I have a passion for sweets. That’s why I make things like vegan chocolate chip cookies and vegan kit kat bars. And it’s why these homemade vegan peanut butter cups are rocking my world right now. They’re like a Resse’s peanut butter cup, but better, because they’re made without dairy. It’s a perfect snack for my sweet tooth and yours, too!
Why This Recipe is a Winner
- Melting dark chocolate with coconut oil makes it easy to spread, quick to firm up, and absolutely delicious to eat
- The amount of peanut butter filling is up to you — if you like a thick or thin filling, you get to decide when you make your own
- Using sugar-free powdered sugar and chocolate chips can transform this guilty pleasure into a reasonable treat any day of the week
What You Need
You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.
- Lemon — We’ll use both the zest and the juice of the lemon.
- Oats — I used rolled oats for this recipe, but you can substitute instant oats.
- Chia — We’ll add some ground chia seeds to create a thicker texture. You can use whole chia seeds; I just prefer ground because it creates a smoother finished texture.
- Syrup — I used maple syrup, but you can substitute agave nectar.
- Milk — We’ll use almond milk for the best overnight oats! Substitute your favorite plant-based milk.
- Yogurt — I love adding some plant-based yogurt (plain, unsweetened) for an even more tangy flavor.
- Protein Powder — I add some vanilla protein powder for increased flavor and nutrients. If your protein powder is not sweetened, you may want to add an extra teaspoon or two of sweetener.
- Cornstarch — We’ll use cornstarch to thicken the lemon curd topping.
- Turmeric — A pinch of turmeric makes that lemon curd sunny yellow.
- Peanut butter — I use creamy peanut butter, but you can substitute chunky if that’s your preference.
- Powdered Sugar — You can use regular powdered sugar, or you can substitute a zero-calorie powdered sugar such as Swerve. See nutritional information below for a comparison between the two.
- Dairy-free Chocolate Chips — You can use regular dairy-free chocolate chips or substitute sugar-free chocolate chips (such as Lily’s or other brands that are both dairy-free and sweetened with stevia).
- Coconut oil — Use refined coconut oil for a more neutral flavor or virgin coconut oil for a stronger coconut flavor.
What Peanut Butter is Best for Peanut Butter Cups?
There are three basic types of peanut butter: 1) Natural (the kind that has to be stirred, 2) Creamy, and 3) Crunchy. Some types of peanut butter work better for different recipes. Most of the time I prefer using natural peanut butter because it doesn’t have added hydrogenated oils or sugar. For this recipe, you can use whatever kind of peanut butter you like best.
How to Make Vegan Peanut Butter Cups
- Make the peanut butter filling by combing peanut butter and powdered sugar in a bowl.
- Heat in a microwave for 20 to 30 seconds, until soft and stirrable. Stir together until smooth.
- Combe chocolate chips and coconut oi.
- Heat chocolate chips and coconut oil in a microwave in 30-second increments until melted.
- Stir until smooth.
- Spoon melted chocolate to the bottom of 24 candy cup molds situated on a cookie sheet. Tip the molds back and forth to allow the chocolate coating to go up the sides of each cup.
- Set the chocolate by placing the cookie sheet holding the molds in the fridge for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Spoon the peanut butter filling over the set chocolate.
- Smooth out the peanut butter and flatten it using dampened fingers or the back of a spoon. Return the tray to the fridge for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Drizzle melted chocolate on top of each mold until all the peanut butter is covered. Use a spoon to spread the chocolate across each cup.
- Set the candies by returning the tray to the fridge until the chocolate is firm.
If you don’t have candy papers or the mini candy mold, add strips of waxed paper to candy pan compartments. This helps remove the candy when it’s set, but you won’t get the crinkly lines in the set chocolate.
Store peanut butter cups in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 10 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months. If left out at room temperature, the chocolate will get soft.
Can vegans eat Reese's peanut butter cups?
Unfortunately, Reese’s peanut butter cups are not vegan. Even the dark chocolate Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are made with dairy. I hope vegan Reese’s cups are in the future, but for now, stick with specific vegan brands or make homemade vegan peanut butter cups.
Are Justin's dark chocolate peanut butter cups vegan?
You can buy Justin’s Mini Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups because they appear to be dairy-free. The package indicates it’s dairy-free, but it is processed in the same plant as milk products.
You can make these peanut butter cups using traditional powdered sugar and dairy-free dark chocolate and here are the nutritional estimates for that:
Calories: 141 Carbs: 11g Protein: 4g Fat: 10g Fiber: 1g Net Carbs: 10g
For reduced sugar and/or keto-friendly peanut butter cups use Swerve Powdered Sugar and Lilly’s Dark Chocolate Chips. Here are the nutritional estimates based on these ingredients:
Calories: 90 Carbs: 5g Protein: 3g Fat: 8g Fiber: 2g Net Carbs: 3g
That’s it for these vegan chocolate peanut butter cups!
Vegan Peanut Butter Cups
Peanut Butter Filling
- ¾ cup peanut butter
- ½ cup powdered sugar (substitute sugar-free powdered sugar)
- 1 ¼ cups dairy-free chocolate chips (substitute sugar-free chocolate chips)
- 1 tablespoons coconut oil
- Place peanut butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat for 20 to 30 seconds, until peanut butter is soft and stirrable. Add powdered sugar. Stir to combine. Refrigerate.
- Place 24 candy cup molds on a cookie sheet.
- Add 1 cup chocolate chips and 1 tablespoon coconut oil in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat for 30 seconds, then stir. Repeat until the chocolate is melted. Use a teaspoon and add a generous teaspoon of melted chocolate to the bottom of each candy cup mold. Set aside the dish with any remaining chocolate to be used below.
- Tip each candy cup mold back and forth to allow the chocolate coating to go up the sides of each cup.
- Place the cookie sheet holding all 24 cups in the fridge for 15 to 20 minutes to let the chocolate harden.
- Once the chocolate is firm, portion out a generous teaspoon of the peanut butter mixture and drop it in each of the 24 cups lined with chocolate. Wet the back of a spoon and use this to smooth out the peanut butter and flatten it. Return the tray to the fridge for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Add remaining chocolate chips (½ cup) to the chocolate bowl used in the step above. Add remaining (½ tablespoon) coconut oil. Heat in the microwave in 20-second increments, stirring in between until the chocolate is melted.
- Drizzle melted chocolate to each cup until all the peanut butter is covered. Use the back of a spoon to spread melted chocolate evenly across each cup. Once all the cups are topped with chocolate, return the tray to the fridge to allow the chocolate to harden.
- Store vegan chocolate peanut butter cups in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 10 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months. If left out at room temperature, the chocolate will get soft.
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The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
This post was originally published in 2019 and was updated to include new photos, new text, and an updated recipe in 2021.