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4 Whey Wonders: The Secret Behind Perfect Protein Muffins And Pancakes!

4 Whey Wonders: The Secret Behind Perfect Protein Muffins And Pancakes!

Think you can cook recipes with whey protein like it's flour? Guess again. Learn the secrets!

Many fitness people who cook with whey protein powder think they can treat it the same way they do flour. Newsflash! You can't.

You have to always account for its particularity and cook it on its own terms. This is the case with most protein powders, but it's particularly critical to understand with whey. If you don't, the potential for failure looms large. Whatever you're making can turn out rubbery, "cardboard-y," extremely dry and, well, pretty much impossible to (pleasurably) consume!

Let me give you an example: protein muffins. The first time I made a protein muffin, I followed a recipe I found online. It called for three egg whites and one scoop of whey, to be stuck in a mug and microwaved for a minute. A child could ace this recipe, I thought to myself.

Round and round went my mug inside the microwave. Mesmerized, I watched the mixture rise and rise until it could rise no more. After the minute had passed, this monstrosity began shrinking as quickly as it had mushroomed. I removed it carefully, and my shoulders slumped. My muffin was as deflated as my ego.

It looked like a chewed-up plastic cake, the kind you have to pull out of your dog's mouth after he's been mischievously playing with a child's cookery play set. That's when I took my first bite and realized that, while the muffin tasted more or less okay, chewing it was like chewing on a rubber sole. Horrendous.

Flat As A Pancake

I had a similar experience when I first made protein pancakes. I mixed two scoops of whey with three egg whites and a couple scoops of oats.

Result: A bland and ultra rubbery pancake that soured my taste buds and broke my heart. My second abject failure made me want to give up on the idea of ever again cooking with whey.

You will find a lot of recipes online for protein muffins and pancakes that, like the above, leave you feeling as if you're eating a tire.

It doesn't have to be this way, though. It never should.

You can work with whey to create incredibly fluffy and moist pancakes. You can use it to make soft, moist, and delicious protein muffins, muffins that no one will eye suspiciously and bite with the unease of a vampire. Make muffins that no one will be able to resist.

Rules Of The Right Of Whey

There are four rules you must know to successfully cook with whey. Master them, and become master of the protein universe. You may use these rules to bake cakes as well but, for now, let's stick to pancakes and muffins.

Rule 1

Never-NEVER-bake or panfry a batter that is more than ¼ whey. This is because, naturally, whey has a tendency to go dry, rubbery, and "cardboard-up" (if you allow me to paraphrase Steve Spurrier and coin that expression).

You have to offset this tendency. How? By making sure that the rest of your ingredients weigh it down and add enough moisture to counter the whey.

Rule 2

You must always use what I call a primary moisturizer. This can be cottage cheese, pumpkin puree, Greek yogurt, or a cooked sweet potato. It can also be fruits such as applesauce, apples, bananas or berries.

Rule 3

You always need to have a type of flour in your batter. This will combine with your whey and give volume to your final product.

My favorite flours to use are oats, coconut flour, almond flour, oat flour, amaranth flour, chickpea flour, buckwheat flour or quinoa flour. These are excellent gluten-free, high-protein, and high-fiber flours.

Rule 4

Always use a binding substance like egg whites, whole eggs or a combination of both.

By following the above rules, you'll be able to make anything and everything with whey—from cakes and muffins to pancakes and breads!

The more you play with it, the more delicious variations of your protein favorites will result.

Add nuts, seeds, and any additional powders (e.g. cocoa, maca powder, lucuma powder), spices (e.g. cinnamon, cloves, ginger) and flavorings (e.g. vanilla essence, orange peel, almond essence) to your batter too.

The sky is the limit to what you can make once you understand the basics of whey protein cooking!

Experiment with your combinations. Find out what you like and don't like. Combine lemon peel with poppy seeds, cinnamon with vanilla, cocoa with passion fruit!

Try exotic ingredients. Be creative with your flavorings and remember to always build on what you learn along the "whey."

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Protein Muffin Recipes

Without further ado, four recipes to get your started:

Orange Vanilla Whey Protein Muffins

These muffins are so good they'll make you want to break dance! (Or at least learn how.) I'll never tire of singing the praises of vanilla and orange—it's a combination made on Mount Olympus.

