Skip to main content

Holiday-Inspired Homemade Protein Ball Recipes

Protein bars are a convenient way to refuel after a hard workout or keep hunger at bay between meals, but they are expensive and often packed with all sorts of fillers, processed ingredients, and artificial sweeteners or sugar alcohols. It is actually quite easy to throw together your own no-bake protein bites at home, and they travel really well. They also make a great substitute for sugar-laden, conventional protein bars, and we’ve specifically created some protein ball recipes to celebrate the flavors of the holiday season.

Now, you can make your own healthier protein-packed version of holiday treats like gingerbread, pumpkin pie, and candy canes. Each recipe is also vegan, gluten-free, and does not contain refined sugars or oils. So, if you want to try your hand at holiday-inspired healthy treats, keep reading for four fun and easy recipes for festive homemade protein balls.

Gingerbread Cookie Protein Balls

No bake protein bites balls sitting in a pan.
Dayvision / Pexels

These gluten-free and vegan protein balls have all the familiar flavors of classic gingerbread cookies in a nutritious, chewy bite.


  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • .75 cup almond butter
  • .5 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 2/3 cup plain or vanilla pea or rice protein powder
  • .25 cup dark molasses or pure maple syrup
  • .25 cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • .75 tsp ground ginger
  • .25 tsp allspice
  • .25 tsp ground cloves
  • .25 tsp sea salt
  • Cinnamon sugar to sprinkle on top (optional)


  1. Combine all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl until fully mixed and sticky. Add more almond milk if it is too dry to hold together.
  2. Chill the mixture in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.
  3. Using a small ice cream scoop or clean hands, form the dough into 1-inch balls.
  4. Roll balls in cinnamon sugar mixture if desired.
  5. Enjoy right away or store up to 2 weeks in the fridge.

Chocolate Peppermint Bliss Balls

If candy canes are your favorite holiday treat, you’ll love these tasty chocolate peppermint protein balls. They are gluten-free and vegan.


  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup SunButter or almond butter
  • 1/3 cup vegan chocolate or plain protein powder
  • .5 tsp peppermint extract
  • 1/3 cup cocoa nibs
  • 3 tbsp almond milk
  • 2 crushed candy canes


  1. Add everything except the crushed candy canes in a large bowl and mix until thoroughly combined.
  2. If the dough is too dry, add more almond milk. If it is too wet, add another tablespoon or two of protein powder.
  3. Using a small ice cream scoop or clean hands, form the dough into 1-inch balls and then roll each ball in the crushed candy canes.
  4. Chill balls in the fridge 20 minutes or until firm.
  5. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Pie Protein Balls

pile of Pumpkin pie protein balls in a bowl sitting on a counter.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Many homemade energy balls use dates, which impart a pleasant chewy texture but are high in natural sugar. These easy pumpkin pie balls are date-free, vegan, gluten-free, and only contain a few ingredients.


  • 2 cups cashew butter, almond butter, or sunflower seed butter
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup canned pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1.5 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • .75 cup plain or vanilla pea or rice protein powder
  • Rolled oats or almond flour (optional)


  1. In a large saucepan over low heat or In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the nut butter and maple syrup until liquid and warm. Whisk until combined.
  2. Remove from heat and add the rest of the ingredients, stirring until thoroughly combined or a thick, firm batter has firmed.
  3. If the dough is too loose, add rolled oats or almond flour, a little at a time until firm.
  4. Using a small ice cream scoop or clean hands, form the dough into 1-inch balls and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  5. Chill the balls in the refrigerator until firm.
  6. Enjoy!

Coconut Cranberry Snow Balls

cranberry coconut protein balls sitting on a shallow plate on top of a checkered hand towel.

These protein balls have chewy cranberries, nutty coconut, and a bit of orange zest for a tart and sweet festive bite.


  • 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup natural almond butter or cashew butter, warmed
  • .25 cup maple syrup
  • .5 cup plain or vanilla protein powder
  • .5 cup plus 3 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
  • .5 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • Zest of two oranges


  1. In a large bowl, combine the oats, protein powder, orange zest, cranberries, nut butter, 1/2 cup of shredded coconut, and melted coconut oil until a dough is formed.
  2. Using a small ice cream scoop or clean hands, form the dough into 1-inch balls.
  3. Roll each ball in the remaining shredded coconut.
  4. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator or freezer.

Editors' Recommendations

Amber Sayer
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Amber Sayer is a fitness, nutrition, and wellness writer and editor, and was previously a Fitness Editor at Byrdie. She…
You need to try this easy creamy pesto pasta salad recipe
It's time to try a new pasta salad. This one is the best.
Pesto pasta salad


Everyone loves a pasta salad. It's one of those summertime staples that finds its way into nearly every picnic basket and barbecue buffet. And while we love the classic recipes our beloved grandmothers so graciously handed down to us, sometimes it's nice to mix it up and try something new.

Read more
These 4th of July vodka drink recipes from Tina’s Vodka are just plain great
Looking for some incredible drink recipes for 4th of July? We've got you covered!
Tina (Pina) Colada cocktail


Cracking open a cold one on the 4th of July is all but a requirement on the day we celebrate our country's independence. The grill is smoking, the tunes are rocking, the ribs are perfect, and friends and family are splashing in the pool. It's one of the most fun-filled days of the year. And of course, it wouldn't be complete without a few brewskis. But what if, in addition to the cold brews, you're looking to add a bit of fruity fun to the mix this year? Often on the 4th, beer and maybe some margaritas are the only options on the menu. And don't think for one moment we have anything against the classics. But what if you're looking to mix it up a bit this year? What if, in addition to the beers and margaritas (or beer margaritas), you want something with a hint of sophistication or sass? Tina's Vodka has got you covered.

Read more
5-ingredient recipes: You’ll love these simple chicken meals
Perfect for a Tuesday night or a Saturday night soiree, you'll be shocked at how easy these dishes are to make
A whole roasted chicken served on a plate

There are few ingredients as delicious and life-saving as chicken. Arguably the most versatile protein available, chicken can be prepared in almost any way one can dream up, and more often than not, it's going to be delicious. Provided you season properly and don't over (or under) cook chicken, it's pretty difficult to mess up. Which makes it perfect for the home cook - especially the busy home cook who forgot to go grocery shopping.

That's why we've compiled this list of absolutely delicious chicken recipes that are not only exquisitely tasty, but have no more than five ingredients. Lengthy grocery lists be damned.

Read more