I’m starting to twitch. That usually happens if it’s been longer than couple weeks without a blog post. Can you tell it’s been a bit crazy over here? I’ve had this draft open for over two weeks on my computer. As much as I don’t like being away from blogging, it’s refreshing to step back now and then. I’m really enjoying soaking up as much time with Adriana as I can. The weeks are flying by and it’s bittersweet when I think about how fast she’s growing. The second cookbook is also coming together really well. I’m so encouraged by how well the recipe development is going this time around! The recipes are turning out eyeball popping delicious. I’m so proud of each and every recipe that’s going into this book and I can’t wait for you to enjoy them with your loved ones!
Before I forget, I want to update you on my call for recipe testers. I know some of you assumed that you weren’t selected, but I actually haven’t contacted anyone yet as I’m running behind. I’m sorry for the delay; things tend to move at a glacial pace with a baby around! hah. It reminds me of one of my favourite quotes from the movie Devil Wears Prada: “By all means, move at a glacial pace…you know how that thrills me.” Oh Meryl, I love you. Anyway, I hope to send out email invites within the next month. We had a huge amount of volunteers – about 10,000 of you – crazy, right? Your enthusiasm is amazing. I will only be able to invite about 40 or 50 to start off with – I wish I could take you all up on your generous offer to help. Thank you all again so much!
If you’d like to see some cookbook teasers and what I’m up to behind the scenes, be sure to check out my Instagram account – I created a new hashtag called #osgcookbook2 where I will be sharing recipe teasers for the next several months.
OK, now onto this recipe! I’ve been working on the dessert chapter for my cookbook. One thing you told me loud and clear about the first book is that you want more desserts (especially cookies). And you know what? I totally agree! So for this next book, I’ve created a bigger, more awesome dessert chapter. It’s gonna blow ya mind…trust me on this one. I decided these nut-free dream cups were just too good to hold onto. This recipe is inspired by one of the most popular recipes from 2013 – my Raw Almond Butter Cups. Many of you asked for an almond-free version so I made it nut-free and added a third layer for fun. While I love the almond butter cup recipe, these are my new favourite for sure. The snappy coconut butter base provides a great contrast to the creamy middle and chocolate topping.
I have recently fallen back in love with coconut butter during my recipe testing pursuits. It’s so darn easy to make at home (the first time I made it at home was back in 2010). Have you made it before? It’s pretty life-changing. The store-bought stuff is super expensive for some reason (why are those jars soooo much?), but making it at home is really cheap! I use a 400 gram bag of No Name unsweetened medium coconut (see below). You want to be sure you are using unsweetened shredded coconut and not flaked, sweetened, or low-fat kinds. Ontario folks, you can find this No Name bag at Fortinos and I’m guessing other grocers too. I find some shredded coconut to be hit or miss when making homemade coconut butter, but this bag works perfectly every single time! I’ve also found processing 3-4 cups at a time works best – anything less and it might not break down into butter. Also, make sure the coconut you are using is fresh – if the coconut is stale it most likely won’t turn into butter. The beauty is that the leftover coconut butter will keep for a very long time in the fridge or pantry and you’ll always have some handy for baking.
It’s such a treat to eat a spoonful of this warm homemade coconut butter!
To start off with, I added a scant teaspoon of coconut butter into each mini silicone mold. This is the one I use. They pop out so easily! I love using it for making homemade chocolate too. You can probably also use mini (or standard size if that’s all you have) cupcake paper liners.
Pop those in the freezer while you stir together the filling.
I made a very easy homemade chocolate for the topping using unsweetened cocoa powder, maple syrup, and coconut oil. All topped with large coconut flakes for a crunchy texture. Easily one of my favourite quick and easy desserts to come out of my kitchen in a while!
3-Layer Nut-Free Dream Cups
8 mini cups
These dream cups are free of nuts, but you'd never know it! The bottom layer is made up with pure coconut butter. It adds a firm, snappy texture contrast to the naturally sweetened sunflower seed butter and homemade chocolate layers. Try these cups as a nut-free alternative to my popular Raw Almond Butter Cups.
For the base layer:
- 3 tablespoons melted coconut butter (from a packed 1/4 cup solid coconut butter)
For the middle layer:
- 1/4 cup sunflower seed butter
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil, softened
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, optional
- pinch fine sea salt
For the top layer:
- 1/4 cup virgin coconut oil
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- pinch fine sea salt
- 2 1/2-3 tablespoons unsweetened large flake coconut
- If necessary, melt the coconut butter over the lowest heat in a saucepan until liquid.
- Spoon a scant teaspoon of melted coconut butter into a mini silicone cupcake mold and spread out evenly. You can probably use mini paper liners if you don't have silicone. Repeat for the rest (I made 8 mini cups). Place in the freezer.
- Prepare the middle layer: In a small bowl, stir together the sunflower butter, maple syrup, oil, vanilla (if using), and salt until smooth. Add a scant tablespoon of filling on top of each coconut butter layer. Smooth out and place in the freezer.
