Healthy Beefcake DIY Protein Bars (refined sugar free, gluten free, vegan)

Healthy Beefcake DIY Protein Bars — like Snickerz in protein bar form!

I know how much we all love candy.  Trust me, I KNOW.  I used to sit at home after trick-or-treating and stuff my face full of Hersheys, Snickers, Milky Ways, Dots, sugar, sugar, sugar, more sugar, sugar on top of sugar, and so on.  Those candies are so addicting because they’re full of fat, sugar, salt, additives, and artificial ingredients that are scientifically proven to make you want to eat more.

While I’ve made Healthy Homemade Snickerz here on the blog, the nougat takes a bit of time and patience to make, and sometimes, we just ain’t got no time for that.  So I made these Healthy Beefcake DIY Protein Bars!  They’re basically Snickerz candy bars — they’re full of peanut butter and caramel, they’re coated in chocolate, they’re sweet and satisfying — but without the sugar, corn syrup, hydrogenated oil, and artificial flavorings. Instead, they’re filled with natural, wholesome ingredients, and a punch of protein.

When you combine Snickerz Candy Bars + PROTEIN, you get these amazingly delicious Healthy Beefcake DIY Protein Bars. With a soft, chewy, peanut butter fudge base, a layer of peanut-studded caramel, and a rich, decadent, chocolatey shell, you are at a 99.99% chance of having a foodgasm.

These are some treats you can sink your teeth into.  Guilt free.  These are pure bliss.

Chewy, crunchy, sweet, salty…  and secretly good for you.  Every single person who has tried these DIY Protein Bars could NOT believe they were healthy.  There is nothing healthy tasting about ’em.

Healthy Beefcake DIY Protein Bars (like Snickerz but in protein bar form!) from the DIY Protein Bars Cookbook – authored by Jessica Stier of the Desserts with Benefits Blog

You can’t go wrong with Healthy DIY Protein Bars!

These are some simply mouthwatering candy protein bars.  As you can see.

Healthy Beefcake DIY Protein Bars (like Snickerz but in protein bar form!) from the DIY Protein Bars Cookbook – authored by Jessica Stier of the Desserts with Benefits Blog

Healthy Snickerz DIY Protein Bars
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Healthy Beefcake DIY Protein Bars

Servings: 12 bars
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
When you combine Snickers with PROTEIN, you get these amazingly delicious Beefcake DIY Protein Bars! With a soft, chewy, peanut butter fudge base, a layer of peanut-studded caramel, and a rich, decadent, chocolatey shell, you are at a 99.99% chance of having a foodgasm.


Protein Bars:

Caramel Layer:

Chocolate Coating:


For the Protein Bars:

  • Line an 8x8” brownie pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • In an electric stand mixer bowl tted with a beater attachment, add all of the ingredients. Mix on low speed until everything is fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Mix on medium speed for one last mix. Mixture should be thick and fudgy, like cookie dough.
  • Scoop the mixture into the brownie pan and flatten it out.

For the Caramel Layer:

  • In a small bowl, stir together the caramel sauce and protein powder. Mixture should be thick and slightly sticky. Spoon the mixture over the protein bar base and spread to the edges of the pan. Sprinkle the chopped peanuts on top and press them into the surface. Place in the freezer uncovered for 1 hour.
  • Lift the mixture out of the pan. Slice into 12 bars.

For the Chocolate Coating:

  • Stir the coconut oil into the melted chocolate.
  • Place a silicone baking mat on top of a jelly roll pan and line the protein bars on top. With a large spoon, ladle the melted chocolate over the protein bars. Try to encase the entire bar with chocolate.
  • Refrigerate until rm (~1 hour). Individually wrap the protein bars in plastic sandwich baggies. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or stash them in the freezer.

