Dark Chocolate Vanilla Maple Almond Butter Cups

Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Cups Follow Me on Pinterest
Sea-salted dark chocolate vanilla maple almond butter cups.

I’ll give you a minute to process that.

Raw Cacao Butter Follow Me on Pinterest
Aaron’s 30th birthday was this past weekend and I knew I had to come up with something for dessert that would wow him. It had to involve chocolate and some sort of nut butter (his favorites), and should probably pair well with bourbon, which tends to be his drink of choice on special occasions.

I’m new to the wonderful world of homemade chocolate, probably in part because it took me a little while to work up to spending the money on good quality, organic raw cacao butter (I use this brand). However, let me tell you – that stuff is money very, very well spent. The chocolate it creates is ridiculously silky and smooth and oh-so-decadent.

Organic Raw Cacao Butter Follow Me on Pinterest
And the vanilla maple almond butter filling…it’s just incredible with the dark chocolate and a generous sprinkle of flaked sea salt. If you’ve made homemade nut butter before, you’ll know that it gets fairly solid after being refrigerated, and this makes it perfect for molding between layers of rich chocolate.

Homemade Almond Butter Cup Follow Me on Pinterest
I gave the almond butter cups to Aaron after we celebrated his birthday at dinner. I thought they were good, but I’m always a little anxious to see how other people will react. He was completely silent for a good twenty seconds as he took his first bite. Then another bite, and more silence. And finally, after a small sip of bourbon, he declared them to be one of the best things I’ve ever made.

I’ll let you in on a little secret though: it’s mostly all about the ingredients, and that cacao butter is magical.

Sea Salt Chocolate Almond Butter Cups Follow Me on Pinterest
These are pull-you-in-the-moment, make-you-lose-your-words, bites of pure bliss. You absolutely must make these.


Sea Salt Dark Chocolate Vanilla Maple Almond Butter Cups
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
You may never want to buy pre-made chocolate again.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 12 almond butter cups
Ingredients
  • 140 grams cacao butter
  • ¾ cup raw cacao powder, sifted
  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoons coconut sugar, ground into powdered sugar using a high-speed blender
  • pinch of fine sea salt
  • ½ cup vanilla maple almond butter (see recipe link in post)
  • flaked sea salt for finishing
Instructions
  1. Line a muffin tin with 12 silicone baking cups and set it aside.
  2. Add the cacao butter to a medium saucepan and melt it over the lowest heat setting.
  3. While the cacao butter is melting, whisk together the cacao powder, powdered coconut sugar, and pinch of fine sea salt in a separate bowl.
  4. Once the cacao butter has melted, whisk in the dry ingredients until well-combined.
  5. Turn off the stove and spoon approximately ¾-1 tablespoon of the chocolate into each muffin tin.
  6. Place the muffin pan in the freezer for 10 minutes to allow the chocolate to firm up slightly.
  7. Next, spoon about ½ tablespoon of the nut butter into each of the muffin tins. I used my hands to form it into flat patties so that the next layer of chocolate would go on smoothly.
  8. Cover the nut butter with another ¾-1 tablespoon of the melted chocolate and return the pan to the freezer for another 5 minutes.
  9. Finally, sprinkle the almond butter cups with a few flakes of sea salt and place them back in the freezer for 15-20 minutes, or until the chocolate is completely solid.
  10. Pop the almond butter cups out of the silicone muffin liners, transfer them to a container, and store them in the fridge.

 

Comments

  1. says

    Whoa.
    Mind. Blown.

    I’m also with Aaron on this: “It had to involve chocolate and some sort of nut butter (his favorites), and should probably pair well with bourbon, which tends to be his drink of choice on special occasions”, so clearly I need to make this pronto.

    (Funnily enough, my Amazon.com order just came in earlier this week with my own stash of Tisano cacao butter! Woop woop!).

  2. says

    holy. moly.

    I think these peanut butter cup making leads one to superstardom. I’d love to get a hold of some cacao butter to make some too!

  3. Nicole says

    I love love love raw cacao butter! Do you have my ebook? There are lots of recipes using it :)

    I love your filling in these though! Chocolate, vanilla, maple and almond – you really can’t go wrong with that combo.

  4. thomas tay says

    This is definitely a healthier recipe. No dairy butter and the use of coconut sugar instead of cane sugar lowers the GI.

    • says

      That’s usually my goal – something that tastes just as good (if not better!) that’s not going to make me or whoever else eats it feel like they need to take a nap. :) I’m loving the coconut sugar in place of cane sugar!

  5. says

    It’s my partners birthday this week too, and I’ve been trying to figure out what to make him! He loves whiskey and spicy chocolate…I wonder what some spice would do to these…..Either way, I’m going to make them because they sound amazing!

    PS: I’ve been a fan of your blog for a while, but I’m even more excited to keep following it because I just got a job outside of Boston and I’ll be moving to the Somerville area in August! I started poking around to see if I could find some Boston-featuring posts, and was glad to see you mentioned some cute places to go. If you have any great tips for navigating the city as a vegan, I’d love to know!

    • says

      Happy birthday to your partner! I bet this chocolate would be amazing with some spice thrown in! Let me know if you end up giving that a try.
      Also, congrats on your new job! That’s very exciting! There’s a vegan, more fancy restaurant in Somerville called True Bistro that you should check out. I’ve only been once, but my food was excellent. I also recommend Life Alive and Veggie Galaxy in Cambridge, Fomu Ice Cream in Allston/Jamaica Plain…those should be a good start. :)

  6. says

    Homemade chocolate is definitely the bomb. Have you tried making it with coconut oil yet? I think coconut oil is less expensive than cacao butter. At least it is in Ireland anyway!
    Anyway, give it a try just cause it’s delicious :)

    • says

      Coconut oil is also a good option and definitely a lot less expensive, but (and this is just my opinion) it has nothing on cacao butter. That stuff is dreamy! :)

  7. says

    I’ve never thought about making my own chocolate, mainly because of the price and because I don’t think we get ingredients like that here in South Africa. We must though…maybe I just haven’t been looking properly. But now I know I have to hunt these ingredients down…this recipe looks and sounds divine!!!

