Healthy Chocolate Fudge DIY Protein Bars

Healthy Chocolate Fudge DIY Protein Bars are the perfect snack, sans the guilty aftertaste.  At only 8 ingredients and $1.06 a bar, these homemade protein bars are a new staple of mine.  Enjoy!

I used to have this bad habit of never planning ahead.  Especially when it came to food.  My hunger would always catch me off guard and at the worst time, so I often made bad food choices.  You know what I’m talking about!  When the hunger strikes, that fatty, sugary chocolate chip muffin at the checkout counter looks better and better by the second.

Your eyes say, “YES YES YES,” while your body says, “NO NO NO!

Impulse (and my greedy little eyes) usually always won me over, and my body just said, “TSK TSK TSK.

And while I felt happy and satisfied for a full twenty minutes, I felt gross and unhealthy for the entire day.  Finally, I became sick of that guilty feeling and started planning ahead.  One of the biggest steps in my transition to healthy eating.  Took me long enough!  About one hundred muffins and my entire high school career later…

Healthy Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge DIY Protein Bars

I started prepping for the day by always making sure I had a snack on hand for when I was hungry.  Since I was in school, bars were the easiest foods to carry around.  They aren’t bulky like a sandwich, bruisable like an apple, and highly perishable like yogurt.  I started buying those horrifically processed protein bars thinking they were healthy.  I saw “high protein” and “sugar free” and grabbed a couple right there.  No, I didn’t check labels and ingredients back then, and I really regret doing so.  Months later, I found out these bars were comprised of unhealthy fats (partially hydrogenated oils/trans fats), artificial sugar alcohols (which cause bloating and gas), and over a dozen ingredients that I had never heard of.

I turned to the all-natural Clif Builders bars.  I was a girl obsessed, especially for the chocolate mint flavor.  Mmmm.  But, they were expensive (my campus food store sold them for $2.99 a piece!) and contained quite a bit of sugar.  I then turned to PureFit Bars, Simply Bars and Organic Food Bar, however they are also pricey and I went through them way too quickly.

I gave up bars for a few months straight and I went through withdrawal really missed them.  I really hated bringing apples around with me.  People were probably wondering why my purse had a strange protrusion…  plus, apples aren’t filling to me.  I have a fast metabolism so an apple is like air.  I began getting that, “Oh no, I have no healthy food!” freakout moments again.  It was time to make some protein bars myself.  I needed something that would keep me full for longer than two seconds (shame on you, apples) and was also healthy, tasty, and packed with nutrients, healthy fats, fiber and protein.

When I finally found a protein powder I liked, I was thrilled.  Although it is slightly more expensive than whey, it is totally worth it.  I mean, it’s chocolate flavored, so of course it’s worth a few extra bucks  😉

I decided to calculate the cost per bar since my budget is becoming more and more important to me (college life will do that to you).  So here’s the Healthy Chocolate Fudge DIY Protein Bars recipe cost breakdown:

Healthy Chocolate Fudge DIY Protein Bars from the DIY Protein Bars Cookbook (low sugar, high protein, high fiber, gluten free, dairy free, vegan) – authored by Jessica Stier of the Desserts with Benefits Blog

^^ Wow!  So much cheaper than all of the bars I’ve bought throughout the years!


So, what about the taste?  What about the texture?

    Taste?  Excellent.  Although they are not as sweet as those super processed ones I used to buy, they are sweet enough to satisfy those cravings at any time of day!

    Texture?  Amazing.  Almost brownie-like, it tasted as if it were baked!  These are fudgy, even straight out of the fridge.  At room temperature, they are much softer and even more fudgy, but for some reason I prefer them on the cold side.  All your preference, though.

Healthy Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge DIY Protein Bars

^^ Does that look like a fudge brownie or what?  Totally worth that arm workout, yes?

These bars were inspired by PowerBars’ Reduced Sugar Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars, so I thought I would do a little showdown regarding the ingredients, nutrition label and price.


