Want the perfect workout program?Take Quiz
Fact checked by Andrew Lenau, ISSA CPT & Sports NutritionistFACT CHECKED
August 07, 2023
When it comes to breakfast pastries, the donut is arguably king. Unfortunately, like most sweets, regular donuts are not exactly healthy or well-balanced. But what if we told you there was a way you could have your donuts and gain muscle, too?
Enter: Protein donuts, a healthier take on the breakfast favorite, will enable you to hit your macros while enjoying the beloved morning treat.
If protein-packed donuts sound perfect, then you've come to the right place. We've got the best recipes for protein donuts. And, I promise breakfast is about to get a whole lot sweeter!
Table of Contents:
Protein donuts, sometimes referred to as pronuts, are a high-protein alternative to regular donuts. While a regular donut might bring you great joy, sadly they aren’t giving you the macros necessary for building muscle.
By making protein donuts ourselves, we can create a delicious snack that also is packed with essential macros to help hit our fitness goals.
While regular donuts give us very little nutritional value, protein donuts can play a key part in any athlete's diet. Arguably, one of the hardest parts of gaining muscle is getting adequate amounts of protein per day.
Protein donuts are a great way to help reach your macro goals, whether you eat them at breakfast or for dessert. They can also be a great post-workout treat, providing a balance of protein and carbohydrates that are perfect to replenish the muscle.
No matter the time of day, protein donuts are a great source of additional protein.
There will be more protein donut recipes later on in this article, but I wanted to start with a basic one that's easy to make. If you have ever tried baking donuts or other pastries, like protein muffins, you know it can get complicated the more ingredients you add.
I like to keep things as simple as possible and this recipe certainly “takes the cake” for protein donuts. These fluffy, healthy protein donuts give us everything we love about donuts but are packed with protein and under 100 calories each.
Keep an eye out for the recipe card, which is directly below the recipe I'm about to go over. Screenshot it and save it on your phone, so you've got an easy way to reference the recipe when you're ready to make these donuts!
Feel free to add in your favorite items to help increase the flavor or nutritional value of this recipe. Adding items such as nuts, salt, chia seeds, and dried fruit can make your protein donuts healthier and better tasting.
Plus, when you incorporate high protein nuts and seeds, you're going to further increase your donut's protein count.
Looking for some customization tips? Here's a great one! If you prefer to make vanilla frosting instead of chocolate, swap out the cocoa powder for ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract.
One donut contains 100 cal, 6g net carbs, 4g fat, and 12g protein.
We want our protein donuts to be plump and moist, so choosing the right protein powder is essential. Whey protein is generally the most commonly used protein powder in cooking, but it is not recommended for every protein donut recipe.
Baking with standard whey can be tricky, as it tends to be very drying in higher doses, and is better used for thinner items, such as cookies.
Whey concentrate is the preferred type of whey for donuts, as whey isolates are horrible for baking. For this reason, a whey blend is a much better option, as it combines whey isolate, casein, and milk proteins. We recommend brown rice or casein protein powder as well when baking donuts, as these tend to be thicker.
Looking for some great protein powder recommendations? Check out these 14 Best Protein Powder Supplements!
If you're looking for a less basic recipe that doesn't require you to customize it yourself, I've got you covered! Just a warning: You may have a hard time deciding which to make first.
Sometimes it's difficult being a chocolate lover when dieting. Fortunately, this guilt-free recipe for double chocolate protein donuts ensures you can stick with macros counting and still enjoy chocolate.
You will see canned pumpkin in the ingredients but don't worry, you won’t be able to taste the pumpkin. This is simply used for texture and to thicken the donuts and can be swapped out if you choose.
And with 11 grams of protein per serving, this is a great way to stay on track while fueling your muscles.
Chocolate Glaze Ingredients:
This recipe yields six donuts, with a macro breakdown of 90 calories, 11g protein, 9g carbs, and under one gram of fat per donut.
This recipe is a gluten- and dairy-free option that uses almond flour as the base. This recipe is super easy because all the ingredients can be mixed in one bowl, which makes the cleanup much easier.
This delicious recipe is great for breakfast or dessert and can help you reach your macro goals.
Chocolate Glaze Ingredients:
This recipe will give you 12 donuts, with each donut being 210 cal, 13 net g carbs, 13g fat, and 8g protein.
No matter what time of year it is, pumpkin spice protein donuts are a hit. Pair one of these donuts with some protein coffee, and you're in for a serious treat.
