If you have a muffin tin, cupcake liners and a few basic pantry staples, then you and your kids are steps away from a fun-filled afternoon making homemade peanut butter cups. Your kids will love making this copycat version of their favorite candy at home—and customizing them with an array of colorful sprinkles and toppings.
Keep reading to learn how to get started on this no-bake recipe. We’ll even share things for kids to do at every step in the recipe!
How to Make Homemade Peanut Butter Cups
These peanut butter cups are a treat, but they only require pantry staples. How great is that!
1-1/2 cups creamy peanut butter, divided
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
4-1/2 teaspoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup milk chocolate chips
Assorted sprinkles, mini M&M’S or chopped nuts, optional
Step 1: Arrange Liners
Line a standard muffin tin with paper liners. You may also use a mini muffin tin and liners if you want to make fun-size peanut butter cups.
Tip for parents: This is a great task to let your toddler or young child do! Make it educational by having them count out the liners or identify their color as they place them into the muffin tin. (If you’re new to baking with kids, this guide is a must-read.)
Step 2: Make the Peanut Butter Filling
In a large mixing bowl, combine one cup of peanut butter with one cup of confectioners’ sugar, salt and softened butter. Stir with a rubber spatula until fully blended. Place the filling in the fridge to chill until ready to assemble.
Tip for parents: Take turns stirring the filling. If sharing is troublesome in your house, make it musical by letting each kid stir for one verse of their favorite song (e.g., Wheels on the Bus) before passing it on to the next family member.
Step 3: Melt the Chocolate
In a large, microwave-safe mixing bowl, combine the chocolate chips and the remaining half cup of peanut butter. Microwave in intervals of one to two minutes at 60% power, mixing after each session.
Repeat until the chocolate is melted and smooth, then stir to combine.
Tip for parents: Have your children practice measuring by scooping the ingredients themselves and adding them to the mixing bowl.
Step 4: Shape the Filling
Taking about a half tablespoon of chilled filling, gently roll it into a ball using your hands. Then, using the bottom of a glass, flatten each ball of filling so it’s about 1/4-inch thick and 1-1/2 inches in diameter. Spray the bottom of the glass with cooking spray to help prevent sticking.
Tip for parents: Let your kids help roll the filling into balls for a great sensory activity. Then, turns smashing the peanut butter balls into discs using the glass. If you’re worried about broken glasses, use any plastic cup with a flat bottom for this step.
Step 5: Assemble
Fill each muffin liner with a tablespoon of melted chocolate. Then gently smack the muffin tin on the counter to help the chocolate settle smoothly and evenly in each liner. Layer each with a disc of peanut butter filling and then top with another tablespoon of melted chocolate. Spread the chocolate with a spoon to cover the filling and then gently smack the muffin tin on the counter again to help the chocolate settle evenly.
Tip for parents: Let older children help spoon the chocolate into the muffin liners. Younger kids can place the peanut butter discs on top of the chocolate. Let your kids help you make some noise by giving them a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to drum on the counter as you smack the muffin tin on the counter to settle the chocolate. Who doesn’t love a good family drum session?
Step 6: Decorate and Chill
For some added fun, color and creativity, top each peanut butter cup with assorted rainbow sprinkles, mini M&M’s or chopped nuts. Then, place the peanut butter cups in the refrigerator and chill until the chocolate has set. Once set, store the peanut butter cups in an airtight container at room temperature.
Tip for parents: Let each child decorate a few of the peanut butter cups using their favorite toppings. This is a great time to practice color identification or even making letters with the M&M’s.
What to Do with Your Kids While the Chocolate Sets
Don’t forget about cleanup tasks! While the peanut butter cups chill and set, ask your kids to help carry dirty dishes to the sink. If they’re old enough, ask them to help you wash the dishes or load the dishwasher, too. It will help pass the time until it’s time for them to dig into your homemade treats.
When time is up and the cups are set, dig in! These are a great special treat to enjoy and to share with friends. Wrap a few up and give as gifts!
Next: Learn how to make monkey bread with the kiddos!
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