Optimum Nutrition Cake Bites: A Must-Try Protein Bar Alternative

The protein bar market grows more and more crowded with each passing month and new companies continue to develop their own version of the portable, high protein snack. But at least we got something different here!

Optimum Nutrition Cake Bites

Optimum Nutrition Cake Bites are tasty, high protein alternative to your favorite protein bar.

Optimum Nutrition has put their own unique spin on the traditional protein bar with this bite-sized treat:

Cake Bites are a soft, delicious, high protein alternative to the tired, tacky-textured protein bar you’re used to choking down.

And we absolutely LOVE them.

We’ve got all the details ahead, but first, take a moment to check the best deal and sign up for alerts from PricePlow:

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Cake Bites Ingredients

ON’s Cake Bites employ many of the same ingredients you’re used to seeing in conventional protein bars, but puts their own spin on it by making them cake-like bites rather bars.

And for whatever reason, they’re simply softer and better than nearly all the other ones out there!

Optimum Nutrition Cake Bites Ingredients

Cake Bites certainly aren’t low on ingredients, but they are HIGH on flavor.

  • Protein Blend

    The most important component to any protein snack is its protein blend. ON uses a mixture of Milk Protein Concentrate, Whey Protein Isolate, and Milk Protein Isolate for the blend in Cake Bites, which gives a good mixture of both slow and fast digesting proteins (from when and casein found in milk), helping to keep you satisfied for longer periods of time.

    Plus, the mix of proteins also helps to provide a better, softer, cake-like texture to the bites and not some dry, crumbly faux-cake wannabe texture like we’ve seen used in other bars masquerading as having a cake-like texture.

  • Yogurt Flavored Coating

    Optimum Nutrition Cake Bites Chocolate Frosted Donut

    Here’s a close up of the newest flavor of Cake Bites.

    Compared to most of the other bars on the market which are usually covered in some kind of melted chocolate or frosting coating, ON’s Cake Bites are enveloped in a yogurt flavored coating which consists of maltitol, palm kernel oil, milk protein isolate, nonfat dry milk solids, nonfat yogurt powder, soy lecithin, and natural flavor.

    One thing we noticed about the coatings when trying these cake bites is that they were incredibly sweet and basically dominated the flavoring of the Birthday Cake and Red Velvet Cake bites. Sweetness could be dialed back just a touch, and that would allow the real flavors of the cake portions of the bites to really sing through.

  • The Rest

    These bites are far from the “cleanest” protein snacks you’ll find on the market, and if clean is what you’re primarily interested in (over say, taste), then steer clear of these, because the rest of the ON Cake Bites label reads:

    Glycerin, Syrup Blend, Chicory Root Fiber, IMOs, Water, Sunflower Oil, Calcium Caseinate, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Salt, Mixed Tocopherols, Sucralose, Red 40, Yellow 5, Blue 1, and Soy Lecithin.

    Beware the “fraudulent fiber” – but ON labeled this one properly

    Isomaltooligosaccharide

    Isomaltooligosaccharides have been widely used in protein bars for a number of years for their high fiber, lower calorie claims, but they shouldn’t be considered “dietary fiber” as the labels say.

    We’ve covered these extensively before in our mega post Isomaltooligosaccharide (IMO Fiber): A Fraudulent “Fiber”?, but Chicory Root Fiber and IMO (isomalto-oligosaccharides) are “fake fibers”. Chicory root fiber is actually a savvy way of stating fructo-oligosaccharide (FOS) inulin – similar to IMOs but a bit different. Either way, these two aren’t true fibers like you would get from vegetables and do yield some calories in the body.[1,2,3,4,5]

    Thankfully, Optimum Nutrition decided to label these properly and is not calling it a fiber, despite what some of the FDA bylaws claim. We cheer on this common-sense labeling – it’s not a fiber and isn’t labeled as such, so thank you Team ON for doing the right thing..

    Fake colors in a protein bar?

    We usually don’t see a lot of artificial coloring in other protein bars, but that probably has to do more with the cake portion of these snacks since they’re dying it to resemble the actual cakes they’re inspired by. We could live without it, but given how well the bars taste, we’re not going to stop supporting them for that alone.

Cake Bite Macros

A standard serving of Cake Bites is 1 package of 3 cake bites, which contains the following macros:

Optimum Nutrition Cake Bites Label

Each serving of 3 Cake Bites provides a solid 20g of protein which matches most other protein bars on the market.

  • Calories: 230-250
  • Protein: 20g
  • Carbs: 22-25g (4-5g sugar, 0g fiber)
  • Optimum Nutrition Cake Bites Chocolate Frosted Donut

    Meet the newest flavor of Cake Bites — Chocolate Frosted Donut!

    Fats: 7g (4g saturated)

Cake Bite Flavors

Optimum launched their Cake Bites in three flavors, but have recently launched a brand new flavor this month, bringing to total line up to 4 flavors:

  • Chocolate Frosted Donut
  • Red Velvet Cake
  • Birthday Cake
  • Chocolate Dipped Cherry

Our Cake Bites Review

Mike and Robert taste-tested the three original flavors of Optimum Nutrition’s Cake Bites, with the clear winner being the Chocolate Dipped Cherry, although Red Velvet and Birthday Cake were tasty too!

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Is it better than a ONE Bar?!?

Ooooh… we don’t know. No, not yet. ONE Bar is still king. But this is our next-favorite thing so far.

Takeaway

Optimum Nutrition Cake Bites are a delicious alternative to your trusty protein bar. The soft texture and sweet flavor of the bites make them enjoyable to eat each and every time. While they might not be the “cleanest” option out there, most of you reading this are most interested in the protein content, and Cake Bites stand toe to toe with all the other bars out there.

Now, we just need to get our hands on the Chocolate Frosted Donut flavor and see if it’s better than Chocolate Dipped Cherry!

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Posts are sponsored in part by the retailers and/or brands listed on this page.

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References

  1. Gericke B, Amiri M, Naim HY. The multiple roles of sucrase-isomaltase in the intestinal physiology. Molecular and Cellular Pediatrics. 2016;3:2. doi:10.1186/s40348-016-0033-y. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4728165/
  2. Kaneko T, Kohmoto T, Kikuchi H, Fukui F, Shiota M, Yatake T, Takaku H, Iino H. Digestibility of isomaltooligosaccharides by rats and effects on serum lipids. Nippon Nogeikagaku Kaishi 1992;66:1211-1220. https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/nogeikagaku1924/66/8/66_8_1211/_article
  3. Kaneko T, Yokoyama A, Suzuki M. Digestibility characteristics of isomaltooligosaccharides in comparison with several saccharides using the rat jejunum loop method. Biosci Biotech Biochem 1995;59:1190-1194. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1271/bbb.59.1190
  4. Kohmoto T, Tsuji K, Kaneko T, Shiota M, Fukui F, Takaku H, Nakagawa Y, Ichikawa T, Kobayashi S. Metabolism of 13C-isomaltooligosaccharides in healthy men. Biosci Biotech Biochem 1992;56:937-940. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1271/bbb.56.937
  5. Oku T, Nakamura S. Comparison of digestibility and breath hydrogen gas excretion of fructo-oligosaccharide, galactosyl-sucrose, and isomalto-oligosaccharide in healthy human subjects. Eur J Clin Nutr 2003;57:1150-1156. http://www.nature.com/ejcn/journal/v57/n9/full/1601666a.html
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