These homemade peanut butter cups are dark chocolate and much more healthy (and tasty!) than store-bought.
If you know me well, you eventually learn that I despise most candy. A mouth full of sugar just isn’t appealing to me. BUT one of the few sugary confections that actually tempt me is a peanut butter cup. Unlike most candy, they at least have a bit of fat and protein mixed in with the sugar. But almost all store-bought peanut butter cups are still sickeningly sweet for my tastes. Even some of the organic ones are still SO sweet.
My solution? Homemade dark chocolate peanut butter cups!
I have to admit that before I made the first batch of these, I didn’t think they would be as good as they are. Perhaps they’ll be a good low-sugar substitute for store-bought peanut butter cups, I thought. But lo, they are much better. Much, much better.
Ingredients for Homemade Peanut Butter Cups
The ingredients are really simple. You probably have all of them in your cupboard right now!
- Coconut oil
- Peanut butter
- Cocoa powder
- Maple syrup
- Unrefined salt
- Vanilla extract
- Coarse sea salt (optional but very good)
The coarse sea salt on top is just a lovely addition. But if you don’t have any on hand these homemade peanut butter cups will still be delicious!
How to Make Homemade Peanut Butter Cups
All you need to do to make the chocolate base is melt the coconut oil and stir in the cocoa powder, vanilla, maple syrup, and salt until smooth.
Pour a little bit in the bottom of some cupcake liners. Put in the freezer until solid, about 5 minutes.
Dollop a good-sized dollop of peanut butter on top of the chocolate layer.
Pour chocolate on top to almost cover the peanut butter. See that peanut butter sticking out?
Just push it back under the chocolate. You can get your hands messy, but a small spatula actually works better here.
Back into the freezer for a few minutes until the top is semi-solid (if you skip this step, the salt will sink into the cups) Sprinkle some coarse sea salt on top and then pop the whole thing back into the freezer until it’s completely solid, about 1 hour.
Because coconut oil melts more easily than cocoa butter, you want to store these in the refrigerator, especially if your house is warm.
Benefits of Homemade Peanut Butter Cups
Since there’s only 2 tablespoons of maple syrup in this entire recipe, each cup only contains half a teaspoon of added sweetener! Compare that to over 1.5 TABLESPOONS of sugar in a Reese’s peanut butter cup. That’s about 10x as much sugar. ?
You might think that a store-bought peanut butter cup is just chocolate, peanut butter, and some sugar. But if you look closer at the package, you might find cheap fillers (such as PGPR) in place of quality fats, or, even worse, preservatives such as TBHQ.
So if you find yourself craving that chocolate + peanut buttery goodness, do yourself a favor and make these homemade peanut butter cups! Not only will you be sparing yourself loads of sugar, the taste and texture will be so far above a cheap store-bought cup. They’re so rich and melty.
Be prepared to get your fingers messy! ?❤✨
P.S. – Check out my Homemade section for more better-for-you recipes!
- My favorite natural peanut butter is the Walmart brand organic peanut butter. It’s really smooth for being a natural peanut butter!
- You can use any nut butter in place of the peanut butter if you want.
Homemade Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
Make your own peanut butter cups and control how sweet they are!
- 3/4 cup expeller pressed coconut oil
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup more or less to taste
- 1 pinch unrefined sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2-3/4 cup natural peanut butter
- coarse sea salt for topping
Line a 12-cup muffin tin with 12 muffin/cupcake liners.
Gently melt the coconut oil over low heat. Remove from heat and whisk in the cocoa powder, maple syrup, pinch of salt, and vanilla until completely smooth.
Pour a small amount of chocolate into the bottom of each muffin liner. Put in the freezer for 3-5 minutes, or until solid.
Add a good dollop of peanut butter in the middle of each muffin liner, trying to keep a small ring of chocolate around the edge.
Pour the rest of the chocolate over the top of the peanut to cover. Smooth the peanut butter under the chocolate by tapping it with a spatula.
Put back in the freezer for about 3-5 minutes, or until the tops of the peanut butter cups are semi-solid. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt.
Put the whole tin back in the freezer until the peanut butter cups are solid, about 1 hour. Store in the refrigerator until ready to eat.
Adapted from Pinch of Yum
Thursday 26th of December 2019
I make these with almond butter and they’re so deliciously creamy and rich.
Sunday 29th of December 2019
Thank you for letting us know that they work with almond butter as well!
Sweet and Cool: No-Bake Desserts to Devour this Summer
Thursday 26th of July 2018
[…] Homemade Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups These homemade dark chocolate peanut butter cups are serisouly so much more satisfying than anything you will find in the candy aisle at the store. See the recipe. […]
No-Bake Dessert to Devour this Summer | Good Cookery
Tuesday 26th of June 2018
[…] Homemade Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter CupsThese homemade dark chocolate peanut butter cups are serisouly so much more satisfying than anything you will find in the candy aisle at the store. See the recipe. […]
2018: May – The Sojourning Dunns
Tuesday 12th of June 2018
[…] recipes// cheesecake snacks // cheese taco shells // cookie dough pops // chickpea muffins // THE BEST homemade peanut butter cups // crockpot banana bread oatmeal // curried cauliflower, lentil, grape salad // chocolate mint […]
Friday 27th of April 2018
If I may ask... why use coconut oil + cocoa powder instead of regular chocolate? How does it compare in terms of flavor, texture, nutrition, portability/storage?
Thanks in advance!
Monday 30th of April 2018
The reason I chose cocoa powder instead of regular chocolate is I figured most people would have cocoa powder on hand. Also, you can really easily control the amount of sugar if you use unsweetened cocoa vs dark chocolate chips. I did buy some unsweetened chocolate chips that I want to experiment with. I assume you could just melt about 1 1/4 cups and stir in the maple syrup and vanilla.
I don't think using regular chocolate would improve shelf life, but it would probably make the cups more stable at room temperature since the cocoa butter that's used to make "real" chocolate is harder at room temp than coconut oil. The texture would also be firmer, less melt-in-your-mouth (but also less messy). I don't think the nutrition would change greatly, unless the ratio of fat to cocoa in your chocolate is different than the ratio of coconut oil to cocoa powder in this recipe.
Hope that helps! :)