Forget Smoothies, Follow Your Workout With Protein-Infused Cupcakes


Have you ever been chowing down on a Sprinkles red velvet cupcake and thought, “Man, this is great, but how is it affecting my tricep definition?” Now, thanks to two native Angeleno personal trainers—you can have your cake and flex it, too.

Swole Cakes — joining kale soft serve and avocado ice cream as the newest low-hanging fodder for “only in L.A.” jokes — boasts flavors like Shredded Strawberry, Vanity Vanilla, and (my personal favorite) Say it With Your Chest Chocolate. But, you won’t find any traditional cream cheese frosting crowning their Last Rep Red Velvet — on top of having 15 grams of protein, 0 grams of sugar, no gluten, and only 215 calories, Swole Cakes are also vegan.

The concept was brought to life by childhood best friends and Cal State Northridge classmates Michael Kaufman and Patrick Gillham in the summer of 2014. Even though they were vastly more qualified in the swole department than the cake department — neither has any formal baking background — with some investment from family and friends, they were able to get a spot in a commercial bakery in Studio City to bang out the first few test batches.

Michael and Patrick found the winning combination of deliciousness and jackedness using brown rice protein — every gym rat worth his/her bench press knows soy protein contains estrogenic compounds — coconut cream, and a low-glycemic sweetener called xylitol. The result is a surprisingly delicious pastry that eats like a birthday cake and builds muscle like a protein bar.

You can get your hands on Swole Cakes every Sunday at the Brentwood farmer’s market, or, if you don’t want to leave the house, you can pick up a DIY kit from their online store. But, the duo’s long-term goals extend far beyond retail.

Michael and Patrick dream of creating a utopian gym, café, and bakery hybrid, where fitness and confection aficionados alike can chase their superset of Bulgarian split squats with a smoothie and a protein-rich Swole Cake.

If there’s any city in the world where that dream can become reality, it’s right here.