Healthy Peanut Butter Cups – Homemade Treats that are Low Carb, Primal, and Nearly Sugar-Free!

This healthy version of everyone’s favorite peanut buttery candy is quick and easy to make. Check ’em out!


Yes, we can eat peanut butter cups following a healthy, whole foods eating plan. These delicious candies melt in your mouth, and give you a dose of antioxidant rich chocolate and immune system boosting coconut oil. This recipe is pretty nifty since you can shape and flavor your chocolates any way you’d like! The possibilities are endless…

Healthy Peanut Clusters

This is going to be the first in a series of quick and easy desserts that can be made with primal (or paleolithic diet-friendly) ingredients. I’ll include a low carb (sometimes sugar-free) version for each of these recipes as well, of course.

These peanut butter cups are a snap to make! My hope is that people who are new to lower sugar and sugar-free desserts will find these chocolaty confections to be an easy transitional treat. The ingredients are easily accessible and affordable, too. Two versions of the peanut butter cups are posted. The first one is the quick and easy primal version, and the second one is the low carbohydrate version. The low carb version came about through my experiments with making chocolates using erythritol and xylitol. I didn’t think the peanut butter cups would ever taste right using those sugar alcohols, but the bit of added honey and the xanthan gum worked magic! The honey and xanthan gum eliminate the “gritty” texture of the erythritol and xylitol.

 A note for my primal readers: I used peanut butter in the candies you see above since I do eat legumes (peanut butter, chickpeas in hummus, and black beans for this delicious chocolate cake). You can substitute almond butter, sunflower seed butter, or even macadamia nut butter for the peanut butter. Just be sure to get a nut butter with a very smooth consistency. I’ll admit to using commercial peanut butter when I make these, just because it makes the texture incredibly luscious! You can probably tell that I don’t sweat the small stuff when it comes to living a low carb whole foods lifestyle. It’s great to strive for perfection, but I know my limits when it comes to this stuff! If you’re too strict, it can be difficult to stick to healthy eating long term.

This recipe is inspired by the Carob Fudge posted by the clever and creative Ricki over at Diet, Dessert, and Dogs. Check out her lovely gluten-free and vegan recipes.

pb cups
pb cups

Quick Peanut Butter Cups (Low Carb, Gluten-Free)

Skip the packaged candy and make your peanut butter cups at home! These treats are the most delicious vehicle for coconut oil and anti-oxidant rich cocoa powder. You can make them in minutes! Make these candies using paper candy cups in a mini muffin tin to avoid messy fingers.

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  1. 1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  2. 3 Tablespoons coconut oil* OR unsalted butter
  3. 3 Tablespoons creamy peanut butter**
  4. 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  5. 1 1/2 Tablespoons stevia blend OR Truvia
  6. Tiny pinch finely ground sea salt
  7. 2 teaspoons of honey (optional)
  1. Grind Truvia or erythritol and sea salt into a fine powder in a Magic Bullet blender or clean coffee grinder. Dump powdered mixture into a small saucepan over low heat, and add honey, nut butter, coconut oil, and cocoa powder. Stir mixture around for a couple of minutes with a spatula until liquified and smooth. Stir in vanilla.
  2. Pour the final mixture into silicone candy molds or mini muffin paper liners. Freeze candies until hard. Pop candies out of silicone molds, and store in zip top baggies or tupperware, separated by wax paper. Remove candies from freezer just before serving.
  1. *Refined coconut oil does not taste like coconut, so it works well in this recipe.
  2. **You can substitute smoothly ground almond butter or sunflower seed butter for the peanut butter.
Healthy Indulgences

The chocolate peanut butter mixture also works as a delicious candy coating! 
Healthy Chocolate Dipped Strawberry

Related recipes from other bloggers: 

White Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge from Jennifer Eloff @ Splendid Low Carbing
White Chocolate Peanut Butter from Carolyn @ All Day I Dream About Food
Raw Chocolate and Peanut Butter Fondue from Kelly @ The Spunky Coconut


29 Comments on Healthy Peanut Butter Cups – Homemade Treats that are Low Carb, Primal, and Nearly Sugar-Free!

  1. Brandon
    June 18, 2011 at 9:04 pm (12 years ago)

    I've been off peanut butter for almost two weeks now (which is an accomplishment for me), so I think I will try these using homemade almond butter–but only the amount called for in the recipe. 😉

    Thanks for the idea! I know my dad will love these for Father's Day. I have a bit of cocoa butter that I might use in place of the coconut oil to see how it turns out. It might even be able to sit out of the fridge longer. Love it!

  2. Tammy Dunlap
    June 18, 2011 at 10:37 pm (12 years ago)

    I cant wait to try these out! Thanks so much!

  3. Krista
    June 19, 2011 at 12:07 am (12 years ago)

    omg I want to try these! I'm getting back on the low-carb wagon and neeeed chocolate! Thanks for posting.

  4. Micaela Marques
    June 19, 2011 at 12:56 am (12 years ago)

    These look delicious! I've been eating Primal and low-carb for about three months now and I'm always looking out for good recipes. Thanks!

  5. Ricki
    June 19, 2011 at 1:15 am (12 years ago)

    Your post is really making me miss peanut butter! (a no-no on the anti-candida diet, sadly). I have tried something similar and it's good. . .but not quite as good as the PB. 🙂 So glad you liked the carob fudge, too! I did try it will cocoa as well, but found when sweetened only with stevia that it was slightly bitter. I've come to love carob as well (though not quite as much as chocolate). 😉

  6. Rachel C - thinladysings
    June 19, 2011 at 1:06 pm (12 years ago)

    Yummy! Great idea. Nothing better than PB Cups!
    Whole Foods makes a healthier PB that is just like commercial PB, you could try that if you felt like it.. you'd be surprised at it's yumminess.

