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Nut Butter Cups

gluten free almond butter cups
A healthier version of the classic peanut butter cup, homemade nut butter cups or balls make the perfect chocolate candy.

When I posted the recipe for Vanilla Almond Butter I had planned on sharing my Nut Butter Cup recipe with you shortly thereafter.  My children however, hijacked the Nut Butter Cups the night I tried to make them (with exact measurements for you all, of course).  They hacked my project, dumping loads of chocolate chips into the pot (for melting) and eating many of the results.  Because of this I lost all measurements and had to start over (not really a problem since everyone in my family is digging the cups).

Today I had a bit of time to repeat this project with better measuring success.  So here it is for all of you, gluten free, high protein vanilla almond butter cups.

Nut Butter Cups


  1. Stir flaxseed meal into Vanilla Almond Butter
  2. Melt chocolate in a small pan over very low heat; you can use a double boiler if you wish and temper the chocolate
  3. Using a small paint brush, coat the bottom and sides of a nut butter cup mold with chocolate
  4. Place mold in freezer for 10 minutes to allow chocolate to harden
  5. Remove mold from freezer
  6. Scoop a scant teaspoon of vanilla almond butter into each chocolate lined nut butter cup (i use a mini ice cream scoop)
  7. Paint chocolate over the nut butter to cover and make final layer
  8. Place in freezer for 10 minutes to harden
  9. Remove from freezer, turn mold upside down and pop nut butter cups out of mold
  10. Serve (if any left)

Yields 11 cups (depending on your mold)

If you don’t have a mold or just don’t want the cups there is an alternative. Nut Butter Balls.

Nut Butter Ballsprint
½ cup Vanilla Almond Butter
2 tablespoons (or more) golden flaxmeal
1 cup chocolate chunks
celtic sea salt

  1. Add flaxmeal to vanilla almond butter to make it easier to handle
  2. Roll Vanilla Almond Butter into balls
  3. Melt chocolate in a small pan over very low heat; you can use a double boiler if you wish and temper the chocolate
  4. Drop balls into a pot of melted chocolate and take out with tongs, laying on a piece of parchment paper
  5. Allow to harden
  6. Sprinkle with salt
  7. Serve

gluten free nut butter balls and cups

I was honored to be featured in the class notes section of my alumni magazine Columbia College Today.  If you are a Columbia University alum, leave a comment below to say hello.

posted on February 2, 2010, 43 comments

  1. Emily

    These look absolutely delicious! And I’m sure they are :)

  2. Hannah Handpainted @ Hannahhandpainted.blogspot.com

    How utterly gorgeous and simple. I must make these.

    Thanks for the inspiration.

  3. these look so delicious! i think you might have left out the step to cover the vanilla almond butter with a final layer of chocolate? am I missing it? i am definitely going to make this recipe soon!

  4. My husband, peeking over my shoulder as I read this post, just informed me that “we HAVE to have those. I don’t know what they are. But I want one.” Thank you for determining for me what his Valentine’s Day treat will be!

  5. I’m speechless… Dark Chocolate, Vanilla, Almond Butter, Sea Salt… MMMM-mmm!

  6. Michelle

    My husband makes some very similar to these – except to make it faster, he does it on a cookie sheet and does a layer of chocolate, then the peanut butter, and then another layer of chocolate!

  7. Oh dear me, I think I’m in love. *hands grasp out blindly towards the kitchen*…

  8. 1) Those look amazing!
    2) I went to Columbia for grad school! Congratulations on your publication!

  9. Karen


    These look fantastic and if life slows down a bit, perfect for Valentines Day. Thanks!

  10. monica

    I would love to try these, but Vanilla almond butter or almond butter is not available in Namibia. Neither are golden flax meal. What do you suggest can I use instead of these?
    Thanks for all your super recipes!

  11. Emilia

    whaoo these look delicious! My husband is going to love love love them. Thanks for yet another great recipe Elana :)

  12. Beth

    I’ve read this at work (8:43am) and am now wanting to dash back home and make them.

    Looking forward to making the Nut Butter Balls tonight. I’ll look for molds on the weekend and do a trial run of the Nut Butter Cups. I’m sure my husband won’t mind a preview ;)

  13. It is just after 7am and I’m craving these like you wouldn’t believe. Thanks for the recipe! Yum!

  14. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I really feel hungry!


    food social network * wine social network

  15. These look sinful, but of course, they aren’t! Thanks for the info on tempering-very interesting.

  16. Michele L Sirois

    These look divine! We are intolerant to flax in this household. What purpose does the flax serve? Can it be left out or substituted? Thx!

