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These cashew butter cups are a healthier spin-off of peanut butter cups! They are just as decadent as the original but made from only FIVE simple, good-for-you ingredients. Creamy cashew butter is enveloped in rich dark chocolate, delicately sweetened with honey and vanilla, and finished with a hint of salt. It's a little cup of heaven!
For another wholesome snack made from cashews, try these delicious matcha energy balls.
Few experiences can compare to biting into these cashew butter cups. Your teeth break through the glossy chocolate coating, effortlessly sink into the soft, creamy nut butter, then finish by breaking through the rich chocolate shell at the base. It's a contrast of flavors and textures, with the flaky sea salt perfectly offsetting the sweetness of the chocolate. Enjoy them as a snack with your cup of coffee, an afternoon pick-me-up, as a treat for finishing a task, as dessert, or just because!
These cashew butter cups are made with five nice, normal ingredients that are good for your bodies! Dark chocolate has antioxidants, cashews have healthy fats and protein. You get it! This is what you need:
- Honey: You can also use maple syrup in a pinch or to make them vegan cashew butter cups.
- Other ingredients: Dark chocolate or chocolate chips, cashew butter, vanilla, a pinch of salt, and flaky sea salt for the tops.
How to make cashew butter cups
These dark chocolate cashew butter cups are super easy to make. Melt, mix, and pour your way to whipping up these no-bake, simple, and delicious treats! It takes a total time of 15 minutes. This is how it's done:
- Prep: Line your muffin tins with muffin liners.
- Temper chocolate: Place two-thirds of the chocolate in a pan over low heat. Once it's glossy and looks mostly melted, take it off the heat, add the rest of the chocolate, and let the residual heat melt the rest of it.
- Pour: Spoon the melted chocolate into the bottom of each muffin liner, one at a time.
- Cashew filling: Fold together the cashew butter, honey, vanilla, and salt. Once the cashew cups have hardened, divide the cashew butter mixture between the cups, pressing it down.
- Finish: Pour the remaining chocolate over the tops then put them in the fridge to harden, sprinkling a little flaky salt on top!
Essential tip: Melting chocolate
The key to perfecting your nut butter cups is nailing the chocolate melt. Tempering chocolate is a fancy way of saying melting chocolate! It's worth spending time on the tempering process, as getting it too hot will make it too thick and hard to spread or pour. Getting it just right will lead to silky, glossy, pourable chocolate! Some recipes suggest including coconut oil when melting, and while this will make it easy to pour, it means it will never fully harden at room temperature. So, how do you properly temper chocolate?
How to temper chocolate
Tempering chocolate (without a thermometer) is straightforward when you have a few tips! Here are some tricks to keep in mind:
- Quality: This one is simple – good quality chocolate will melt better. Start with the best quality chocolate in your budget. Brands like Callebaut, Valrhona, and Jacques Torres boast high cocoa butter content. Sure, they're a splurge, but the results speak for themselves. Cheaper options (we're talking about you, Kirkland Signature chocolate chips!) can be hit or miss.
- Melting: You'll want to melt the chocolate on low heat. If you have one, you can use a microwave. Technically, you should take the chocolate off the heat once it reaches 115 degrees Fahrenheit. But to keep things simple, just take the chocolate off the heat when most of it has melted.
- Additional chocolate: Add some extra chocolate to the pan and stir it around while the residual heat melts it. That's it! It will be silky enough to pour into your nut butter cups, and it'll harden up enough you can keep them on the counter!
What to do if your chocolate doesn't temper well
Don't worry, if your chocolate isn't the pourable beauty you wanted it to be, it can be fixed. You have two options here:
- Use it as is and call it rustic. You won't get the smooth top to your cashew butter cups as you see in the pics here. But honestly, who cares? It will taste EXACTLY the same.
- Add some coconut oil. A spoonful of coconut oil will loosen your thick chocolate so you can pour it into the cups for maximum prettiness. Just remember that if you add coconut oil to the recipe you will have to keep these in the fridge.
