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Cake Batter Balls: raw, vegan, high-protein, gluten/grain/soy/nut/seed/sugar free

May 3, 2012

News & Notes


I have had a rough week, folks. The medication I’ve been taking to kill my H. pylori stomach infection has sent my immune system spiraling out of control—I’m exhausted no matter how much I sleep, I’ve been in tears by the end of every day, and I’ve bloated up like a balloon…I must have gained 10 MORE lbs in the last two weeks (I have a belly the size of a 6-months-pregnant woman right now; hopefully much of it is water weight…). It got so bad that we had to discontinue the medication, and now we just have to hope that I was on it long enough to kill the “bad guys.” I’ll know for sure when I re-test next week.

Anyway, enough of that. (I don’t particularly like sharing that stuff, but a lot of people have asked how I’m doing, so I felt like an update was in order.) During my otherwise-craptastic week, these little cake balls were a bright spot. Nutrition-wise, they’re almost too good to be true…but they’re 100% real. Enjoy!

Cake Batter Balls

raw, vegan, high-protein, sugar-free, gluten-free, grain-free, soy-free, nut-free, seed-free

1/2 cup vegan vanilla protein powder (I recommend Sunwarrior or PlantFusion)
2 tablespoons coconut flour
1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
6 to 8 tablespoons water
Liquid stevia to taste

In a small bowl, combine the protein powder, coconut flour and oil, and 6 tablespoons water and stir very well to combine (the mixture will be extremely thick). If it becomes too dry to mix properly, add more water, a tablespoon at a time (you may add up to 2 more tablespoons). Taste for sweetness and add some stevia, if desired.

Roll the mixture into four small balls and refrigerate until firm.

Yield: 4 cake batter balls
Per ball: 78 calories, 2.4g fat (1g sat), 4.8g carbs, 2g fiber, 10.7g protein

They may not be the prettiest little snacks in the world, but they sure are tasty.

I tested this recipe with both Sunwarrior (Warrior Blend Vanilla) and PlantFusion (Vanilla Bean). The only difference was that the ones containing PlantFusion required a tad more water.

Flavor-wise, the Sunwarrior ball (see above) was my favorite, but texture-wise, the PlantFusion ball (see below) was the best. In the end, it’s a toss-up! I’m sure these would be great with any good-tasting vanilla protein powder you have on hand.

And they really do taste like cake batter! These are best the day they’re made, so I love that the batch yield is nice and small.

The stellar nutritional profile (just LOOK at all that plant-based protein!) even lets me pop two at a time with zero guilt.

Enjoy. 🙂


3 years ago this week…
Waterlemon agua fresca
2 years ago this week…
Crunchy salted cashew cookies
1 year ago this week…
Matt’s b-day dinner at Eden Alley
April leftovers, part two
Welcome to Living Light!

86 Comments leave one →
  1. May 3, 2012 1:56 pm

    FEEL better Amber! SO sorry you are having to feel that way.

  2. tamikkob permalink
    May 3, 2012 2:06 pm

    I am so in love with this recipe. It’s perfect because it has just 5 ingredients and all you have to do is mix and eat. I may have to eat some before they go in the fridge but I think some might make it there. This should give the protein boost and nutrition that I need to make it through those times when I feel like I’m starving and don’t want to spend a whole lot of time making something. I sympathize with your situation because I don’t have my health under control and you can see it when you look at me. I feel like crap all the time. I hope you find the right med’s and the right balance asap. Thank you so much for the recipe.

    • May 3, 2012 2:08 pm

      I ate quite a few bites of the batter before rolling it into balls, myself 😉 That’s one reason I made a double batch! Hehe.

      Thanks for the kind words of support, too. 🙂

  3. May 3, 2012 2:09 pm

    My new favourite word “craptastic”…I am also having one of those weeks. I hope you feel better, keep up the good work.

  4. May 3, 2012 2:11 pm

    Aw man…I’m so glad you had enough energy to make these little treats! They look delish. I’m putting vanilla protein powder on my shopping list this week & will definitely be giving them a try. Thanks, as always, for sharing. Sending healing & happy vibes your way!

  5. May 3, 2012 2:12 pm

    Amber – I hope everything worked to kill off the ‘bad guys’ – yikes! Thanks for continuing to post stuff at all. These cake balls look AWESOME – got to try these for my girls. Thinking of you…

  6. May 3, 2012 2:20 pm

    This is amazing! I have all this soy protein powder left over from when I was pregnant with nothing to do with it. Cake Batter Balls it is! Thanks.

