Sugar-free Almond Butter Cups - dairy free, keto, paleo
If Reese's cups are just about your favorite thing ever, but you're avoiding sugar, you are going to love these Homemade Sugar-free Almond Butter Cups!
These cups with their smooth and delicious filling surrounded by rich chocolate not only taste amazing, but they're low-carb and vegan too!
Do you love Reese's Peanut Butter Cups?
I can't imagine anyone saying "no."
I've got a real treat for all of you Chocolate and Peanut Butter Lovers out there.
Delicious Almond Butter Cups that give Reese's® Peanut Butter Cups a real run for the money.
I've always loved those Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, but my oldest son has a life-threatening peanut allergy and well, as with all of the other things that I like to make from scratch, some of those ingredients in Reese's version aren't too desirable.
Reese's® Peanut Butter Cups Ingredients
Milk Chocolate contains Sugar, Cocoa Butter, Chocolate, Nonfat Milk, Milk Fat, Lactose, and Soya Lecithin and PGPR (as Emulsifiers), Peanuts, Sugar, Dextrose, Salt, and TBHQ and Citric Acid (to Preserve Freshness)
Ugh -what do those initials stand for anyway?
... First of all, TBHQ is tertiary butylhydroquinone, a heavy duty preservative. There is some mixed information on the internet about this substance, but I think I'd rather just avoid it.
Second, PGPR is polyglycerol polyricinoleate. It's a yellowish, viscous liquid comprised of polyglycerol esters of polycondensed fatty acids from castor oil. It's basically used to reduce the fat content of less expensive chocolate products while keeping the "full fat" taste. I don't know about you, but I'd sure rather have the real fat.
So. In case the fun of making homemade chocolates isn't enough for you, I hope you now have more reason to do so :-).
These reese's copycats are easily adaptable for all kinds of special diets. See the Special Diet Notes for details.
Finally, after many many attempts at making these chocolates, everyone in my very-patient family said that they were wonderful. I personally (ahem) couldn't really keep out of them, which makes them a winner in my book.
My youngest especially liked the filling.
I think these stand up well against any store-bought filled chocolate and they were sure fun to make!
Looking for some other yummy ways to treat those you love (or yourself)?
Other Healthy Treats You Might Like:
- Healthy Almond Joy Bars - a real family fave. GREAT for having on hand to address any "gotta have chocolate" moment.
- Amazing Silky Smooth Bean Fudge (I promise - you'll love it!)
- Luscious Lemon Bars with special diet options
- Healthier Fantasy Fudge
- Measuring Cocoa Butter / Coconut Oil: These aren't the easiest thing to measure. Cocoa butter is always hard--coconut oil will be soft around 75 degrees. I melt the oil / butter first and then measure it. Much easier! Alternatively, fill up a somewhat large container with some water. Then add the butter / oil until the difference in volume is the amount you need for the recipe.
- Mold Tips: I used silicone molds, like this one from Amazon. Of course, you could use any shape, like these cute flower molds. I do not recommend mini muffin tins, however, or some other non-flexible option. The candy is just too hard to get out of them and you end up with a crumbly mess (yummy, but crumbly). Of course, you could also just roll the filling into balls and dip it into the chocolate, to make an alternative to peanut butter balls.
- Stevia Tips: See this post for help with using stevia.
- Homemade Powdered Sugar: Read this recipe for tips on making homemade powdered sugar substitute.
- Money Saving Tip: Cocoa butter is pretty pricey. I buy mine in bulk since it has a long shelf life. So does coconut oil. Use coconut oil for a less expensive option.
Special Diet Options
- Cocoa Butter Alternatives: You can use another healthy fat instead of coconut oil if you'd like. Coconut oil will yield a product that won't stand up as well to warmer temps, but it still tastes great.
- Sweetener Options: Another healthy sweetener can be substituted instead of stevia. 1/2 cup xylitol or other healthy sweetener will work, but you may need to use a different amount if using a liquid sweetener, so read this post for tips on substituting sweeteners.
You can also use any healthy sweetener for the xylitol, you just may need a different amount if using a liquid.
- Almond Butter Alternatives: You can substitute any nut or seed butter for the almond butter--using Homemade Pumpkin Seed Butter would make for a fun "green" treat for St. Patrick's Day. See this post for tips on making your own nut or seed butter.