  7. CNHolmberg
    June 19, 2011 at 9:37 pm (12 years ago)

    I tried this last night, and both my husband and I really like it! Didn't have muffin cups, so I froze it in the bottom of a banana bread tin so it shaped like a candy bar.

    Thanks so much for the recipe! I loved how easy it was.

  8. Carolyn
    June 22, 2011 at 9:11 pm (12 years ago)

    Yum, homemade PB cups are so much tastier and better for us than storebought. I've actually found that powdered xylitol or erythritol work well without any grittiness.

  9. Laurie
    June 27, 2011 at 9:38 pm (12 years ago)

    Delicious!! I even omitted the honey and just used erythritol with a little extra stevia concentrate and they still turned out great! Thanks!

  10. Gretchen
    July 2, 2011 at 4:18 pm (12 years ago)

    just made these…very yummy! I was a little nervous when I tasted it before freezing, because there was a stevia aftertaste, but somehow it disappeared while they were in the freezer. 2 of my 3 kids approved, too; the five year old declared them "too dark chocolatey."

  11. Jenny Z
    July 5, 2011 at 7:50 pm (12 years ago)

    Just made it–love it! Thanks!

  12. Elaine
    July 6, 2011 at 2:11 am (12 years ago)

    Are these not chocolate coated PB bite? The way I read the recipe it is just a chocolate and PB mixture poured in the cup? Which is fine I was just confused.

  13. Sarah
    July 25, 2011 at 1:26 am (12 years ago)

    YUM! I really look forward to more 'primal' recipes like this one. Totally satisfying and delicious 🙂

  14. WinterRose
    July 29, 2011 at 6:10 am (12 years ago)

    I'm on an Anti-Candida diet and was wondering what would be a good substitute for the honey in these recipes? I'm really bad at figuring out what taste would be a good replacement, and also bad at equivalents. :3

  15. scratch-made wife
    August 3, 2011 at 12:29 pm (12 years ago)

    I'm totally and completely addicted to peanut butter and now that I've started worrying that I need to watch my carb intake (due to health reasons), I'm thinking these look perfect for me! I'm dyin' to make those clusters. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  16. Anonymous
    August 25, 2011 at 5:53 am (12 years ago)

    omg I want to try these! I'm getting back on the low-carb wagon and neeeed chocolate! Thanks for posting.

  17. Molly
    August 26, 2011 at 11:34 pm (12 years ago)

    These are so yummy! I have all of my ingredients out on my counter to make them for the third time and thought I would go ahead and share my utter, blissful appreciation. I finally have something that I can grab for a guilt-free sweet indulgence right out of my freezer anytime. Even if I go crazy and eat 3, it's better than storebought options! I use a fusion of the recipes, I noticed that my Walmart has a sugar free honey by Honey Tree a few weeks ago, and it is pretty good! Mostly sorbitol and malitol.

  18. Julie R.
    January 15, 2012 at 7:10 pm (11 years ago)

    Wow! These peanut butter cups are delicious! You earn genius status in my book! I will be sharing this treat at a healthy food night that I will be teaching on Thursday. Thanks for sharing!

    January 21, 2012 at 12:08 am (11 years ago)

    These look incredible!! My fam and I are cutting out processed foods and need good all natural recipe like this! But we are only using honey and maple syrup as sweeteners. Any thoughts on leaving out the stevia extract and maybe adding more honey??

  20. Lauren
    January 23, 2012 at 4:25 pm (11 years ago)

    Hey Julie! I'm glad you like the PB cups. 🙂

  21. Lauren
    January 23, 2012 at 4:31 pm (11 years ago)

    Asmallsnippet – The PB cups may not turn out firm enough if you add more liquid sweetener like honey. Let me know how they turn out for you!

  22. gucci
    July 23, 2012 at 8:06 am (11 years ago)

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  23. Terry Sawyer
    September 27, 2012 at 11:22 am (11 years ago)

    Hi there to every , as I am genuinely keen of reading this blog’s post to be updated on a regular basis. It includes good data.

  24. Julieanne
    February 9, 2013 at 5:17 am (10 years ago)

    I made these tonight, and they seem to be so much better tasting than other chocolate, low-sugar or no-sugar treats I’ve made in the past. One thing to point out: your ingredients list mentions salt, but in the recipe directions, you don’t specify when to add the salt. When I read through the recipe, I knew I should add salt; it seems to make alternative sweeteners taste much better. But while in the middle of making the recipe, since I didn’t see directions on when to add the salt, I didn’t realize until I put the candies in the freezer that no salt was added. Oops! When do you recommend adding in the salt? I wonder if you might be able to update the recipe? Thanks!

    • Lauren B.
      February 15, 2013 at 9:13 pm (10 years ago)

      Hi, Julieanne! I updated the instructions to specify where the salt should be added. Thanks for catching that! Glad you enjoyed the PB cups. 🙂

  25. Karla
    April 21, 2013 at 2:48 pm (10 years ago)

    FINALLY! A blog that gives a low carb option AND the carb counts! THANK YOU!

  26. sarah
    February 4, 2014 at 10:55 pm (9 years ago)

    These look so delicious! I love homemade chocolate treats that are healthy 🙂

    xoxo Sarah Grace, Fresh Fit N

  27. Ed
    August 2, 2015 at 5:09 pm (8 years ago)

    Really excellent but could not get it to melt.
    I had no honey so I looked up a honey substitute on the Web and substituted Molasses. That must be why it stayed very stiff. Still it was awesome. Next time I will use honey.

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