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Protein Peanut Butter Cups

Protein peanut butter cups are a fun twist on a classic dessert! These high protein peanut butter cups have a rich, creamy peanut butter center and are coated with a layer of dark chocolate. With just 5 simple ingredients, these no bake peanut butter protein cups are guaranteed to become your new favorite healthy snack.

If you love peanut butter and chocolate, you should try these Healthy Peanut Butter Chocolate Rice Krispie Treats or Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies.

Two peanut butter protein cups stacked on top of each other, with a bite taken.
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Why you will love this recipe

  • Easy to make – this no bake peanut butter protein recipe is so simple. Melt the chocolate, combine the peanut butter, protein powder and maple syrup in a bowl and assemble. This would be a great recipe to have young chefs help make.
  • Better for you ingredients – this recipe  for protein peanut butter cups has just 5 simple ingredients, all of which you can feel good about. Control how much sugar there is with the chocolate chips you choose. This recipe is vegan, gluten free and dairy free.
  • Perfectly sweet – these healthy peanut butter cups are perfectly sweet, sweet enough to be dessert but not too sweet. These are definitely the grown up version of Reese’s cups.
Ingredients to make peanut butter protein cups in a bowl on a cement countertop.

Ingredients

  • Dairy free chocolate chips – I personally love really dark chocolate for this recipe. Try to find something 72% cacao or higher. Trader Joe’s has a great dark chocolate chip that is inexpensive and perfect for this recipe.
  • Peanut butter – peanut butter is used in both the chocolate coating and the creamy center of the peanut butter cups. I recommend using a natural peanut butter (with just peanuts or peanuts and salt in the ingredient list). You could also make this peanut free by using sunbutter, almond butter, tahini, etc.
  • Protein powder – I recommend using a vegan vanilla protein powder in this recipe. The vegan protein helps thicken the peanut butter center, making it more like a Reese’s. If you don’t have protein powder, add a few tablespoons of oat flour or coconut flour.
  • Maple syrup – this helps to sweeten the peanut filling and also gives a distinct boost in flavor. If you are trying to keep this recipe lower in sugar, you can omit the maple syrup or use a low carb sweetener in place.  
  • Flaky salt (optional) – a pinch of flaky salt on top helps balance out the sweetness (making the sweet taste even sweeter). I love the added crunch too. If you don’t have flaky salt, use salted peanut butter or add a pinch of salt to the peanut butter mixture.

How to make protein peanut butter cups

Melt the chocolate – add the chocolate chips and a tablespoon of peanut butter to a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 1 minute, stir and return to the microwave for 15-30 more seconds. Stir well until smooth.

Make the peanut butter filling – combine peanut butter, protein powder and maple syrup in a bowl. Stir well until well combined. Let rest 1-2 minutes while you portion out the chocolate.

Assemble the peanut butter protein cups:

  • Place 12 liners in your muffin tin.  Place 1 teaspoon of melted chocolate in the bottom of the muffin liner.
  • Get about 1 tablespoon of the peanut butter mixture and form into a disk in your hands. Roll it in a ball then press down. This helps ensure that every bite is equal parts chocolate and peanut butter. Drop the disk on top of the chocolate and repeat.
  • Spoon 1 teaspoon of melted chocolate on top of the peanut butter disks. Spread it out to cover (use a spoon).
  • Sprinkle with flaky salt and place in the freezer for at least 30 minutes to let the chocolate harden.
  • Once the chocolate is set, pop the peanut butter protein cups out of the muffin liners and into a freezer safe bag. Store in the freezer (or fridge).

Top tips

  • If you store the protein peanut butter cups in the freezer, allow them to sit out on the counter for 5-10 minutes before enjoying. The peanut butter center is hard to bite through when frozen.
  • Use silicone muffin liners. They are reusable and the peanut butter protein cups slip right out of them.
  • If you are going to top these  with flaky salt, add the salt before you put them in the freezer or it won’t stick.

Common questions

What is the best protein powder to use

For this recipe, I used a vegan vanilla protein powder (pea protein). I like how the protein powder makes the peanut butter a little thicker, mimicking Reese’s cups.

You could also use collagen peptides, whey protein or beef isolate but you will want to also add 2-3 tablespoons of oat flour or 1-2 tablespoons coconut flour to the mixture as well to get the same texture.

Three peanut butter cups stacked, one bite taken out of the peanut butter cup.

Can you use powdered peanut butter?

