Peanut Butter Cups Recipe

These peanut butter cups are better than store-bought!

If you love Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, you’ll love these homemade peanut butter cups too.

A stack of three clean Eating Peanut Butter Cups sits on a cutting board with a fourth leaning on it's side against the stack.

Eating healthy doesn’t have to mean that you give up everything you’ve ever liked in favor of cardboard and sawdust on your dinner plate. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

You can still enjoy your favorites. Favorites such as peanut butter cups.

Yes, chocolate and peanut butter were meant to go together. But it doesn’t have to be unhealthy. Things that taste good CAN actually be healthy too! <gasp!>

Why Make Homemade Peanut Butter Cups?

That’s easy!

  • The taste and quality are leaps and bounds better with proper ingredients. 
  • You control what’s in them! There are no questionable chemicals or preservatives added. It’s just all-natural, real-food ingredients.
  • You can get creative! Try white chocolate, dark chocolate, bittersweet or semi-sweet, OR, to keep it truly healthy, purchase baking chocolate (absolutely no sugar added – totally unsweetened) or use a cocoa powder like I did, and add your own natural sweeteners as I’ve done here. I promise you’ll never go back to store-bought!
  • Portion control. Yep, you can make these tiny so you have portion control. That’s why I make these in a mini muffin pan. You can always eat more of them if you want a larger helping. But this gives you a tiny treat when you need it most.

How To Make Peanut Butter Cups

If you’ve ever made this sort of homemade candy before, where you’re working with melted chocolate, you know it can be a hassle to keep the chocolate warm with a microwave long enough to get through making all your candy.

A simple hack is to melt your chocolate in a slow cooker. A smaller-sized slow cooker usually works best, but work with what you’ve got.

On low heat, the slow cooker keeps your chocolate warm for as long as you need (within reason – it will burn eventually). This recipe reflects the use of a slow cooker. But I’ll give instructions for the stovetop as well.

A head on view of a stack of 3 clean Eating Peanut Butter Cups stacked up with a few other single peanut butter cups scattered around the stack.

Once your chocolate is melted and other ingredients have been added, you’ll spoon enough chocolate into the paper-lined mini muffin pan wells to fill up a 1/3 of each well. Then you’ll stick that in the freezer to chill and harden. Once hard, you can spoon on the peanut butter another 1/3 of the way and then spoon the rest of the chocolate over that. Return them to the freezer until hardened, pop them out, and keep them in a food-safe container in the freezer until ready to eat.


How To Melt Chocolate

Should you choose to use chocolate instead of cocoa powder (that recipe is below the first recipe below), you have three options here.

Melting Chocolate In A Slow Cooker

As I mentioned above, one of the easiest, no-fuss options for melting chocolate is by using a slow cooker.

NEVER use a lid when you melt chocolate in a slow cooker. This will create moisture (slow cookers cook with moist heat), which will make your chocolate seize up (that dry, clumpy mess when you overheat or expose the chocolate to moisture). So avoid using a lid at all costs. Simply put the chocolate in, turn the heat to low, and stir occasionally until your chocolate is melted. 

If you have a warm setting on your slow cooker, turn it to that setting once the chocolate is melted.

If you do not have a warm setting, you’ll need to work quickly to avoid the chocolate becoming a seized mess.

If you do overheat your chocolate, instructions for fixing it are in the YouTube video below.

Melting Chocolate In A Double Boiler

This is the “proper” way to melt chocolate. You’ll need a double boiler pot or a pot with a heat-safe bowl that will sit safely inside the pot while resting on the edge.

You do not want to use a bowl small enough to sit completely inside the pot. The bowl must rest on the edges of the pot so that it is suspended over the water.

There needs to be a seal between the pot and the edge of the bowl so that steam does not damage your chocolate.

  1. Bring your water to a boil.
  2. Reduce to a strong simmer.
  3. Put the chocolate in the bowl.
  4. Set the bowl over the pot.
  5. Stir frequently until the chocolate is melted.
  6. Remove the bowl from the pot, wipe the bottom of the bowl, and set it on a heat-safe surface.

How To Melt Chocolate In A Microwave

Where convenience is concerned, melting chocolate in a microwave is second only to the slow cooker.

