My name is Ashley McLaughlin and this is my blog, Edible Perspective. To learn more about my journey head on over to my about + FAQ pages. I'm thrilled that you stopped by. Enjoy!


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Baked Doughnuts For Everyone: From Sweet to Savory to Everything in Between, 101 Delicious Recipes, All Gluten-Free


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vanilla bean coconut butter cups with chocolate peanut butter

Guess what?

Today’s recipe does not involve potatoes.

Although, you could pour the below coconut butter on top of a sweet potato. 

coconutcups (1 of 5)

But let’s get back to the point. 

If coconut butter becomes solid when chilled, why not turn it into a no-bake treat? 

It’s like a chocolate peanut butter cup, except sub out the chocolate for creamy coconut butter.

And the inside isn’t your average, run-of-the-mill peanut butter, it’s chocolate peanut butter.

coconutcups (2 of 5)

And the coconut butter has been taken to the next level with the addition of vanilla beans.

One of my favorite ingredients ever.

I adore all things vanilla.

The most un-boring flavor to ever live.

coconutcups (3 of 5)

Instead of a heaping spoonful of almond butter with tomorrow’s breakfast, one of these will be happily plopped on top. 

coconutcups (4 of 5)

Print this!

Vanilla Bean Coconut Butter Cups with Chocolate Peanut Butter [yields ~20 mini cups]

*edited 2/28/13

for the cups:

  • 1 cup coconut butter, melted
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
  • 2 tablespoon extra virgin coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tablespoon warmed honey/maple syrup, or pure cane sugar, optional

for the chocolate peanut butter filling:

  • 1/2 cup natural creamy peanut butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup, warmed
  • pinch fine grain sea salt
  1. In a small bowl, combine the peanut butter, cocoa powder, maple syrup, and pinch of salt.  Stir until smooth.  Mixture will be thick.  Set aside.
  2. Add your melted [see notes] coconut butter to your food processor and turn on.  If you just made the coconut butter, keep it spinning in the food processor.
  3. Add the melted coconut oil and let process for 15sec.  
  4. Add the vanilla bean seeds and warm honey or 1T pure cane sugar if using.  Continue to process until smooth.  Add 1T extra melted coconut oil to smooth out if necessary.  If using honey it can take an additional 5+ minutes to smooth out again.
  5. Line a mini muffin pan with 20 mini liners and add about 1 1/2 teaspoons of coconut butter to the bottom of each.
  6. Take about 1t of the chocolate peanut butter and flatten it slightly in between your fingers.  Place on top of each cup.
  7. Top with 1 – 1 1 /2 teaspoons coconut butter and lightly tap the top to level. 
  8. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt if desired.
  9. Place the pan in the freezer or fridge to set.  Best if stored in a sealed container in the fridge.

notes: I use an 11c Cuisinart food processor.  *One reader informed me that the honey did not allow the mixture to smooth out after adding.  Mine worked after 5min of processing, but to play it safe you may just want to add sugar.  If you don’t have coconut oil to add to the butter, do not sub any other oil.  To melt your coconut butter:  Place glass jar of your coconut butter a cold water bath in a medium sized pot.  Make sure the water is below the top of the bowl/jar.  Turn the heat on low and gently heat the coconut butter.  You don’t want to start on a higher heat or start with hot water or the bowl/jar can crack.  Stir until melted.  Or, heat in a microwave safe bowl in 30 second increments, stirring after each until smooth.

How to make coconut butter: [yields ~ 1 1/3c]

  • 4c unsweetened shredded coconut 
  1. In a food processor [11c works great with 4c of coconut], add the coconut and turn on until the coconut is creamy.  Scrape the sides of the bowl as necessary [I’ve found a butter knife works the best because plastic spatulas will tear from the blade].  Takes about 6-10min. 
  2. Once it’s smooth, I make sure to scrape the bottom + sides really well and continue to process for another 1-2min until completely drippy.
  3. If using, add in vanilla beans, warmed maple syrup [or honey], etc. while turned on.  Process until smooth.  For every cup of coconut butter, I recommend adding no more than 1T of warmed honey/maple syrup or the mixture won’t smooth out.  You can also use pure cane sugar.
  4. Store in a sealed jar, in a cool cabinet.  Melts at about 75 degrees.

Check my post on common problems when making coconut butter and other nut butters if you need a little help!

And for a little refresher:

Coconut Oil:  Oil that is extracted from the coconut meat.  Extra virgin unrefined coconut oil turns clear when melted and has a smoke point of 350*.  It’s great in baked goods as a butter/oil replacement. 

