These delicious vegan chocolate peanut butter cups are sure to satisfy any chocolate craving. They're easy to make, plus they are refined sugar-free, gluten-free, and can be whipped up in less than 30 minutes!
I fancied up these mini chocolate peanut butter cups by topping them with a mixture of sea salt and pink pitaya powder. These sweet and salty little bites are perfect for Valentine's Day, any sweet celebration, or just because!
I've always loved Reese's peanut butter cups ever since I was a child; they were my favorite candy. When I went vegan, I stopped buying them since they contain dairy products. This homemade version tastes even better. If you love chocolate and peanut butter, you're going to love these!
Here is the equipment you will need to make these chocolate peanut butter cups:
- mini muffin/cupcake tin - a 24-well tin or two 12-well tins, or silicone molds
- 16 mini muffin liners - when you separate these, start from the bottom, it's easier!
- flexible spatula
- double boiler or small saucepan with a heat-safe bowl to sit on top of the saucepan (stainless steel is fine, don't let it touch the boiling water)
- mixing bowl
These are the ingredients you'll need to make these vegan chocolate peanut butter cups:
- Vegan semi-sweet mini chocolate chips (dairy-free) - to ensure it's vegan, check the ingredients list for milk fat, milk solids, or dairy butter (cocoa butter is okay and is vegan). If you don't have the minis, you can use regular vegan chocolate chips, or a chopped up vegan chocolate bar (no milk products/dairy).
- Virgin coconut oil - to mix with the chocolate chips for smoothness and ease of spreading
- Natural peanut butter - preferably unsalted. If using salted peanut butter, don't add salt to the filling. The brand I use is a nice consistency, not runny and not thick. If your natural peanut butter is runny, place it in the fridge to thicken it. You can put a brand new jar of peanut butter on the counter, upside down, to get it to mix.
- Maple syrup - a natural sweetener for the filling; make sure it's pure and not a blended syrup
- Nutritional yeast (optional) - adds a savory and umami flavor, plus it adds texture
- Vanilla extract - vanilla and chocolate go so well together!
- Fine sea salt - add if your peanut butter is not salted or add to taste
- Coarse sea salt - to combine with pink pitaya powder to sprinkle on top of the cups. Fine sea salt also works, which is what I have pictured.
- Pink pitaya powder - 100% pure red dragon fruit powder, optional. It's non-GMO, gluten-free, and has no added sugar, additives, or preservatives.
🥣 How to make these vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
- Line your muffin tins with liners and set them aside.
- Make the peanut butter filling. In a small bowl, mix the natural peanut butter, maple syrup, nutritional yeast, vanilla extract, and fine sea salt.
- Melt the chocolate. If you have a double boiler, melt the chocolate chips and coconut oil in it. If you don't have a double boiler, you can make one. See my tips below.
- Place the chocolate chips with coconut oil in the bowl and frequently stir with a spatula. Remove from heat before all the chips have melted and continue stirring on the countertop, to avoid burning the chocolate.
- Assemble the cups—Spoon 1 scant teaspoon of melted chocolate into each liner. Gently spread it to the edges of the liner with your spoon. Follow with one teaspoon of peanut butter mixture rolled in a ball and then flattened into a disc. Top with one teaspoon of melted chocolate, gently spreading it to the edges of the liner.
- Make the salt topping. Combine fine or coarse sea salt and the pink pitaya powder if you're feeling festive. Sprinkle a small amount on top of peanut butter cups; I highly recommend this. Place in the fridge for 20 minutes. Enjoy!
How to make a double boiler
Place a heat-safe bowl such as stainless steel over a small saucepan with high sides that has been filled with about an inch of water, and then bring that to a low boil.
Choose a bowl that will sit nicely on top of the saucepan. You don't want the base of the bowl to be touching the boiling water; you want to melt the chocolate, not cook it or burn it. Make sure the bowl isn't in contact with the boiling water.
When using a double boiler, stir the chocolate frequently. Take it off the heat when it's nearly melted.
Add cocoa nibs for variety in texture.
If you are unable to obtain vegan mini chocolate chips, use regular vegan chocolate chips or vegan semi-sweet chocolate (chopped).
If you don't have maple syrup, you can use icing (confectioner's) sugar but then they won't be refined sugar-free.
Stir chopped mini vegan peanut butter chocolate cups into vegan ice cream with some melted chocolate for a decadent treat!
💭 Top tips
Be sure to use enough chocolate on top to cover the peanut butter filling properly and seal off the sides. I recommend using a scant teaspoon for the base layer and a slightly more generous teaspoon for the top layer.
If the chocolate starts getting stiff while it's cooling off and it's hard to spread, heat it up again over the double boiler.
These peanut butter cups can be stored for up to 3 to 5 days in the fridge.
Store up to 6 months in the freezer in a sealed container.
More dessert recipes
If you make these Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups, let me know what you think by ★ star rating it and leave a comment below. You can follow me on Instagram and share your creation with me! Just tag me @resplendentkitchen and hashtag #resplendentkitchenrecipes.
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Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
- heat-proof bowl (stainless steel works well)
For the peanut butter cups
- Line 2 mini muffin tins with 16 liners.
- Combine natural peanut butter, maple syrup, nutritional yeast, vanilla extract, and fine sea salt.
- Melt the chocolate chips with coconut oil in a double boiler on low heat, stirring frequently. Remove from heat before all the chips have melted and continue stirring on the countertop. Let cool briefly.
- Spoon 1 scant teaspoon of melted chocolate into each liner, gently spreading it with a spoon to the edges. Follow with 1 teaspoon of peanut butter mixture rolled in a ball and then flattened into a small disc. Top with 1 teaspoon of melted chocolate, gently spread it to the edges of the liner.
- Combine coarse sea salt and pink pitaya powder. Sprinkle a small amount on top of peanut butter cups before placing in fridge for 20 minutes. Enjoy!