Vegan Peanut Butter Cups

These vegan peanut butter cups are a tasty treat just like the one you buy in the store, but healthier. This recipe is dairy-free and relatively low in sugar, but still amazing and addicting!

If you love vegan candy, be sure to try these Vegan 3 Muskateers and these Vegan Almond Joy Bites.

A stack of several vegan peanut butter cups, the top one with a bite taken out.

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
A small, white bowl holds creamy peanut butter inside.

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.

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.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe:

  • 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.

How to Make Vegan Peanut Butter Cups

  1. Make the peanut butter filling by warming the peanut butter in a microwave for 20 to 30 seconds, until soft and stirrable. Stir in the powdered sugar and refrigerate.
  2. Heat chocolate chips and coconut oil in a microwave in 30-second increments until melted, stirring the chocolate until smooth.
    Making homemade vegan chocolate peanut butter cups
  3. 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.
    Almost Raw Peanut Butter Cups in the making
  4. Set the chocolate by placing the cookie sheet holding the molds in the fridge for 15 to 20 minutes.
  5. Spoon the peanut butter filling over the set chocolate.
  6. 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. 
  7. Melt remaining chocolate chips with coconut oil in a microwave. Stir until the chocolate is smooth.
  8. 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.
  9. Set the candies by returning the tray to the fridge until the chocolate is firm.

Marly’s Tips

A tray of a mini muffin pan holds chocolate candies being made into peanut butter cups.

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.

Storage Tips

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.

Nutritional Information

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

More Chocolate Candies

If you love these vegan peanut butter cups and you want more vegan chocolate candy recipes, you’ll want to try these:

A hand holds a chocolate peanut butter cup with a bite taken out over a stack of other candies.

That’s it for these vegan chocolate peanut butter cups!

A hand holds a peanut butter cup with a bite taken out of it. It's held over a stack of more candies.

Vegan Peanut Butter Cups

Making these tasty vegan peanut butter cups is easy and they're delicious. It's great to have fun treats in a versatile vegan diet!
5 from 6 votes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 24
Calories: 90kcal

Ingredients

Peanut Butter Filling

Chocolate Coating

  • 1 ½ cups sugar free chocolate chips (see note)
  • 1 ½½ tablespoons coconut oil

Instructions

  • 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.

Recommended Equipment

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Notes

Use regular powdered sugar or sugar-free Swerve powdered sugar for reduced sugar and carbs.
Use dairy-free chocolate chips or Lilly’s Stevia Sweetened Dark Chocolate Chips for reduced sugar and carbs (see nutritional analysis in the post).
Calories: 90kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 49mg | Potassium: 70mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 5IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 0.3mg

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.

19 Responses to Vegan Peanut Butter Cups

  1. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyNicoleB Reply

    *faint*
    They sound (once again) delicious!
    Yummy!

  2. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyJuliana Reply

    Wow, we love peanut butter cup…but never thought in making them…they look awesome…great pictures as well 🙂

  3. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyStella Reply

    5 stars
    Hey Marly, I’m always torn in that way too with both my blog and myself (smile) in reference to healthful foods, almost healthful foods, and just delicious vegan and vegetarian foods that, yes, aren’t so healthful but are delicious! Oh, and these cups look wonderful, and I think they are much more healthful than the regular ones so you’ve accomplished many things with this treat;-) Wish I could have one…
    p.s. your kid is real cute!

  4. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMonet Reply

    So beautiful. Not only were your peanut butter cups drool-worthy, but your precious daughter is more and more stunning each time I see her. I’m glad that you had such success with these! I’m so intimidated when it comes to making candies! Thank you for sharing…I hope that your Thursday is beautiful.

  5. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyJulie Reply

    5 stars
    I made basically the same recipe (pre-vegan, so I wasn’t sure on the chocolate) for a party. They were all gone before dinner was served! Everyone gushed about how much better than Reeses they were. I already have all the ingredients to make them dor thanksgiving next week, so excited!

  6. Avatar thumbnail image for Marlyfooddreamer Reply

    Nice thing about making your own is that you can tailor them to your dietary needs. Yum! Your daughter is beautiful.

  7. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyTiffany S Reply

    My husband has been begging me to make these…I really should get on it!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Oh, I think you should make your hubby happy!

  8. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyPachecopatty Reply

    I’m also fixated, lol! The powers of soy milk, margarine and coconut oil are amazing. They do look scrumptious:)

  9. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlySMITH BITES Reply

    MMMMMmmmmmm – can’t talk. Eyes fixated on recipe because I ate these (the bad kind) by the box full when I was a kid!

    MMMMMmmmmmmm

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      I think I had an experience or two like that when I was a kid. There’s something about making them yourself that causes you to eat them a little slower I think.

  10. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyGrace Reply

    5 stars
    Marly I have to try these, they look so amazing. What a great idea to buy the tin foil cups. Putting them on my list to pick up at the grocery store. I’m sure it makes it easier to coat the sides. I’ve been meaning to try my own chocolate bars but I’m afraid to start I may never stop. These look better than Reeses!

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