Coconut Butter:  The coconut meat is pureed into creamy butter.  Coconut butter contains all of the oil, plus the fiber [and other nutrients] from the meat.  It has a bit more texture because of this as well.  Coconut butter is a milky, white color when melted.

coconutcups (5 of 5)

A sneak peek from yesterday’s photo shoot with one of my best friend’s Laura, her husband, and their newest addition.  They are so very lovely.

coconutcups (1 of 1) 


Reader Comments (45)

OMG, you're a genious!!!
What a great way to use coconut butter (which reminds me to make a new batch myself).
April 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJulia
These look great---I make many varieties of something similar, but after a while I stopped putting stuff in the middle and just layered them (I actually posted some new ones last night!). I love the idea of this flavor combo!
April 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLisa
Beautiful photos al the way around! Those little cups look amazing..I am sure I could eat them all! :) I love pb and all things coconut and chocolate!
April 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLizAshlee
Ooh these look so great! Love love love!
I love, love coconut, these cups are so cute, I am making them this weekend!

Ashley--> Let me know what you think!
wow I can't wait to see those gorgeous photos of your friend on your photo blog! That must have been a very special photo shoot for you. And love the recipe- its like inside out oreos!
April 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKatie @KatieDid
Oh. My Gosh. I have no words... like, omg. Your photos literally make me feel like I took that bite... I can see myself making these VERY soon :)
April 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJessica @ Chockohlawtay
Oh my. Those look incredible. I love that you can see the actual specks of vanilla bean in them!

And Laura looks AMAZING for just having had a baby!!
April 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCait's Plate
I can safely say I have never seen a peanut butter cup like that before!
Wow, those look delicious and you have inspired me to attempt to make coconut butter. I'm going to check your FAQ's about making coconut and other nut butters- thanks for linking to it!

Ashley--> Welcome!
April 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKelly@Runmarun
Yes! What a great idea with the coconut butter. Love it, and can't wait to try it!
April 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJill
These.are.amazing. That is all. :)
I have never seen coconut butter, just oil. I will have to hunt!

Ashley--> If you have a food processor [not a mini sized] you can easily make it. If not, the most popular brand that sells it is Artisana. It's quite pricey, unfortunately.
April 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterErin
These look sooooooo great! What a fun combo.
April 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlison
I was going to comment about how awesomely awesome you are for coming up with a coconut butter cup...

but then I saw that picture of that newborn babe and lost all my senses.

Ashley--> Hahaha, love it!
April 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKatie
I tried making coconut butter in my food processor the other weekend and it literally just quit operating after about 18 minutes. It overheated! And the coconut never turned to butter. I don't know why.. :( But I better buy some jarred coconut butter to make these!

Ashley--> Since we chatted about this through email, I wanted to leave the response on the blog as to why it didn't work out. Coconut butter can't be made using the reduced fat, shredded + unsweetened coconut. The only kind that has worked consistently for me is full fat, shredded + unsweetened coconut.
April 18, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjanetha
Two things look absolutely amazing in this post. 1. Those coconut! 2. Your friend looks simply unbelievable to have just had that gorgeous baby! I'm jealous to the nth degree!

Ashley--> She does look amazing, doesn't she?? :)
April 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJackie
What a delicious recipe! <3
This looks great! Beautiful pictures too.
April 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLauren
I really like that you said you would be melting one of these cups over top of breakfast. I can completely justify making them now- I combine coconut and almond butter on top of warm oats all the time! The cups are quite stunning. :)

i love you.

the end.
April 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHeather
Good god almighty! Two of my absolute favorite things in the whole world coming together in eternal food bliss! I can not wait to make this! Thank you so much!

Ashley--> Welcome!! :)
April 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVivienne
Our friendship is riding on this..... I neeeeeeeeeeeeeeed to try one of these cups!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ashley--> I have a few in the fridge with your name on them!
April 18, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterkelsey
I am pretty much addicted to anything to anything in the shape of a reeses cup. Yours come out so much prettier than mine do!!
Dude. Pure genius!

Hmmm...I wonder what would happen if you freeze them and then put a layer of melted chocolate OVER it?

Would the coconut butter survive the additional warmth of the chocolate?
Thanks for the recipe!

Ashley--> Okay. Now THAT is genius! I think it would definitely work!
April 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKel
These look amazing! The combination of coconut, chocolate and almond is one of my favorites! I love the idea of letting one of these melt over a bowl of oats or a buckwheat bake. I'll have to make them soon.

Ashley--> I wonder what would happen if you stuck one IN a buckwheat bake before cooking???
April 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKerry
Oh wow. That applies to both candy cups and babies.
April 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSarah
Super jealous of tomorrow's breakfast. ;)
OH MY. I love all things coconut so I am all over this one. this looks amazing
April 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterShanna
OH MY. okay the coconut cups are one thing that but photo is the sweetest photo I have ever seen. Your so talented!

