Dark Chocolate, Almond Butter Mini-Cups with Sea Salt – Gluten-free, Vegan + Refined Sugar-free

by Beth @ Tasty Yummies

Dark Chocolate, Almond Butter Mini-Cup with Sea Salt, Gluten-free, Vegan + Refined Sugar-free

Dark Chocolate, Almond Butter Mini-Cup with Sea Salt, Gluten-free, Vegan + Refined Sugar-free

Ever since I made these dark chocolate coconut treats about a month or so ago, I have been a little obsessed with making simple little chocolate treats at home. On Easter, since we really don’t keep many sweets at home and we didn’t do the Easter basket thing, I was craving chocolate treats and decided to make some dark chocolate peanut butter cups. I didn’t take any photos since they weren’t totally perfect and I also decided I wanted to buy a mini-muffin tin so I could make smaller cups. The full size muffin cups are nice, but it is way more chocolate than what I need. I also thought it would be nice to make them with almond butter instead of peanut butter since I am so obsessed with it. Any nut or seed butter would work here, so play around. You will also see in my notes below that if you don’t wish to sweeten your own dark chocolate, you can simply just melt semi-sweet chocolate chips. I prefer to start with a good quality organic unsweetened dark chocolate something in the range of 70 – 100%, and then sweetened to my own liking since I like my dark chocolate to be subtly sweet. You may find that my measurements are too low and you want more sweetness. Go for it. Or skip sweetening it yourself and buy premade chocolate. Whatever you’d like.

Dark Chocolate, Almond Butter Mini-Cup with Sea Salt, Gluten-free, Vegan + Refined Sugar-free

Dark Chocolate, Almond Butter Mini-Cup with Sea Salt, Gluten-free, Vegan + Refined Sugar-free

I make these in a non-stick mini-muffin pan, like this one. You could definitely use a candy mold, a full sized  muffin tray or maybe even a larger ice-cube tray. If you’d like, you can also line your muffin pan with paper liners. I didn’t happen to have any, so I went without, and very lightly greased my pan with some coconut oil, to be sure they wouldn’t stick. They likely wouldn’t have stuck, but I wanted to be sure of it.

Some of you may be wondering why I included the chia seeds in the almond butter filling or if you could use flax seed meal instead. I decided to include it because besides LOVING chia seeds, I had some leftover ground up chia sees on hand after making these delicious tortilla wraps from The Spunky Coconut, over the weekend. I thought it would help bind together the filling so it wouldn’t be too runny and I also thought it was a nice way to add some of the lovely benefits that chia seeds have to offer. You can read more about all of those lovely benefits here in this post from Lexie’s Kitchen. Feel free to use ground flax seeds instead or to skip it all together. It isn’t a necessity in the recipe.

As far as the sea salt goes, I really adore the flavor combination of dark chocolate with sea salt, so I try to squeeze it into my life whenever humanly possible. It may actually be one of my all time favorite things. If you aren’t a fan of the luscious salty/sweet combo, leave off the salt. You could also press a single almond or some almond slices into each one.  Have fun.

What is your favorite flavor combination when it comes to sweets? 

Dark Chocolate, Almond Butter Mini-Cup with Sea Salt, Gluten-free, Vegan + Refined Sugar-free

Dark Chocolate, Almond Butter Mini-Cup with Sea Salt, Gluten-free, Vegan + Refined Sugar-free

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Alex@Spoonful of Sugar Free April 17, 2012 at 1:47 pm

Yummy! Love these little cups. My favorite? Good ol’ pb and chocolate!!


2 tastyyummies April 17, 2012 at 4:37 pm

YES! Another classic and amazing flavor combo!


3 Heba @ My Life in a Pyramid April 17, 2012 at 2:17 pm

This looks great. I too have an obsession called chocolate + unrefined salt! I actually like chocolate in any shape or form (but it’s not my favorite with peanut butter for some reason). I’ll definitely have to try this soon! I’m sharing on FB and pinning :) Take care!


4 tastyyummies April 17, 2012 at 4:38 pm

What is it about chocolate and salt that is so good together. I first discovered it a long long time ago when I tried a chocolate covered pretzel. I was hooked ever since! Thanks so much for sharing!