  17. Beverly Becker @ whatsonmyfood.org

    I love your kids! Any youngsters who are hacking their Mom’s cooking projects are my kinda kids.
    Rob Endelman (Chef Rob’s blog http://thedelicioustruth.blogspot.com/) sends a big HELLO!

  18. Eveof4

    I’ve been making these for about 6 months with natural peanut butter as the almond butter was too thin, but it never occurred to me to add anything to thicken it…duh!!! I’ll try that as soon as I finish typing this post. Also, I use my silicone muffin cups and they work great…no sticking and the perfect size! I make a big batch (while my kids are napping so they’re not devoured right away!) and after chilled, pop them out and wrap in foil to keep in the fridge or freezer. Thanks again Elana!

  19. Kristy LaFollette

    I recall a certain best friend in high school who would make homemade peanut butter cups for the holidays…and they were delicious. Nice to see this favorite with a new twist!

  20. Christina

    Wow! Can’t wait to make these! Definitely a great idea for Valentine’s Day :)

  21. These look incredible! The addition of the flax meal is genius. And thank you for posting the nut butter balls as well. As I was reading, I was thinking how great these looked but that I may not want to invest in nut butter cups…seems obvious now, but what a great alternative method. Can’t wait to make them!

  22. So, my mouth started watering the moment I saw these. My week has been so swamped though that I haven’t been home at all to try them. I told my sister about my craving and she made them! Came home from work last night and stopped by her house and shared in the delights. Yum! She even made half a batch with semi-sweet chocolate thinking they would go over better with the milk-chocolate crowd in our lives and they were not nearly as good as the Dagoba dark chocolate batch. Thanks for another yummy treat.

  23. Marie-Sophie

    Great recipe!

    @Monica & Michele L Sirois : “Pattycake” has a similar recipe for almond butter cups, using icing sugar instead of flax meal:


    – I know it’s not as healthy but for a special treat … :-)

  24. Jennifer

    Can’t wait to give these out for Valentine’s! Went to Columbia and taught there – remember Art Hum? Always glad to see alums doing great things!

  25. Linda


    I dont know if this will translate for u because it is from AOL news. However, it is Johhny Bowden’s take on Agave and I really think you should read it. He is very knowledgeable and what he says about agave is pretty scary. If this does not translate I am sure you could type in his name and agave on google. I use liquid Stevia from NOW and I actually found it on sale for $12 for 8 ounces online. Using that with erythrotol works well. I love your site but again what I just read even though I don’t use agave frightened me.

  26. marian welch @ Justameretreefarm.com

    These were better than I imagined. Actually my husband and I ate them before the vanilla almond butter had a chance to be firm. We did not care, we just spooned the vanilla almond butter into melted chocolate. I want to try again and actually make them into balls before the batter is consumed. Very tasty!

  27. crunchybits @ crunchybits.net

    Can I ask why add the flax to the almond butter? I used to make peanut butter cups with the my kids before we stopped the peanut butter thing and am dying to revisit them using almond butter thanks to your gorgeous photos. I had just used straight peanut butter and melted chocolate at that point, and am wondering what the flax does…?

    Thanks for your incredibly helpful and beautiful blog!

  28. Made these as bars today! You can look at them at my blog. Once again, thank you!

  29. So does the chocolate you use have no sugar? About how much does one of the chocolate bars make? Will it make a couple batches of cookies and maybe some of the candy and such or just does it make approximately one batch of something?

  30. I love your recipes! These nut butter cups look incredible.

  31. Anna

    I make something similar with coconut… i use mini muffin trays and drop the melted chocolate into the muffin paper, spread it out and then cool it. Then I stick the coconut (or nut butter) in the middle and top it off. Yummy

  32. Amoreena

    I don’t know if this was already addressed, but the chocolate that you link to in the above nut butter cup recipe has some interesting info. on its page. It says that it is NOT non-GMO, nor is it soy-free or dairy-free. Is this true, or am I reading this wrong? Thanks~ I am looking for dairy free, non-GMO.:)

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