I constantly have a supply of proteins bars (omg GoMacro is my long time fav) but sometimes it’s fun to make your own! Not only are homemade protein bars easy to make, but they’re also an amazing, inexpensive alternative to buying protein bars.
These simple yet oh-so-delicious cashew butter chocolate protein bars are made with plenty of pantry staples and your go-to protein powder. The result seriously tastes like dessert, so you’re gonna want to keep some in the fridge for when that sweet tooth hits!
Post-workout, post-dinner or even lunch dessert — make a batch of these babies and get ready to devour.
I hope you love keeping these bars in the fridge and enjoying them as a snack or treat!
Everything you’ll need to make these chocolate protein bars
These easy no bake cashew butter chocolate protein bars are made with plenty of pantry staples and a boost of protein from your fav protein powder. Here’s everything you’ll need to make them:
- Cashew butter: I love using cashew butter because it’s mild and really allows the chocolate flavor to come out.
- Coconut oil: a little coconut oil helps to keep the bars together and adds additional flavor. There is no substitute (except butter) so please don’t ask me for one!
- Honey: I like to use honey to sweeten the bars a bit. You’ll also need a little vanilla extract.
- Rolled oats: some rolled oats add a complex carb to the protein bar. You can use gluten free oats if desired, but do not use steel cut oats as the texture will be gritty.
- Chia seeds: get a boost of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and antioxidants from chia seeds.
- Protein powder: I want to recommend my favorite chocolate protein powders for you. I use Aloha Plant Based protein powder in most of my baking recipes. Another great one is Tera’s Whey Chocolate. Please let me know if you use any other chocolate protein powders that you recommend in the comments section!
- Dark chocolate: the dark chocolate adds a double chocolate dose of love to the bars so don’t skip it! Feel free to use 1 ounce of an 85% dark chocolate bar or a few tablespoons of chocolate chips (dairy free if desired).
- Sea salt: a little sprinkle of sea salt on top takes these bars to the next level.
Easy ingredient swaps
Because these healthy chocolate protein bars are made with simple ingredients, they’re easy to customize with what you have on hand! Here’s what I can recommend:
- To make vegan: feel free to use brown rice syrup or coconut palm syrup in place of the honey. Then be sure to use a plant-based protein powder as well as dairy free chocolate on top.
- For the cashew butter: I love the mild taste of cashew butter in these bars, but you can also use peanut butter, almond butter, or even sunflower seed butter for a nut free alternative! Just be sure the nut or seed butter is all natural and is just made with nuts or seeds and salt.
DIY chocolate protein powder
If you don’t have chocolate protein powder on hand, you can mix 1/2 cup of your favorite vanilla protein powder with 2 tablespoons of cacao or cocoa powder. So easy!
Cashew butter chocolate protein bars in 4 easy steps
- Mix the wet ingredients. Start by heating the cashew butter, coconut oil, honey and vanilla in a saucepan over very low heat.
- Stir in the dry. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the protein powder until smooth. Then fold in the oats and chia seeds. Pour this mixture into an 8×4 inch loaf pan lined with parchment paper
- Top with chocolate. Add chocolate and coconut oil to a small saucepan over low heat until melted, then drizzle it over the top of the bars. Tilt the pan so that the chocolate covers the bars completely, then sprinkle with sea salt.
- Refrigerate & enjoy! Place the pan in the fridge for at least an hour, then remove from the pan and cut into 10 bars and enjoy.
See all of our go-to kitchen essentials here!
Store these chocolate cashew butter protein bars in the fridge tightly wrapped or in an airtight bag or container for up to 2 weeks. The perfect easy snack to have on hand!
More no bake snacks to try
- Peanut Butter Cup Protein Bars
- Coconut & Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bars
- Chia Banana Bread Energy Bites
- No Bake Chewy Peanut Butter Granola Bars
- No Bake Superfood Brownies
Get all of my amazing snack recipes here!
I hope you love these cashew butter chocolate protein bars! If you make them be sure to leave a comment and a rating so I know how you liked them. Enjoy, xo!
