Healthy Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Cups – Dairy free, Keto, Paleo

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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!

almond butter cups in muffin liners

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.

chocolate being whisked for paleo almond butter cups
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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 :-).

paleo almond butter cups being assembled in mini muffin tin

These reese’s copycats are easily adaptable for all kinds of special diets.  See the Special Diet Notes for details.

vegan almond butter cups in muffin tin

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)?

paleo almond butter cups in a pile on dessert plate

Other Healthy Treats You Might Like:

Recipe Notes

  • 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.
paleo almond butter cups in a pile on dessert plate

Almond Butter Cups – low carb, dairy free and sugar free

This Homemade “Reese’s®” Nut Butter Candy is Sugar and Dairy Free – Homemade Peanut Butter Cup Candy without the guilt!
4.72 from 7 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Keto, Low-Carb, Paleo, Vegan
Keyword: keto almond butter cups, paleo almond butter cups, sugar-free almond butter cups
Servings: 36
Calories: 255kcal

Ingredients

Chocolate / Carob Coating

Filling

Instructions

  • 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).

Notes

  • 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.

Nutrition

Calories: 255kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 279mg | Potassium: 125mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 901IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 1mg | Net Carbs: 2g

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?

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90 Comments

  1. Hi Adrienne, thanks so much for linking this recipe up to Allergy-Free Wednesdays! I have never been brave enough to make my own candy, but I may be inspired to do it now 🙂

  2. Stopping by from Fitness Friday. I saw a picture of chocolate and the word healthy. Had to check it out. They look delicious!

    1. Kylie. For some odd reason we couldn’t get anything to show up besides “Healthy”! Glad you came by – we’ll probably link it up next week also :-).

  3. Thanks for linking your great post to FAT TUESDAY. This looks delish! Hope to see you next week!

    Be sure to visit RealFoodForager.com on Sunday for Sunday Snippets – your post from Fat Tuesday may be featured there!

  4. Thank you! I am currently sugar free and often peanut butter and chocolate obsessed but my attempts are not very professional and sugar free versions in the store don’t taste great. This looks wonderful and tasty!

    1. Naomi, I think you will really like this. And stay tuned. I am going to try making a more PB cup taste-alike soon!

  5. A great peanut butter substitute would be sesame seed tahini. as long as there’s not an allergy to sesame seeds, i buy in bulk, roast them and make the tahini in my vita mix…..i’ve ate it with raw caco chocolate and it is wonderful, tastes just like a reeces.

  6. That’s a great recipe! I love the little snippets you share about your process of making them and experimenting.

    Definite success–and I’m right with you about the need to avoid chocolate, it being a downfall..

      1. I hope you find them and try it, Adrienne! Two more ideas for making the chocolate more “milk chocolatey” would be to use cashew butter, or to use coconut cream powder (like Wilderness Family Naturals has). I’m really careful with it, because it has 1% casinate (a milk derivative) as an anti-caking agent and otherwise I totally avoid dairy, but it’s fantastic for white chocolate making!

        1. That sounds great! My son can’t have cashews, and maybe not the caseinate either. He’s gotten a reaction from it before. Oh well. The almond butter in the carob made it pretty close, I think…never should have let my son have the “real” thing.

  7. These look great, and I definitely want to try them – in the filling part of the recipe, there’s no measurement unit for the powdered sugar. should that be 1/2 cup? I’m so intrigued by the idea of making my own powdered sugar. That’s always an issue for me in recipes.

  8. Hi, Andrea. Thanks for this great recipe! Question – why first mix the nut butter with the coconut oil, powdered sweetener, and salt rather than simply using it on its own?

    1. Hi Pamela. Do you mean why didn’t I just fill the chocolates with plain nut butter? If that’s what you mean, I tried making these this way several times and while they were good, this was by far the tastiest option. Of course, you could make it “au naturel” also :-). My husband LOVES almond butter and he could be found slathering almond butter on the almond butter-filled creations that I made throughout the week :-).

    1. Jamie,

      it’s teeny tiny – 1/32 of a tsp. The small stevia containers have a small scoop in them that measures it for you. :-).

    2. Hi again. Actually, I just found out most don’t have the small scoops. Let me know if you need a link to the spoons I own now.