These Chocolate Pretzel Peanut Butter Cups are inspired by the Take 5 candy bar, but made with way more wholesome ingredients! These gluten-free, refined sugar-free and vegan candy cups are filled with peanut butter caramel, with pretzels and peanuts for crunch.
I’m not much one for candy bars anymore, but I used to be ALLL about them. I had many favorites – Twix and Reese’s were definitely at the top of the list, but Take 5 Bars had to be my ride-or-die favorite.
They combine all my favorite things about sweet + salty treats – salty pretzels, gooey caramel, smooth peanut butter, and crunchy peanuts, all coated in chocolate. Swooooon. All the goods!
It’s slightly shocking to me I haven’t posted any other Take 5-inspired recipes, so that’s changing right NOW. This is probably just the first one – I wanna do some more goods inspired with this combo. Maybe brownies? Cookies? Bar?? All of the above? 😍
Give me chocolate and peanut butter any day, but when you add the salty crunchiness of the pretzels and peanuts AND the sweet, gooeyness of the caramel? Perfection. These easy candy cups encompass all that goodness!
For the chocolate, I skipped melting it myself and instead whipped up my favorite chocolate recipe. I like making my own chocolate for candy cups because not only do I know exactly what’s going into it, it melts in your mouth unlike any other chocolate you can buy!
It’s made from a combo of cocoa powder, maple syrup, and coconut oil. The coconut oil base makes it super melty and delicious, but also means you’ve got to keep the cups cool so they don’t melt! If you want to make these so that they keep at room temperature, you could use melted chocolate instead of the coconut oil-based one I use here.
The filling is really what it’s all about! Crushed pretzels are sprinkled on the bottom layer of melted chocolate, and then that’s topped with a quick and easy peanut butter caramel. It’s made with peanut butter, maple syrup, coconut oil, and a touch of vanilla extract. Caramel-y and peanut buttery, all in one!
A second layer of chocolate covers that up, and then more crushed pretzels, peanuts, and a bit of flaky sea salt go on top to garnish. A quick chill in the fridge or freezer and they’re ready to devour.
I enjoyed these best cold, straight from the fridge – they go from being chilled to melting in your mouth as soon as you take a bite, and it’s absolutely delicious. You’ve got to give them a try to see just what I mean ;)
If you’re a fan of salty/sweet chocolatey treats, I don’t doubt you’ll be LOVING these! They’d also make a delicious gift for any of your loved ones – no one ever complains about delicious edible gifts :) enjoy!!
Want more tasty, chocolate candy cups?! –>
- Homemade Peanut Butter Cups
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Caramel Cups (GF + Vegan)
- Chocolate Chip Cookies Dough Cups (Paleo + Vegan)
- Chocolate Peanut Butter & Jelly Cups (GF + Vegan)
Remember to #bakerita if you try the recipe!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Cups (Gluten Free + Vegan)
Line a 24-cavity mini muffin tin with small cupcake liners. Alternatively, you can also use a peanut butter cup mold.
In a liquid measuring cup, whisk together the melted coconut oil, cocoa powder, and 3 tablespoons maple syrup. Taste it, and add more maple syrup if you want it sweeter.
Pour a small amount of the chocolate mixture into the bottom of each liner or mold cavity, until the bottom is thinly covered. Don't use more than half the chocolate mixture for this.
Sprinkle some of the crushed pretzels into the chocolate, dividing them between all of the cups. Place the liners in the refrigerator or freezer for about 10 minutes to harden.
While the chocolate hardens, stir together the peanut butter, maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla extract, and salt until smooth and combined.
Once the bottom layer of chocolate is hard, place about 1 heaping teaspoon of peanut butter caramel over the chocolate. Pour enough of the chocolate mixture over the peanut butter to cover it completely (if at any point the remaining chocolate gets too thick, warm it in the microwave for 10-15 seconds to remelt). Repeat until all are done.
Sprinkle the tops with more crushed pretzels, peanuts, and flaky sea salt. Return to the refrigerator to harden completely. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator.