A healthier version of one of my favorite treats, this dark chocolate peanut butter cup recipe is easy to make and uses only 4 ingredients: chocolate chips, peanut butter, coconut oil, and maple syrup.
Why This Recipe Works
Combining salty and sweet is always a winning combination, so dark chocolate cups with nut butter within makes for a great treat.
I like that this recipe works with whichever kind of nut butter you like best, and I add a little bit of maple syrup to the nut butter filling to get a smooth consistency, and a little kick of added sweetness to balance out the bitterness in the dark chocolate.
Also, a little coconut oil in the chocolate shell helps the chocolate melt and get that smooth chocolate surface. This recipe is definitely a healthier version of store-bought nut butter cup because you get to skip all those additives and preservatives!
Ingredients & Substitutions
dark chocolate chips - this recipe works with milk chocolate chips, bittersweet chocolate chips, and even white chocolate chips, so pick your favorite and go from there. You can even use vegan chocolate chips to make this recipe vegan.
maple syrup - I use maple syrup as the sweetener in this recipe, but you can substitute with agave nectar, honey, and even monk fruit syrup.
peanut butter - I have used both unsalted creamy and unsalted crunchy peanut butter to make this recipe, depending on what I have in the pantry. Both work, but creamy yields a more classic texture.
How to Make this Recipe
Start by lining a muffin tin with paper or silicone cupcake liners. Then, mix ½ cup of nut butter with 1 tablespoon of maple syrup in a bowl. Freeze for 20 minutes.
Keeping your hands wet (so it doesn't stick as much) roll the nut butter filling into 12 ~2 teaspoon balls. Freeze for 5 more minutes.
In the meantime, melt your 2 cups of chocolate with the 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. You can do this in a microwave for 30 seconds at a time, mixing in between, or in a double boiler.
Add 2-3 teaspoon of melted chocolate to each muffin tin cup. Tap the muffin tin so the chocolate settles. You want to make sure there is enough to fill the bottom of the muffin liner.
Tip: To add the 2-3 tsp, use the tablespoon measuring spoon. If you fill the tablespoon and pour, there is chocolate still stuck to the spoon... just the right amount.
Now, the peanut butter in the freezer is ready to come out. Flatten each ball into a disc as you gently add one to each cup. Then, top with another 2-3 teaspoon of melted chocolate and tap the tray on the countertop to help the chocolate settle flat.
Freeze the peanut butter cups for 20 minutes. Then, store at room temperature or in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks...if they last that long.
Peanut Butter Cups FAQs
Ingredients: Milk chocolate (sugar, cocoa butter, chocolate, nonfat milk, milk fat, lactose, lecithin (soy), PGPR, Emulsifier), peanuts, sugar, dextrose, partially defatted peanuts, hydrogenated vegetable oil (palm kernel oil, soybean oil); contains 2% or less of: corn syrup, salt, palm kernel oil, artificial color (yellow 5 lake, yellow 6 lake, red 40 lake, blue 1 lake), confectioner's glaze, lecithin (soy), modified cornstarch, TBHQ and citric acid, to maintain freshness, carnauba wax, vanillin, artificial color. [Source]
Yes. Simply add the chocolate and coconut oil to a bowl and microwave it for 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until fully melted.
Variations on this Recipe
More Chocolate Treats
...or check out all my favorite sweets & treats here.
Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
Nut Butter Filling:
- Line a muffin tin with paper cupcake liners.
- Mix the nut butter filling ingredients well in a bowl. Freeze for 20 minutes.
- Keeping your hands wet (so it doesn't stick as much) roll the nut butter filling into 12 2-3 teaspoon balls. Freeze for 5-10 minutes.
- In the meantime in a double boiler melt the chocolate chips and oil. You can also do this using a mircowave*.
- Add 2-3 teaspoon of melted chocolate to each muffin tin cup. Tap the muffin tin so the chocolate settles. (Tip: To add the 2-3 tsp, use the tablespoon measuring spoon. If you fill the tablespoon and pour, there is chocolate still stuck to the spoon... just the right amount.)
- Gently add one nut butter disc to each cup.
- Top with 2-3 teaspoon of melted chocolate.
- Freeze for 20 minutes.
- Store at room temperature or in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks...if they last that long.
This post was originally published in March of 2017 but was republished with new photos, step by step instructions, and tips in November of 2020.