If you're looking for an easy yet super delicious dessert then this is probably the one for you. These vegan cookie dough cups are no-bake and can be ready to eat in less than an hour! They're a quick and easy-to-make take on my vegan cookie dough caramel slices.
They're basically a cross between cookie dough and Reese's peanut butter cups, but made vegan and a lot healthier. The best thing about the cookie dough is that if you have any leftovers, you can just eat it straight off the spoon, unlike conventional cookie dough which usually contains unsafe raw eggs.
Here's why you'll want to try these cookie dough cups
- Salty and sweet: Irresistibly delicious and they taste like cookie dough!
- No-bake and easy to make: With only 6-7 ingredients, and no blender or food processor required
- Allergy-friendly: Eggless, dairy-free, and gluten-free, and a guaranteed crowd pleaser
- Great for special occasions: Just like my Halloween cupcakes and rice crispy treats, these cookie dough cups are perfect for Halloween treats.
- Peanut butter: This works as the binding agent for the cookie dough as well as forms the base for the peanut butter caramel layer.
- Pure maple syrup: This is the sweetener for both the cookie dough and caramel sauce layers.
- Ground almonds: These form the base of the vegan cookie dough, and help to keep it gluten-free.
- Sea salt: The combination of sweet and salty in these cookie dough caramel chocolate cups makes them so moreish. Sea salt not only enhances sweetness but also brings out all of the other flavors of this dessert. It's literally chocolate and caramel's best friend.
- Coconut sugar: Gives a delicious caramelized sweetness to the cookie dough.
- Vanilla extract: You can't have cookie dough without vanilla. This adds that subtle yet fragrant flavor that's needed in any good cookie dough recipe.
- Chocolate: I used my homemade vegan milk chocolate for this recipe, but feel free to sub in dark chocolate if you prefer, just make sure that it's dairy-free and suitable for vegans. You'll also need dairy-free chocolate chips for the filling. If you aren't able to get your hands on them, you can simply chop some chocolate into little cubes instead, as I did!
- Coconut oil: The addition of some coconut oil to the chocolate is optional, but it helps the melted chocolate to flow better and adds a touch of shine!
How to make this recipe (with step-by-step images)
(Full ingredient quantities and instructions can be found in the recipe card at the end of this post)
Melt the chocolate and coconut oil (if using) over a double boiler and add one tablespoon of the melted chocolate into the base of your cupcake liners. Pop them in the freezer to set for about 15 minutes while you make the cookie dough.
For the cookie dough, you'll simply add all of the ingredients apart from the chocolate chips (in this case the ground almonds, coconut sugar, peanut butter, maple syrup, salt, and vanilla) to your food processor and blend until they form a dough. Lastly, fold in the chocolate chips and roll the cookie dough into 12 balls. Flatten the balls into discs and sit them on top of the set chocolate layer.
For the caramel layer, we'll be making a healthy homemade peanut butter caramel sauce with just a few ingredients. It's so easy and almost seems too good to be true, but mixing together peanut butter, maple syrup, vanilla, and salt will give you a silky-smooth salted caramel peanut butter sauce for your chocolate chip cookie dough cups. Add a teaspoon of the caramel on top of each cookie dough disc and cover with the remaining melted chocolate.
Place the vegan cookie dough chocolate cups in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to a week. You can also freeze them in an airtight container and defrost them as needed. Remove them from the freezer 1-2 hours before serving.
- Peanut butter: Swap this out for any nut butter you like, cashew butter is amazing in these cookie dough cups. You could also go for tahini!
- Plain cookie dough cups: If you want to make these cookie dough peanut butter cups even more simple, you can leave out the caramel layer.
- White chocolate: If you prefer white chocolate why not try making these with vegan white chocolate.
- If you have leftover chocolate cups why not add them to some vegan cookie dough ice cream.
More No-Bake Desserts
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Peanut butter caramel
For the chocolate coating
- 10.6 oz (300 g) dairy free chocolate
- 1 teaspoon (4 g) coconut oil, solid, optional
- Line a muffin tray with cupcake liners and set aside.
- Fill a saucepan approximately ⅓ ways with water and bring to a simmer. Add the chocolate and coconut oil to a large heat-resistant bowl and set the bowl on top of the saucepan. Allow the steam to heat and melt the chocolate, ensuring that no water gets into the chocolate mixture.
- Add 1 tbsp of the melted chocolate to each bun case (or just enough to create an even layer of chocolate). Allow it to cool slightly before setting it in the freezer for 15 minutes. Set aside the remaining chocolate for later.
- Meanwhile, make the cookie dough by adding the ground almonds, coconut sugar, peanut butter, maple syrup, sea salt, and vanilla extract to your food processor. Blend until the ingredients stick together to form a dough.
- Transfer the dough to a bowl and add the chocolate chips, knead them through the dough to distribute them as evenly as possible (it doesn't need to be perfect!)
- Roll the cookie dough into 12 balls and flatten them into discs. Sit one cookie dough disc into each cupcake liner.
- Add a tbsp of the cookie dough to each bun case and flatten using a spoon (leaving space around the edges for the chocolate coating).
Peanut butter caramel
- For the caramel, add the peanut butter, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and salt to a bowl and whisk until smooth. Add one teaspoon of peanut butter caramel on top of each cookie dough disc.
- Pour the remaining melted chocolate over each cookie cup and place it back in the freezer to set for 10 minutes or longer if needed.
- Once ready, garnish with some more sea salt.
- Place the vegan cookie dough chocolate cups in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to a week. You can also freeze them in an airtight container and defrost as needed. Remove them from the freezer 1-2 hours before serving.
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*This recipe was originally published on October 8th, 2019. The recipe has since been improved and was last updated on October 22nd, 2021.