Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

A homemade version of Reese’s peanut butter cups. This easy recipe comes together quickly and is great for gifting or stashing in your freezer!

A stack of five peanut butter cups, with the top one sliced in half with filling exposed.

There is absolutely no question about where my heart lies when it comes to candy. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Reese’s Pieces are it for me. Reese’s cups were my favorite Halloween candy as a kid, so it’s only natural that I immediately cozy up to recipes that merge together two of my favorite ingredients – chocolate and peanut butter.

Over seven years ago, a reader of mine, Lissa, shared this peanut butter filling recipe with me, citing that she used it as a base for peanut butter bars. At the time, I already had a go-to recipe for peanut butter bars, but what she sent me sounded like a perfect filling for homemade peanut butter cups. After doing some testing, I discovered that it really WAS a perfect recreation of Reese’s peanut butter cup filling.

MY OTHER RECIPES

Behold! The most amazing homemade peanut butter cups – super easy and a great project to do with kids!

A stack of four peanut butter cups.

How Do You Make Homemade Peanut Butter Cups?

They’re super easy and just require a few steps!

First up, you mix melt together peanut butter, butter and brown sugar in a saucepan until bubbling, then take it off the heat and add the powdered sugar a little at a time until it’s completely absorbed, then set it aside to room temperature.

Meanwhile, melt milk chocolate together with vegetable shortening and line the muffin cups with some of the chocolate. Scoop balls of the peanut butter filling and press into a patty, then place on top of the chocolate in the muffin cups. Top with more of the melted chocolate and chill until set.

That’s it!

Peanut butter cups in the middle of assembly in a muffin tin.

I’ve seen some people use a pastry brush to brush the sides of the cups with the melted chocolate so you don’t have any little naked spots on the sides, but I’ve never had an issue with glaring open spots, so I’ve never done this.

But consider it an option!

Scooping melted chocolate on top of peanut butter filling.

Substitutions for Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

This is my all-time favorite version of peanut butter cups (peanut butter + milk chocolate), but there are tons of variations you can try. Some ideas:

  • Substitute semisweet or dark chocolate for the milk chocolate.
  • Substitute almond, cashew or another nut butter for the peanut butter.
  • You can use chocolate chips instead of the the chopped chocolate.
  • You can substitute refined coconut oil for the vegetable shortening.

An overhead shot of peanut butter cups assembled and ready to be chilled.

If you are a fellow chocolate and peanut butter lover, then homemade peanut butter cups are a must in your kitchen!

They make a fantastic gift for Halloween or Christmas, a great addition to cookie trays, and are also perfect for stashing in your freezer for peanut butter cup emergencies (because I’m fairly certain that’s an actual thing, right?).

A single homemade peanut butter cup.

If You Like Peanut Butter Cups, Try These:

Multiple peanut butter cups cut in half, lined up, cut side up.

Four years ago: Bacon Jam
Five years ago: Ricotta Cake with Fresh Berries
Six years ago: Tamale Pie

Did you make this recipe?
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Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

A homemade version of Reese’s peanut butter cups. This easy recipe comes together quickly and is great for gifting or stashing in your freezer!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (270 grams) creamy peanut butter
  • ¼ cup(57 grams) unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup (50 grams) light brown sugar
  • 1¼ cups (142 grams) powdered sugar
  • 24 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped (or substitute milk chocolate chips)
  • ¼ cup (46 grams) vegetable shortening

Directions:

  1. Line a mini-muffin tin with paper liners; set aside. Line a baking with parchment paper; set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine the peanut butter, butter and brown sugar over medium heat. Heat until completely melted and starting to bubble a little, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat. Add the powdered sugar a ¼ cup at a time, stirring until completely combined with the peanut butter mixture after each addition. Set aside and let cool.
  3. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate chips and shortening together in the microwave on 50% power in 30-second increments, until completely melted, stirring after each burst.
  4. Using a small cookie scoop or a couple of teaspoons, spoon melted chocolate into the bottom of each lined muffin cup.
  5. Use a heaping teaspoon to scoop out the peanut butter mixture. Roll it into a ball, and then flatten it slightly into a disk. Place on the prepared baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Once finished with all of the peanut butter mixture, refrigerate both the muffin tins and the peanut butter patties for about 30 minutes.
  6. Place a peanut butter patty on top of each chocolate-lined muffin tin. Then use a scoop or spoon to add more melted chocolate on top and around each peanut butter patty. (If the melted chocolate firmed up, just pop it back into the microwave at 50% power for 30 seconds or so to re-melt.)
  7. Refrigerate again for 30 minutes, then they’re ready to serve! Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month or in the freezer for up to 3 months. You can keep at room temperature in an airtight container if you’re going to serve them the same day, but they’ll start to get soft if not at cool room temperature.

Recipe Notes:

  • You can substitute milk chocolate chips for the chopped milk chocolate.
  • You can substitute refined coconut oil for the vegetable shortening.
  • You use different nut butters, I recommend using “processed” versions; the “natural” version of nut butters will be too oily for the filling.

Did you make this recipe?

Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!

All images and text ©Brown Eyed Baker, LLC.

This recipe was originally published on August 2, 2011.

[photos by Whitney Wright]