Each of these doughnuts is nearly fat-free and under 100 calories each.
Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:
This recipe will yield six pumpkin spice protein donuts. Please note you can substitute the pumpkin for about ⅔ the amount of applesauce.
Each donut will have 95 calories, 9.5g carbs, and 12.5g protein with less than a gram of fat.
There always needs to be a peanut butter flavored recipe! One of the staples in many bodybuilders’ and athletes’ diets, peanut butter is an excellent source of protein and healthy fats.
In addition, this delicious snack is low in sugar and gluten-free.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Glaze:
This recipe yields six protein donuts. The macro breakdown for one donut is 175 calories, 16g protein, 7g net carbs, and 8g fat.
Counting macros is a great way of reaching your fitness goals, and getting a better understanding of your diet. While the exact specifics are dependent on your body type, the generally accepted macro breakdown when following a bulking workout and diet is 40% protein, 30% carbohydrates, and 30% fats.
Carbohydrates are just as if not more important than protein at building muscle, so it's important to increase your carbs when looking to bulk. Most of the recipes you will find in this article are very low in fat, so the high percentage of protein and carbohydrates makes these perfect for building muscle.
Protein donuts are an excellent tool for bulking, but do they have a place in a fat-loss diet? Yes!
If fat loss is your goal, there are many different options out there, so you need to figure out what works best for your own body. One school of thought regarding fat loss revolves around a low-carb diet, or the more extreme version, keto, which involves nearly zero carbs.
A typical low-carb diet would have a macro breakdown of 40-50% protein, 15-25% carbs, and 30-35% fats. A more balanced fat-loss diet might have 40% protein, 40% carbs, and 20% fat, generally known as the “40/40/20 diet.” Whatever method you choose, it is ideal to have higher amounts of protein than carbs, with little to no fat.
Not many weight loss diets include regular donuts, so be thankful you can splurge on sweets and not suffer the weight gain consequences. Protein donuts are a slightly more nutritious option than regular donuts and can be a great snack when counting calories.
But don’t be fooled! Nobody ever lost weight by consistently eating donuts, and we definitely would not recommend daily consumption if looking to burn fat.
Be sure to monitor your protein donuts when they are baking, as it's important not to overcook them.
Many protein donut recipes will continue to cook during the cool-down period, so it's better to take them out early than overbake. If you don’t have a donut pan, you can also use a muffin pan or something similar.
Another important tip is to make sure your eggs, maple syrup, and milk products are mixed at room temperature. Coconut oil should be in liquid form and kept warm to prevent clumping.
After your hard work making delicious protein donuts, you are going to want to refrigerate them for maximum freshness. Most protein donuts will stay fresh for a week when refrigerated in a container with a sealed lid.
If you are looking to store your protein donuts long-term, place them in a ziplock bag and in the freezer. This will keep them fresh for up to six months!
Protein donuts are extremely healthy relative to a standard coffee shop donut. However, this does not mean they are healthy - I mean, they are donuts, after all!
Compared to a standard pastry, these recipes have far less sugar and fat than normal donuts, but they should still be treated with caution. Using protein treats such as protein donuts will make it easier when facing a strict diet, as they won’t kill your macros.
Now that we have taught you everything to know about protein donuts, it's time to try our recipes! Protein donuts are another example of protein-infused treats that can help reach our fitness goals. Made with high-quality protein and healthy, low-calorie ingredients, these treats provide nutritional value that regular donuts don’t have.
Baking your own high-protein treats ensures you know every ingredient and macronutrient going into your body. As with all of our recipes, feel free to customize them to fit your personal taste preferences. Adding in other items can increase flavor as well as nutritional value, so we encourage you to put your own special twist on these delicious, muscle-building treats.
Looking for more great protein-packed recipes? Check out our articles on the 6 Best Recipes For Protein Cookies, The Best Muscle-Building High Protein Oatmeal Recipe, and the 4 Best Recipes For Protein Muffins!
Need a great protein powder to use for baking? Check out these 14 Best Protein Powders!
Comments will be approved before showing up.
September 24, 2023 1 Comment
September 23, 2023
September 21, 2023
At SFS we strive to equip you with the tools and knowledge needed for your fitness journey. Sign up to get the latest on sales, new releases, killer workouts, actionable fitness content and more. As our motto goes - "You don't have to get ready if you stay #alwaysready!"