  8. says

    These look amazing, indeed. Salty, maple almond wonder. I’ve been making my own chocolates for years, and I agree with you– the texture of pure cacao butter is priceless. I also make my own lipbalm and other raw treats with it! Happy to have found your blog.

  9. Paul says

    Hi, great recipe. Currently I am making chocolate with Coconut oil and cocao powder. Thinking about using cocao butter instead. Do you you think I show swap it in for coconut oil or keep the oil as well. Also today I used maple syrup as my sweetener but you seem to be a real fan of coconut sugar. Would you suggest switching. Thanks.

    • says

      Hi Paul, I’ve made chocolate with coconut oil and cocoa powder in the past and it’s good, but I personally prefer to use (what I think is) the more authentic-tasting cacao butter instead of coconut oil. It’s totally up to you – play around and see what you like best. Same goes for maple syrup. I tend to use coconut sugar because it’s lower glycemic and also in recipes where I want to use a dry sweetener as opposed to a liquid. That said, I’ve made chocolate with maple syrup and it’s awesome! Just depends on the recipe I’m making and whether I want a maple flavor. Hope this helps!

      • says

        Wow thanks for such a quick reply. I have been making chocolate with coconut oil for a while now and in an effort to step up my game I have been researching cocao butter. Like you said I think it would offer a more authentic chocolately tasting treat. I was mainly currious if I should use coconut oil as well as coca butter. But according to your recipe I suspect not. Sounds like cocao butter does the trick on its own.
        As for maple syrup I used to use honey but didn’t like the flavor so I moved to maple syrup. Also I thought the liquid sweetener made sense. Can I ask about coconut sugar. Does it melt well, does it make the chocolate gritty at all or does grinding it into a powder really help that. I really like the low glycemic point. Enough to make me switch really.
        Lastly I was curious about the brand of cocao butter you buy. I clicked the link you had in your post but it goes to an Amazon page which says the product is not available right now. Can you recommend anywhere else to purchase this.
        I really appreciate your feedback. I am new to this chocolate making.

        • says

          No problem! Yes, cacao butter will do the trick all on its own. Grinding coconut sugar into a powder definitely helps it dissolve better in the chocolate, but it will still be slightly more grainy than maple syrup, for example. I personally like the texture because it reminds me of Taza chocolate. As far as cacao butter, I’m currently using Sunfood brand because the Tisano has been out of stock. I buy from iHerb and if you use my code, AGU446 you can get $5-10 off your first order (plus free shipping).

  10. Joyce says

    Hi Amanda! Can’t wait to try these! Great recipe. In the freezer right now :) a couple questions for you. Does your coconut sugar look powdery but need more grinding . Boyfriend and I disagreed . He thought it was fine. I wanted to grind it more. The chocolate seemed a little gritty looking. To be fair to him it was not granular by any means…I inky recently started using this sugar so I’m not as familiar. 2nd question is how do you get the chocolate to set on the sides of your cups. I used paper cupcakes liners…is that the issue? For life of me could not get the chocolate to stay on the sides…was not thick enough. Any hints for next time….only thing I can think of is to put the nut butter in the centre and leave room around it….then the chocolate will fill around it. :) just occurred to me! Thanks !!

    • says

      Hi Joyce! Oh, I am so excited for you to try this recipe! It’s in my top 3 favorites, I think. :) I grind the coconut sugar into a fine powder using my Vitamix or a coffee grinder, but it’s totally up to you. It will have a bit of that stone-ground texture, like Taza chocolate and won’t be completely smooth, even after you let it dissolve in the saucepan. If you wanted a smoother chocolate, maple syrup or coconut nectar would be good. I do recommend stirring the melted chocolate periodically in the pan in between filling the muffin liners, because it can sometimes separate. Silicone liners are ideal because the chocolate pops right out. Also, you want the bottom layer of chocolate to be just about solid before you add the nut butter filling, so the filling stays in the middle. Hope this helps! I’m actually planning to post a new variation of this recipe tomorrow, so stay tuned!

  11. Joyce says

    Wow! You are fast! Thanks Amanda :) I had been considering maple syrup initially. I use it in lots of things. But was looking for something to use the sugar in. Gritty or not it’s still sugar so I’m not worried about taste. Lol. It was solid. My mistake was that when I flattened them into patties as you mentioned I flattened them evenly across. I know now to leave room around. Coconut nectar sounds interesting …is that syrupy? I’ve never used it.
    I love my Vitamix! That was the best gift ever!! Use it every day. :)

    I’m looking forward to seeing your variation and since it’s almost Aaron’s birthday again…I’ll look forward to that too! Guess your turning 30 this year eh! Hope it’s a great one :) thanks for your quick reply! Take care. PS. Boyfriend loved them! I did too but I think he sprinkled a wee bit more salt than I’d prefer. They went great with my chai tea :))

    • says

      Yay! I’m so happy you and your boyfriend enjoyed the chocolate! Wow, you’re right…it is Aaron’s birthday soon, and mine too. I can’t believe I’m turning 30, but I have a feeling it will be a good year. Big things on the horizon. :)

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