Recipe Notes

Do not use whey/egg/casein protein!  The mixture will be gooey and won’t solidify.
I originally wasn't going to share the recipe here because I worked so incredibly hard on publishing The DIY Protein Bars Cookbook.  But I wanted to provide it here because that way, you can determine whether or not the rest of the cookbook is for you!
Nutrition Facts
Healthy Beefcake DIY Protein Bars
Amount Per Serving (1 protein bar)
Calories 280 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Fat 12g18%
Saturated Fat 4.5g28%
Cholesterol 3mg1%
Sodium 130mg6%
Carbohydrates 25g8%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 14g16%
Protein 18g36%
Calcium 80mg8%
Iron 2.7mg15%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Dessert, Snacks
Cuisine: Protein Bars
Keyword: Chocolate, Gluten Free, High Protein, Peanut Butter, Protein Bars

@cynthjewel made a batch!  How good do these look??

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


It’s been almost 2 months since I published the 3rd edition of my DIY Protein Bars Cookbook, and I am SO so happy, proud, and blessed over its success!  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — I could NOT have published this cookbook with you guys.  I wouldn’t have written it in the first place, but since so many of y’all asked me to write one, I did.  Thank you to all of your for your love, support, positivity, and constant encouragement!

If you like this recipe, then you’ll LOVE my DIY Protein Bars Cookbook!  With 48 protein bar recipes, you’ll never buy protein bars from the store again.  To learn more about the book and see some sneak peeks, see this page!

The DIY Protein Bars Cookbook is a collection of 48 easy, healthy no-bake protein bar recipes! Homemade protein bars are healthier than storebought, and they're also cheaper. You'll fall in love with each and every protein bar recipe!


DIY Protein Bars Cookbook on - The DIY Protein Bars Cookbook is a collection of 48 easy, healthy no-bake protein bar recipes!




Be happy.

Live fully.

Eat protein bars.


– Jess


62 comments on “Healthy Beefcake DIY Protein Bars — like Snickerz in protein bar form!”

  1. Oh, wow! These look absolutely amazing- I will totally make them for my boyfriend who loves snickers (and taste them myself of course) 😀

    Thank you so much for sharing so many wonderful recipes 🙂
    Wishing you a great day – hugs from a Norwegian reader.

  2. Can you use vanilla whey protein instead?

    • dessertswithbenefits

      Natalie- I do not recommend whey protein powder because it has a tendency to get really gooey and sticky rather than turn into a cookie dough-like texture from the brown rice protein powder… sorry!

  3. These look absolutely amazing oh my!! I’m so in love with your homemade candy bar series… seriously, you’re a genius ;–)

  4. mmm looks good! actually all your homemade candy bars look super yummy :p

  5. Lovely work, Jessica!

  6. Sneaky! Yours look prettier than the ones you buy at the store and I am sure they taste a million times better too!

  7. My husband would go crazy for these! What could I use instead of stevia extract? I prefer to use honey or maple syrup in my baking. Any ideas what I could use instead of stevia?

    • Jessica | Desserts With Benefits

      I haven’t made these without stevia before but I’m sure you can! I would suggest using 3/4 cup of pure maple syrup in the protein bar base and adding extra protein powder and/or oat flour to compensate for the extra liquid 🙂

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  9. Jessica your recipes are divine! I’m (unsuccessfully) trying to wean off of processed sugar and commercial sweets and pursue a clean eating diet, but sometimes I just cannot resist! Thank you for creating so many great recipes to help the process of being more health concious! 🙂 can’t wait to try this!

  10. Now I am going to make this for my breakfast!

  11. I am bookmarking your blog!

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  13. Have you considered using PB2 in your recipes? I have been thinking about converting some recipes but I don’t know what to add for the moisture since it is dehydrated….? Any ideas?

    • I don’t use PB2 because it contains added sugar. I use peanut flour, which is basically the same thing but without the salt/sugar. It tastes really good and you can use it in savory applications too (it makes a great PB sauce)! As for using powdered peanut butter in these protein bars, that is a GREAT idea!! I definitely have to try that soon. I made peanut butter frosting with peanut flour though, so I’ll base this assumption on that recipe. I would try replacing the 1/2 cup of peanut butter with 3/4 cup Peanut Flour + ~6 tbs Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk. Mix this together before making the recipe to make sure it has the same consistency of PB. If it’s too dry, add more milk. If it’s too wet, add more flour. Good luck, hope this works out for you!! 🙂

  14. Georgous home-made bars! they look very appetizing & fantastic even!! Yummm! 🙂

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  16. THESE LOOK AMAZING! Thank you so much for this great recipe!! I’ll be making these asap!

  17. WOW this is FANTASTIC!

    I can’t wait to try this. Thank you so much for taking the time and effort to do this.

    What is the shelf life if you don’t refrigerate?

    Thank you again,


    • I wouldn’t recommend not refrigerating these because the texture gets a little too soft (still good, just really soft). The chocolate helps keep the bar sturdy and in place, but it’s just best when it’s chilled.
      But, if you’re camping or something where a fridge isn’t available, then I would say about 2-3 days.
      I hope you like the recipe!

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  19. I didn’t read the comments and tried the recipe with whey (vanilla and cookies&cream). It was too much milk, but it tastes mighty fine 🙂

  20. Looks soooo delicious!

  21. I recently made these and I’m in heaven! I’m battling between my desire to keep them all for myself, and my boyfriend, friends, family, and professors, who all want me to share. As soon as I made these I knew I had to have your book. I can’t wait to make them all. You’re brilliant.5 stars

  22. Jennifer Conner

    Could you use Stevia across the board as the sweetener and could you use Vega One plant based protein in place of the brown rice type? thanks!! – Jennifer

    • The only sweetener in the protein bar is stevia. Without the caramel sauce, it won’t be Snickers 😉
      And I’m afraid Vega One won’t replace the brown rice protein, it absorbs too much liquid. Only brown rice protein powder works here.
      I hope you like the recipe!

  23. im allergic to peanuts so i was wondering if i can subsitute the peanut butter for soy nut butter

    • Yup! Any other nut or seed butter can replace the peanut butter. Sunflower seed butter and tahini have a slight peanut buttery taste, so I think those would work great. I tried soy butter once and wasn’t really a fan, but that’s just me! I hope you like the recipe 😀

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  25. orsomethingsweet

    Girl you are an ARTIST. #dontstop 😀

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  27. Hello there! I cannot have grains/wheat/whey and would like to know if any of your protein bars use a plant based protein or animal based protein before I purchase the book. Many thanks!!!

    • Hi Leslie! 47 out of the 48 recipes in the cookbook use brown rice protein powder, and 1 uses whey protein powder. Every single recipe is gluten-free, but I use oat flour in the majority of the recipes.
      If you avoid oats, I wouldn’t recommend this cookbook for you, I’m sorry! 🙁

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  29. I would try the Cherry Pie recipe first from the book. Sounds amazing.

  30. Stacey Roberson

    Oh wow! They all sound delish, but I would have to try the Chocolate Covered Strawberry first.

  31. Ummm, I’d totally make the Cherry Pie kind first!! OMG SO GOOD. Thank you for the giveaway Jess! <3

  32. yum chubby hubby sounds good!

  33. Thank you for all the giveaways lately!! You are the best!

  34. Oh definitely Snickers! They’re my favorite!

  35. I will have to try and make these

  36. I love Snickers bars and my husband loves peanuts, so the Beefcake recipe would be first up to try.

  37. i would actually make these. they look mouthwatering good.

  38. Lindsay Zaraska

    The recipe looks great!

  39. This looks sooo amazing! Love all your recipes!

  40. The Caramel Macchiato looks great!

  41. I would love to win a copy of your DIY protein bars book, It is on my wishlist at amazon just have never bought it. I also want to try Sun Warrior brown rice protein powder. I tried the Sun Warrior blend but I don’t like it. Also this protein ‘snicker’ bar recipe sounds great!

  42. I’d totally make the S’mores! YUM!

  43. These look great! Can’t wait to make them! Also want to try the recipes in your cookbook. Like the cherry pie one. Thanks for entering me in the giveaway.

  44. Looks delicious! I haven’t had cherry pie in so long (because of the nasty chemical canned cherries) and I’d love to try it!

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