Whenever my boyfriend had to run to the drugstore to pick up some extra toilet paper or toothpaste, he would always sneak in a bunch of candy bars and hide them from me in our kitchen cabinet. Among his favorites were Twix Bars, Kit Kat Bars, and of course Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.
Luckily, I discovered how to make raw desserts a few years ago—treats that are made with cleaner, nutritious ingredients like coconut oil, cacao butter, and cacao powder (and require no baking)—and it’s safe to say his habits of sneaking in processed candy bars has stopped (for the most part).
These almond butter cups are one of his favorites homemade treats. They’re basically a healthified version of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups made with high-quality, clean, vegan ingredients. They don’t contain any dairy, refined sugar, additives, or preservatives, but they taste just as delicious, if not more delicious, than the real deal.
These almond butter cups are easy to make and extra rich and decadent thanks to the cacao butter and cacao powder (the most unprocessed, natural form of chocolate). They make the perfect afternoon treat or crowd-pleasing dessert, and you can even create mini cups using smaller molds. I used almond butter for the filling, but you can easily replace it with peanut butter to nail that Reese’s flavor, or experiment with a fancier nut butter like macadamia nut butter or cashew butter. Either way you can’t go wrong. Make a big batch over the weekend, store them in the freezer, and grab a piece whenever you’re craving a sweet treat!
For The Raw Chocolate Layer
- 1 cup + 2 tbsp cacao butter, finely chopped
- 1 cup + 1 tbsp cacao powder
- 5 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
For The Almond Butter Filling
- 1/2 cup almond butter
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- Pinch of sea salt
- You will need silicone cupcake liners and a baking tray to create these almond butter cups.
- If you’re using store-bought almond butter with added sugars, you can use 1/2 tbsp maple syrup instead.
- I order this cacao butter by The Raw Food World from Amazon and love it! I use it to make raw chocolate bars and treats.
Prep time: 15 min / Freezing time: 1 hour 15 min / Total time: 1 hour 30 min
Cuisine: Vegan, raw, gluten free
Makes: 9 cups
- Add a few inches of water to a large saucepan and bring to boil over medium high heat. Once boiling, lower to simmer and place a large glass bowl over the pot to create a double boiler. Make sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water.
- Add cacao butter to the bowl and let it melt. It should take about 4-5 minutes.
- Once the cacao butter has melted, remove from heat. (If the pieces haven’t fully melted but the bowl is overheating, remove from heat and let it finish melting.) Add cacao powder, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and salt. Whisk until well combined and the texture is smooth and glossy with no clumps. Make sure not to overstir or the chocolate will stiffen too much.
- Line a baking tray with silicone molds. Using a spoon, pour just enough chocolate to cover the bottom of the molds (about 1/2-1 tbsp). I like to keep the layer thin. Cover the tray with foil and place it in the freezer to set for 15 minutes.
- While the chocolate layer is setting, make the almond butter filling. In a mixing bowl, add almond butter, maples syrup, and sea salt. Stir until well combined.
- Divide the almond butter filling into 9 equal parts, and roll them into balls using your hands. Then slightly flatten them into disc shapes.
- Remove tray from freezer, and place the almond butter filling into the center of the molds. There should be a little bit of chocolate around the edges showing through.
- Using a spoon, pour remaining chocolate evenly into each mold until the almond butter filling is covered (about two spoonfuls each). The top should be flat and smooth. Cover tray and place in freezer to set for an hour.
- Once the almond butter cups have completely set, remove the final almond butter cups from the mold. Store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for up to a month (I prefer the freezer). I also like to slice them in halves for portion control ;) Enjoy!
Photographs by Stephanie Park