1)  Ingredients:

PowerBar®, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Reduced Sugar:
Triscource Protein Blend (Whey Protein Isolate, Calcium Caseinate, Soy Protein Isolate), Maltitol Syrup*, Chocolate Flavored Coating (Fractionated Palm Kernel Oil, Maltitol*, Cocoa, Polydextrose, Sodium Caseinate, Soy Lecithin, Monoglycerides, Vanilla Extract, Sucralose**), Glycerine, Peanuts and Peanut Butter, Partially Defatted Peanut Flour, Peanut Oil, Salt, Soy Lecithin, Calcium Phosphate, Ascorbic Acid, Water, Almond Butter, Magnesium Oxide, Alpha Tocopherol Acetate, Sucralose, Natural Flavor, Biotin, Zinc Gluconate, Ferrous Fumurate, Niacinamide, Copper Gluconate, Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine, Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Thiamin Mononitrate, Folic Acid, Cyanocobalamin.
*Artificially produced sweetener.  Can cause bloating, gas and abdominal pain
**Another artificial sweetener

Desserts with Benefits, Chocolate Fudge:
Almond Milk (Filtered Water, Almonds, Calcium Carbonate, Sea Salt, Locust Bean Gum, Sunflower Lecithin, Gellan Gum, Natural Flavor, D-Alpha-Tocopherol, Zinc Gluconate, Vitamin A Palmitate, Riboflavin, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D2), Chocolate Brown Rice Protein Powder (Whole Brown Rice Protein, Cocoa, Natural Flavor, Stevia, Xanthan Gum, Pectin), Almond Butter, Oats, Mini Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (Evaporated Cane Juice, Chocolate Liquor, Cocoa Butter), Cocoa, Vanilla Crème-Flavored Liquid Stevia Extract (Water, Organic Stevia Leaf Extract, Natural Flavors, Vanilla Extract), Salt.


2)  Nutrition:

The Desserts with Benefits version has: less calories, less saturated fat, less sodium, less carbs, ZERO cholesterol, more fiber and more calcium.


3)  Price:

PowerBar® cost per bar:  $2.99

DWB’s cost per bar:  $1.06



Final Verdict?  Okay, we all know that I’m a little bias in this competition  😉 but I totally win ALL three categories, yes?  The ingredients I use are 100% natural, tasty and healthy, my nutrition label beats the storebought bar in nearly every aspect, and, it’s cheaper!

Win win win.

10 bars

Healthy Chocolate Fudge DIY Protein Bars

Healthy Chocolate Fudge DIY Protein Bars


  • Natural Almond Butter (Peanut Butter is delicious too!)
  • Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
  • Vanilla Crème-Flavored Liquid Stevia Extract
  • Chocolate Brown Rice Protein Powder
  • Oat Flour
  • Unsweetened Natural Cocoa Powder
  • Salt
  • Mini Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips


You can find the full recipe and instructions in the DIY Protein Bars Cookbook!


I originally wasn't going to share the recipe here because I worked so incredibly hard on publishing DIY Protein Bars.  But, I understand not having a recipe here can be frustrating.  So, I'll meet you halfway...  how does that sound?  I'll show you all the ingredients I use in the recipe.  That way, you can determine on your own whether or not the cookbook is for you!

Be sure to follow @DessertsWithBenefits on Instagram!  If you try this recipe, make sure to snap a picture of it, tag me @DessertsWithBenefits, and hashtag #DessertsWithBenefits #DIYProteinBars #DIYProteinBarsCookbook.  I’d love to see it and feature you on #FanFaveFridays!


Here is a video showing how to make these Chocolate Fudge DIY Protein Bars:


DIY Protein Bars Cookbook – Jessica Stier of Desserts with Benefits


Be happy.

Live fully.

Eat protein bars.


With love (and healthy dessert),

– Jess



59 comments on “Healthy Chocolate Fudge DIY Protein Bars

  1. I love the fact you’ve given such a thorough review! I don’t really suppliment protein powder much at the moment but have been thinking I should, particularly as I am going throigh a chnage in my workout regime, so your recipes have been a great source for some of my inspiration! Thanks.

  2. OMG delicious! I have been wanting to start making my own bars at home, I think I will start with this recipe 🙂


  3. This is a really in-depth recipe and review, I love love love it. I wish I could live inside your head for a while just to see how you come up with all these ideas 🙂

  4. SO delicious looking. And so much healthier than conventional protein bars! Could the oat flour be subbed for coconut or almond flour?

    • I’m sure you can use another flour, these bars are very adaptable. Because coconut flour absorbs a lot of moisture, I would suggest adding it last and adding 1 tablespoon at a time. I haven’t worked much with almond flour, but I would recommend adding it just like you would with the coconut flour. Good luck! 🙂

  5. Hi Jessica! So sorry to hear about your food allergies. I actually love your site because I also have food allergies! You mentioned a while ago posting more about the allergies, has that post come out yet?

    • Sarah-
      I’m sorry but no I haven’t posted about it yet. I will soon though, it just ended up being a longer post than I had expected and I feel like it’s going to get even longer as I finish writing it D:
      In the meantime though, you can check out my pantry staples page (the tab’s at the top) where I list some of my allergies and show my new pantry and old pantry. If you have any suggestions or favorite products you love, please let me know!

