If you love peanut butter cups as much as we do, we know you’ll be a fan of this healthy, veganized, naturally-sweetened version!
When you think about a list of your top five favorite store-bought treats, chances are pretty good that something with chocolate and/or peanut butter makes the cut.
Unfortunately, not all treats are created equal, and they’re not always made with ingredients that vibe with your lifestyle.
That’s why we wanted to share this delicious recipe for homemade vegan peanut butter cups!
This recipe uses healthy, wholesome ingredients like dates, peanuts, rolled oats, and dark chocolate, which come together to create a crave-worthy treat that can be enjoyed as a dessert or a healthy snack.
Introducing Treats To Children
Please note that we recommend waiting to introduce this treat to children until they are 2 years old, due to the added sugar that may be found in the dark chocolate, or potentially in the jam you choose.
This is in line with the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations about introducing added sugars to kids.
To read more about our stance on sugar and introducing treats to kids, check out some of our recent blog posts:
- How We Incorporate Sweets and Treats in a Healthy Way
- When Can Babies Have Chocolate?
- When Can Babies Have Sugar?
- Navigating Weight and Body Image With Kids
How To Make Vegan Peanut Butter Cups
The first step is to prepare your muffin tin. To make to make it easier to remove the finished product, we recommend cutting strips of parchment paper that you’ll place underneath the cups. These can act as tabs to pull the cups out of the muffin tin.
You’ll then add the pitted dates, peanuts, and oats to a food processor and pulse until crumbly. Add the peanut butter, and salt (if your peanut butter is unsalted) and pulse for a few more seconds to combine.
Note that if there are peanut allergy concerns in your household, you can substitute things like almond or cashew butter, sunflower butter, or even soy nut butter in place of the peanuts and peanut butter. A combination of these alternatives would probably also be delicious!
This will be your cup base. Take the mixture by the spoonful and press them into the bottom of the muffin tins.
Drop some jam into the middle of each cup base. Your favorite store-bought jam is also an option, but we think you’ll love our easy homemade chia jam, which is high in fiber, protein, and healthy plant-based fats. See below.
Quick Homemade Chia Jam Recipe
Mix the ingredients below together in a bowl. Place in the fridge for 15 minutes to gel, remove and give a quick stir, and then replace back in the fridge for 2-3 hours. Once gelled, you can place all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor if you prefer a smoother jam.
- 12 ounces thawed frozen berries (raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, etc.)
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1/2 cup chia seeds
- 1 tsp vanilla
Place your muffin tin in the fridge to chill while you prepare the chocolate.
Your chocolate mixture will be made by microwaving coconut oil and dark chocolate briefly in the microwave. Be sure to stir often if you need to nuke it more, but don’t overheat it.
Remove your muffin tin from the fridge and drizzle as much chocolate as you like on each cup. For an extra crunch, sprinkle some hemp, chia, or ground flax seeds on each cup. Place them back in the fridge to chill – and you’re done!
Find the full recipe below.
Vegan Peanut Butter Cups
- food processor, muffin tin
- 1/2 cup dates pitted
- 1/4 cup peanuts
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1/4 cup peanut butter
- pinch salt
- 1/2 cup chia jam
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
- Hemp seeds for topping
- Chia seeds for topping
- Prepare a muffin tin by either lining with strips of parchment paper in an X formation (to easily pull the cups out), using muffin liners or lightly spraying the muffin tin with oil. If you are using a silicone muffin tin, they should easily pop out without the need for paper. Set aside.
- Place the pitted dates, peanuts and oats in the base of a food processor. Pulse for 10-15 times until the dates and well chopped and the mixture is mostly combined.
- Add in the peanut butter and pinch of salt if your peanut butter is unsalted. Process until a thick dough forms. If the mixture is too crumbly, add in more peanut butter. If it's too sticky, add in more oats.
- Remove a heaping tablespoon of the mixture and press into the bottom of the prepared muffin tin, denting in the center. Continue with the rest of the mixture- you should get between 11-12 cups.
- Add a dollop of the chia jam to the center of the cups. Place in the fridge while you make the chocolate.
- Combine the dark chocolate chips and the coconut oil in a microwave safe dish and microwave for 30 seconds. Remove and vigorously stir to melt. Continue to microwave as needed in 15 second intervals, removing the bowl each time and stirring before adding more time. This will ensure that the chocolate isn't over-processed.
- Remove the muffin tin from the fridge and drizzle with the melted chocolate. Up to you how much chocolate you want to add! While the chocolate is still wet, drizzle with hemp seeds and chia seeds. Place back in the fridge for one hour to harden.
- Store in the fridge for up to 1 week; in the freezer for 2-3 months, thawing slightly before eating.
Chime in: What other healthier, homemade treat recipes would you like to see on the blog?
What brand of dark chocolate chips do you usually buy
I usually just grab the ones from Whole Foods; but Enjoy Life and Thrive both carry dark-chocolate chips that are dairy-free.