- Cocoa Powder Alternative: Organic roasted carob powder can be substituted for the chocolate. Carob is inherently sweet so you might wish to reduce the sweetener if you use carob.
Almond Butter Cups - low carb, dairy free and sugar free
Chocolate / Carob Coating
- 32 ounces cocoa butter (see Recipe Notes for alternative)
- 1/2 cup low-carb sweetener (See Recipe Notes for alternatives)
- 1/8 teaspoon stevia extract powder (See Recipe Notes for alternatives)
- 1 cup cocoa
- 1 cup almond butter (See Recipes Notes for alternative)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup almond butter (See Recipe Notes for alternatives)
- 4 1/2 teaspoons coconut oil
- 1/2 cup low-carb sweetener (powdered--see Recipe Notes for alternative)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Melt cocoa butter or alternative over very low heat. (This is important. If you heat the oil too high, your nice chocolate coating will end up as a gloppy mess. Still edible, but not pretty. Not that I ever did that or anything :-).)
- Transfer the oil to a bowl, add other ingredients and mix well. I used my Bamix immersion blender to do the mixing. It works great and is my new favorite kitchen tool.
- Spoon a small amount of the melted chocolate into your molds. Just enough so you have the thickness that you'd like the chocolate coating to be.
- Place mold in fridge to harden while you make the filling.
- For filling, combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
- Place filling in freezer to firm.
- When filling is more firm, remove from freezer and shape into tiny balls.
- Place one small ball of filling into each mold, on top of the hardened chocolate.
- Spoon the remaining chocolate all over the filling and fill the mold.
- Level off the mold with a knife, if desired, for a nicely shaped candy.
- Chill until firm and store in fridge or freezer (if you can keep out of them that long).
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is merely an approximation. Optional ingredients are not included and when there is an alternative, the primary ingredient is typically used. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts since they have been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.
What is your favorite candy?
IF ONLY cocoa butter was not over $20 per pound! Sound tasty...
Ugh. I buy mine in bulk to save on the cost. You could do coconut oil - it will just melt a lot faster.....
Thank you for taking the time to clarify this! The recipe looks so good, and I will be trying it with coconut oil, and just keeping them in the fridge. Honestly, I live in Alberta, Canada, and coconut oil is usually solid here at room temp for at least 360 days of the year! haha
I appreciate your recipes. I know sharing them can be really time consuming and expensive, and often people don't acknowledge that. Cheers!
You are so welcome and I'm so sorry about the mistake! It's hard to stay on top of everything! They will be GREAT in the fridge. Yeah I'm in the northern part of the US but right now it's 90 F!! Thanks for the kind words. It is quite a bit of work--these actually used to be different but I re-worked them. More coming hopefully soon--truly thanks and hope to see you around again!
These look wonderful! Are you really using 2 pounds of cocoa butter? The recipe calls for 32 ounces cocoa butter, but directions say to melt coconut oil. I'm kind of confused. I did read through recipe notes, and it says can be made with cocoa butter. Are you using these ingredients interchangeably?
I hate to be "that gal", but I would like to try them, and where I live 2 lbs of cocoa butter is SO expensive!
Good catch! I changed it to be cocoa butter since it makes a more heat resistant product but I neglected to change all of the wording. It's fixed now--hope that helps! Hope you like them!
I looked up the initials:
PGPR - It is an ingredient - polyglycerol polyricinoleate - usually from castor bean, but also from soybean oil)
Found On Site: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyglycerol_polyricinoleate
TBHQ is highly toxic and made from butane, a toxic gas used in lighter fluid
Found On Site: https://www.bestfoodfacts.org/tbhq-what-is-it-and-is-it-dangerous/
Just for your information
Hi there - sorry I didn't respond sooner. Yes, there is conflicting information about that TBHQ. The second source states that it was claimed somewhere that it's highly toxic, but then in the article it states that the Virginia professor doesn't think it's the case. Confusing but I would rather not consume it much personally. Thanks and take care!
These look so good! Reese's peanut butter cups are one of my favorite things in the world so I love that you made a healthier version!
Thank you and I'm with you on the favorite things in the world! Pretty much!
These are the best! I can't stop snacking on them! 🙂
Thank you so much, Stacey! So glad you like them!
These are so cute and yummy and looking! I loooved PB cups growing up, so I can't wait to make these.
Thank you so much! Hope you like them!