Clean Ingredients, Dairy Free, Gluten Free Dessert, GMO's and Organic Foods, Healthy Kids Recipes, Recipes

Gluten-Free Healthier Peanut Butter Cups

My husband is a HUGE fan of peanut butter cups. We finally made the leap of absolutely no chemicals or artificial flavor or colors in the house many years ago. After a whole year of not eating our most beloved Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, we had a big one for Easter.. and well, we felt disgusting afterwards… really sick! We were shocked. We never touched them again. Luckily that was before becoming parents!! What an eye-opener to what horrible chemicals are in there!

What chemicals are in a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup? Well, here are three: PGPR can cause allergies in children, liver enlargement, and “gastrointestinal discomfort”. Yep. Soy Lecithin, which is in almost every processed food and candy, is linked to breast cancer, decreased fertility and reproduction, and can lead to behavioral and cerebral abnormalities. No.. keep going, here’s the worst one found not just in Reese’s’ but also in chicken nuggets, crackers – TBHQ. “TBHQ (tertiary butylhydroquinone) comes from petroleum and is related to butane. This can be toxic and also cause “nausea, vomiting, ringing in the ear, delirium and collapse”. It is linked to stomach cancer, fragmented DNA and causes damage to human tissue. “In children it can cause anxiety, restlessness, and intensify the symptoms of ADHD.” (source 1 2 3)

I have made many versions of homemade peanut butter cups. Fillings of peanut butter and honey to taste, is one I used to make often.  Or sometimes I get fancy and use the filling to my famous peanut butter pie (link). But, once I tried my good friend Melissa’s peanut butter cup recipe, I was hooked. If you don’t know Melissa from Satisfying Eats blog, you should. I know her personally, and count her as a good friend. She’s also a low carb culinary genius. So, I really can’t take much credit for this recipe, except that my husband hates stevia, so I changed the sweetener and listed the recipe the way I make it. I also love to add vanilla. If you are low carb, I highly recommend Melissa’s amazing cookbooks!

I always use organic peanut butter, low-mold peanuts. Otherwise even your peanut butter is toxic.. Aflatoxin mold is the reason. You can google or read more here. Also, make sure your erythritol is labeled GMO-Free! If you don’t have a silicone mold, then you can use paper liners and mini-cupcake pans.

Now, I’m not going to pretend these are easy to make. While the directions aren’t that difficult, it is time consuming. I make a small batch and it still takes me over an hour an a half. This is a serious special occasion thing. You can try a more simple buckeye version, like in Melissa’s original recipe. Or you can make the filling and spread it on squares of chocolate! We used to do this and call it “Chocolate Ships”… with a butter knife you can make the filling in a triangular shape that looks like a sail.

Here’s a few pictures for demonstration:




Healthier Peanut Butter Cups

  • Servings: Makes 15 Tablespoon sized candies
  • Time: 1-2 hours
  • Difficulty: medium difficult
  • Print



1/3 cup natural peanut butter, organic/just ground peanuts and salt
1/4 cup almond flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons coconut sugar, or erythritol or xylitol for low carb (more to taste)
5 ounces 88% or low-sugar chocolate
1 Tablespoon expeller pressed coconut oil (don’t use virgin, it will have a taste, can sub butter if you have to)
*add sea salt if your peanut butter contains none
Silicone Tablespoon sized cavity mold (plain is best), or small cupcake liners and pan
silicone spatula
small spoon, preferably about teaspoon sized and with an oval or almost pointed shape to it.


Melt chocolate and expeller pressed coconut oil in a small pan over low heat until melted, stirring constantly with silicone spatula, then remove the pan from heat. Careful not to burn it. (Double boiler method works even better if you have one). Using a small spoon, pour a little bit in each cavity of silicone mold, using the back of the spoon to coat the sides. It’s ok if you miss a few spots, as there will be another coat. Freeze for about 10-15 minutes until hard then do a second coat as quickly as possible. If you do this as instructed, your chocolate will be slightly cooler and will stick to the cold sides better. Turn the tray around to make sure you got the whole mold cavity. Freeze again while you make (or finish making) the filling. Careful that you use enough chocolate so that it won’t be too thin, but not too much that there is no room for filling. Intricately shaped molds need careful attention to nooks and cranies.

In a small bowl, mix peanut butter, almond flour, sugar or sub, and vanilla. I used a fork, then mixed with my hands to make a ball, but a mixer would likely work. Make sure it is a ball of dough when you are done. Take double coated chocolate mold out of freezer and fill in with little balls of dough, smashed into center. You don’t want it peeking out over the top too much or too close to the sides at the top so that the chocolate poured on top can meet the chocolate poured on bottom (on shaped molds, this is near impossible, and it’s ok. They are still pretty and delicious). You can pull the dough away from sides after you fill the cavities. Freeze for a few minutes while you heat up the chocolate just a touch, it may have cooled too much by now. Don’t heat it up too much, just a minute or so over low heat. Take out molds and using your spoon, pour a little on top of each cavity, spreading it out to sides of mold. Place back into freezer for about 10-15 minutes, then take them out of the mold and keep in a glass container in fridge.

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