Sea Salt Cashew Butter Chocolate Protein Bars
Incredible no bake cashew butter chocolate protein bars with a sprinkle of sea salt. These decadent bars pack over 7g of protein and make the best post-workout snack or satisfying treat! Gluten free and vegan-friendly.
- 1/2 cup cashew butter (just cashews + salt)*
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1/4 cup honey (use coconut palm syrup if vegan)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup your favorite chocolate protein powder* (OR ½ cup vanilla protein powder + 2 tablespoons cacao or cocoa powder)
- 2/3 cup rolled oats, gluten free, if desired
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- For the topping:
- 3 tablespoons chocolate chips or 1 ounces 85% dark chocolate, dairy free if desired
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- Fancy sea salt, for sprinkling on top
Heat cashew butter, coconut oil, honey and vanilla in a saucepan over a very low heat.
Remove from heat and stir in protein powder until smooth, then fold in oats and chia seeds. Place in a 8x4 inch loaf pan lined with parchment paper.
Add chocolate and coconut oil in a small saucepan and place over low heat until melted. Drizzle over the tops of the bars and tilt pan to cover completely (or a nice thick drizzle will do). Sprinkle with sea salt.
Place in fridge for 1 hour before removing from pan and cutting into 10 squares. Store bars in fridge tightly wrapped or in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
*Feel free to use your favorite chocolate protein powder. I like to use Aloha's Chocolate protein powder, which is plant-based.
*To keep these bars vegan: Use a vegan protein powder and coconut palm syrup or brown rice syrup instead of honey.
*Feel free to sub peanut butter or almond butter for the cashew butter. If you are looking for a nut-free protein bar, try using sunflower butter & using a protein powder that is nut free.
This post was originally published on January 9th, 2018, and republished on March 15th, 2022.
This is exactly what I need for my breakfast on the run! Thanks for sharing!
Yes! Perfect on-the-go. Enjoy!
Good timing! Last night I made you chai banana bread with cashew glaze so I can make these next! Hope you had a fab honeymoon it looked fun!!
Delicious!! Yes – try these out 🙂 And thanks so much!
YUM YUM! These seem super easy to whip up, the perfect high protein dessert too!
Yes super easy! Love them for a protein-packed treat 🙂
These look scrumptious!
Thank you! They are 🙂
I’ve been looking for some new snacks to make and take to my new job teaching Pilates reformer classes. These will be perfect! They look delicious!
Awesome! I hope you (and your classes) love them!
Do you think I could make these with quinoa flakes instead of oats?
That should work!
Has anyone tried a pea protein powder with these yet? Wondering how they’d turn out!
Yes, a little gritty, but really not too noticeable!
Can I sub a non-liquid sweetener?
I guess the white bits in the bars in the pic is oatmeal?
Does Chocolate Protein alone give it a nice chocolaty flavor?
Can I sub flax seed meal for the chia seeds?
Can these be packed for snacks and keep their shape or there a need for refrigeration?
Thanks for your help and thanks for this recipe. I want to try these soon.
I haven’t tried these with a non-liquid sweetener, so I’m not sure how the texture will hold up (the helps keep it smooth!) The white bits are oatmeal grains. The chocolate protein does give it a nice chocolatey flavor. Flaxseed meal should be fine instead of chia seeds. And yes, they will hold up if packed for snacks, but I’d recommend storing them in the refrigerator!
thanks for your reply. I will give it a try with my healthy sugar substitute and let you know how it turns out. Besides the chocolate protein powder i will probably put some extra organic cocoa in.
Let me know how it goes!
I Loves Tone It Up Chocolate Protein. It’s a great plant-based protein powder.
I’m sure it would be great in here!
This looks like a fantastic recipe and I love having grab and go snack bars for the week. I have question about protein powders, I’m totally new using them so was wondering if you have any more insight. I recently bought collagen protein to add to my smoothies, so it’s not flavored and I assume a little different than other powders. Do you have any experience with that kind/think that would still work in these (with the addition of cocoa powder to keep it chocolatey)? Thanks so much!!
