Sunbutter or Peanut Butter Cup Recipe (GAPS, Paleo, dairy-free)

If you want to know why there is a white ring around the top of these little goodies, please see the “note.”

I found this recipe for Peanut Butter Cups several months back and have been drooling over it ever since.  For a while, Elijah couldn’t eat honey and I couldn’t eat chocolate.  But things have changed so I decided to test these little goodies for a Halloween treat, making them GAPS and Paleo friendly as well as dairy and sugar-free.  If you can’t eat peanut butter, you can simply use Sunbutter (sunflower butter)  in its place – or even almond or cashew butter.

This was my first attempt and I ended up using some raw cacao nibs that I had in my cabinet for a while.  After grinding them up in the coffee grinder to make powder, I remembered why I hadn’t used them for this purpose.  When you grind the nibs in the grinder, they really don’t turn to powder and are a bit gritty.

I went ahead and used the gritty raw cacao powder to make the chocolate.  At first I thought it was going to be terrible, but after the cups set up and I tasted them, I realized it really didn’t matter and these little treats were still incredibly yummy!  You don’t even notice that the cacoa is a bit gritty…yum is the only word that comes out of our mouths when we eat these.

Note:  The reason why you see the coconut oil around the edge of the chocolate is because I used the ground up cacao nibs.  If you use regular raw cacao powder or cocoa powder, this won’t happen.  I have made this chocolate recipe before with powder and it turns out great.

However, if you happen to have cacao nibs hanging around your house that you don’t know what to do with, you can grind them up and it will still taste excellent. Beware though, that little 4 year olds may ask you to cut off the “white stuff” because for whatever reason, it simply isn’t appealing to them.

I knew I wouldn’t have time to make a second batch before posting this blog post so I decided to give you the very raw version with my coconut oil ring.  Anyway, they are incredible.


Peanutbutter or Sunbutter Cups (grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free)

Servings: 10-12

This recipe was adapted from http://www.blueeyedbakers.com.  While I changed the recipe a lot, I still want to give credit for the inspiration!


Nut-butter layer:

3/4 cup peanut or sunflower butter, or other nut butter of choice

1/3 cup coconut butter or coconut cream concentrate

1/8- 1/4 cups raw honey, to taste

Chocolate layer:

1/2 cup coconut oil

1 cup cocoa powder, or raw cacao powder

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1/4- 1/3 cups raw honey, to taste

sea salt, to taste (optional)


1.  Line a muffin tin with muffin papers.  In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the sunflower or peanut butter with coconut butter and 1/8 -1/4 cup honey.  Stir until smooth, watching carefully to make sure it does not burn.  Remove from heat.  The mixture will be thick.

2.  Spoon about 1.5 – 2 Tbsp. nut butter mixture into each muffin cup.  You can form it with your hands first and then drop them in.  I had enough for 11 cups.

3.  Heat ½ cup coconut oil slowly over low-medium heat in a saucepan.  Mix in vanilla and 1/4 – 1/3 cup honey.  Then mix in the cacao or cocoa powder.  Make sure it never boils or gets above medium heat (or 110 F).  Stir until smooth.

4.  Spoon chocolate evenly over the top of the peanut butter layer.  Sprinkle with sea salt and chill until firm, at least 30 minutes.  Store covered in the fridge.

Note:  You can use mini muffin tins with mini muffin papers.  I am going to do this next time I make them because they are very rich!

Enjoy and Happy Halloween!


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  1. YUM!

  2. Is there a sweetener to substitute for honey– non caloric?
    I made your nut butter bread this afternoon–simply amazing.
    I think I can do gluten free now..
    Thanks so much for the recipe.

  3. Hi Betty,
    You could try xylitol but I really don’t know how much to use or if it would turn out so I am not much help, am I? Anyway, good luck!

  4. What is a good substitute for the coconut? We have coconut allergies in our home as well. Thanks.

  5. Hi Lisa,
    I use the coconut oil to make the chocolate but you could use a chocolate bar that is free of coconut for that part. I think you could probably not use the coconut butter and just use all peanut or sunbutter. But I think it will need something to thicken it and I think the original recipe used powdered milk. Actually I would use gelatin – not very much at all, maybe a teaspoon in a bit of water and then add it to the sunbutter. That would probably thicken it just enough after you put it in the fridge. Good luck!

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