If you want to increase the peanut butter flavor, you could swap the vanilla protein powder out with powdered peanut butter (use about 1/3 cup) but you cannot swap the peanut butter for powdered pb. You need the fat from the peanut butter to ensure they have the right texture and consistency.

What kind of peanut butter to use

For this recipe I use natural peanut butter (the kind you have to stir the oil into when you first open the jar). The only ingredients are peanuts (or peanuts and salt).

I have not tried this recipe with the no-stir peanut butter, but I imagine it should work well. If the peanut butter filling looks too thick, add 1-2 tablespoons of melted coconut oil.

Want to make these healthy peanut butter cups without protein powder

Swap out the protein powder for 2-3 tablespoons of oat flour or 1-2 tablespoons coconut flour. I don’t recommend using gluten free flour or all purpose flour since that needs to be heat treated before using in no-bake recipes.

Bite taken out of peanut butter protein cup, additional protein cups in the tray.

Can you make these peanut free?

Yes if you need these chocolate protein cups to be peanut free, swap the peanut butter with:

  • Sunbutter
  • Almond butter
  • Cashew butter
  • Tahini

How to store peanut butter protein cups

Fridge: These healthy peanut butter cups can be stored in the fridge. They will be a little fragile but will be ready to eat right away. They can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a week.

Freezer: The freezer is the ideal place to store these dairy free peanut butter cups. Store in a freezer safe bag or container (I love Stasher bags) for up to 3 months. Be sure to let them rest on the counter for 10-15 minutes before enjoying, as the center gets very hard when frozen and needs to defrost.

Two peanut butter protein cups on a wood cutting board.

If you love this high protein dessert, you should try

Vegan Protein Banana Bread

Chocolate Protein Banana Bread (vegan)

Protein Mug Cake

High Protein Cookie Dough

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Bite taken out of the top peanut butter protein cup, 3 stacked on each other.

Protein Peanut Butter Cups

Protein peanut butter cups have a creamy center and are easy to make. Made with 5 simple ingredients, the creamy peanut butter filling paired with dark chocolate are the ultimate dessert or healthy snack. This recipe is vegan, dairy free and gluten free.
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: peanut butter protein cups, protein peanut butter cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Rest in Freezer: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 12

Ingredients

Protein Peanut Butter Filling

Instructions

  • Add the chocolate chips and 1 tablespoon peanut butter to a microwave safe bowl. Microwave the chocolate for 1 minute, stir then add 15-30 more seconds. Stir well until the chocolate is melted.
  • Make the protein peanut butter filling. Combine the peanut butter, maple syrup and protein powder in a bowl. Stir well until the protein powder is completely dissolved and incorporated.
  • Add liners to the muffin tin (I recommend silicone liners).
  • Add 1 teaspoon of melted chocolate to the bottom of each muffin tin.
  • Spoon out about 1 tablespoon of the peanut butter filling. Roll into a ball and press into a disk. Add each peanut butter disk to the melted chocolate in the muffin tin.
  • Top the peanut butter disk with 1 teaspoon of melted chocolate and spread the chocolate out over the peanut butter. Sprinkle the peanut butter cups with flaky salt.
  • Place the peanut butter protein cups in the freezer and store for 30 minutes (or more).
  • Once the chocolate has set, remove the peanut butter cups from the silicone liners and store in a freezer safe bag or container.

Notes

Top tips
  • If you store the protein peanut butter cups in the freezer, allow them to sit out on the counter for 5-10 minutes before enjoying. The peanut butter center is hard to bite through when frozen.
  • Use silicone muffin liners. They are reusable and the peanut butter protein cups slip right out of them.
  • If you are going to top these  with flaky salt, add the salt before you put them in the freezer or it won’t stick.
What is the best protein powder to use
For this recipe, I used a vegan protein powder (pea protein). I like how the protein powder makes the peanut butter a little thicker, mimicking Reese’s cups.
You could also use collagen peptides, whey protein or beef isolate but you will want to also add 2-3 tablespoons of oat flour or 1-2 tablespoons coconut flour to the mixture as well to get the same texture.
See how I calculate food cost.

Nutrition Information

Nutrition Facts
Amount per Serving
Calories
152
Fat
 
10
g
Carbohydrates
 
13
g
Fiber
 
1
g
Sugar
 
10
g
Protein
 
6
g
Where does nutrition info come from? Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy, sourced from the USDA Food Database.
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