If you love the classic combination of peanut butter and chocolate, you will love these milk chocolate peanut butter cups. Plus, they’re easy to make and this keto version fits nicely into a carb-restricted diet.
Peanut butter is naturally low in carbs and together with the coconut oil and sugar-free chocolate, you have a perfect keto dessert at just 1 gram of net carbs per peanut butter cup.
Because these keto peanut butter cups are so rich in fat (a.k.a fat bombs), you don’t need much to feel satisfied.
Homemade Keto Peanut Butter Cups
These homemade keto peanut butter cups contain just 5 ingredients (6 if you add salt) and they are simple to make. You’ll need to make sure to set aside at least 45 minutes to complete this recipe because of the time it takes to freeze each layer.
This recipe makes 10 keto peanut butter cups so if you eat one a day, they will last you over 1 week. It’s best to keep a couple of days worth in the fridge and store the rest in the freezer.
One important detail about this recipe is that you want to use sugar-free chocolate (sweetened with a sugar substitute), not unsweetened baking chocolate. For these keto peanut butter cups, I used Lily’s Creamy Milk Chocolate sweetened with stevia and erythritol.
Besides fitting the keto profile, natural peanut butter is nutrient-dense and packed with healthy fats, protein, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. It’s also loaded with dietary fiber — a nutrient that is sometimes inadequate on a keto diet. When shopping for low-carb peanut butter, make sure to buy the natural unsweetened peanut butter, with no added oils or sugar. If you prefer not to have peanut butter chunks in your low-carb keto peanut butter cups, you can use smooth peanut butter.
For this recipe, make sure to use sugar-free milk or dark chocolate, sweetened with a sugar substitute like stevia, monk fruit, or erythritol. I used Lily’s creamy milk chocolate sweetened with a blend of stevia and erythritol. There are several sugar-free varieties of Lily’s chocolate available, including Lily’s chocolate chips, which you can use to experiment with this recipe: dark chocolate (almond, coconut, crispy rice, and original), milk chocolate (creamy, salted almond, salted caramel, and hazelnut), and extra dark ( blood orange, extra dark, salted almond, sea salt, salted caramel, extremely dark, and intensely dark).
Coconut sometimes gets a bad rap for its high saturated fat content. However, plant-based saturated fats are fine in moderation. In fact, coconut oil naturally contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are easier to digest than most fats and can either be converted to a quick source of energy for organs and muscles or converted to ketone bodies, which fuel the brain during a fasting state or carbohydrate restriction. You can use either the oil or coconut butter.
Stevia + Erythritol Blend (Powdered)
This is a popular sugar substitute blend used in low-carb baking. Don’t be surprised if you feel a cooling effect on your tongue, which is an effect of the erythritol. Some people experience stomach discomfort, gas, and bloating with sugar alcohols like erythritol so you may need to experiment with different sweeteners if you notice an intolerance. Stevia, a zero-calorie sweetener, is naturally sourced from the leaves of the stevia rebaudiana plant. A little goes a long way when it comes to the intense sweetness of stevia, which can be up to 300 times sweeter than regular sugar.
How to Make Keto Peanut Butter Cups
You’ll love how easy it is to make these keto peanut butter cups. The most difficult part is waiting for each layer to freeze. However, you can complete other steps of this recipe while you wait.
You will need a method of melting each layer of this recipe, which can be done with a double boiler or perhaps in the microwave, although a microwave was not used in the production of this recipe. If you do not have a double boiler, you can configure your own at home. Simply perform a google search of “how to make a double boiler at home.”
Keto Peanut Butter Cups RecipePrint
These sugar-free, peanut butter low-carb cups will satisfy your sweet tooth.
Chocolate layers (these ingredients will be divided into 2 layers, the top, and bottom)
- 6 oz. sugar-free chocolate (milk chocolate or dark) sweetened with sugar substitute (divided)
- 4 tbsp. coconut oil (divided)
- 20 drops liquid stevia (divided into 10 drops per layer)
- 1 tsp. vanilla (divided)
Peanut Butter Filling Layer
- 4 tbsp. crunchy peanut butter**
- 2 tsp. stevia/erythritol powder
- pinch of salt (optional — if the peanut butter is salted you don’t need to add extra salt)
**if your peanut butter is really thick you may need to add a small amount of coconut oil during the melting process.
- Line a muffin pan with 10 non-stick parchment paper baking cups. I found these at Target but they can also be bought online. Dimensions (Overall): 2.88 Inches (H) x 2.88 Inches (W) x 2.88 Inches (D)
- For the first layer of chocolate, use a double boiler to melt together: 3 oz. of chocolate, 2 tbsp. coconut oil, 10 drops of liquid stevia, and 1/2 tsp. vanilla. It is very important to stir frequently until melted. If you don’t have a double boiler at home you can make your own. Try searching “how to make a double boiler at home.”
