almond butter cupsAlmond butter cups are a delicious dessert with a wonderful contrast of crunchy yet smooth dark chocolate and rich, creamy almond butter filling. They are like perfection in a cup form. They’re vegan (dairy-free, egg-free), grain-free (gluten-free), soy-free, and refined sugar-free.

I have pretty strong willpower when it comes to food. However, sometimes I just can’t stop eating these almond butter cups. Somehow, chocolate and nut butter together are even more magnificent than they are when eaten solo. Do you know why?

According to Gregory Ziegler, a Penn State University professor, we can’t put those Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups down because of a phenomenon called “dynamic sensory contrast.” Our taste buds simply love contrasting textures. The snappy chocolate and the smooth nut butter are essentially a texture power couple. 

It doesn’t stop there, though.

“Chocolate and nuts also produce flavors with a unique pull to people,” Ziegler says. The rich, tantalizing taste of chocolate and the nutty taste of peanut butter provide the exact sensation our taste buds crave. The salt in the nuts also provides an attractive contrast to the sweet chocolate.

Now, I do understand why Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are so popular. However, whenever I tasted one, I thought, “The chocolate could be darker, and the peanut butter could be creamier.” So, here’s a healthy(-ish) twist on everyone’s favorite Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup – almond butter cups with dark chocolate and creamy almond butter filling.

dark chocolate almond butter cups

Tips for Making Almond Butter Cups

Ingredients

You only need three ingredients to make these homemade almond butter cups:

  • Chocolate: you can use either tempered chocolate made from scratch or store-bought. Whether you make the chocolate yourself or purchase it from the store, go with chocolate you enjoy eating. I love 70% dark chocolate because it gives the almond butter cups a deep, rich chocolate flavor, but 45% – 60% chocolate is typically used for peanut butter cups. Ultimately, the choice of chocolate depends on your taste preferences.
  • Coconut oil: tempered chocolate is quite hard. A little bit of coconut oil softens it, so it’s not rock hard when you bite into it.
  • Almond butter: natural creamy almond butter is best. The ideal consistency would be, well, creamy. If the almond butter is too drippy, it will be difficult to work with (and eat!); if it’s too stiff, it won’t yield the wonderful creamy contrast to the crunchy chocolate. So, I almost always use my homemade almond butter for this recipe. It’s quite drippy, but freeze it for a few minutes to make it easy to work with. If you prefer a firmer filling, you can mix the almond butter with 1-3 Tbsp./6-18 g of almond flour, starting with the lesser amount, until you reach the desired consistency. 

almond butter cups ingredients

How to Make Almond Butter Cups

  1. Line a muffin tin. Fill a regular 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners. You can also use a mini 36-cup muffin tin, but in that case, use only ⅓ of the amounts listed below (when dividing the chocolate and almond butter). If you don’t have a muffin tin, you can also place the muffin liners on a plate. 
    Set up a double boiler. Add a few inches of water to a medium saucepan and top it with a stainless-steel bowl slightly larger than the circumference of the saucepan. The bowl should create a seal with the bottom saucepan to trap the steam produced by the hot water. Ensure the bottom of the bowl isn’t touching the water – this would cause the chocolate to get too hot. Bring the water to a gentle simmer over medium-low heat. Once the water is hot, turn the heat to the lowest setting. 
  2.  Melt the chocolate. Add the chocolate and coconut oil to the stainless steel bowl set over the saucepan and melt the chocolate, stirring constantly, until the chocolate is completely smooth. While the chocolate is melting, place the almond butter in the freezer for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Fill each cupcake liner with a small amount of chocolate. Add 1 Tbsp./15 ml of the melted chocolate into each paper cup. Once they’re all full, gently tap the muffin tin to flatten the chocolate and remove air bubbles. Alternatively, you could also spread the chocolate in the liners until it’s about halfway up the sides. The best way to do this is to pick up the muffin liner and move the chocolate around in the liner until it’s spread out evenly. Then, refrigerate until the chocolate has hardened, for about 5 minutes. Reserve the remaining melted chocolate for the top layer of the almond butter cups.
  4. Add the almond butter. Drop 2 tsp./10.6 g of the chilled almond butter into the middle of each muffin cup. Press the almond butter to flatten it so each cup has a smooth top layer. Unless you spread the chocolate up the sides of the cupcake liners, try to keep the almond butter in the middle and not too close to the edge.
  5. Spoon more chocolate on top. Add about 1 ½ Tbsp./22 ml of melted chocolate on top of the almond butter, then gently tap the muffin tin to flatten the almond butter cups. The key is only to use a thin layer of chocolate while still covering the almond butter. If the chocolate is too thick, it’s harder to bite into.
  6. Chill. Transfer the almond butter cups to the refrigerator and chill until the chocolate is firm to the touch, for about 10 minutes.

