Trick or treat! Here's the easiest, healthiest, most delicious vegan version of my favorite childhood candy! These homemade vegan peanut butter cups taste just like Reese's but they are so much healthier! Guilt-free Halloween candy for kids and adults! Make them in silicone molds or cupcake liners (affiliate links) to get the traditional Reese's shape.
Vegan Peanut Butter Cups Recipe
Servings: 30 mini cups or 12 large cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes Freeze Time: 30 minutes
For the Chocolate Shell:
1 1/2 cups vegan chocolate chips or chunks
1 tablespoon coconut oil (see substitutes below)
For the Peanut Butter Filling:
1 cup creamy peanut butter (natural, unsweetened)
1/4 cup maple syrup or agave nectar
1/4 cup coconut flour or oat flour (to thicken)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
A pinch of salt (omit if the peanut butter is salted)
Start by preparing your 30-cavity mini peanut butter cup mold or 12 silicone baking cups, ensuring they are clean and dry. Alternatively, line a regular muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners. (affiliate links)
In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the vegan chocolate and coconut oil. Melt in 30-second intervals, stirring in between, until smooth and thoroughly melted. See tips below to melt using the stove.
Carefully spoon a small amount of the melted chocolate into the base of each cavity, spreading it to evenly cover the bottom.
In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, maple syrup or agave nectar, coconut or almond flour, vanilla extract, and salt until you achieve a thick and consistent blend.
Form the peanut butter mixture into small balls for the mini cups (or slightly larger balls for the standard-sized cups). Gently press each ball to shape it into a flat disc.
Set one peanut butter disc onto the chocolate layer within each cavity.
Drizzle more of the melted chocolate atop the peanut butter discs, making sure they're entirely covered.
Gently tap the mold against the countertop to eliminate potential air bubbles and to level out the chocolate.
Transition the mold into the freezer and let it sit for a minimum of 30 minutes, allowing the peanut butter cups to solidify.
Once they've set, carefully remove the peanut butter cups from the mold and enjoy! If there are any leftover (doubtful), store them in an airtight container in the fridge (1-2 weeks) or freezer (2-3 months). Use parchment paper between layers to prevent them from sticking together.
Tips and Substitutions:
The silicone molds will ensure your peanut butter cups all have a consistent shape and size, making them look professionally made!
You can substitute coconut oil with other oils, though each may impart its own flavor and characteristics to the final product. Here's a brief rundown:
Olive Oil: This oil is flavorful and may add a distinct taste to your chocolate. If you prefer a less pronounced olive oil taste, opt for a mild or light olive oil rather than extra virgin.
Canola Oil or Vegetable Oil: These are both neutral oils and can be good substitutes. They won't impart much flavor to the chocolate, which is beneficial if you want to keep the traditional Reese's taste.
Avocado Oil: Also a neutral-tasting oil, avocado oil can be a great substitute for coconut oil.
Grapeseed Oil: This is another neutral oil that works well in many recipes as a direct substitute for coconut oil.
Sunflower Oil: This is a good option, particularly if you're allergic to coconut. It's neutral and won't impart much flavor.
Remember, the main role of the oil in this recipe is to help thin the chocolate a bit and provide a smoother consistency when melting. When substituting, use the same amount of your chosen oil as you would coconut oil.
It's also important to note that coconut oil solidifies at cooler temperatures, giving the chocolate a firmer texture when chilled. Some of these other oils remain liquid even in cooler temperatures. This means your peanut butter cups might be a bit softer if stored at room temperature. To maintain firmness, consider storing them in the refrigerator.
How to Melt Chocolate on the Stove:
If you prefer not to use a microwave, you can also melt the chocolate on the stove. Here are two methods to consider:
Direct Pot Method:
Choose a heavy-bottomed pot to ensure even heat distribution.
Place your chocolate in the pot and melt over the lowest heat setting possible.
Constantly stir the chocolate to ensure even melting and prevent it from sticking or burning. This method is quicker, but be attentive and never leave the chocolate unattended.
Double Boiler Method:
Fill a pot with a few inches of water and bring it to a simmer.
Place a heatproof bowl on top, ensuring the bottom doesn't touch the water.
Add your chocolate to the bowl and let it melt, stirring occasionally. This method offers more control and reduces the risk of burning the chocolate.
Choose the method you're most comfortable with, but always ensure your chocolate doesn't come into contact with water, as even a small drop can cause it to seize up and become grainy.
Estimated Nutritional Information per serving
(3 mini cups or 1 large cup):
Total Fat: 18g
Saturated Fat: 7g
Total Carbohydrates: 15g
Dietary Fiber: 3g