Almond Butter Cups - dairy free, low carb, paleo

Do you love Peanut Butter Cups? You will love these Homemade Paleo 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

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: paleo 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).

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. 5 stars
    Yum! These look so scrumptious, and I have to say that since I've always been a Reese's fan, it's nice to have such a great healthy alternative - and I know I wouldn't be able to stay out of these either!

    1. Thank you so much, Kari! I can't keep out of Reese's either. Well I have been doing a good job just not having them in my house, thankfully!!

    1. Yes, that is correct. I just added something to the recipe card that was only in the notes--you can use cocoa butter instead of coconut oil for a firmer candy. Hope you like them!

      1. Awesome thanks! I don't do so well with cocoa butter so I'll stick with the coconut oil but thank you for confirming, can't wait to make these! 🙂

    1. Hi there - it's cocoa powder. Sorry about that. We transferred recipes over to a new system and there were some glitches along the way. Hope you like them!

  2. Can't wait to try these.. i like to mix almond butter (~2/3) and Sunbuter (~1/3) to get a taste closer to peanut butter. Still working on the proportions, but since Sunbutter has such a strong flavor, I definitely use less.

    I always seem to have trouble sweetening chocolate so that it's sweet enough without getting bitter. Thoughts or suggestions?

    1. Hi there. Just made these last night! I used all cocoa and they are a tad on the bitter side - do you mean it gets bitter from the stevia?

  3. So my Stevia is a mix between maltodextrin and stevia and I was wondering how I can use my sweetener for the quantity asked for about ( it says you can exchange it a cup for a cup to sugar)

  4. I am very happy that I can find such great sugar free recipes but I am having trouble finding out the quantity of 4 scoops . Is it equivalent to 4 Tbsp?

  5. My husband and I made the healthy Reese's cups with a mini heart-shaped silicone mold that holds 24 individual molds. We were able to get 48 servings from that recipe.

    For sweeteners, we used Sweet Leaf Liquid Stevia and Erythritol. For the nut butter filling, we used organic almond butter in the chocolate coating and organic creamy peanut butter for the filling. Instead of carob powder, we used an unsweetened cocoa powder for less carb count. To counter the bitterness of unsweetened cocoa powder, sprinkle a little more salt in the mix.

    The macros came out to; Fat: 14g | Protein: 2g | NCarb: 1g per serving out of a total of 48 servings.

    Thank you so much for this recipe. My oldest son is picky with dark chocolate, so he doesn't like it, but my youngest cannot get enough of these. They are perfect for my keto diet, too! I won't feel left out for Valentine's Day this year!

  6. Just to be clear before I make these (and they look wonderful btw), you have the sweeteners listed this way:

    1/2 cup sweetener, as healthy of a choice as possible
    4 scoops stevia extract powder (or another sweetener. 1/2 cup xylitol or other granulated sugar, or approx 2/3 cup erythritol.)

    Does that mean 1/2 cup sweetener AND 4 scoops of stevia (or another sweetener), or are the 2nd and 3rd lines just examples of the 1/2 cup sweetener?

  7. This recipe looks yummy! I do have one question though....since sugar causes inflammation, I am trying to eliminate it as much as possible from my eating plan. I have tried using splenda and equal, but find that for me they both cause terrible migraines. I am allergic to wheat/gluten & MSG, am a migraine sufferer, have Fibromyalgia, Hypothyroidism, CFS and a few other issues. Would you happen to know what I could use for a substitute for the sugar that will be safe for me to use?

    Thanks in advance for your help!
    Sharon

    1. Hi there. I just put some links in the post for alternative sweeteners. Let me know if you need more info - thanks! I am working with someone who specializes in thyroid issues if you would like her info. She is very sharp and might be able to assist you. Take care!

  8. For the chocolate coating can I use raw honey as the sweetener? Can I also substitute the powder stevia with a liquid? If so, how much do you think?

    1. I think honey should work just fine. You mean sub w/ liquid stevia drops? I don't use them much but of course you can. I would try maybe 2-4 drops for 1/32 to 1/16 of a tsp extract. Hope that helps.

  9. This is too funny. I just got this email from my sister to your link for this recipe, only, I just made this exact thing (hearts and all!) and they are in the freezer as I type. These are SO good!

  10. I'm a little new to all of this, so 2 questions: (1) Is that 1 cup chocolate POWDER or roasted carob powder? Both are powders? If I can't get either, is cocoa powder okay? (2) I only have one mold, so if I have chocolate left over, should I reheat it on low later to make more? Will that wreck it? Better to dip some pnut butter balls into it right away and use it up? Thank you!! =]

    1. Either one will work. Slightly different taste and carob is a little sweet. If you reheat it low it should be OK. Enjoy!

    1. The measurements are for non-powdered - so just measure before you powder it. I think you'll get a nicer result if you powder the sweetener :).

  11. Since I live in the Buckeye state and its football season, we make "buckeyes" which are peanut butter balls dipped halfway up in chocolate. Since I'm doing low carb, sugar free, I had to figure out how to make them legal. Ended up similar to your version. Used my silicon heart molds and baby muffin tins which looked like mini Reese's. my question is, why is nut butter mixed in the chocolate coating? Before I make my next batch, which will be your recipe, I just wanted to make sure I actually mix the nut butter w/chocolate AND have my nut butter mixture for the middle of the candy? Thanks so much. i absolutely love your recipes and hard work to make healthy homemade alternatives of all our "bad" favorites!!!

    1. You know, I am not sure why I did that now :-). But they sure do taste good. Of course, you could use any chocolate coating that you like! Thanks for the kind words!!

  12. Hi Adrienne,
    What lovely Chocolates and a very special treat. I have noted the correction in the recipe to 1/2 cup pwd. sugar. I can't wait to make this treat! Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday. Hope you have a great week end and come back soon!
    Miz Helen

  13. Adrienne,
    This is a great recipe. This post is featured on the Living Well Blog Hop post on Jo's Health Corner today. Thanks for sharing this with us.

  14. I just came across your site and must say genius!!! In two days I have made half of your desert recipes and they ALL taste amazing. I am a health food junkie and love your ideas! Just a question, do you list serving size or nutritional value anywhere?

    1. Hi Ashley. My understanding was that it would cost a lot of money to do that, but I have found a site that you can do it on. I don't know that I could handle the extra work load, but I could consider it. I've always found serving sizes to be arbitrary, but it's an option. You're the second person who has asked. One problem is that I think when you are looking at more "whole food" recipes, the fat level tends to be higher and it would steer folks away from it, when in fact it is healthy. So that would be a real concern that I would have about listing nutritional info. What are your thoughts?

      1. Hi Adrienne, Thanks for the response, I completely agree about the fat content and your right most people don't know that although it's higher fat its good fat and doesn't get stored as fat in the body, rather gets used as energy. I just wanted a rough estimate on the portions and such. I keep track of daily nutrition for school/ fitness comps.

        Also, I think you forgot to post the link!

        Thanks again. I'm making the mint ice cream tonight, I can't wait!

        1. Did I not send it in another reply? Just let me know. I am busy most of the rest of the night but I'll try to get back to you. Hope you like the ice cream!