together first until smooth, then stirring in the cooled melted butter until a frosting consistency is achieved. If making the classic glaze, stir all ingredients together in a small bowl.
After donuts have cooled completely, brush, dunk, or drizzle with your glaze of choice.
Top with 1 tablespoon of your favorite cereal, mini chocolate chips, or another tasty topping, right before serving. Enjoy immediately. These donuts are best enjoyed freshly baked. Lean muscle fuel never tasted so good!
Protein Donut Tips
I used Quest's Vanilla milkshake whey protein powder in my donut and frosting recipe with great results. Quest protein powders work well in baked goods because they are made with a casein and isolate blend. Protein powders differ in baked goods. Whey isolate will dry out a recipe, so a casein/isolate blend or a whey protein concentrate will yield the best results. Just remember, if you switch up the ingredients it will change the nutrient profile. A tablespoon of the Fruity Pebbles cereal adds 8 calories and 2 carbs to each donut. Feel free to sub the cereal with mini chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, crumbled mini heath bars, coconut, sprinkles, or any other epic dessert topping. Make your own tasty version.
A good non-stick pan is essential for making great baked donuts. I love the Wilton Perfect Results Non-Stick Steel Donut Pan. I never have issues with sticking using this pan and they pop out quickly and easily. I used silicone pans for a while, but they tend to hold onto odors and it was affecting the taste of my baked goods. I've switched back to steel and really happy with the results. My donuts come out looking like this...
I also recommend using a good non-stick baking spray, like Baker's Joy. It already has a little flour in the spray for easy release. Works like a charm every. single. time.
Storing & Freezing
Only glaze donuts and add topping if eating right away. After they have cooled, you can store the extra unglazed donuts in a sealed container in the freezer. Pop in the microwave for 20-30 seconds to warm, brush with glaze, then add your toppings. The classic glaze will keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to a week. The protein frosting is best prepared fresh. Storing is not recommended.
More Protein-Packed Recipes
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Vanilla Protein Donuts with Fruity Pebble Topping
- For the donuts:
- ½ cup whole oats ground (measure before grinding into a flour texture)
- ¼ cup unbleached all-purpose flour I love King Arthur brand
- 28 g Quest vanilla milkshake whey protein powder
- 1.5 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoon real maple syrup
- ½ cup unsweetened almond milk
- ¼ cup 2% cottage cheese blend for a smooth consistency in a blender or mini food processor.
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil can also sub with olive oil or melted and cooled coconut oil
- For a protein frosting:
- 28 g vanilla whey protein powder Quest Vanilla Milkshake flavor
- 3 tablespoon milk
- 2 teaspoon melted butter
- For a classic donut glaze: *nutrition info in notes
- ¾ cup powdered sugar
- 2-3 teaspoon milk
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Optional toppings: Fruity Pebbles cereal, mini chocolate chips, nuts, etc.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and grease a donut pan with cooking spray (Baker's Joy recommended for easy release).
- Grind the oats in a food processor until it reaches the consistency of flour. *Measure the oats before grinding. Blend cottage cheese until smooth (you'll use ¼ cup of blended cottage cheese for the batter).
- Add all ingredients to a large bowl and mix well with a wooden spoon until combined and smooth.
- Pour batter evenly into the six molds of the donut pan. If you have smaller donut pans it may make 7-8 donuts.
- Bake 12 minutes until cooked through and a toothpick comes out clean (do not overbake).
- Whisk the frosting ingredients together, stirring the milk and protein powder together first until smooth, then stirring in the cooled melted butter until a frosting consistency is achieved. If making the classic glaze, stir all ingredients together in a small bowl.
- After donuts have cooled completely, brush, dunk, or drizzle with your glaze of choice.
- Top with 1 tablespoon of your favorite cereal, mini chocolate chips, or another tasty topping, right before serving.
- Enjoy immediately. These donuts are best enjoyed freshly baked.
- Make sure to measure ingredients accurately for the best results.
- Blend the cottage cheese to a creamy texture.
- Only glaze donuts and add topping if eating right away. After they have cooled, you can store the extra unglazed donuts in a sealed container in the freezer. Pop in the microwave for 20-30 seconds to warm, then add your toppings.
- The nutrition information for the protein donut glaze: 33 calories/ 4 grams protein/ 1 grams carbs/ 2 grams fat.
- The nutrition information for the classic donut glaze per serving: 30 calories/ 0 grams fat/ and 8 grams carbs.
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I think I'll try to make it, the sprinkling makes the donut look more delicious
I hope that you enjoy it Taylor!
Just made these, but used chocolate protein, vanilla protein milk, sugar free syrup, and cinnamon toast crunch instead. Definitely a huge hit here at my house. Sooooo good!
These look delish! Think i am going to make these today, but do you happen to know the macros for these?
Hi Kelsey! I don't have the nutritional stats for these, but you can input the recipe in My Fitness Pal and get all the details. 🙂 I hope you enjoy them!
I used this recipe but used strawberry flavored protein powder I had on hand. They were so good, moist just like it said.
Thank you!!! Can’t wait to try with other protein powder flavors.
Awesome! Glad you enjoyed them Joana!! 🙂
Question, I tried making these and they came out REALLY delicious. However, when I took them out of the oven they deflated and wrinkled on the top. I don’t know what I did wrong. ‘
I did use Greek yogurt instead of cottage cheese could that have caused it to come out this way?
Hi Jazmin! Expired leavening ingredients can cause this problem (baking powder and baking soda) or opening the oven door while they are baking can cause baked goods to deflate, as well. Otherwise, I'm honestly not sure. I don't think the yogurt sub would have caused it. Did you use the protein powder that was called for in the recipe? Sometimes using other whey proteins can affect the texture and taste.