Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

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Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups is a healthy recipe that I enjoy. It has inspired me to crowdfund chocolate making equipment. I don’t own a chocolate factory and I have never made chocolate before. It was an experimental recipe where I added extra sugar and peanut butter to the dark chocolate.

5-Ingredient Healthier Peanut Butter Cups

Make healthier peanut butter cups using just 5 simple ingredients — dark chocolate chips, peanut butter, coconut oil, honey and sea salt.

Hi, my name is Brittany and I’m obsessed with the combination of peanut butter and chocolate. I’m honestly shocked every time I meet someone who doesn’t feel the same about the chocolate and peanut butter. If you are one of those people, you can skip right past this recipe! This is for the fans!

Stack of homemade peanut butter cups in parchment paper.

Reese’s peanut butter cups have been my favorite candy for as long as I can remember. Isaac loves them too so I decided to take a stab at making homemade peanut butter cups that are a tad healthier. Why it’s taken me this long to try making my own peanut butter cups? I’m not sure. Turns out it’s the easiest thing ever and only requires just five simple ingredients: chocolate chipscoconut oil, peanut butter, honey and sea salt. 

Ingredients in Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

  • chocolate chips – I like dark chocolate chips, but traditional milk chocolate chips would be great as well. For cups that are lower in sugar and calories, use Lily’s Sweet chocolate chips (semi-sweet or dark chocolate). They’re sweetened with stevia and if you use these chips, the cups will only have 6 grams of sugar per serving. For a vegan version, use dairy-free chocolate chips. I like the Enjoy Life brand.
  • coconut oil – melting the chocolate with coconut oil helps the chocolate harden and act more like a shell.
  • peanut butter – I prefer natural peanut butter but you can use any nut or seed butter you like! I’ve tried different flavors of peanut butter and they are delicious with fun flavors! I want to try these with my pumpkin almond butter or cinnamon vanilla peanut butter too.
  • honey or maple syrup – this sweetens the peanut butter layer and makes these homemade peanut butter cups taste like the real deal. I really like the taste of them with honey but for a vegan version you can use maple syrup or agave.
  • sea salt – this ingredient is optional, but if your peanut butter isn’t salted, I highly recommend adding a pinch of sea salt to the peanut butter mixture or sprinkling flaked sea salt on top of the cups.

How to Make Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

Start by lining a muffin tin with 10-12 paper or silicone liners. Cover the bottom of each liner with melted chocolate. Place the tray in the freezer so the chocolate can set.

Make the peanut butter layer by heating peanut butter, honey and coconut oil together. Pour over chocolate and place back in the freezer to set.

Spoon drizzling the top layer of chocolate onto a homemade peanut butter cup in a muffin tin with liners.

Spoon the remaining chocolate over each cup, making sure the peanut butter layer is completely covered. Place back in the freezer for 30 minutes to 1 hour to set completely and enjoy! My mouth is watering just typing out this recipe.

One tip: Be sure to keep your peanut butter cups in the fridge or freezer for storing. They melt easily because of the coconut oil.

WHAT TYPE OF CHOCOLATE TO USE FOR HOMEMADE CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER CUPS?

Once you have all of your filling disks ready, it’s time to melt the chocolate for the coating.

I strongly recommend dark chocolate for these homemade chocolate peanut butter cups. Chocolate with greater than 60% cocoa solids is best because it will have a higher cocoa butter content which means it will flow more easily, and also taste great! I used 85% cocoa chocolate for this recipe and loved it.

The chocolate is melted down with a bit of coconut oil which helps to make it more fluid chocolate for easy coating, and it also softens the texture of the coating so it has a soft bite at room temperature.

HOW LONG TO STORE CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER CUPS?

These delicious little treats will keep at room temperature for up to 2 weeks, and up to a month in the fridge. If you like them soft, keep them at room temperature, but if you like the texture of a crackly chocolate shell, then eat them straight from the fridge. I like them both ways!

These homemade peanut butter cups are naturally gluten free, dairy free and vegan as well!

If you prefer healthier recipes, check out more of Christina’s vegan recipes here:

Healthier Homemade Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Easy homemade peanut butter cups made healthier with a maple-sweetened peanut butter filling and rich dark chocolate coating!

PREP TIME20 mins

SET TIME30 mins

SERVINGS15 cups

INGREDIENTS  

Filling:

  • ½ cup 120ml smooth natural unsalted peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp 30ml maple syrup
  • ¼ – ⅓ cup 25g-35g fine almond flour
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Coating:

  • 7 oz 200g dark chocolate (60-70% cocoa)
  • 2 tsp 10ml coconut oil

INSTRUCTIONS 

  • Line a standard cupcake pan with paper liners, or place liners standing up on a baking tray.
  • For the filling, stir together peanut butter, maple syrup, ¼ cup almond flour and salt until it forms a stiff paste. Add more almond flour if it is still too loose, then refrigerate for about 15 minutes until it is stiff enough to shape.
  • Roll heaped teaspoons of the mixture into smooth balls then flatten them in your hands and shape them into little disks or patties with a diameter just slightly smaller than the base of your paper liners.
  • Melt together dark chocolate and coconut oil until smooth over a double boiler or in the microwave. Spoon about a teaspoon of the melted chocolate into each cup, spreading it out to cover the base and pushing it slightly up the sides to form an edge. Place a peanut butter patty into each cup and press it down gently so that some of the chocolate comes up the sides. Spoon more chocolate over top to cover evenly. Sprinkle with sea salt and refrigerate until set.

