nut butter cups

Nut Butter Cups

My Nut Butter Cups are made with almond butter instead of peanut butter, making them a wonderful paleo dessert. Peanut butter is not considered a paleo food since it is made from peanuts, a legume, and legumes are not part of the paleo diet. For more on the do’s and don’ts of the paleo diet please see this helpful post, What is the Paleo Diet?

This healthier version of the classic peanut butter cup is super easy to make and totally delicious!

I figured that right after I posted the recipe for my incredible Vanilla Almond Butter I would share this easy Nut Butter Cup recipe. Alas, it was not so simple. My boys hijacked my Nut Butter Cups testing the night I tried to finalize the recipe, hacking my my project, and dumping loads of chocolate chips into the pot. After that they devoured a large portion of the results. Because of this I lost all measurements and had to start over. Thankfully, this wasn’t much of a problem since everyone in my family loves these homemade almond butter cups.

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

Print Recipe
Nut Butter Cups
Serves:11cups (depending on your mold)
  1. Stir flaxseed meal into Vanilla Almond Butter
  2. Melt chocolate in a small pan over very low heat
  3. Using a small paint brush, coat the bottom and sides of a nut butter cup mold
  4. Place mold in freezer for 10 minutes to allow chocolate to harden
  5. Use a mini ice cream scoop to place a scant teaspoon of vanilla almond butter into each cup
  6. Paint chocolate over nut butter
  7. Place in freezer for 10 minutes
  8. Turn mold upside down and pop nut butter cups out of mold
  9. Serve

If you don’t have a mold there is an alternative. You’ll love homemade Nut Butter Balls! To make them use the same ingredients as for Nut Butter Cups, but chill the Vanilla Almond Butter, then roll it into balls. After that, dip the balls in melted chocolate, then let them harden and sprinkle with a bit of salt.

gluten free nut butter balls and cups

I was so happy to have my New York Times Bestselling cookbook mentioned in Columbia College Today, the alumni magazine for my alma mater! If you are a Columbia University alum, leave a comment below to say hello.

Here are some of my other healthy paleo candy recipes for you!


  1. says

    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!

    • Dora says

      The flax is for added protein and fibre. It also gives some texture. The extra protein helps blood sugars not spike so much.

  2. says

    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!

  3. Jennifer says

    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!

  4. says

    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.

  5. says

    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!

  6. Kristy LaFollette says

    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!

  7. Eveof4 says

    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!

  8. Michele L Sirois says

    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!

  9. Beth says

    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 ;)

  10. Emilia says

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

  11. Michelle says

    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!

  12. says

    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!

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