It seems like everywhere you look, there’s a new high protein food on the shelves. High protein snacks are very “in” right now. In my opinion, there’s a couple of things that determine whether or not a high protein snack is the real deal. First, a serving should contain a substantial amount of protein. If something is labeled as a protein snack but only has eight grams of protein, is it really a protein snack? Second, it has to taste good. What’s the fun in eating something if it’s not enjoyable?

I’ve tried a number of protein-filled snacks, like protein bars, chips, cookies, ice cream and more. One protein snack I had not tried was a protein cake. I’ve attempted to make my own protein mug cakes, but they never turn out quite right. Recently, I discovered Lil Buff Protein, and I knew I had to try their products.

Lil Buff Protein is a company that specializes in high protein cake mixes, frosting, and baking accessories. Lil Buff Protein was founded with the mission to create cakes that are healthy, convenient and delicious. All of their cake mixes are gluten-free, soy-free, high in protein, and full of fiber; they even offer a line of vegan cake mixes. All Lil Buff Protein cakes can be made in one of two ways: in a microwave or in an oven. Both methods work with a simple addition of unsweetened applesauce, egg whites, and cashew milk.

Lil Buff Protein was kind enough to send me three of their whey cake mixes to try: "Cocoa Crave," "Fit-Fetti Vanilla," and "Pump-It-Up Spice."

Emily Noel

On their website, Lil Buff Protein shares recipes of different ways to utilize their mixes, like donut, cookie, and cupcake recipes. For the sake of tasting each mix as it is, I decided to prepare each cake according to the instructions on the back of the package. I paired two of the cake mixes with frosting recipes found on their website. Each baked cake has 290 calories and 30 grams of protein, not including the sprinkle packet that comes with each bag and the frosting I added. I decided to experiment with both baking methods to see if I have a preference. Let's get started!

Cocoa Crave

As you can tell by the name, this cake mix is chocolate-flavored. I decided to bake this flavor and pair it with the Lil Buff Signature Frosting, which is made up of cream cheese, Greek yogurt, stevia, instant pudding, and milk. The instructions suggest baking the cake in a pan that's 5 inches by 8 inches. The only pan I could find was 4.5 inches by 8.5 inches, which was close enough. I prepared the cake mix according to the instructions, added in the extra sprinkles packet, and stuck it in the oven at 350 F for 20 minutes. Once it cooled, I added the Signature Frosting and topped it with more sprinkles. Then, I put the cake in the refrigerator because I prefer eating cake chilled. So, how did it taste?

Emily Noel

Pretty good! The "Cocoa Crave" cake is super moist with a subtle chocolate taste. It doesn’t boast a rich chocolate flavor that other cakes have, but it doesn’t taste like protein either. Next time, I plan on adding chocolate chips to the batter to pump up the chocolate flavor. I’m not a big fan of the icing, though—it tasted too much like yogurt. I would prefer to eat this cake without icing. Still, as a lover of chocolate, I approve of this cake mix.

Fit-Fetti Vanilla

This flavor is Lil Buff Protein’s take on confetti cake. I decided to make this flavor in the microwave and top it with Lil Buff Protein’s Strawberry Fluff Frosting, which is a mixture of Cool Whip, strawberry Jell-O mix, stevia, and Greek yogurt. I only had raspberry Jell-O mix, so I used that as a substitute that for the recommended Jell-O mix, making it a raspberry fluff frosting. The microwave directions are similar to that of the oven: add applesauce, egg whites, milk, and sprinkles; then, mix and microwave. The package suggests using a microwave safe container that's 5 inches by 8 inches. Unsure of what was microwave safe in my house, I opted for a Tupperware container that was slightly smaller than suggested. I put it in the microwave for 2 minutes and 30 seconds.

Emily Noel

As you can see, this did not look pretty. I think two elements contributed to this. First, I used a smaller container than suggested, so the cake expanded way more than the container could handle. Second, I didn’t watch it as it baked. I came back after two and a half minutes to a mess in my microwave. If you’re making this in the microwave, be wary of the size of your container and keep an eye on it while it's cooking, so it doesn’t explode. Even though it doesn’t look pretty, the show must go on. I still iced the cake and topped it with the extra sprinkles. This is a classic case of "don’t judge a book by its cover." This tasted SO good.

Emily Noel

The "Fit-Fetti Vanilla" cake is moist and subtly sweet. It doesn’t taste the same as a classic vanilla cake, but it’s pretty close. I like this flavor because of how it paired with the frosting. This frosting was a lot yummier than their Signature Frosting. The addition of flavored Jell-O mix makes it bright and fruity. I would love to try this frosting with the chocolate cake mix. If you like birthday cake, you will like this cake mix.

Pump-It-Up Spice

The final flavor I tried is Lil Buff Protein’s version of pumpkin spice cake. As a lover of pumpkin all year round, I was excited to try this. I learned my lesson about making cake in the microwave, so I opted to bake this cake mix. Pumpkin Spice is a great flavor for desserts, like bread and muffins, so I didn't think this mix needed an icing. I baked the pumpkin cake mix just like the "Cocoa Crave" mix, except I used pumpkin puree instead of applesauce. 

Emily Noel

The flavor of this cake is strong. I could taste all the wonderful spices of fall as soon as I took my first bite. I didn't get much pumpkin flavor, though, even with the use of pumpkin puree. It tasted more like a spice cake, which I don't mind at all. Although I chose not to top this cake with an icing, Lil Buff Protein has a recipe for Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting that I bet would pair well with this mix. Even though I enjoyed this cake, it has one downfall—I can taste the protein flavor more than the others. It might be more prominent because I didn't put any icing on this one, but the flavor of protein lingers after each bite. Other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed Pump-It-Up Spice.

Final Thoughts

I'm pleasantly surprised with how these cakes came out. They are by no means as good as a classic chocolate, confetti, or pumpkin spice cake, but they're pretty close. Each cake stayed true to their flavor and was an enjoyable sweet treat. As you may be able to guess, I recommend baking each mix, even though they came out tasting the same. If you choose to microwave a mix, keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn't overflow. As far as the icing goes, it's hit or miss. The addition of a flavored Jell-O mix really elevates the icing, but if you are not a fan of yogurt, I'd steer clear of the homemade icings.

So, would I recommend buying Lil Buff Protein? Yes and no. If you struggle to eat enough protein throughout the day or are looking for a lower calorie dessert option, Lil Buff Protein's cake mixes might be the answer to your problems. However, if you're happy with your current food choices, I see no reason to change them. Personally, I enjoyed the cake mixes and would like to try their other flavors and recipes to see what other confections I can make. I am a fan of Lil Buff Protein and will be purchasing from them again.