These pumpkin peanut butter cups are a fall-flavored twist on the classic Reese's peanut butter cups. They consist of a gooey peanut butter and pumpkin filling that's encased in dark chocolate and topped with flaked sea salt. This healthy peanut butter cup recipe is paleo, vegan and keto friendly.
Reese's were one of my favorite Halloween candies growing up. But these days, I skip out on the classic Reese's and prefer making my own version like these pumpkin peanut butter cups.
Not only are they healthier than a conventional Reese's, but they're made with minimal ingredients, no bake and easy to throw together.
Here's what you need to know about this easy peanut butter cups recipe:
- acceptable for those following a paleo, keto and/or vegan diet
- no bake
- only 6 ingredients required
- preservative free
- gluten free & dairy free
These homemade peanut butter cups will easily fill that Reese's void. No need for the store-bought version when you can make these in your own home with real food ingredients and minimal effort!
Is Peanut Butter Paleo?
Now, if you're at all familiar with the Paleo diet, you're probably thinking "these aren't paleo because peanut butter isn't a paleo food". Well, I'm here to tell you that you're right. Technically speaking, peanut butter isn't allowed on a strict paleo diet because it is a legume...not a nut.
Thankfully, peanut butter can be substituted with basically any other nut or seed butter. These chocolate pumpkin peanut butter cups can be made with almond butter, sunflower seed butter, tahini or any other nut/seed of your liking.
Why Use Peanut Butter?
So, why did I use peanut butter if it's not technically paleo? Simple! I LOVE peanut butter! I enjoy its creamy texture, naturally sweet flavor and the fact that it pairs well with nearly anything...especially chocolate.
In my opinion, peanut butter has a place in the paleo lifestyle so long as it's eaten occasionally. Consuming too much peanut butter makes my face break out and can upset my digestion. But a little here and there seems to be fine. And, I enjoy it.
So, the bottom line: peanuts are not "paleo" because they are legumes. Therefore, peanut butter isn't allowed on a strict paleo diet. But, if you tolerate peanuts and use a high quality, organic peanut butter then there's no harm in eating it from time to time. It's all up to you and what you choose to consume 😉
Now that we've gotten the "peanut issue" out of the way 😉 let's move on to the other ingredients in these keto pumpkin peanut butter cups. These cups are made with 6 simple ingredients:
- peanut butter (or any nut/seed butter)
- pumpkin puree
- maple syrup (sugar free syrup for keto)
- vanilla extract
- pumpkin pie spice
- salt (if using unsalted peanut butter)
- dark chocolate
- flaked sea salt (optional topping)
The filling is made of peanut butter, pumpkin, maple syrup, vanilla extract and pumpkin pie spice (just pumpkin spice works too). If your peanut butter (or nut/seed butter) is unsalted, then I recommend adding a little salt to the filling.
If you're following a keto or low carb diet, then feel free to substitute the maple syrup for a sugar-free sweetener. Or, simply nix this ingredient all together. Also, be sure to use a dark chocolate with a high cocoa content.
How to Make Pumpkin Peanut Butter Cups
First, gather all necessary ingredients. You will need a small sauce pan for melting the chocolate and a small mixing bowl for making the filling. In addition, you will need small cupcake liners or a mini silicone cupcake mold.
Next, melt the chocolate on low heat in a small saucepan, stirring frequently.
Once fully melted, turn off the heat and pour about 1 teaspoon of chocolate into each of the 12 mini cupcake liners (or silicone molds). Place in the freezer for 5-10 minutes for chocolate to set.
While chocolate is setting, combine all remaining ingredients in a small mixing bowl to make the filling. Mix well.
Remove the hardened chocolate from the freezer. Scoop 1 teaspoon of the filling and place it on top of the hardened chocolate so that the filling nearly touches the edges of the paper liner/mold.
Pour remaining melted chocolate on top of filling, coating it entirely. Then, place it back in freezer to set. Optional: add a pinch of flaked salt to each peanut butter cup.
This recipe makes miniature pumpkin peanut butter cups.
Since these peanut butter cups are made with real food ingredients and free from preservatives they need to be kept in the fridge or freezer.
Place them in an air-tight container or baggie and keep them in the fridge for up to two weeks or the freezer for up to two months.
More No Bake Pumpkin Recipes
Looking for more easy, no bake pumpkin recipes? Check out these favorites from the blog:
Simple, pumpkin peanut butter cups made with peanut butter and pumpkin puree and coated in dark chocolate. Paleo, vegan, keto and the perfect Reese's alternative.
- 6 oz dark chocolate
- ¼ cup unsweetened peanut butter (or any nut/seed butter)
- 2 Tbsp pumpkin puree
- 2 tsp maple syrup (sugar free sweetener for keto)
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp pumpkin pie spice
- ⅛ tsp salt (if peanut butter is unsalted)
- flaked sea salt (optional)
- Place chocolate in a small saucepan. Melt on the stove top, over low heat, stirring frequently.
- Scoop 1 teaspoon melted chocolate into mini cupcake liners or silicone cupcake molds. Be sure the entire base is coated. Place in freezer for 5-10 minutes to set.
- Make filling by combining peanut butter, pumpkin, maple syrup, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice and salt in a small mixing bowl.
- Remove chocolate from freezer. Scoop out 1 teaspoon of the filling for each peanut butter cup. Place the filling over the hardened chocolate.
- Pour remaining chocolate over the filling, coating the entire filling.
- Optional: sprinkle with flaked sea salt.
- Place in freezer for 10-20 minutes to set.
- Best stored in fridge or freezer.
Keywords: peanut butter cups, pumpkin recipe, keto desserts, vegan pumpkin desserts, no bake desserts, chocolate recipes, paleo peanut butter cups, paleo desserts