  7. May 3, 2012 2:51 pm

    Just left a review on Amazon!

  8. May 3, 2012 2:51 pm

    Ah, I just wanna give you a big ole hug! And I don’t even like hugs! 🙂 I hope you start feeling better soon. I know being bloated has to be the worst (I think that would be even worse that physically feeling bad …). I’m sure, though, that this thing will turn around soon. I just know it! Also, those cake balls look amazing! I really must track down some coconut flour.

  9. May 3, 2012 3:13 pm

    Have you tried these with the chocolate sun warrior powder yet Amber? Sure they would be good too ! And by the way, I”m in med school now, so we will have a MK alum in the medical world to help heal all the (high) raw vegans in need of someone in medicine who understands them:) sending blessings, ox Carlin

    • May 3, 2012 3:15 pm

      Not yet, Carlin, but I bet it’d be delicious!
      So happy to hear you’re in med school now – congratulations! We need more people like you as doctors in this country.

  10. May 3, 2012 3:24 pm

    Hi Amber,

    These are simply divine. You are so cleaver. These would be such a fantastic snack for my kiddos! perfect afternoon pick-me-up. 🙂

    Hope you’re doing well.


  11. May 3, 2012 3:24 pm

    Amber–let’s talk soon! I’m sorry you’re having a rough time with the meds–it all sounds like healing to me, though. I hope you can ignore the waterbloat. Herxheimer/die-off reaction maybe too? Here’s to good tenants in your apartment building of self! (speaking of, I have a poem to send you on those lines).

    I just got some sunwarrior pea protein–liking it so far. I keep promising a protein powder blog post, and think I’ll do it within the week. That’s a lovely little recipe you got there. I bet it works with 2-3 tbs of coconut butter instead of the coconut flour+oil too. And so versatile–you could add all kinds of flavors to customize–vanilla, mint, all the medicine flower flavors…

    Looking forward to talking–let me know when might work.

    • May 3, 2012 3:43 pm

      Thanks, Ela. I hope so…but I know, too, that it’s not all bloat. I am just so sick of gaining and gaining. It’s taking a greater toll on me than ever.

      You’re right about customizability of these! I’ve always wanted to try those Medicine Flower extracts…

      Maybe we can chat next week? Let’s talk about it in a couple days…

  12. Rita permalink
    May 3, 2012 3:48 pm

    owwww, wouldn’t those be good to spoon down and use for strawberry shortcake! Tks for the recipe!!!

  13. Peggy permalink
    May 3, 2012 3:53 pm

    Can’t wait to try these, I need a sweet! Feel better 🙂

  14. May 3, 2012 4:36 pm

    Oh no! Sorry to hear that you’re feeling crappy right now 😦 Sending happy positive vibes to feel wonderful again! The cake balls sound yummy – great high protein snack. Still waiting for my copy of Practically Raw to arrive – stoked for it!!! 😀

  15. Alayna @ Thyme Bombe permalink
    May 3, 2012 5:00 pm

    So sorry to hear you’re having a particularly bad week. I love this simple little recipe, a few ingredients for a quick sweet snack fix.

  16. Nicki @ ChenaRaw permalink
    May 3, 2012 5:11 pm

    Yum! I am trying these first thing when I get home.

  17. Christine permalink
    May 3, 2012 6:51 pm

    Hope you feel better soon – and know that even though you don’t like sending out posts about feeling crappy, your “friends” want to know how you’re doing, and that’s what this community is all about! If we didn’t care, we wouldn’t ask. So that being said, thanks for posting a recipe even when you don’t feel well. I also added another review for your book, I love it!

  18. May 3, 2012 7:44 pm

    Amber, you are so clever. I’d have never thought to make little cake batter balls out of protein powder! I almost want to run out get some of the protein you are using just to make these. The texture looks amazing, like the flour-containing cookie dough balls.
    So sorry about your shitty week. Def sounds like you are experiencing MAJOR die-off symptoms from the bacteria. I have never experienced it that way, but I know my husband got very gassy and crampy when he went on a probiotic for the first time. And with the high count that you had…that’s what it sounds like. You poochy belly sounds like it’s probably just bloat from die-off and water weight. (I’m guessing that’s where your 10 lbs. came from…or the thyroid might be going a little crazy temporarily as it tries to balance back out.) You WILL feel worse before you feel better. There are a few lucky ones who do not go through such a severe detox, but I’ve not met many. It was this way with me, even on the Chinese herbs and the homeopathics. It was 2 weeks of hell, the third week got a little better–but in all honesty in 6 weeks I felt better than I’d felt in years. That may not be your experience…every body is different. And remember–you took a rather aggressive approach to this. The meds and probiotics and super strict diet…you are getting this from all angles at once, and that usually leads to a quick and furious detox.
    Remember to say kind things to yourself first thing in the morning, even if you aren’t digging how you look right now. Where the mind goes, the body will follow.