  1. Put your chocolate in a glass, microwave-safe bowl.
  2. Place the bowl in the microwave and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Stir the chocolate.
  4. Return the bowl to the microwave and cook for 30 seconds.
  5. Remove the bowl from the microwave and stir.
  6. Repeat the 30-second intervals with stirring after each interval until your chocolate is fully melted. 
  7. Stir well each time to help the chocolate melt from the heat of what’s already melted instead of trying just to microwave it into submission.
  8. Use a pot holder because the bowl will get very hot!

Making Peanut Butter Cups With Cocoa Powder

Yes, you can make peanut butter cups with cocoa powder! In fact, that is the original version of my two recipes below. You don’t have to use actual chocolate bars or chips. The powder will work just fine, provided you use virgin coconut oil to help things harden as they cool.

The upside of using cocoa powder is that you don’t have to worry about your chocolate seizing up. You just warm and whisk everything together and build your peanut butter cups. Easy!

The Peanut Butter

You can’t have peanut butter cups without the peanut butter. But the kind of peanut butter you use is important.

  • Your favorite peanut butter is always the best choice for flavor.
  • All-natural peanut butter won’t have any added sugar.
  • You’ll want creamy peanut butter for this.
  • Use room-temperature peanut butter. It’s far easier to spoon into those little cups.

How To Fix Seized Chocolate

If you ended up with a dried, clumpy chocolate mess instead of a nice, silky, melted chocolate, check out this YouTube video for how to fix that.

YouTube video

More Healthy Candy Recipes

Peanut Butter Cups Recipe Card (Using Chocolate)

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The recipe for using cocoa powder is below.

lean Eating Peanut Butter Cups Recipe

Peanut Butter Cups – From Regular Chocolate

This recipes makes 24 mini peanut butter cups using melted chocolate instead of cocoa powder. Note that paper muffin liners can end up sticking to the finished candy. It's not hard to get off, but takes a little effort. To avoid this, use foil muffin liners instead.
4.47 from 15 votes
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Freeze Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 24 servings
Calories: 221kcal



  • Mini muffin pan
  • Mini Muffin Liners/Papers


  • 32 oz. chocolate chips I used Lily's
  • ½ cup peanut butter ( no sugar added )


  • Line your mini muffin pan with mini muffin papers.
    Lining muffin pan with muffin papers.
  • If your muffin pan is silicone, set it on a cookie sheet for stability.
    If muffin pan is silicone, set on a cookie sheet.
  • Set your slow cooker to its low setting.
    Set slow cooker to low setting.
  • Pour the chocolate chips into the slow cooker.
    Pour chocolate chips into slow cooker.
  • Stir the chips frequently so that the already melted parts can help melt the rest of the chips. This process can take about 20-30 minutes, depending on the chocolate chips you use.
    Stirring melting chocolate chips.
  • The chocolate should be smooth, silky and easy to to stir when it's finished melting.
    Melted chocolate in a slow cooker.
  • Once properly melted, turn your slow cooker to it's warm setting.
    Switching slow cooker to warm setting.
  • Fill the muffin papers 1/3 of the way with chocolate, then freeze for 15 minutes.
    First layer of chocolate in muffin papers.
  • Add peanut butter another 1/3 of the way over the frozen chocolate.
    Peanut butter over frozen chocolate.
  • Over this, pour on the rest of the chocolate to top them off. Then return to the freezer for at least 2 hours.
    Last layer of chocolate over peanut butter.
  • Pop out, peel off the papers and enjoy!
    lean Eating Peanut Butter Cups Recipe


Please note that the nutrition data given here is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible.


Serving: 1peanut butter cup | Calories: 221kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 50mg | Potassium: 35mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 85IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 1mg

Peanut Butter cups Recipe Card (Using Cocoa Powder

Clean Eating Peanut Butter Cups Recipe

Peanut Butter Cups

Yield will vary based on the mold you use. The nutrition data is for the ENTIRE batch. You will need to divide that data by the number of peanut butter cups you end up with.
4.58 from 14 votes
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 1 batch
Calories: 4718kcal


  • Mini muffin pan


  • ¾ cup coconut oil
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup honey
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 (16 oz.) jar clean peanut butter, smooth works best


  • In a medium pot, combine all ingredients except the peanut butter.
  • Whisk thoroughly over low heat until the chocolate is smooth.
  • Using either an oiled silicone mini muffin pan, OR foil cupcake papers in a regular muffin pan, fill the wells 1/3 of the way up with chocolate. Keep the chocolate warmed over low heat if possible or on the warm setting in your slow cooker.
  • Freeze these for 15 minutes.
  • Remove them from freezer and add another 1/3 using peanut butter.
  • Freeze for 15 minutes.
  • Remove them from freezer and add the last 1/3 with more chocolate.
  • Freeze for at least 2 hours.
  • Store in freezer. These get melty pretty quickly, so if you want to serve them but don’t want them frozen, put them in the fridge for about 20 minutes, then serve.
  • Note: These are very good straight out of the freezer.
  • If you prefer to use a slow cooker, simply melt the chocolate in a small slow cooker and keep the temp low or even on the warm setting if you have one. The chocolate will keep well during the intermittent freezings.


