Red Velvet Protein Bites

For a sweet treat packed with protein, these red velvet protein bites can be ready in just 10 minutes!

So, my friend likes to be in a cut phrase each spring. He eats very clean with absolutely no sweet treats. But, the spring also happens to include his birthday.

One year, I offered to make his favorite cake, but was clearly told that he would not touch anything sweet. about will power! That must be nice...

Life is way too short to not enjoy a slice of your favorite dessert on your birthday!

But, being the nice person I am, I set out to make red velvet protein bites. A sweet treat that was packed with protein and made from healthy ingredients. How could he say no?!?

Well, I used an ENTIRE bottle of red food coloring and they just barely had a reddish hue. Now, it was plant-based color, so at least it wasn't made from chemicals; however, buying and using more red dye just did not seem like the right answer. Plus, this small treat was quickly becoming very expensive!

The next time, I purchased beet root powder, which has a deep red color. Now, beet root powder also has some flavor, so adding too much can affect the flavor of your dish. I tried using both beet root powder and some plant-based red food coloring. It gave more of a reddish hue, but still not very reminiscent of true red velvet cake!

So, unless you want to use a lot of plant-based red food coloring or gel food coloring made with artificial ingredients, a healthy red velvet protein bite is difficult to create. Luckily, these reddish-velvet protein bites are still sweet and fun!

bite missing from a red velvet protein bite with a white chocolate drizzle

Ingredients in Red Velvet Protein Bites

  • Old-Fashioned or Rolled Oats
  • Raw Cashews
  • Maple Syrup
  • Vanilla
  • Almond Butter
  • Chocolate Protein Powder
  • Milk
  • Beet Root Powder
  • Plant-Based Red Food Coloring
  • White Chocolate Chips

Where did red velvet cake come from?

Often thought of as a Southern staple, red velvet cake has been traced back to the Victorian era. During this time, velvet cakes had a softer, fluffier texture than sponge or pound cakes. When non-Dutch processed cocoa was mixed with an acid, it would create a faint red hue. The Waldorf Astoria in NYC claims to be the home of red velvet cake; however, it is more likely that they simply took a cake that already existed and made it more well known. During World War II, cocoa and butter were difficult to acquire. After visiting the Waldorf Astoria, an employee for The Adams Extract Company created a recipe for red velvet cake that included red food coloring, vanilla extract, and butter flavoring. Today's red velvet cakes are created with cocoa and red food coloring. Most recipes often also include buttermilk and a cream cheese frosting.

How does red velvet cake get its signature red hue?

Gel food coloring works best to create that traditional red hue. Gel color has more concentrated color. Other options include red food coloring, plant-based red food coloring, beet powder, or beet juice.

Small white dish with red velvet protein bites

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Red Velvet Protein Bites

For a sweet treat packed with protein, these red velvet protein bites can be ready in just 10 minutes!



  • 1 c. old-fashioned or rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 c. raw cashews
  • 1/4 c. almond butter
  • 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 scoops chocolate protein powder
  • 1/2 c. milk (I used almond milk)
  • 1-2 Tbsp. beet root powder
  • Plant-based red food coloring
  • 1/2 c. white chocolate chips
  • In a food processor, pulse the oats and cashews until only tiny pieces remain. Then, add the almond butter, maple syrup, vanilla, and protein powder. In a small bowl, stir the milk and beet root powder. Next, add to the food processor and blend until a mostly smooth dough is formed. If desired, add a few drops of red food coloring and blend. Scoop and roll into balls.
  • In a small bowl, melt the white chocolate chips. Use a spoon to drizzle over the protein bites. Store in the fridge.


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