    • May 3, 2012 8:06 pm

      Jeezus, I HOPE it’s die-off! What scares me is that I can’t remember a day in the past 6 months, at least, when I WASN’T bloated…it’s just particularly extreme right now (any minute now, someone is bound to ask me when I’m due…). But with the emotional craziness too, ugh, it better be die-off. I specifically suspect the golden seal root that was in my H-PLR supplement…I read that it can wreak havoc on a fragile immune system (but luckily I’m told it does a decent job of killing internal bugs).

      Repeat after Trish: I WILL feel worse before I feel better, I WILL feel worse before I feel better… 🙂

      Glad you like the look of the cake balls!

      • May 3, 2012 8:27 pm

        Don’t be so hard on your precious, fragile
        self. 🙂 God, I’m sounding like a hippie, but HONOR yourself for the hard work you are doing and brave steps you’ve taken to get your body back in balance. It will thank you later on.
        Two years ago I was at Sam’s Club, and this was during a time when my thyroid decided to ‘relapse’ again–fault of my own…was indulging in WAAAAAYYYYY too many cakes and no managing stress well. Anyhow, I was bloated and ‘thick’ from the extra weight gain. My husband and I saw a girl that that works out at the community center in NKC (where I used to work out as well) in the store that day…and when she saw my husband at the gym the next week, she commented to him that I had gained weight and asked if a congratulations was due. He was confused and asked why–she said because my stomach looked pregnant. Lol…yes, you can imagine. 🙂 sometimes you just have to laugh at yourself to keep from killing others.

      • May 3, 2012 9:01 pm

        Oh gawd! “Sometimes you just have to laugh at yourself to keep from killing others” – TOO true… 😛

  19. Tara permalink
    May 3, 2012 10:53 pm

    Sorry to hear that you’re feeling awful! It WILL get better!!! I don’t have your condition but I DO know what it feels like to feel like your body is out of control. It’s the loneliest feeling in the world. My thoughts are with you. Thank you for the amazing cake batter recipe. I love thar they’re super-healthy!

  20. May 4, 2012 12:32 am

    Have you ever had these?

    They are Chunks of Energy and for the life of me, I have been wanting to recreate an at-home version. The add-in’s are irrelevant, it’s the base of the “dough” that I am trying to nail and it either gets too crumbly with protein powder, too sweet if I add more agave, too blah if I use too much coconut powder. Soy powder/flour does exist, different that soy protein powder, but it’s a hard to source item. Anyhooo…I need to make these and then compare to my beloved Chunks. 🙂

    • May 4, 2012 9:27 am

      I love Chunks of Energy! I remember reading that post of yours. These are not at all like Chunks, though – they’re much too soft and cakey. However, keeping working on figuring out a recipe for homemade Chunks…so I can make it! 😉

  21. May 4, 2012 5:32 am

    *hugs hugs hugs* It’s simply no fun when you’re in the low part of “it gets worse before it gets better”, but it WILL get better. I wish I could give you a baby kangaroo to cuddle when you feel like crying xoxoxo

    P.S. Yay! I’ve gone off smoothies lately and so my Sunwarrior has been sitting abandoned in the pantry. Will try this as soon as I restock my coconut flour 🙂

  22. May 4, 2012 10:23 am

    You know, I actually went straight home yesterday and made these, but using the cacao/hemp/maca protein powder I had on hand and some cacao nibs 😀

  23. bitt permalink
    May 4, 2012 12:03 pm

    I can so relate. I get bad bloat too like a pregnant lady, the nausea too. All the bad symptoms of being pregnant but no baby. I know a few people said the bloat could be die-off. I have had some of that too. I am curious the meds you are taking, I certain antibiotics can even cause candida and you probably don’t want that on top of your current situation. (Only mentioning it because it came up when I googled H pylori drugs and it’s one I’ve taken and researched–I’m basically on all the drugs for that even though I don’t have an ulcer) I know you got tested for candida but the tests are notoriously innaccurate. I hate the whole idea of getting worse before you get better too but it’s just how it has to go sometimes. Hard to think of it getting better in the midst of it all. Sometimes all it takes is a little glimpse of feeling better, hope you get that soon even if it’s just fleeting, it helps boost morale.