    • One suggestion would be almond flour. I love and for almond flour recipes. High in protein and it tastes almost buttery because it’s high in fat. Works great for scones, muffins, etc. instead of wheat flour. I’ll be looking forward to your allergy post. 🙂

  6. These look amazing! I’ve been leaning towards trying out a gluten free diet and these look like a great way to kick start my mornings! Also, have you ever checked out Swanson’s Vitamins online? They have *amazing* prices on GF oats, chia seeds, flax seeds, protein powders, etc. ( I am in no way affiliated with them and am not getting paid for name dropping!!! I just ran across their site on another blog a few weeks ago, and they’ve saved me a lot of money already! PPS. I ran across your site on FoodGawker 🙂

    • I haven’t checked out swanson’s but I will now! Thanks for the tip 🙂

    • And check out too. They have Jarrow Brown rice flour for Under $9.00 a pound! I use it because it’s vegan. While I am not, yet, I have a lot of friends who are. Not sure if it contains any of your allergens, but all the ingredients are listed in the description.

      Cheryl 🙂

      PS I know you like hearing about new and innovative food products… Have you heard of PB2 yet? Dehydrated, powdered peanut butter with less than half the fat (I believe) of regular peanut butter. Not sure if nuts is one of your allergies, but if not, it’s REALLY good!

    • Cheryl-
      Wow, $9/lb sounds awesome! I’ll definitely check that out.
      I’ve heard of PB2 (and thank goodness I’m not allergic to peanuts… only cashews and walnuts), it sounds awesome but for some reason I’ve never bought it. I guess I’m scared it will taste bad. I bought Better n Peanut Butter and didn’t like it at all 🙁
      I’ll have to check that out too! Thanks Cheryl 🙂

  7. Wow, I really love your recipes. Chocolate and peanut butter are a perfect pair. How do you come up with these? :]

    ❤ It’s Carmen

  8. These look great and they are exactly what I’ve been looking for. No joke. Just yesterday I was googling and trying to find a gluten-free, sugar-free/low sugar, vegan protein bar. Two questions though, do you make these with 1 cup of oat flour or 1 cup of rolled oats and then grind the 1 cup of oats into flour and just use whatever amounts come from the rolled oats? Also, I can’t eat truvia. Do you have any suggestions for a substitution? Maybe even a small amount of regular sugar or maybe I can just omit the sweetener all together? Thanks again for the recipe. I look forward to getting your feedback and making these protein bars.

  9. Thanks for the delicious recipe! I can’t wait to make these, I’ve been wanting too make my own protein bars for a while now because store bought ones are too pricey and don’t have enough protein. Do you think subbing water for the almond milk will affect the flavor too much?

    • Hmm, I haven’t tried it but I’m sure it will work. Out of the 1 cup + 2 tbs of liquid used in the recipe, I would reserve the 2 extra tablespoons of water on the side only if you need it. Just note that the almond milk provides a bit of creamy flavor, kind of like milk does in coffee. Feel free to add a little bit of vanilla to “fill the almond milk void” lol. Hope you like the bars!

  10. Would love to try this, but am wondering if you have a recommendation for a less expensive protein powder??

  11. Yum, delish! I had no almond milk ready, so I used unsweetened coco milk instead, replaced half the rolled oats (grinded in a coffee grinder) with homemade almond flour and lined my dish with coco flakes instead of parchment paper. I added dried cranberries for a little fun and spunk…Yummy! Love your blog! Thank you!

  12. My bad habit of eating never stop Especially when it came to delicious food. Some of the food can increase your weight,increase sugar level and fat. So you should have to take the perfect protein bars with high carb,pure protein and “free sugar” to boost up energy and get healthy body. Now many delicious flavors are available for protein bar but chocolate brownie is my best flavor. Right protein bar can give lean and strong muscles.
    protein bars low carb

  13. I think you are my new best friend.. These are amazing.
    I swapped the peanut butter for PB2 and added 2 tbsp of Kraft Natural crunchy peanut butter in with some goji berries.
    Heated them in the microwave and topped with PB2.
    Perfect! I’m a huge brownie fan and that’s exactly what it tasted like.

  14. Hey I was wondering how long these would stay good for if you keep them in the fridge? I’m a college student without access to bowls and pans so I was thinking I could make that at home over Thanksgiving break and then eat them over the next three weeks at school. Do think they would be okay for that long? Thanks!
    Great recipe by the way, love Sunwarrior <3

    • Hi Nickie! These protein bars keep well if kept in the fridge, however I haven’t gotten to the point of keeping them for as long as three weeks. The longest I’ve had mine in the fridge was for 10 days. I’m sure they will be fine, just make sure to wrap them well and keep them cold 🙂

  15. any idea how many calories each bar has?

