Make your own Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups with only three ingredients! You can also switch things up and make Chocolate Pumpkin Seed Butter Cups for a fun twist on a classic. Easy to make and a healthier option, these are the perfect bite of something sweet to satisfy a chocolate craving.
Isn’t it interesting how your palate can change over the years? Every week in our grocery order we get two two-packs of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, which my husband and I split over the weekend.
They’re good. They’re sooooooo good. But holy crap are they ever sweet.
My preference these days is to instead smear a bit of peanut butter on a square of 70% dark chocolate, which is a lot less sweet and a whole lot more intense. It occurred to me lately that I could probably just make my own Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups, and so you know what? I did.
You know what else? When you make your own, you’re not limited to peanut butter inside. As you can see, I’ve clearly diverged from the brief already and made good use of my homemade pumpkin seed butter to also make Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Seed Butter Cups.
Which is better? Both!
Pumpkin seed butter has a rich, earthy taste that pairs beautifully with dark chocolate, whereas peanut butter is a little more mellow and familiar tasting, and the sweet / salty contrast with the chocolate is always a delight.
I think the shocking green colour of the pumpkin seed butter cups is a fun surprise, and they make for a tasty slightly healthier Halloween treat if you’re into it.
And guess what? Depending on the chocolate you use in this recipe, these are also Vegan Peanut Butter Cups!
What’s in dark chocolate peanut butter cups?
You only need three ingredients to make these homemade treats, but we’ll also discuss some optional add-ons. Here’s what you need:
- Dark chocolate --> I used 70%
- Coconut oil –-> We’re using this to soften up the chocolate
- Peanut butter –-> Or pumpkin seed butter or another nut butter of your choice
Since you’re making your own peanut butter cups, you can get fancy with them too! I sprinkled the top of mine with a bit of vanilla salt because I can never resist finishing a sweet treat with a bit of salt.
I also topped the chocolate pumpkin seed butter cups with toasted pumpkin seeds – mostly so I could tell which was which later, but also because they’re pretty that way!
You could use some chopped peanuts or other nuts to sprinkle on top, cocoa nibs, or edible flowers, or whatever you like!
What equipment do you need to make this recipe?
First up, you’ll need something to melt the chocolate in. I am new-school and do all of my chocolate melting in the microwave, so I use this microwave proof Pyrex bowl.
It’s also handy because it has a spout, so it’ll make it easier to pour the chocolate later.
You’ll also need something to hold your dark chocolate peanut butter cups. I used silicon muffin liners, which are great because they’re reusable and it’s super easy to get your homemade peanut butter cups out later.
Mine are from IKEA, but you can also grab a set like these on Amazon.
Alternately, you can use paper muffin liners, but do yourself a huge favour and opt for parchment muffin liners rather than the regular paper kind.
How do you make Pumpkin Seed Butter Cups?
You’ll start by melting the chocolate.
Combine your chopped dark chocolate with the coconut oil in a microwave-proof bowl. Nuke it in 30 second increments, stirring each time, until it is all melted and completely smooth.
Put your silicon muffin cups into a muffin tin or on a tray that will fit into your freezer. Pour a small amount of chocolate into the bottom of each cup – just enough to coat the bottom, it shouldn’t be too thick – and then place the tray into the freezer for 5 minutes.
Once the chocolate is firm, spoon a tablespoon of natural peanut butter or pumpkin seed butter into the center of each round. Use your spoon to flatten the nut butter down a little bit, but don’t push it to the edges.
Pour the remaining chocolate over the nut butter just enough to cover it. Sprinkle with vanilla salt, nuts, or seeds if you’d like a topping.
Place the tray back into the freezer for one hour, or until firm.
Then, you can pop your homemade peanut butter cups out of the muffin liners, and enjoy!
How should I store homemade peanut butter cups?
Because we’ve melted the chocolate together with a bit of coconut oil, these become very, very soft at room temperature. I store mine in the freezer in a reusable silicon freezer bag.
Note! If you store your peanut butter cups in the freezer, please remove one from the freezer and wait 10 minutes before eating. Otherwise you’re liable to break a tooth because the chocolate will be so hard!
You can also store your homemade peanut butter cups in the fridge in an air-tight container. But please do not store them at room temperature – it’ll just make a mess and be a shameful waste of good chocolate.
How do you eat pumpkin seed butter cups?
Stay with me here! Because of the added coconut oil in the chocolate, these dark chocolate peanut butter cups are very very melty in your fingers, so they’re kind of messy to eat.
The coconut oil is necessary because we’re not tempering the chocolate, and it would be too brittle to bite into if we didn’t use it, so don’t skip it! But because of the meltiness, I prefer to slice my cups into halves or quarters so they’re a little easier to eat.
And use a plate. I’m a lady, dammit!
How long do these last?
You can keep your dark chocolate peanut butter cups in the fridge for a couple of weeks, or in the freezer for three months. I assure you that you’ll go through them much faster than that.
Are these vegan?
If you use vegan chocolate to begin with, then you will have vegan peanut butter cups. It's like magic!
Are homemade peanut butter cups healthy?
I mean, sure. They're as healthy as the ingredients you use to make them. If you choose natural peanut butter and a dark chocolate bar with a high percentage of cocoa solids and less sugar, they're definitely going to be healthier than your average store-bought peanut butter cup.
They are still very much a treat, though, and I don't want to pretend they're not.
These homemade peanut butter cups are thicker, chocolatier, and more intense than store-bought too, so I often find that I'm perfectly satisfied with just a half a cup. That'd never happen with store bought.
Other recipes you might enjoy:
Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
- 12 oz dark chocolate I used 70%
- 2 tablespoon coconut oil
- ½ cup natural peanut butter or nut butter of your choice
- Chop the chocolate into small pieces. Combine in a microwave-proof bowl with the coconut oil, and microwave in 30 second bursts until the chocolate is melted and smooth.
- Line a muffin tin with 12 silicon muffin liners. Pour a small amount of melted chocolate into the bottom of each liner.
- Place the tray in the freezer for 5 minutes to let the chocolate firm up.
- Scoop a scant tablespoon of nut butter into the center of each cup, and use spoon to flatten slightly.
- Pour chocolate over the top just enough to cover the nut butter.
- Sprinkle with salt, seeds, or cocoa nibs if desired.
- Place into the freezer for one hour to firm up.
- Nutrition values are an estimate only and will vary depending amount and type of chocolate and nut butter used.
- Be sure to allow peanut butter cups to thaw for 10 mins before biting into them!
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