5 Lou April 18, 2012 at 5:50 am

It’s a hard one to call, as I LOVE the chocolate/almond butter combo… but hazelnut + chocolate is pretty dreamy. Salt makes everything better, particularly chocolate, these look fantastic – I love your plate :)


6 Shirley @ gfe April 18, 2012 at 1:54 pm

OMG, more tasty yummies! Your blog is living up to its name, dear! I think using coconut oil to grease the muffin cups is smart because you would not want these heavenly treats to stick in any way. Complete, they are perfection!



7 fromscratchtoplate April 18, 2012 at 7:13 pm

Hi! I love your blog, so I have nominated you for The Versatile Blogger Award. http://fromscratchtoplate.com/2012/04/18/this-is-all-new-to-me/


8 Michelle @ The Willing Cook April 27, 2012 at 5:36 pm

I seriously don’t think you can get any better than this recipe! You’ve done a great job with this one. Thanks for sharing this week at Allergy-Free Wednesdays! As always, hope to see you back again next week.

Have a good weekend!
~Michelle, AFW Hostess


9 Michelle @ The Willing Cook April 27, 2012 at 5:38 pm

Oops…I forgot to remind you to link back to the blog hop so that you can be eligible for a hostess or reader favorite next week. I’m sure your recipe will be strong in the running. Thanks!


10 tastyyummies April 27, 2012 at 10:07 pm

Oh poop, so glad you reminded me. I’ hate when I forget that. Sorry. I’ll post the image tomorrow when I’m at my desktop. Thank you again!


11 Laura February 14, 2013 at 10:24 pm

Sprouted kitchen took your idea!!


12 Tara April 14, 2013 at 1:39 pm

Hi Beth!

Your recipe was what pretty much what I was aiming for but I had not discovered it until after I attempted to temper my chocolate. I used two 70 % organic chocolate bars 100 g each ( total of 7.1 ounces) . I made a chocolate almond mixture but it is still kept aside, and I may be able to use it like a Nutella spread. I was worried that my tempering would not succeed since many bloggers online were adamant that a thermometer was necessary, so I figured I would just try to make the bottoms of cups. I ended up spreading the chocolate to plastic eggs containers as well; so I used a total of 12 small muffin tin molds and 12 plastic molds. I managed to pop out the chocolate from the plastic molds with some difficulty and by bending the plastic but no luck with the metal pan! Some people had said to avoid freezing so the chocolate doesn’t bloom (get sugar crystals on the surface) but that happened anyways outside of the fridge and got worse when I tryed to cool the chocolate in the fridge for 5-10 minutes. So now I am trying 30 minutes in the freezer hoping the chocolate will retract from the pan and pop out….

I am wondering how did you succeeded so easily without tempering and didn’t get the “bloom” issue….Was the secret to add coconut oil to the chocolate? How can you tell if the chocolate seized from the humidity when double boiling?

BTW this was my first attempt at making my own chocolates- and i can’t afford to let too much go to waste…. What do you think of muffin paper as molds inside the muffin tins, how hard is it to peel off?


13 Erin Lichtman May 10, 2014 at 1:19 pm

Soooo what if I can’t get them out of the non stick pan that I even coated lightly with coconut oil & left in the freezer for an hour? Any tips or tricks to get them out all in one piece? Grrrrrrr! Thanks in advance!


14 tastyyummies May 12, 2014 at 7:22 am

Hey Erin, hmmm. Maybe let them come to room temperature for a few minutes before you pop them out? If they are totally frozen that should definitely help get them out. I have never had a problem of them sticking and I have made them several times, so I wish I could offer more advice.


15 Eileen January 27, 2015 at 11:33 am

Tried to make these this morning… Melted the unsweetened ghirardelli chocolate and coconut oil and mixed it thoroughly – it looked beautiful! Added the organic maple syrup, started stirring and the entire thing seized becoming a huge thick chocolate mess that couldn’t be stirred!
I followed the directions step by step…. . Were some instructions left out?


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