IMO, birthday cake—the real MVP of birthdays—should be had all 365 days of the year. I said what I said. Truly, there's a reason so many childhood memories feature boxed Funfetti cake mix smeared with messy saccharine-sweet icing and sprinkles. That stuff was basically rocket fuel for fun.
So, now that the '90s have made a full-circle comeback in fashion in the last few years (thanks, Gen Z), we think it's time our favorite childhood snacks caught up, too. We're starting by giving birthday cake a protein-packed glow-up: As soon as you try this recipe for RD-approved birthday cake protein balls, you’ll be keeping them celebratorily stocked in your fridge 365 days a year.
What makes these birthday cake protein balls RD-approved?
In a recent Instagram video by @nourishedbynic, registered dietitian Nicole Addison, RD shows us how we can celebrate our birthdays all year long with this simple seven-ingredient recipe for making birthday cake protein balls. They feature ingredients like protein-packed cashew butter, fiber-rich oats, and, of course, loads of rainbow-colored sprinkles.
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According to Addison, the inspiration for this recipe came from a childhood obsession with birthday cake-flavored everything. “I have always loved confetti cake. As a kid, I would look so forward to my birthday every year because I knew it was the one day a year my mom would make me a confetti cake. She'd let me sit on the counter and lick the spoon when she was done, and it's still one of my favorite memories,” she says. Nowadays, as a registered dietitian, Addison wanted to create a snack that would give adults (and kids) the same joy confetti cake brought her while growing up, but with a healthy, protein-packed twist.
“I love these birthday cake protein balls because not only do they taste like your favorite cake batter, but they are also packed with nutrients," says Addison. "The base of these protein balls is made with cashew butter, oat flour, and vanilla protein powder, so just from those three ingredients alone, you have all three of the macronutrients your body needs: fats, carbohydrates, and protein."
According to Addison, oat flour is a great source of complex carbohydrates. “Oats are packed with insoluble fiber, which has so many amazing benefits to our bodies. Insoluble fiber can help manage blood sugar levels by preventing blood sugar spikes throughout the day. It also plays a role in keeping our hearts healthy by reducing cholesterol levels and the risk of coronary artery disease," she explains. Finally, insoluble fiber "plays a role in keeping the digestive system happy by promoting bowel regularity and reducing constipation,” Addison adds.
Meanwhile, cashew butter is a high-protein nut butter that's a great source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids, essential amino acids, and both iron and magnesium, which are beneficial for managing blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol. And for an added oomph of energy, these protein balls are made with a dash of vanilla protein powder, which Addison says helps build lean muscle, assists with recovery, and nourishes our brains.
“These birthday cake protein balls check every box—they're tasty, nutritious, and so easy to make. Plus, who doesn't want to feel like it's their birthday every day?" says Addison. Definitely not us.
Healthy birthday cake protein balls recipe
Yields 10 servings
1/2 cup cashew butter see notes
3 Tbsp honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
1/3 cup vanilla protein
1/4 cup oat flour
2 Tbsp sprinkles
1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients.
2. Roll into bite-sized balls (the recipe makes about 10, but feel free to double the recipe if you want)!
3. Store in the fridge for an easy grab-and-go snack.
Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me:
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