Ashley--> Thanks so much!
April 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBrittany@FloydsKitchen
You had me at the title of this post. Then you sucked me in further with this unbelievable insane in the membrane genius recipe. Then you smacked me in the face with the photo of that beautiful baby&mother. I can't wait to see your photos of this shoot! They both look amazing considering how new he/she is. :)

Ashley--> Aw, thanks Andrea! Yes, Laura looks fantastic! As does the little one. :)
April 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea
Great idea! I am thinking of making a similar version without the maple syrup and with dark chocolate almond butter. Can I sub vanilla bean paste for the vanilla bean? Also, can I make these ahead of time? I have an event that these would be perfect for next week, but I do not have time to make them then.

Ashley--> That should work! I would just use 1t vanilla bean paste instead of the extract + scraped beans. You can always taste the coconut mixture and see if you want to add more vanilla bean paste to it. The strength varies widely between different vanilla products. Also, yes you can definitely make them ahead of time. I've had mine in the fridge for a week and they still taste as good as new! Just make sure to keep them in a sealed container in the fridge.
April 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSara
omgooodnesss this makes my mouth water!!!!! ahhhhhhhhhh I have to say that coconut is one of my fave things to eat! And these look so delicious and they should be at the store
April 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEllie@Fit for the Soul
What did I do wrong? The coconut butter coating tasted and had the texture of Crisco! I used unsweetened shredded coconut from Whole Foods (I think it is the Let's Go brand).

Ashley--> I'm so sorry they didn't end up tasting how you expected. Do you typically like coconut a lot? Have you ever eaten the unsweetened shredded coconut before? I only ask because a lot of people aren't used to it in comparison to sweetened coconut. It definitely turns to a melted, buttery-like consistency, with a little texture from the coconut. You said the texture was like Crisco [which is pretty soft], so did the cups not harden? They should definitely start to harden right away in the fridge or freezer. As far as the taste, it should just taste like coconut with a hint of vanilla and a mild sweetness. So sorry you weren't a fan of them!
April 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSara
Mmmm yum!! I need to make these asap!
May 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFallon
What did I do wrong? Twice now, I've made beautiful coconut butter and was so excited to see that it worked just like you said! However, the whole thing turned to gritty powder when I added the warmed maple syrup. No amount of processing would change it back to the smooth, runny butter it was before the syrup.

Ashley--> Iris - I am so sorry you have had this problem. And twice! I'm sure that has been frustrating. :( It definitely took a few minutes to turn back into drippy coconut butter when I made them, so I'm not sure what could have been the problem. I'm going to re-make the recipe and see if pure cane sugar works better. I'm also thinking that the warmed maple syrup can possibly be just stirred into the drippy coconut butter. Again, I am so sorry you ran into problems with this recipe!!
May 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterIris
These are pretty clever! It molds and hardens just like a piece of candy!

Tastes almost as good as a piece of candy, actually I prefer it to candy because these are actually healthy!
July 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNate
It is just coconut butter on the outside? Wow... I love this recipe and I definitely have to try this butter, it looks wonderful!
January 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTofu Karlo
Hi! I just wanted to let you know that I tried a modified version of these and my girls loved them. I had to modify them to lower the oxalate for my youngest. Would you be happy for me to share this modified version (with proper credit of course =)...)with a list group I am on as they are always looking for snacks and treats that will work on the diet?

I am looking forward to looking through your blog as we are also GF and DF.
January 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTracey
I love coconut-butter I am defiantly trying theses yummy cups for Easter :)
How long will coconut butter keep in a sealed jar? I store it in a cabinent or pantry..not the fridge?
March 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTish
@Tish - Pretty much indefinitely from my experience. I've never had it go bad, even being around for 6+ months.
March 22, 2013 | Registered CommenterAshley
I made these last night. They are so yummy. I used almond butter instead of peanut butter. I used maple syrup as a sweetener. Next time I might try honey in the filling. I think it is important that the coconut butter mixture is runny enough to work with easily. I just stirred in a little more melted coconut oil and maple syrup and it was the perfect consistency
These are great. I might store in the freezer.
April 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLaura
Ok, as I said above, I made them on 4/18/13. I cannot stop eating them. Love the almond butter but I can see where peanut butter would be wonderful. I cannot wait to make more and experiment with different sweeteners and other editions....just for fun, like a whole almond in center or top and then with chocolate covering the almond.
April 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLaura
Sorry for of all the spelling mistakes in my posts above. I rely on spell check.........
April 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLaura

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