  1. Preheat oven to 340 degrees F (170 C).
  2. Blend ingredients together.
  3. Pour batter into five cupcake cases or five individual tins.
  4. Bake for about 25 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean.
  5. When the muffins come out: Spread some organic butter on one and then stuff another one with Greek yogurt. Both ways, these muffins are sublime!
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size Per muffin, recipe makes 5 muffins
Amount per serving
Calories 175
Total Fat6.2g
Total Carb13.4g

Orange Vanilla Whey Protein Muffins PDF (13.4 KB)

Casein Frosted Pumpkin Pistachio Chia Seed Muffins

These chocolatey, pumpkin-packed muffins explode in your mouth. Their super-moist texture and great nutritional profile make them a great post-workout snack or yummy breakfast treat.

Bring some to the office for a happy surprise. Oh la la!

Muffin Ingredients
Frosting Ingredients
Directions For Muffins
  1. Preheat oven to 340 degrees F (170 C).
  2. Blend all ingredients.
  3. Pour batter into nine silicone muffin cases.
  4. Bake for about 40 minutes.
Directions For Frosting
  1. Mix casein and milk.
  2. Pour mixture into piping bag.
  3. Frost!
  4. If desired, top with extra chia seeds and a sprinkle of organic cocoa powder
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size Per muffin, recipe makes 9 muffins
Amount per serving
Calories 160
Total Fat4.7g
Total Carb11.4g

Casein Frosted Pumpkin Pistachio Chia Seed Muffins PDF (13.9 KB)

Apple Strawberry Blueberry Protein Pancakes

What's not to love about protein pancakes? If you haven't tried to make them yet, this recipe is a perfect first effort. The pancakes are bursting with blueberries and fruity deliciousness!

  • 3 Egg Whites
  • 1 big Apple, cored
  • 1/4 cup of Strawberry Whey Protein
  • 1/4 cup of Coconut Flour (I found some at the supermarket!)
  • 1/8 cup of Blueberries (added after mixing the above)
  1. Blend all ingredients except blueberries.
  2. Spray pan with non-stick spray and heat on low/medium heat.
  3. Pour batter onto pan in small circles and add blueberries.
  4. When bubbles form, flip over slowly.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size Per servings, recipe makes 2 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 435
Total Fat8.4g
Total Carb37.8g

Apple Strawberry Blueberry Protein Pancakes PDF (13 KB)

Banana and Vanilla Protein Pancakes

What a kicking post-workout boom! Throwing "never say never" to the wind. I confidently declare that you will never tire of this protein pancake.

  • 1 small Banana
  • 1 small (120g) cooked Sweet Potato
  • 1/2 cup of Liquid Egg Whites
  • 1/2 cup of Vanilla Whey
  1. Blend all ingredients for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Spray pan with non-stick spray and heat on medium heat.
  3. Pour batter onto pan in small circles.
  4. When bubbles form, flip over.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size For whole recipe
Amount per serving
Calories 318
Total Fat3g
Total Carb37g

Banana and Vanilla Protein Pancakes PDF (12.7 KB)

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About The Author

Anna's passion for exercise and nutrition inspired her to create proteinpow.com while she was still in the last year of her Ph.D. program.

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Feb 26, 2013 1:17pm | report

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Ok I'm not a health nut or a vegan/vegetarian and Im not on a "diet " but I do want protein pancakes from time to time so here we go ( I should mention I'm a chef with training in deserts and pastries as well as classical cuisine) and here is my take in the protein pancake
1/4 cup protein powder ( what ever flavor you like)
3/4 cup flour ( your choice i used plain white for my first try It what I had lying around)
1tsp baking powder
4 tbsp plain yogurt
2 eggs
1tsp melted butter
and enough water to get the consistency you like between 1/4 to 1/2 a cup, start with less you can add more you cant take it out

mix the protein powder flour and baking powder together with a whisk add the wet ingredients and mix together ( don't over mix just till well combined )
and ladle on to a medium hot pan or griddle wait till they bubble and the edges start to look cooked flip let rise and they're done when you can tap the tops and it feels springy ( less than a minute)
voila delicious moist fluffy protein pancakes.
you can add any fruit you like just prior to cooking gently mix them in ( mash your bananas first or slice an put them on the top before flipping. enjoy

Aug 26, 2013 6:17am | report
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