Hi Stephanie! Love using collagen, especially in smoothies 🙂 I think about 1/2 cup of it + 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder should still work in here. Collagen does tend to thicken things up a bit more than regular protein powder (as I’m sure you’ve noticed in your smoothies), so if need be you may want to add a bit more cashew butter or honey. Check out the video to gauge the consistency! Enjoy!
I’ve made these twice now and I love them! I found them a bit sweet the first time, so the second time I used 1/2 Vega vanilla protein powder, and 1/2 hemp protein (unsweetened and unflavoured) and I found them to be even better! The chocolate flavour from the cocoa was even more pronounced. I also added some pumpkin seeds and coconut flakes for extra crunch, delicious!
Perfect! Yes – these are great for customizing to your taste preferences 🙂 The pumpkin seeds and coconut flakes sound delicious in here!
Omgoodness…these were to die for. I had some friends over and I asked them if they needed a drink…they asked for a snack as well…darn it ate up the last of bars I had left. And were shocked at how yummy they were. Guess I’ll have to make more.
YES these are my favorite to share with friends! You’ll have to stock up your fridge with some more 🙂 Glad they all enjoyed!
I was so disappointed after making these. The batter was really dry and didn’t stick together very well. I had to use at least double the chocolate/coconut oil to cover the bars. So bummed cuz yours looked so good!
Hi Eva! Very strange – I would double check your cashew butter and be sure it was a natural, drippy kind! Also make sure to press the dough into the shape of the pan as much as possible before refrigerating.
Hi Monique, I have a question about the cashew butter (also almond butter in the other recipes). If you need to produce it on your own, would you just put cashews and little salt in the blender?
I live in a small village in Europe and I am not sure whether I can get this kind of product so easily.
Yes! You can blend them in a high-powered blender (or preferably a food processor) until it’s smooth – check out a how-to here!
Hey Monique! I made these last night and they were fabulous! I did not actually have any protein powder at all so I just ended up using a little bit of cocoa powder instead and though they weren’t as thick as yours looked, they turned out deliciously! Looking forward to trying more of your recipes (and making these again with protein powder!)
Hi Susan! So glad you enjoyed these (and that the cocoa powder worked out well!) You’ll have to let me know how you like them with the protein powder, too 🙂
I made these today and I love them. Thank you for sharing!!
So glad you enjoyed!!
Just made these bars for my family! My mom and brother both loved them. They are so easy to make and I love that they are made with simple, wholesome ingredients (unlike many store-bought bars). Perfect chocolatey snack or dessert!
Amazing! I’m so glad your mom and brother loved them too 🙂 I stock up on these and keep them in my fridge for treats all the time!
So yummy I can’t stop eating them, in fact i just ate 3 pieces 😱
You bet! Such a great treat 🙂
I am totally going to make these!! They look so good!
Thank you for sharing ❤️🌱
I’ll use my Isagenix vegan protein powder – it’s a mix of brown rice and pea protein and super chocolatey!!!
I love these…😋
Do you have similar recipes with protein powder that I can make?
HI there- how long do these last? If they are in a container for travel… before I make them I just wanted to know- thanks! 🙂
Hi Beth! These will probably last a few days 🙂
Used part tahini & part almond butter because only had that, added flax and hemp seeds and skipped topping bc I got lazy but they are so good anyway. Great pre or post workout.
Perfect! Love these pre + post workout.
I am going to make these right now! So excited. I love Arbonne’s Chocolate Protein. It is a pea, brown rice and cranberry protein
Perfect! Hope you love these 🙂
Delicious ‘on the go’ snack. Instant energy and so easy to make.
Absolutely – one of my favs.
Just made these and they are delicious!!! Thank you for another great recipe.
So happy to hear that!!
I made these and they are addictive! However, the guilt in me would like to skip the sweetener next time (I used brown rice syrup). Is this possible to do as I’m assuming it will change the texture maybe??
Hi Thoa! I don’t think that reducing the sweetener would work well because the bars wouldn’t stick together as well. You could probably try using a tablespoon or two less though.
I didn’t know what to expect but these are delicious! They taste like a Perfect Bar. I used Tera’s Whey chocolate protein powder and Trader Joe’s cashew butter. They’re a great on-the-go breakfast if you cut them into larger bars.
So happy to hear that! And yes LOVE these ones on-the-go.
These are so delicious just made them today and followed the recipe exactly!
I have tried so many of your recipes and they all turn out wonderful. I was looking for a change from my usual go to peanut butter bars. These are perfectly sweet and salty with the fancy sea salt flakes on top. I made a few changes. I used collagen powder and omitted the cacao and used half rolled oats and half unsweetened coconut flakes. Delicious and will make again. Thanks!
Amazing! So happy you found these ones – such a great treat or snack!
Just wondering if I can substitute the chocolate protein powder for cocoa powder? I feel silly asking, but I’d love to make them, but currently can’t have protein powder!
Unfortunately I wouldn’t recommend, as it would likely be too much cocoa powder. These no bake bars are a delicious alternative! https://www.ambitiouskitchen.com/no-bake-superfood-brownie-energy-bars-video/
Is it possible for you to give the recipe in grams?
I’ve tried converting it, but it doesn’t make sense to me with the different kinds of ingredients.
Also, are the chia seeds necessary or can they be left out?
Unfortunately I haven’t measured these out in grams so I would try using an online conversion calculator if possible. Feel free to leave the chia seeds out!
These are delicious! They were super easy to make, Literally dumped all the ingredients in a bowl and then dumped that into the pan. I used chocolate protein powder and added a bit of collagen powder. I wasn’t even careful about the measurements and they still turned out excellent in taste and texture. The inside is so satisfying and the chocolate topping adds an element of decadence. These were my treat each day and they delivered, Five Stars
So easy and delicious! Glad you enjoyed 🙂
It would help more if the print were a bit darker and bigger, this making this impossible this somewhat a lot easier to read.
Sorry that this is hard to read! I’d recommend zooming in on your computer (ctrl+ on a PC, command+ on a Mac) 🙂
Just wondering if I could use date sugar (liquid) and also toast the oats?
I think date syrup and toasted oats should work fine in here! 🙂
These were delicious! I used almond butter and the vanilla protein powder with cocoa.
Nice! So happy that you loved them, Sarah!
Thanks for the great recipe. I am so thrilled to ‘stumble’ on this recipe. Since it is after midnight now…..will be making this recipe later in the morning. 12:26 in the morning is a bit too early to bake, but not to fine a great recipe!1
Can collagen peptides replace the protein powder?
Hi, Jazmine! I haven’t personally tested it but I think it should work! Let me know how it goes 🙂
I’ve made this twice now but with almond butter and unsweetened coconut flakes! I also did ¾ the amount of honey because I found it a tiny bit too sweet the first time I made them.
I doubled it the first I made it and my family gobbled it up even though I froze it all and only took out portions at a time! …so this past time I quadrupled it and told them they can only have it after they’ve worked out or if they’re in need of chocolate/a protein boost!
So easy to whip up and a favourite of mine that I’ll definitely continue to make and maybe add other things like nuts or sour cherries! Thanks Monique!!
Thanks so much for sharing this review, Andrea! I’m so glad you all love these 🙂 Such a good snack to have on hand, right?? And oooh sour cherries would be AMAZING!
These are so delicious – they have a chocolat nougat / three musketeers type of flavor. Thank you!
This looks yummy but what can I sub for the protein powder? Would almond flour work instead? I have tried several protein powders and they just give me a stomach ache . Thanks
Sorry to say I haven’t tried these without the protein powder so I can’t be sure. This recipe is somewhat similar and doesn’t have protein powder!
Glad they turned out amazing!
Do you think you could sub flax meal for oats?
I haven’t tested it so I’m not sure if the texture would be right! Let me know if you try it.