These cinnamon cake bars taste just like coffee cake. They’re high in protein, low cal, low sugar with no oils or butter and perfect for a healthy snack.

*This post for high protein cinnamon cake bars first appeared on April 1, 2012. The post, pictures and recipe have been updated and I added a video to the recipe card (scroll down) on how to make these easy, healthy treats.
These cinnamon cake bars taste just like coffee cake. They're high in protein, low cal, low sugar with no oils or butter and perfect for a healthy snack.

Five years ago when this post was first published it was about 3 months before I first stepped foot into a CrossFit gym.

I was bouncing back and forth between HIIT workouts online, NROLFW and Jamie Eason’s LiveFit Trainer program desperately trying to find something that would help me build muscle.

Honestly, nothing really worked too well (sorry, but 15# dumbbells don’t really do much for muscle growth) and it wasn’t until July of that year when my CrossFit gym opened right down the road that progress finally started to happen.

If there’s one positive that came out of those few months of workout ambiguity though, it was this recipe for high protein cinnamon cake bars inspired by Jamie Eason’s recipe for cinnamon swirl bread I stumbled upon on her site one day.

Chocolate protein cake bars were another recipe from that era and I love those too!

This recipe also inspired by chocolate baked oats which is basically like cake but justified for breakfast!

These high protein cinnamon cake bars are a great healthy snack before or after your workout.
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These cinnamon cake bars taste just like coffee cake except with a healthy protein boost!

Often times, people are hesitant to bake with protein powder saying the chalky taste can linger in the final product.

And while that can definitely be true, I’ll say this: it doesn’t happen as much with quality protein powder.

I didn’t always know this and I didn’t always care as much as I should about the sourcing of my whey protein.

These days, I use SFH Pure (their churro flavored whey protein is literally perfect for this recipe making the cinnamon flavor even more robust) or Vital Proteins almost exclusively as they’re both quality products whose standards live up to mine now.

A healthy snack that tastes like coffee cake! You can't go wrong with these high protein cinnamon cake bars.

While my workouts have changed quite a bit over the last 5 years since this was originally posted, my high protein post-workout snacking really hasn’t and these protein cinnamon cake bars are still a really great one I love to grab either right before or after my workouts.

They’re packed with protein, very low fat (like none really), gluten-free and a great source of healthy carbs to fuel you through whatever way you like to sweat.

Oh, and they seriously taste like coffee cake too.

Are you sold yet?

If you love this recipe for high protein cinnamon cake bars, try one of these high protein recipes too:

Chocolate Protein Pancakes
Perfect Protein Pancakes
Almond cherry protein cookies

Don’t miss these healthier zucchini bars or gluten-free pumpkin bars too – a bit more like dessert but lightened up and packed with flavor!

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4.75 from 4 votes

Cinnamon Cake Bars

Servings: 9 servings
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
These high protein cinnamon cake bars taste just like coffee cake. They’re high in protein, low cal, low sugar, with no oils or butter.


  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
  • 2 scoops whey protein powder, I use vanilla or churro flavored whey usually
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar, *see note
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons sugar + 1 teaspoon cinnamon, set aside


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8×8 pyrex or cake pan.
  • Combine oat flour, buckwheat flour, protein powder, coconut sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl.
  • Whisk together egg, applesauce, yogurt, almond milk and vanilla extract in a small bowl.
  • Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix until fully incorporated.
  • Pour batter into the prepared baking dish.
  • Combine sugar + cinnamon and sprinkle over the batter, swirl into the entire surface of the batter using a knife or toothpick.
  • Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  • Let cool in pan for 10-15 minutes before slicing.
  • Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container.



-Oat and buckwheat flour can be ground in a food processor or blender from rolled oats and buckwheat groats, respectively.
-Original recipe called for turbinado (raw) sugar, I used coconut sugar in this updated version. Either will work.
-Adapted from Jamie Eason’s Cinnamon Swirl Bread


Serving: 1SERVINGCalories: 150kcalCarbohydrates: 24gProtein: 10gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 22mgSodium: 306mgFiber: 2gSugar: 10g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Baked Goods
Cuisine: American
Founder and Writer at Running to the Kitchen | About

Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.

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  1. I made the lemon bars and added poppy seeds. They’re wonderful, but I had to guess on the amount of protein powder. My whey protein doesn’t have a scoop. How much is a scoop?
    Thank you!

    1. a scoop for me is about 4 tablespoons (or 1/4 cup). I think most scoops are pretty similar so that should be about the same!

  2. Gina, this recipe is phenomenal! I have only managed to come up with a small handful of recipes using protein powder that even someone who has never touched protein powder in their life (ie my mom and sister) couldn’t detect it in (That was quite possibly the worst-phrased sentence I have ever written in the English language but I am just too tired to rephrase, sorry!). It is amazing, I ate it and felt like I was indulging in one of those cinnamon crumb cakes you get in cafes. 100 cals a slice and 8g of protein – I’d never have known! And my mom and sister sure didn’t either – they loved it. Genius lady!

    1. Anna- so glad everyone liked them :) They’re one of my favorites too. I’ve been really lucky with baking protein into things so far, I keep expecting to be able to taste it and it just hasn’t happened yet! I’ll take my wins when they come though, not complaining ;) And I’m laughing out loud at your comment about the sentence. I can’t tell you how many times I type something that is a grammar nightmare in other people’s comments and then sit there staring at it not being able to figure out how to make it sound any better. haha, so no worries ;)

  3. Just wanted to let you know I made these protein bars yesterday and oh my goodness, they are awesome! I think they may be my new favorite after workout snack. Thanks for the great recipe! I didn’t have any oat flour so I subbed quinoa flour instead. Next time I think I’ll try the oat, as the quinoa definitely had a distinct flavor to it. They were still delicous though :) You rock!

    1. So glad you liked them :) I still have a stash that I’m not allowing my husband to eat b/c they’re too good to share! haha

  4. Oh I’m going to! Maybe tomorrow. PLUS anything with Cinnamon in the name HAS to be good right?

  5. YES!! i’m totally going to try these instead of the lemon bars and see if they come together better. Thank you for the alternative! ;)

    1. I thought of you when making these b/c I was nervous at first after your lemon experience. Def give these a shot!

  6. i made these today and ohmygosh. SO GOOD! definitely will be making again….and again…and again ;)