- Pour 2 tsp. of the melted chocolate mixture into each parchment paper cup liner. Freeze this layer for 15 minutes. While you wait, start melting the peanut butter layer.
- For the peanut butter filling layer, use a double boiler to melt together: 4 tbsp. crunchy peanut butter, 2 tsp. stevia/erythritol powder, and a pinch of salt if the peanut butter is unsalted. The peanut butter I used was oily so I did not need to add coconut oil. If your peanut butter is thick, try adding a small amount of coconut butter or oil to the mixture. This will give it a softer consistency and make it easier to spread over the first layer of chocolate.
- Pour 1 tsp. of the peanut butter mixture on the first chocolate layer. The goal is to add just enough peanut butter to spread over the most chocolate, but not touching the edge of the chocolate.
- Freeze for an additional 15 minutes. While you wait, start melting the final chocolate layer.
- For the second layer of chocolate, use a double boiler to melt together: 3 oz. of chocolate, 2 tbsp. coconut oil, 10 drops of liquid stevia, and 1/2 tsp. vanilla. Stir frequently until melted.
- Pour 2 tsp. of the melted chocolate mixture over the peanut butter layer. Freeze for an additional 15 minutes.
- Category: Desserts
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 158
- Sugar: 1 g
- Sodium: 14 mg
- Fat: 14 g
- Saturated Fat: 9 g
- Unsaturated Fat: 5 g
- Trans Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 11 g
- Fiber: 6.4 g
- Protein: 3 g
- Cholesterol: 6 mg
Are Atkins Peanut Butter Cups Keto-Friendly?
Atkins peanut butter cups are keto-friendly at 2 grams of net carbs per serving. Their peanut butter cups are sweetened with maltitol, which is another type of sugar alcohol. Maltitol has a higher glycemic index compared to other sugar alcohols, such as erythritol. Maltitol has a glycemic index of 35 and erythritol has a glycemic index of 0. This means that maltitol has a greater effect on blood sugar than erythritol, but it is still much lower than regular table sugar, which has a glycemic index of 65. Also, sugar alcohols can cause stomach discomfort, gas, and bloating so you may need to experiment to see which sugar substitute you best tolerate.
Is Sugar-Free Reese’s Keto-Friendly?
Reese’s peanut butter cups are sweetened with the same sugar alcohol as the Atkins peanut butter cups, maltitol. So while these low carb peanut butter cups are considered keto-friendly at 1 gram of net carbs, it is important to note the effect of maltitol on blood sugar if you are concerned with blood sugar control. Some people also have stomach discomfort, gas, and bloating with sugar alcohols like maltitol.
If you’ve been avoiding traditional peanut butter cups because of the added sugar, this will be your new favorite recipe. These creamy milk chocolate keto peanut butter cups are not only delicious, you’ll love the fact that there is no added sugar in any of the ingredients. Nearly all of the carbs come from fiber and sugar alcohols, which are not counted in the carb count of a keto diet.
These keto peanut butter cups can fit with many different types of diets: low-carb, keto, paleo, diabetic, gluten-free, and the list goes on. What’s more, these keto peanut butter cups are perfect portable keto fat bombs you can enjoy on the go.
A concern sometimes reported of a keto diet is the lack of fiber. Each of these keto peanut butter cups contains 6.4 grams of fiber, mostly coming from the fiber (inulin and dextrin) added to the specific chocolate (Lily’s Creamy Milk Chocolate with no added sugar) used in this recipe.
Please note that in the short-term, nutritional ketosis is considered safe, however, there is limited research on the long-term effects. This is why it is recommended to eventually transition to a sustainable, nutrient-dense, low-carb diet.
Certain groups of people are advised not to follow a ketogenic diet, including people with type 1 diabetes, pancreatic disease, liver conditions, thyroid problems, eating disorders, gallbladder disease, pregnant or breastfeeding women, and athletes.
Always check with your doctor or dietitian first to make sure it is safe for you to start a keto diet.