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  17. Hi Jessica, this recipe looks great! I only have vanilla or berry soya protein. I was wondering, when your friend substituted soya protein, did they go by volume or weight?

    Can’t wait to try this recipe!

    • dessertswithbenefits

      Rachel- I believe my friend substituted it by weight. And one packet of sweetener has the sweetness of 2 tsp of sugar 🙂
      Hope you like the recipe!

  18. I forgot to ask, how ,much is in one packet of sweetener? I only have loose (unpacketed) stevia

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  21. I’ve found cheaper brown rice protein powder while giving you more for the buck. It’s “Nutribiotic Rice Protein, Chocolate, 3 Pound” on Amazon. Only has a few ingredients and it may be heather than that sun protein stuff. Only thing I’ve noticed that is different than what is described is that the bars taste bittersweet instead of sweet. But isn’t bad at all. Eating two bars after hard exercise on the weight machines felt great.

  22. Thanks , I’ve recently been looking for info about this topic for a long
    time and yours is the best I have came upon so far.
    However, what in regards to the bottom line? Are you positive in regards to the supply?

  23. Hey Jessica!
    Love these bars! I made them with whey protein and I have to store them in the freezer to keep them solid, and I was wondering how long you think they’ll keep in the freezer? I made some about a month ago and they’re still good, do you think they’ll keep for much longer?

    • Sheila-
      Whey protein doesn’t solidify like brown rice protein for some reason. When I tried using whey instead it turned all gooey and sticky! I’m glad freezing them helped, but I’m not sure exactly how long they’ll last. I bet they’ll last quite some time, but just to be safe, I would say up to 3 months as long as they’re wrapping tightly 🙂
      Hope this helps! And I’m glad you tried out the recipe!

  24. Wow. These are a-maze-ing! I just made them and added coconut and a thin layer of melted chocolate (to hold the coconut on, of course), and these are husband AND kid approved. We used a casein and whey combo instead and they turned out slightly sticky, which is how we like our brownies anyway. So delicious, thank you for the recipe!

    • Rachael-
      YAY I’m so glad you made the recipe!! Mmmm, your coconut addition sounds awesome 🙂
      Yeah, for some reason whey/casein/egg protein powders turn really sticky and gooey while brown rice protein firms up more and creates a fudgy texture. I’m working on a whey protein bar recipe but haven’t had much luck 🙁
      Anyways, thanks for trying out the recipe!

  25. if I wanted to ship these in the mail, do you think that they would be ok?

    • Angel-
      These protein bars are best served straight from the fridge, so if you want to mail them, I would recommend freezing them until solid, wrapping them with ice packs in an insulated box, and shipping with expedited shipping.
      Since they don’t contain any milk, they’ll last a bit longer out of the fridge, but they shouldn’t be left out for a week or something 🙂

  26. Hey! I would like to make the bars, but I only have whey at home. Why doesn’t it work with whey?? What if I used less milk? What proteins do work? Casein? Egg? Isolate?
    Would love to hear from you! 🙂

    • Julia-
      Unfortunately, whey, casein and egg white protein powders can’t replace the brown rice protein powder. They all turn the dough SUPER sticky and gooey, and it doesn’t solidify properly. I tried using less milk and it just didn’t work 🙁
      Brown rice protein thickens up the dough and creates a really fudgy texture 🙂

  27. Can you substitute a different type of protein powder?

  28. I have a question, it sounds like these things become a hot mess in room temperature? has anyone come across a simple protein bar that keeps it’s awesomeness in a warm climate? Say sitting in your lunch bag in a hot car? I want to make these for my lunches but I’m scared they are going to be a hassle to care for and get the rest of my lunch all sticky…. I need a protein bar that can hold form without the fridge

    • Venessa-
      I’m afraid these protein bars (as well as storebought protein bars) aren’t the best after being in a hot car. These DIY Protein Bars become soft at room temperature, so they’re best straight out of the fridge. You can freeze them and they’ll defrost in about 2-3 hours 🙂

  29. Wow. I just made these yesterday. They turned out perfectly! Thank you so much for such a great recipe. Delicious, amazing fudgy texture! These will definitely be my new go to recipe . I am looking forward to trying the other ones now 🙂
    P.S. I used a different protein powder, vegan , plant based called orgain, it worked absolutely fine! (but that is very similar to brown rice powder, same types of ingredients)

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