how to make almond butter cups

homemade almond butter cups

How to Store Homemade Almond Butter Cups

  • Refrigerating: transfer the almond butter cups to an airtight container and refrigerate them for up to 1 month.
  • Freezing: transfer the almond butter cups to an airtight container and freeze them for up to 3 months. The freezer will produce condensation on the chocolate if the brownies are brought to room temperature straight from the freezer. So, for best results, transfer the frozen almond butter cups to the refrigerator 24 hours before serving. 

almond butter cups recipe

More Chocolate Recipes

I adore chocolate. Real dark chocolate, to be precise. Ideally, above 70%. If you also love chocolate, here are some of my favorite chocolate treats that use tempered dark chocolate:

  • Chocolate bark: biting into a piece of chocolate bark with many different flavors and textures is incredibly satisfying. This chocolate bark features chocolate (of course!) that melts on your tongue, almonds and pumpkin seeds that provide crunch, and dried cranberries that add chewiness. 
  • Dark (tempered) chocolate: have you ever wondered how to make chocolate at home? Raw (= from unroasted cacao beans), tempered (= shiny, smooth, with a snap when you bite into it), dark (75%) chocolate entirely from scratch. If you’d like to make your own dark chocolate, try this 3-ingredient recipe.

If you try any of these recipes, please leave a comment and rate the recipe below. It always means a lot when you do.

5 from 3 votes

Almond Butter Cups

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Chill time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 12 cups
Almond butter cups are a delicious dessert with a wonderful contrast of crunchy yet smooth dark chocolate and rich, creamy almond butter filling. They are like perfection in a cup form.

Ingredients
 

  • 2 cups (340 g) dark or semi-sweet chocolate, , finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup (125 g) almond butter, , smooth

Instructions
 

  • Line a muffin tin. Fill a regular 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners. You can also use a mini 36-cup muffin tin, but in that case, use only ⅓ of the amounts listed below (when dividing the chocolate and almond butter). If you don't have a muffin tin, you can also just place the muffin liners on a plate. 
  • Set up a double boiler. Add a few inches of water to a medium saucepan and top it with a stainless-steel bowl slightly larger than the circumference of the saucepan. The bowl should create a seal with the bottom saucepan to trap the steam produced by the hot water. Ensure the bottom of the bowl isn't touching the water - this would cause the chocolate to get too hot. Bring the water to a gentle simmer over medium-low heat. Once the water is hot, turn the heat to the lowest setting.
  • Melt the chocolate. Add the chocolate and coconut oil to the stainless steel bowl set over the saucepan and melt the chocolate, stirring constantly, until the chocolate is completely smooth. While the chocolate is melting, place the almond butter in the freezer for 5-10 minutes.
  • Fill each cupcake liner with a small amount of chocolate. Add 1 Tbsp./15 ml of the melted chocolate into each paper cup. Once they're all full, gently tap the muffin tin to flatten the chocolate and remove air bubbles. Alternatively, you could also spread the chocolate in the liners until it's about halfway up the sides. The best way to do this is to pick up the muffin liner and move the chocolate around in the liner until it's spread out evenly. Then, refrigerate until the chocolate has hardened, for about 5 minutes. Reserve the remaining melted chocolate for the top layer of the almond butter cups.
  • Add the almond butter. Drop 2 tsp./10.6 g of the chilled almond butter into the middle of each muffin cup. Press the almond butter to flatten it so each cup has a smooth top layer. Unless you spread the chocolate up the sides of the cupcake liners, try to keep the almond butter in the middle and not too close to the edge.
  • Spoon more chocolate on top. Add about 1 ½ Tbsp./22 ml of melted chocolate on top of the almond butter, then gently tap the muffin tin to flatten the almond butter cups. The key is only to use a thin layer of chocolate while still covering the almond butter. If the chocolate is too thick, it's harder to bite into. 
  • Freeze. Transfer the almond butter cups to the refrigerator and chill until the chocolate is firm to the touch, for about 10 minutes.
  • Store. Leftover almond butter cups keep well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. For longer-term storage, freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. The freezer will produce condensation on the chocolate if the brownies are brought to room temperature straight from the freezer. So, for best results, transfer the frozen almond butter cups to the refrigerator 24 hours before serving. 

Notes

*Nutrition information is approximate and may contain errors. Please feel free to make your own calculations.

Nutrition

Serving: 1of 12, Calories: 261kcal, Carbohydrates: 16g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 23g, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 7g
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keywords: almond butter cups, almond butter cups recipe, chocolate almond butter cups