We have great news: You can have your cake and eat it too. While cake batter may not seem like the healthiest way to fuel your body (let’s be honest, lean protein and fresh produce are always better for you), a world in which you can eat cake for breakfast is within reach. And no, it isn’t in your wildest dreams.
From overnight oats to protein shakes to pancakes and beyond, these healthyish cake batter recipes will make your childhood dreams come true—sans the sugar crash. And since they’re on the healthier side, we say add extra sprinkles.
1. Cake Batter Smoothie
This recipe should perhaps be called a healthified milkshake, but we’re happy to go with smoothie and eat it for breakfast (#treatyoself). Made with milk, vanilla yogurt (use Greek for extra protein), yellow cake mix, and ice, it tastes just as drool worthy as the pictures. To make it a touch lighter, use almond milk and vanilla protein powder in place of the milk and cake mix.
2. Cake Batter Energy Bars
This recipe is as malleable as it is flavorful. We love sprinkles (have we mentioned that yet?), but the energy bars are equally good with dried fruit, chopped nuts, or coconut. Rice Krispies give the bars the perfect crunch, and cashew butter binds it together for that creamy cake consistency that keeps us coming back for more.
3. Birthday Cake Batter Overnight Oats
Go shorty, it’s your birthday. Celebrating or not, these overnight oats are a great way to start the day. Filled with some of our breakfast favorites—oats, chia seeds, Greek yogurt, almond milk—this meal is as healthy as cake-inspired dishes get. Use vanilla Greek yogurt and a little extra extract for dessert-like sweetness.
4. Healthy No-Bake Cake Batter Bites
These bites are basically funfetti cookie dough—and we’re super happy about it. But unlike cookies, which are often loaded with butter and sugar, they’re actually pretty nutritious. Paleo, vegan, and gluten-free, the bites get their cake-like flavor from vanilla protein powder, coconut flour, and nut butter. Omit the sprinkles if desired, but we love the pop of color (and fun).
5. Cake Batter Protein Shake
Got a sweet tooth but don’t want to reach for the sweets? Try this protein shake. Sweetened with vanilla pudding mix (we like using sugar-free), vanilla protein powder, and vanilla extract, and buttered up with none other than butter extract, this recipe isn’t totally guilt-free, but it is worth the (mini) splurge.
6. Healthy Cake Batter Dip
We didn’t think it was possible for healthy, cake batter, and dip to belong in one recipe title, but it does. Made with banana, vanilla protein powder, oat and cake powder, and nut butter (the recipe recommends almond, but we like cashew), this dip is the perfect snack for when you need a li’l (natural) sugar and don’t want to share.
7. Funfetti Cake Batter Breakfast Bake
Frosting for breakfast—why not? The base of this incredible breakfast is made with oats, almond flour, vanilla extract, and a touch of sugar (we like subbing in maple syrup), and it’s topped with a legit healthy “frosting” that’s made with yogurt and protein powder. T Swift likes to shake it off; we like to bake it off.
8. Healthy Funfetti Cake Batter Pancakes
Who knew healthy ingredients could create such a decadent breakfast? These pancakes use almond milk, egg whites, banana, vanilla and butter extract, oats, and whole-wheat flour to create fluffy, nutritious pancakes that put the boxed mix to shame. Top with nut butter for extra protein, and as with every recipe on this list, sprinkle to your fancy.
9. Cake Batter Protein Frozen Yogurt
It doesn’t take a pro to whip up this delectable pro-yo. The recipe calls for some obscure ingredients—such as cake batter-flavored MuscleEgg and PEScience gourmet vanilla protein powder—but it’s super simple to, well, simplify. Instead of MuscleEgg, try yellow cake mix, sugar-free vanilla pudding powder, or the healthiest option, vanilla and butter extract. Use whatever vanilla protein powder you have on hand, and boom: frozen pro-yo awaits.
10. Cake Batter Hummus
OK, we know cake batter hummus sounds wild, but stick with us. With just a little sweet and a touch of flour, hummus transforms into an incredibly creamy dip that hardly tastes like chickpeas (but still has the nutritional value). Fresh fruit and pretzels work great as dippers, and if you’re feeling extra sweet, add dark chocolate chips to the batter.
11. Cake Batter Granola Bars
With only six ingredients, this recipe may just be the easiest way to achieve cake batter dreams. Mix together rolled oats, oil (coconut works best), cake batter mix (or vanilla protein powder), honey, and sprinkles; bake; and enjoy. To keep it natural(ish), use maple syrup in place of Karo.