You may be thinking, “A recipe for peanut butter cups? Isn’t it just chocolate + peanut butter?” Well, my friends, it’s not – but it’s also not much more difficult. We’ve made plenty a peanut butter cup with just a plain peanut butter filling, and while they’re delicious in their own right, they don’t compare to the sweet confection we all know and love (looking @ you, Reese’s).
It only takes a few extra ingredients to make the perfect peanut butter filling, and it’s still plenty healthy. If you’re looking for a super sweet filling, powdered sugar is the way to go, but we prefer adding maple syrup instead. It’s healthier (yes, still sugar, but maple syrup has a lower glycemic index than other sources of sugar and contains more valuable minerals, like manganese and zinc) – and we just love the flavor.
When it comes to choosing maple syrup, it doesn’t matter much if you choose Grade A or B. There’s no difference in quality between the two, just color and flavor (grade B has more of both). Whatever you do, please for the love of god put down the bottle of Aunt Jemima. It’s not maple syrup. I’m not kidding, it literally contains NO maple syrup and the first two ingredients are corn syrup and….high fructose corn syrup! Yikes.
Okay, maple syrup rant over. The only other ingredients you’ll need for the filling are coconut oil (melted), a bit of cinnamon and as Ina would say, good quality vanilla. If you want to throw a pinch of salt in there, too, go for it. The chocolate is simple – just your favorite dark chocolate melted with about 1 tsp coconut oil (helps loosen it up a bit for pouring).
If you or a family member are allergic to peanuts, you can sub peanut butter with cashew, almond, or pretty much any other nut butter you enjoy. Allergic to all nuts? Try sunflower seed butter! My older brother is allergic to all tree nuts (luckily not peanuts!), so we’ve experimented with a lot of versions and they’re all delicious.
Peanut butter always wins me over, but I have to say, cashew butter is creeping its way to a close second place. In fact, you guys seem to like cashew butter quite a bit, too – these Chocolate Cashew Butter Cups with Raspberry Chia Jam have become one of our most popular blog recipes in the last few weeks!
Last word of advice before the recipe – don’t leave these out on the counter for hours, otherwise they will start to melt. We store ours in the freezer – they soften up in just a minute or two when you take them out. If you’d prefer to have an all chocolate exterior and just the filling in the center, brush the chocolate up the sides of the muffin tin, then freeze, then add filling in center. You made need to do two layers of chocolate to make sure no peanut butter peeks through. Or, if you’re lazy like us, just do it this way!Print
These vegan peanut butter cups rival any store-bought version, and they’re made with just a few simple ingredients you probably already have in your pantry!
- 14 oz dark chocolate, melted with 1 tsp coconut oil
- 1 cup smooth peanut butter (unsweetened)
- 3 tbsp melted coconut oil
- 1 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
- 3/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Chop dark chocolate into small shards (or if using chocolate chips, skip this) and place in heat-safe bowl with 1 tsp coconut oil. Melt in microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring well between each, until completely melted. Alternatively, you can melt the chocolate in a double boiler – it’s up to you.
- Meanwhile, whisk together peanut butter, coconut oil, maple, cinnamon and vanilla until smooth and creamy.
- Line a mini muffin tray with mini muffin liners. Pour a small amount of chocolate into each (enough to cover bottom) and freeze for about 10 minutes or until solid. Transfer peanut butter filling to a piping bag and fill each liner, leaving room at the top. Cover each with more chocolate, then freeze until solid (about 30 minutes).
- Enjoy! Store in airtight container in freezer for best results.
Keywords: easy vegan dessert