Variations to try
Craving a little twist of flavor? These cashew butter cups are super easy to customize! Here are some of our top picks:
- Orange zest or citrus: Add freshly grated orange zest or lime zest on top for a bright twist.
- Shredded coconut: Sprinkle the top with shredded coconut for a chewy texture and tropical flair.
- Raspberry jam: Use a minimally sweetened raspberry jam to make an extra layer of sweet, fruity goodness.
- Add chopped nuts on top: Add a pinch of chopped nuts such as almonds, pecans, or pistachios on top of the chocolate coating for an extra crunch.
- Minty fresh: Incorporate a few drops of peppermint extract into the tempered chocolate for a refreshing mint-chocolate twist.
- Caramel: Drizzle some caramel on top of the cashew butter cups before chilling for an indulgent touch.
- Spices: Add a dash of ground cinnamon, nutmeg, or cardamom to the cashew butter for warmth and depth of flavor. For a spicy kick, include a pinch of chili powder or cayenne pepper.
- No-nut version: If you can't eat nuts you can still make these using SunButter, a sunflower seed butter!
- Different nut butter: Substitute almond butter for dark chocolate almond butter cups, peanut butter for a classic version, or any other nut butter of your choice for a unique flavor.
How do I store leftover cashew butter cups?
Keep these babies on your counter. Or in your fridge. Your choice! If you temper the chocolate properly it won't melt on your counter, so it's fine to keep them at room temperature in an airtight container. They keep a bit longer in the fridge, for 1-2 weeks. You can also store them in the freezer for up to three months, and let them thaw on your kitchen counter before enjoying them.
Can I make this without nuts?
If you can't eat nuts, you can still make these cups with an ingredient substitution. Simply opt for a nut-free butter such as SunButter. Or try making your own homemade sunflower seed butter!
How do I make my own cashew butter?
Cashew butter can be pricey! You can make your own with a food processor or high-powered blender in about 10 minutes. You'll need 2 cups of raw cashews plus 1 tablespoon of coconut oil to make 1 cup of cashew butter, blend, stopping to scrape the mix down the sides then blend again. It should reach a nut butter consistency after around 8-10 minutes.
Can I make these dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan, or paleo?
Sure, to make them dairy-free, use your favorite vegan or dairy-free chocolate to do so. The way they melt may vary, but it'll work just as well! Vegans should also use maple syrup instead of honey.
They are already gluten-free and paleo, just be sure to double-check the actual product packaging to be sure.
Where do you find the correct-sized muffin tray?
The cashew butter cups you see in the photos are made in a regular-sized muffin tin. But if you'd like smaller, snack-sized bites, you can use a mini muffin tin. To find one, check your supermarket, dollar store, or kitchenware store. You can also find a mini muffin tin online.
- 7 ounces chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips (see notes)
- 1 cup cashew butter (see notes)
- 2 tablespoons honey (or maple syrup for vegan)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- A pinch of sea salt
- Flaky sea salt (for the tops)
- Line a 12-cup muffin tin or a 24-cup mini muffin tin with liners.
- Place ⅔ of the chocolate in a pan over low heat. Once it is glossy and looks mostly melted remove it from the heat and add the remaining chocolate. Stir a few times while the residual heat melts the chocolate you just added.7 ounces chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips
- Working one at a time, add slightly less than a tablespoon of the melted chocolate to one of the cupcake liners. Tip it on its side and rotate it so that the chocolate comes ⅓ of the way up the side of the liner. Repeat until all the liners have a chocolate coating then place them in your fridge to harden.
- Add the cashew butter, honey, vanilla, and salt to a medium-sized bowl and gently fold them together. Once the chocolate cups have hardened, divide the cashew butter between the cups. Use your finger to press it down into the cups.1 cup cashew butter, 2 tablespoons honey, 1 tablespoon vanilla, A pinch of sea salt
- Pour the remaining chocolate over the tops of the cashew butter cups then pop them back into your fridge to harden.
- Make sure to sprinkle a little flaky sea salt on top to make them totally irresistible!Flaky sea salt
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.