Birthday Cake Protein Balls take minutes to make, are filled with good-for-you ingredients, and make for quick, portable snacks. Both kids and adults will love these birthday cake energy balls, which taste just like a cake pop!
Why You'll Love these Birthday Cake Protein Balls
We prep a batch of energy balls every week for quick, convenient snacking. Some weeks it's Strawberries and Cream Energy Bites, and other times it's Raspberry White Chocolate. However lately we have been HOOKED on these Birthday Cake Energy Bites, which legitimately taste like a cake pop.
I love that they're made with simple, satiating ingredients like whole-grain oats, nut butter, and heart-healthy hemp seeds. They get their sweet flavor from maple syrup (or honey) and cake batter flavor from a mix of vanilla and almond extract.
Plus, who can resist something coated in sprinkles?! They make a healthy treat taste like something far more decadent.
Prep a batch at the beginning of the week, and enjoy on repeat for breakfast, snacks, or after a workout. They're nutrient-dense, and a great way to help bridge the gap between meals.
Recipe Ingredients and Substitutions:
- Cashews: Tree nuts such as cashews are a good course of protein, monounsaturated fats, omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and vitamin E. Healthy eating guidelines recommend eating nuts several days a week, which includes nut butters, too. Look for raw cashews, as opposed to roasted/salted.
- Oats: Filling, inexpensive, and versatile, old-fashioned rolled oats bulk up these balls with heart-healthy whole-grains.
- Maple Syrup: While still considered an added sugar, maple syrup is lower on the glycemic index than granulated or brown sugar. Plus, it boasts disease-fighting antioxidants (darker grades deliver more than lighter ones). You can also use honey, if you prefer.
- Collagen Powder: Instead of using protein powder, which can often be grainy, we're leaning on unflavored collagen powder. Collagen is a protein responsible for healthy joints and skin elasticity, and can contribute to stronger hair, nails, and joints.
- Cashew Butter: Nut butter helps bind the balls, plus adds heart-healthy fats for more staying power. Look for cashew butter with only two ingredients: cashews and salt. I purchase mine from either Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods.
- Hemp Seeds: Tiny yet mighty, hemp seeds are a great source of plant-based protein and omega-3 fatty seeds.
- Vanilla + Almond Extract: This duo is a must for quintessential cake batter flavor.
- Sprinkles: I love these Nature's Colors sprinkles, which are made with vegetable colorants and no artificial dyes.
Step 1: Blend Oats, Cashews, and Hemp Seeds
Combine oats, cashews, and hemp seeds in the bowl of a food processor. Blend until they break down to the consistency of a coarse sand.
Step 2: Add Cashew Butter, Maple Syrup, Collagen, and Extracts
Add cashew butter, maple syrup, collagen powder, vanilla extract, almond extract, and salt. Blend until ingredients come together and form a dough-like ball. Do NOT over-mix or you run the risk of too many oils releasing from the nuts and the mixture becoming greasy.
Step 3: Stir in Sprinkles
Turn out into a bowl and add sprinkles; mix with your hands until combined. (Note: you can also do this right in the food processor bowl with the blade removed.)
Step 4: Form into Balls and Chill
Use a small cookie scoop (or spoon) to scoop the mixture into 18 balls. If using a spoon, roll them into balls. If using a cookie scoop, I just like to keep them in the mold of the scoop. Store in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.
FAQs and Expert Tips
How to Store Protein Balls:
Store these energy balls in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 10 days, or freezer up to 3 months. If you freeze them, let them thaw in the refrigerator to desired consistency.
How Long do Protein Balls Last?
These birthday cake energy balls should remain refrigerated to prolong their storage life. If left at room temperature for too long, you may notice they start feeling “greasy.” This is just the natural oils from the nuts/nut butter, however it can make the coconut crust loose its crunch.
Therefore, store in the refrigerator for up to 10 days, and try to minimize the time they’re left out at room temperature.
Can this Recipe be Doubled?
This is a great recipe to double or even triple since you can keep a stash of protein balls in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Recommended Tools for this Recipe:
- Food Processor: I love my 8-cup Cuisinart Food Processor, which is reasonably priced and dishwasher-safe.
- Cookie Scoop: The one tool you probably never knew you needed, yet will use constantly!
More of my Favorite Energy Ball Recipes:
Raspberry White Chocolate Energy Bites
Strawberries and Cream Energy Balls
Raw Superfood Brownie Bites
If you give these birthday cake protein balls a try, snap a pic and tag #dishingouthealth on Instagram so I can see your beautiful creations. I also really appreciate readers taking the time to leave a rating and review! Lastly, follow along on Facebook and Pinterest for the latest recipe updates.
Birthday Cake Protein Balls
- Food processor
- Small Cookie Scoop (optional, but recommended)
- ¾ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- ½ cup raw whole cashews
- ¼ cup shelled hemp seeds
- ½ cup creamy cashew butter
- ⅓ cup maple syrup (sub honey)
- ¼ cup unflavored collagen powder
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp. almond extract
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 2 Tbsp. sprinkles, plus extra for pressing into rolled balls
- Combine oats, cashews, and hemp seeds in the bowl of a food processor. Blend until they break down to the consistency of a coarse sand.Add cashew butter, maple syrup, collagen powder, vanilla extract, almond extract, and salt. Blend until ingredients come together and form a dough-like ball. Do NOT over-mix or you run the risk of too many oils releasing from the nuts and the mixture becoming greasy.
- Turn out into a bowl and add 2 Tbsp. sprinkles; mix with your hands until combined. (Note: you can also do this right in the food processor bowl with the blade removed.)Use a small cookie scoop (or spoon) to scoop the mixture into 18 balls. If using a spoon, roll them into balls. If using a cookie scoop, I just like to keep them in the mold of the scoop. If desired, roll balls in extra sprinkles. Refrigerate for up to 10 days.
Easy to make and delicious!
I'm so glad you enjoyed them, Ashleigh! Thank you for taking the time to leave a review!
This came together nicely! Very easy. With the scoop I had, I ended up with only 10 balls instead of 18, but I think that will be an acceptable serving size for my breakfast on the go. Thanks
Hi Leslie - So glad you enjoyed them! Thanks for the note of scoop size and final recipe count
So delicious and easy, love this recipe. Going to be my go to from now on.
Hi Britt--I'm so glad you loved them!! Thank you for taking the time to leave a review!
Tasty Tasty Tasty! Definitely worth finding some cashew butter. Next time I will probably omit the sprinkles because although they do make the balls more visually appealing, don't really add to the taste and are not so great for you.
Hi Angie--I'm so glad you enjoyed them! The sprinkles are just a fun addition, but agreed, not necessary to get the cake batter flavor. Thank you for taking the time to leave a rating and review!