    The cake balls look so good. I am not the hugest fan of the sunwarrior flavor by itself, but I like the idea of this. I may have to add some cacao in there to further mask it. Or try another protein powder. The stevia in the sunwarrior is too strong for me.

    • May 4, 2012 1:28 pm

      I was taking a supplement called H-PLR by Apex Energetics. It contained several strong herbs and botanicals. I REALLY hope it worked during the month I was on it; if not, we’ll have to resort to antibiotics 😦
      My stool test said no yeast, but who really knows…
      I’d settle for a fleeting glimpse of wellness at this point!

      Have you tried the Sunwarrior Warrior Blend? It’s so much tastier than the plain rice protein. I can practically eat it by the spoonful.

      • bitt permalink
        May 4, 2012 3:21 pm

        Ok when you said medication I thought you meant drugs. I am all for them if that’s what works. I have seen too many people suffer on principle.

        My doctor said it depends on which lab you send the stools to, that will mean a positive or negative. Um, ok. Meaning it is a subjective test. Many people in the candida forums will say the labs can be negative even though they have it. You are practically on the diet anyhow, although any blended fruit will make it worse. Do you bloat after smoothies?

        We have the warrior blend. It’s ok, I can put a tablespoon or so in things, just don’t think I could do it by the tablespoon on its own.

      • May 4, 2012 3:24 pm

        If antibiotics is what it takes, I’ll definitely do it. It’s not like I have much good bacteria in there to wipe out, anyway.

        I wouldn’t be surprised if that were the case re: candida. My stool test was done through MetaMetrix; I don’t know if that means anything. Yeah, I am pretty much on the diet…I haven’t noticed any physical difference after drinking smoothies, but then again I pretty much feel like a whale 24 hours a day. I’m bloated when I go to bed and when I wake up in the morning.

        • bitt permalink
          May 4, 2012 3:29 pm

          don’t know which lab is bad or good. sorry. it’s regional too. but they aren’t necessarily reliable. i guess if the other stuff doesn’t pan out, it’s worth exploring candida diet stuff and herbs and meds since it’s such a common problem. candida will make you feel emotional for sure. i get the most bloated before bed and when i wake up too. i can track certain symptoms to certain foods, but it took me awhile to be able to do that.

  24. Tanya Zepeda permalink
    May 4, 2012 5:51 pm

    Awwww my poor girl! I’m so sorry! Hubby has had tummy issues forever! H. Pylori was a problem for a while too. I almost don’t feel bad for him because he REFUSES to eat healthy foods (HATES my ‘fake’ food) so he suffers the consequences. But you, you poor angel, I’m so sorry you have to go through all of this! Praying for better health!!! Maybe papaya could be in an upcoming recipe? I hear they’re great for digestion!

    • May 4, 2012 5:58 pm

      Aw, thank you Tanya. I’m having a rough time. 😦
      I can’t eat sugary fruits right now, but maybe in a few weeks I’ll get them back and can chow down on some papaya!

  25. May 8, 2012 10:33 am

    Hi Amber Shea, I just found your site and, while I’m not vegan or raw entirely, I love trying out new vegan and raw recipes. I just ordered the Sunwarrior protein, so I’m excited to try these balls!….um, yeah, you know what I mean. Is there one recipe you have that you’d say is the most popular or best reviewed? Thanks for any help!

    • May 8, 2012 11:05 am

      Nice to “meet” you! Oh yes, my most popular recipe would have to be my Famous Five-Minute Blondies. You can get a single-serving version of the recipe here, but the full-batch version is in my cookbook Practically Raw. They’re to-die-for!

  26. May 9, 2012 6:35 pm

    Great recipe! I’m always looking for little snacks I can pack on the go!

  27. May 9, 2012 8:22 pm

    these look so good!!!

  28. May 17, 2012 7:07 am

    Great recipe! And so easy to make. I’ll have to try them myself!

