These Dark Chocolate Cashew Butter Cups are the perfect dessert you can keep on hand in your fridge or freezer for whenever you fancy something sweet. They’re super easy and fun to make, too! Only 5 ingredients needed!
Meet my new favourite thing. Dark Chocolate Cashew Butter Cups are bringing me so much joy right now! Often, it really is the simplest of things that bring great happiness and honestly, stepping into my kitchen at the end of a long day to stir melted chocolate and swirl cashew butter and sprinkle flaky sea salt has been really relaxing for me during this crazy pandemic/lockdown situation. Yes, this is a super simple recipe but sometimes it’s these simplest of ideas that we need at times like these, so I’m sharing it with you here in the hopes that it might bring you some joy too.
What ingredients do I need to make homemade nut butter cups?
You only need a few ingredients to make the most insanely delicious dark chocolate cashew butter cups. In fact, you need just five simple ingredients!
- Dark chocolate
- Cashew butter
- Maple syrup
- Vanilla extract
- Flaky sea salt
And that’s it! Technically you could omit the vanilla and sea salt if you really wanted to… but why would you want to?! You could also get creative and flavour the cashew butter dough differently – just make sure you keep the base ingredients – cashew butter and maple syrup – the same! You could add cinnamon or cardamom, you could stir in some mini chocolate chips or cacao nibs, or some chopped up cashews or other nuts… and that’s just what I can think of off the top of my head! Go crazy!
How do you make dark chocolate cashew butter cups?
It couldn’t be simpler! All you need is a muffin tin, some paper or silicone muffin liners and a couple of bowls. They don’t take long to put together and it’s really fun and satisfying to do.
- Start by placing paper muffin liners into a muffin tin.
- Next, melt some chocolate. I don’t own a microwave so I always do this by placing the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and setting it over a pan of gently simmering water. Make sure the water doesn’t touch the bowl and stir occasionally until melted. If you’d prefer to use a microwave, place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and microwave for 30 second intervals, stirring between each one, until melted. Go carefully, as if you overheat the chocolate it might seize.
- Spoon a little of the chocolate into each of the muffin liners and use the back of a spoon or a small spatula to gently press the chocolate up the sides of the muffin liner. Place in the freezer whilst you prepare the filling.
- In a small bowl, place the cashew butter. Add the maple syrup, vanilla and salt and stir. As you stir, the mixture will thicken into a dough which you’ll be able to roll into balls.
- Flatten these balls into little patties just slightly smaller than the base of your muffin liners. Place onto the hardened chocolate and spoon some more chocolate over the top.
- To create the swirl on top, mix a tablespoon of cashew butter with a little neutral flavoured oil until you can drizzle it. Spoon a couple of drops on top of the melted chocolate and use a cocktail stick/toothpick to gently swirl it into the chocolate.
- Finish with a sprinkle of sea salt and place back into the freezer to harden. Once the cups are set, peel away the muffin liners and keep in the fridge or freezer in an airtight container or freezer bag.
Can I use a different type of nut butter?
I love using cashew butter for its deliciously creamy taste but I’ve also tested this recipe with almond butter, peanut butter and tahini. When you mix the cashew butter with the maple syrup, it forms into a perfectly sweetened dough which you can conveniently roll into balls, flatten and place into the muffin liners. The same happens with almond butter and peanut butter. When I tested the recipe using tahini, the maple syrup caused the tahini to thicken a little but nowhere near as much so it ended up having a runny centre. Still absolutely delicious, but not as easy to make and eat!
It’s important to bear in mind that with all of these nut/seed butters, I’m referring to the versions which contain simply nuts and possibly salt. They’re normally quite runny, not set like standard peanut butter. The cashew butter I used was homemade and so I haven’t tested a store-bought version, but I expect it would behave the same.
To make your own cashew butter at home, simply spread 2 cups of raw cashews out on a baking sheet. Bake in an oven preheated to 180C/350F for about 10 minutes, until lightly golden and fragrant. Allow to cool slightly before transferring to the bowl of a food processor with a pinch of salt. Process for about 10 minutes until a smooth butter has formed. You’ll probably have to scrape the sides of the food processor down a few times during the process. Tip: once the cashew butter looks smooth, keep processing for another minute or two to make it extra creamy! You can also use roasted and salted cashews to save on the step of roasting your own nuts – this makes delicious cashew butter!
I hope you’ll give these dark chocolate cashew butter cups a try! I personally just can’t get enough of them! If you make them, be sure to leave a comment, rate the recipe and tag me on Instagram! I love to see your creations!
And if you’re looking for more nut butter recipes, why not try one of these:
- Maple Pecan Butter Cups
- Cashew Butter Granola Bars
- Maple Almond Butter Snack Mix
- Coconut Tahini Pistachio Granola
- Caramel Chocolate Bars
Dark Chocolate Cashew Butter Cups
- 14 ounces dark chocolate (50-60% cocoa solids) (400g)
- 1/2 cup cashew butter plus extra for swirling on top, optional
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- flaked sea salt
- Line a muffin tin with 12 paper liners.
- Melt the chocolate by placing in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water, stirring occasionally until melted. Alternatively place the heatproof bowl in the microwave at 30 second intervals, stirring between each one, until melted.
- Spoon 2 teaspoons of melted chocolate into the bottom of each muffin liner. Using the back of a small spoon or spatula, carefully spread the chocolate up the sides of the liner, about 1 cm/½ inch or so. Place the muffin tray in the freezer to allow the chocolate to set.
- Meanwhile, place the cashew butter into a small bowl. Add the maple syrup, vanilla and salt and stir with a spoon until a dough forms. Divide the dough into 12 balls (about 2 teaspoons each) and then flatten into patties just slightly smaller than the base of your muffin liners.
- Remove the muffin tin from the freezer and place the cashew butter patties into each of the muffin liners. Spoon the remaining chocolate on top of each one, starting with another 2 teaspoons and adding more if you have leftovers. Your chocolate should still be melted by this point but if it's set a little, just set it back over the pan of simmering water for a couple of minutes.
- Gently level the tops of the cashew butter cups using the back of a spoon. If you'd like to do a cashew butter swirl on top, in a small bowl, mix 1 tablespoon of cashew butter with ½ teaspoon of a neutral flavoured oil. You should be able to drizzle it now but if not, add a touch more oil. Dot the tops of the cups with the runny cashew butter and gently swirl using a toothpick or cocktail stick. Sprinkle with sea salt and return to the freezer to set completely.
- When set, remove the cashew butter cups from their paper liners and store in an airtight container or freezer bag in the fridge or freezer.
- Feel free to use almond or peanut butter instead.
- I like to use dark (semisweet) chocolate of around 50-60% cocoa solids, but you what you prefer.
- You can also make these in mini size! With the quantities listed, you could make around 48 mini cashew butter cups.