HOMEMADE PEANUT BUTTER CUPS

These homemade peanut butter cups are not only lower in sugar and free of highly-processed ingredients, they also taste better than the original store-bought versions!

PREP TIME:30 mins

TOTAL TIME:30 mins

SERVINGS: –+

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil*
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (for a raw chocolate shell, use this recipe instead)

US CustomaryMetric

INSTRUCTIONS 

  • To get started, melt the dark chocolate chips. I prefer to use my oven to do this, placing the chocolate chips in an oven safe bowl, and heating them for 5 minutes in the oven at 400F. You can also use a double-boiler or microwave, if you prefer. Stir the melted chocolate chips until smooth, then use a spoon to drop a small amount of melted chocolate into the bottom of 6 mini paper cups. (I recommend double-layering the paper cups, for sturdiness.)
  • Using the spoon, push the melted chocolate up the sides of the paper cups a bit, to create the “cups” that will hold the peanut butter filling. Place the chocolate-filled shells in the freezer to set, about 10 minutes.
  • *Alternatively, you can make your own raw chocolate for a truly unprocessed treat! I recommend using this recipe for the chocolate, and following the same directions listed here for creating the chocolate shell. Please note, this raw chocolate will melt quickly at room temperature, so it’s not ideal for serving at parties.
  • In the meantime, mix up the peanut butter filling. Combine the peanut butter, coconut oil and salt, and stir until smooth and creamy. Remove the paper cups from the freezer, and place a dollop of the peanut butter filling in the middle of each chocolate shell (about a teaspoon per center). Be sure to leave a little room around the edges, for the chocolate filling to cover the sides!
  • Cover each cup with a final layer of melted chocolate, and return to the freezer to set for at least 2 hours before serving.
  • Remove the paper cups, and enjoy these chocolate candies whenever you like! For best texture, I recommend storing in the fridge or freezer until ready to serve.

NOTES

*If you don’t care for the mellow coconut flavor, substitute grass-fed butter instead. It has the same type of healthy fat that will help solidify the peanut butter middles!

NUTRITION

Calories: 123kcal, Carbohydrates: 9g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Sodium: 40mg, Potassium: 129mg, Sugar: 5g, Calcium: 48mg, Iron: 0.3mg

Course: Dessert

Cuisine: American

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups are easy, so delicious, and taste better than the store-bought version!

These are gluten-free and made with dark chocolate and all-natural creamy peanut butter

The best part about this recipe is that you know you are eating just 5 quality ingredients that are all-natural

Well, actually the best part is eating them!

An added bonus of this recipe is that you don’t need to turn the oven on because you can just use your microwave to melt the chocolate. If you want to use a double-boiler that’s ok too. These are just so simple!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Ingredients for Peanut Butter Cups:

There are only 5 ingredients in these gluten-free Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups so make sure you are using the best quality. I like to use my 2-ingredient Homemade Vanilla Extract in these treats.

The Chocolate:

  • I use dark chocolate but you can certainly use milk chocolate for this recipe if you prefer the taste of it. Using milk chocolate will be the closest taste if you like Reese’s brand.
  • I have also made these using a mixture of half dark and half semi-sweet chocolate with great results. So, feel free to get creative!
Melting chocolate

The Peanut Butter:

  • I use natural peanut butter which doesn’t have any added sugar, thus the need for the honey in the mixture.
  • If you use presweetened peanut butter, which will also work fine, you will want to cut back on the honey to suit your taste.
  • Try this with chunky peanut butter. It tastes great but doesn’t look quite as pretty. If these are just for you to eat then go ahead and use chunky!

The Oil:

  • I use coconut oil for this recipe but you can sub in vegetable oil and it won’t affect the taste or texture.

How to make Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

Making these cups is a 3 step process and very simple:


1. Combine melted chocolate, vanilla, and part of the oil together. Pour half of the mixture into muffin tins to make the first layer and freeze for 15 minutes

2. Melt peanut butter, honey, and remaining oil. Cool slightly. Add to the cold chocolate cups to make the middle layer. Freeze another 15 minutes

3. Add the remaining chocolate mixture on top of the cold peanut butter layer. Freeze for one hour.

Can I make Mini Homemade Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups?

Yes ~ You can make mini’s using this recipe and it will make about 40 pieces. Just use a mini muffin tin and mini muffin liners. These are great little bites of chocolatey goodness. Perfect for Easter and Halloween!

How to serve and store:

  • Remove cold peanut butter cups from tins
  • Peel off the paper, if desired. I usually leave it on otherwise the chocolate tends to melt on your hands!
  • Allow the cups to soften for about 5 minutes before eating
  • Keep the remaining cups in the refrigerator or freezer
  • Store for up to 1-month in the refrigerator, or 3 months in the freezer, tightly sealed

These are rich little morsels of goodness, so you will need to pace yourself!

Luckily, they keep really well in the freezer and you can thaw them out individually to get your sugar fix in 5-minutes. These are great to have on hand for any peanut butter chocolate cravings!

Keep in muffin papers until ready to eat

Easy Substitutions:

  • Sub in semi-sweet or milk chocolate for the dark chocolate
  • Try using other nut butter such as cashew butter or almond butter
  • Use canola, peanut, or sunflower oil in place of the coconut oil

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