    So sorry to hear you’re still not feeling your best. I look forward to when your elimination diet draws to a close…perhaps the added food/nutrition will actually serve to strengthen and heal. Sending good thoughts.

  29. Lindsey permalink
    May 21, 2012 10:42 am

    Love these! Such a brilliant idea… couldn’t locate coconut flour so I subbed in cinnamon. Wow….good this they are such a great post workout snack along with some fruit (cause- lets face it- i dont always feel like having a protein drink….). Easy to make and even easier to eat! Thank you and hope youre feeling better!

  30. June 5, 2012 12:47 pm

    Omg these are the best! I ate it all before I got a chance to roll it into balls. Thanks so much!

  31. June 6, 2012 4:20 pm

    I had the H. Pylori bacteria back in April and it was miserable! Found your blog via Pinterest and love it! Hope you’re feeling better 🙂

  32. June 19, 2012 4:04 pm

    I’ve been on low-dose antibiotics for about 6 months now and have cut out most sugar from my diet to avoid candida overgrowth. I’m always on the lookout for tasty sugar-free treats! I just made these (with the Sunwarrior powder, just plain flavor) and they are fan-frickin-tastic! Thanks for sharing! Hope you start feeling better soon.

  33. June 20, 2012 8:48 am

    Spotted these on Pinterest and made them right away. I’m so glad to have found them—there are only so many protein smoothies a gal can eat!
    I use Lifetime Unsweetened protein powder because it has zero grams of sugar. When I made these I added a little stevia to the mixture but after I rolled them out into balls, I realized they could use a little more kick (of sweetness or something) so I rolled them in a granulated stevia and cinnamon mixture. Not bad!
    Thanks for sharing.

  34. June 22, 2012 4:32 pm

    Yummy recipe! I need to get some coconut flour. I had H.Pylori over a decade ago and it was awful. The meds made me feel icky and I decided to research natural remedies. Drinking massive quantities of cabbage juice daily is supposed to do the trick. I can’t remember the others but if you do a little research you should be able to cure it on your own with a little help from mother nature. Good luck!

    • June 22, 2012 4:34 pm

      Thanks Sarah – my H. pylori is gone now, luckily, but I wasn’t able to use cabbage juice to kill mine, because raw cabbage has goitrogens that interfere with thyroid function.

  35. September 1, 2012 11:20 pm

    Oh I hope you are feeling better!! I had H.pylori last Oct and the meds they gave me had gluten in them, my insurance wouldnt pay for the gluten free meds…..soo sick for 6 weeks while I killed my bad gut bugs…still feeling some residual side effects of the meds….Where do I find the protien powder and the coconut flour and oil?? Have a great Labor day weekend!!

  36. October 2, 2012 2:51 pm

    WOW, these are AMAZING! I used Sunwarrior chocolate and it tastes soooooo good. I can’t get over it, and it’s so simple to make! Thank you so much for sharing this, you’re brilliant! 😀

  37. Allison permalink
    October 2, 2012 2:52 pm

    Yummy! Thanks, my little ones will love this!! Have you tried using colloidal silver for the h. Pylori? Throw away your sponges too!! Good luck, praying for you!

  38. KalikoKoi permalink
    October 2, 2012 3:37 pm

    Drink colloidal silver and take high quality probiotics to rid yourself of H.Pylori without damaging your immunity or irritating your GI tract! Awesome recipe as well! 🙂

  39. October 2, 2012 11:13 pm

    I have a question about these being grain free. Isn’t Sun Warrior made from rice? I’m not familiar with the other brand. Thanks!!! Much love to you!

    • October 3, 2012 8:24 am

      I buy Sunwarrior’s Warrior Blend, which is made of pea, hemp, and cranberry protein. Their original version IS made with sprouted brown rice, but the final product is free of lectins and phytates, which are what most people with grain sensitivities avoid. 🙂

  40. permalink
    November 3, 2012 10:10 pm

    I just discovered that I have parasites based on my metametrix lab and was told that Apex Energetic’s GI Synergy would take care of them. Did you take this for your pylori? I know that pylori is a bacteria and not a parasite but just thought I would see. I have had so many negative reactions to things in the past that I’m afraid to try anything new!

    • November 3, 2012 10:15 pm

      Hi Rachel,
      No, I took a supplement called H-PLR that’s specifically for eradicating H. pylori. Since I tested negative for parasites, I don’t have any experience with GI Synergy or other similar meds. I’m sorry! Good luck…

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