- Prepare the top layer: Add the coconut oil into a small saucepan and melt over low heat. Remove from heat and whisk in the cocoa powder, maple syrup, and salt until smooth.
- Add a tablespoon of melted chocolate on top of each cup. Top with a teaspoon of large flake coconut and gently press down.
- Freeze for about 25 minutes until solid. Allow to sit at room temperature for 5 minutes before enjoying. Store leftovers in the fridge, or for longer storage, the freezer.
To make homemade coconut butter, process 3-4 cups of unsweetened shredded coconut in a heavy-duty food processor for 7-10 minutes, until smooth and liquid. Make sure the coconut you are using isn't stale or it won't turn into butter. Leftovers will keep in the fridge in an air tight container for at least a month, but often much longer. You can also use store-bought coconut butter.
These are a dream (excuse the pun). I love the photography how you have laid the photos out in layers. Looks delicious :)
Amazone! Just made them last night and fell IN LOVE. First time making my own HEALTHY chocolate!!! Thanks Angela!!
Glad you enjoyed them, Lina!
Has anyone made these with papers? I have not been able to find a mini silicone muffin pan anywhere. I have all the ingredients sitting and waiting patiently in my pantry. But I don’t want them to go to waste if the paper won’t come off. Is there a good online eco nerve housewares site? Thanks for any info.
can you use something other that seed butter?
thanks in advance
These are fabulous! I used almond butter in lieu of the sunbutter, so delicious. I tripled the recipe and made in a loaf pan. While it still tasted great, they did not cut well into bars. Next time I will use molds.
Made these for my family and they all loved it! Thanks so much for sharing
3-Layer Nut-Free Dream Cups is amazing dessert and yummy! I made same a short while ago and it was lovely! Thx for sharing!
Glad you enjoyed them, Jill! Thanks for taking the time to let me know :)
If I just processed the coconut shreds in the processor to butter, do I still have to melt the butter before scooping it into the silicone cupcake form?
Hi Joanna, If you make your own coconut butter, you won’t have to melt it as it’ll already be the perfect “drippy” consistency (as long as you process it long enough, that is). :) Happy baking!
Coconuts are tree nuts just fyi
Hey Kerrigan, Health Canada classifies coconut as a “seed of a fruit” and not as a tree nut like they do in the US.
These cups are the best thing ever. I made half batch with peanut butter and half batch with almond butter. So good. As much as I love peanut butter and chocolate together, the almond butter was amazing. Though I get nut free is great for people who don’t/can’t eat them. MAKE THESE. DO NOT hesitate. I actually cut each cup into quarters as I thought a whole cup was way too much. At times I would have half, but mostly ate a quarter at a time and that was enough. What a treat. I will make these over and over and over and over…. :)
Further, in my opinion these cups should be consumed frozen. The “butter” gets too squishy.
Hey Trish, Thank you so much for your review…I’m so thrilled you love these so much!
Hi Angela, these look so delicious and I can’t wait to make them this weekend! By chance, have you ever tried using Vitamix to make the coconut butter? I don’t have a food processor but would love to make my own coconut butter. Thanks!
Hey Alema, I do think you can make coconut butter in the Vitamix! I tend to use my food processor though because I find the clean up is easier, but I think both options should work fine. There’s probably even you tube videos online of making coconut butter in the Vitamix. I love how quickly it breaks down!
Made them a few days ago and they were delicious! Family loved them as well. I think I must have processed for less than 2 minutes in the Vitamix before the coconut butter was done. You’re right though, the clean up was not fun. Had to actually use a sponge to wash away the oils left behind.
I think I might make some more tonight :) This time with roasted almond butter and a little less maple syrup because I’m trying to cut back. Curious how that will taste, but I’m sure it will be heavenly!
Thanks so much Angela for your recipes, and your quick responses. I appreciate having someone so readily available to troubleshoot. Thanks again!
Oh don’t you love how quickly the coconut breaks down into butter! It’s so easy. I don’t know why they charge so much for coconut butter in stores as it’s so fast to make it. I’m so glad you and the fam loved these! Thanks for the awesome feedback.
yum! will these stay solid at room temperature for an hour or so? or do they need to be kept in the fridge/freezer to retain their shape?
Hi Robyn, Hmm good question! To be honest I don’t think I’ve had them on the counter that long so I can’t say for sure. I think it would depend on your room temperature too. The bottom and top layers might stay quite firm, but I think the middle layer would get quite soft. Might be best to test one or two out just to see? Sorry I can’t help you more.
What occasion would this be used for?
Hey Jess, since they come together so quickly, I think you could make the dream cups for any occasion! The middle layer tends to soften at room temperature, though, so you might want to keep that in mind for serving :)
These 3-Layer nut-free dream cups are so Instagrammable and adorable! As you know I made it a short while ago and it was lovely! Thx for sharing!