Recipe: Butterless Mocha Protein Brownies

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Here’s a little baking math for you:

Brownie craving + no boxed mix + no butter + no motivation to go to the store = Using a little Google magic to improvise

Which led me to concocting the recipe below… Since I was swapping in oil for butter, I figured the coffee-flavored protein powder would A) deepen the chocolate flavor, and B) add some kind of healthy component.

The general verdict was that the texture was awesome — especially if you’re a fan of super-chewy brownies — but they were a little on the greasy side. So I’ll make ’em again, but go easier on the oil next time!

Butterless Mocha Protein Brownies


  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp. coffee-flavored protein powder (I used JavaPro)
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a 10″ loaf pan with parchment paper.
  2. Mix oil and sugar in a large bowl. Incorporate vanilla and egg.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, protein powder, baking powder and salt.
  4. Add dry ingredients to wet, mixing thoroughly. Pour mixture into prepared pan.
  5. Bake 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few crumbs. Cool completely before cutting.

As mentioned, I noticed that the batter was a bit oily, so I some off the top with a paper towel. Next time I’ll start with 1/4 cup oil and add more only as needed.

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Don’t worry if the batter isn’t too runny; mine had the consistency of cookie dough, so I simply scooped it out of the bowl and patted it into the pan.

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The result? Moist, chewy brownies with a decadent texture. Not too bad for an evening experiment in the kitchen!

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Have you had success with recipes when improvising ingredients? 

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