Please note that the nutrition data below is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible.


Serving: 1entire recipe | Calories: 4718kcal | Carbohydrates: 254g | Protein: 122g | Fat: 397g | Saturated Fat: 192g | Sodium: 2098mg | Potassium: 3687mg | Fiber: 41g | Sugar: 183g | Vitamin C: 0.8mg | Calcium: 260mg | Iron: 15.2mg

Recipe from the Gracious Pantry® archives, originally posted 3/14/11.

4.47 from 15 votes (1 rating without comment)

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  1. What is “clean” peanut butter ? Thank you …

  2. If I made these in a baking dish like a bar, would they be soft enough to cut into bite size pieces? A lot of my cooking stuff is in storage right now while we are in the process of moving, but these just look so yummy that I don’t want to wait ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Amber – You may have some uneven breakage with the hardened chocolate, but it should be okay for the most part.

  3. Kinderlynn says:

    Hi Tiffany! My names Kinderlynn and I just LOVE your website! These look soo yummy I was just wondering I wanted to makes these for my friend and this might be a stupid question but she has a gluten allergy are these gluten free? Please and thank you!!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Kinderlynn – Not a stupid question at all! Gluten comes from wheat, and there are no wheat products in this recipe. HOWEVER, you have to read the products you buy to make this recipe. Most labels will warn you if a product or food is made of packaged somewhere that also processes or packages gluten products. It’s a good idea to contact the companies if they don’t have it on their label.

  4. OMG!!!!!! you have just made my husband VERY happy with this post [or – he will be – if i ever tell him i can make his favorite candy bar clean….LOL]!!!!!!!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Lorrie – Hahahaha!!!! That’s awesome! ๐Ÿ˜€ I hope he enjoys them!

  5. 2 stars
    I’m making these now but the chocolate mix has turned to sludge with liquid. Very unappetizing. I followed the recipe. Any ideas what went wrong?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Kim – My guess is the chocolate got too hot. I’m sorry. ๐Ÿ™

  6. Would you please email the original recipe with dates to me too?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Sarah – I’m sorry, I no longer know where that information is. My apologies. But this version is yummy! ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Chantal Gionet says:

    I was reading the comments found below the peanut butter cups recipe and saw posts about dates mixed in with the peanut butter; however, there are no dates in the list of ingredients?

    Also, when I tried this recipe last night, the melted coconut oil would not mix with the melted honey and cacao powder and just made a thick glob…am I missing something in the ingredients or instructions?


    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Chantal – No, you’re not missing anything. It sounds like you either didn’t get things warm enough. What type of chocolate did you use?

  8. Hi. I was wondering if you could tell me what size peanut butter jar to use?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Jamie – 16oz.

  9. Charlotte Bridgeman says:

    Thanks for this, going to make this week. I’m interested in using dates that some of you refer to – why did you change recipe to without? I’m presuming you think they’re better without, but I saw a comment about dryness in the PB without… Now I’m unsure which way to go :-/. Can you give me a steer?
    Thanks heaps Cx

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Charlotte – You could probably just blend dates into the peanut butter. But when I made this, they were not dry at all. I imagine that would be due to getting more or less oil in the peanut butter. Use the warm stuff from a new jar so that you can stir it easily for even oil distribution.

  10. If I have a larger pb jar, do you know how many CUPS I would use?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Krista – 8 oz. is 1 cup. This recipe calls for 16 oz. So that’s two cups.

  11. Showing 4718 calories per serving. I’m hopeing that is way off.

    1. Lisa – That’s for the entire batch. You would have to divide those numbers by the number of peanut butter cups you end up with. All depends on what size you make them.

  12. I don’t see anywhere in recipe to use dates???? Could you explain please?

    1. Jo – You must be referring to the comments. You can blend dates into the peanut butter if you wish, but my recipe doesn’t call for it.