EASY Dark chocolate almond butter cups with caramelized bananas in the middle and sliced on top. Yep, this chocolate banana dessert cup recipe is for real and it’s also refined sugar free and vegan friendly. All you need are a few simple real food ingredients and love for all things chocolate almond butter.
A healthy(ish) CHOCOLATE BANANA dessert on steroids. Whoops! These Caramelized Banana Chocolate Almond Butter Cups were a total accident. I don’t even know how they happened, wait…. yes I do. More on that below. But let’s be honest, sometimes those accidental recipes make for the best recipes to share. Yes, I know. I just posted a Spring Clean Eating gluten free meal plan, but would you believe me if I told you these chocolate almond butter cups were as about as “clean” as you could get when it comes to dessert? Well, you should. I’m not forcing chocolate banana dessert cups upon you if you are prepping for the clean eating meal plan, but I am FORCING you to save this recipe for future. Heck you could make them now, freeze them, and then place in fridge for Easter weekend. Ya, that’s what you should. Genius move!
Alright, so let’s talk about how these scrumptious lil vegan almond butter cups came about.
You see, I had this plan to make some sort of frozen banana chocolate peanut butter bites for March. You know, the no bake bite kind I always post. But then it happened. I got everything prepped in the kitchen and realized these were way too plain Jane for my liking. Nothing wrong with plain Jane, it just didn’t feel right to me. This crazy Cotter likes the extra flavor pizazz! Yep, this happens to me a lot. I try think of a recipe, go to test the recipe, and then feel …… meh. Then I get back in the kitchen and start over.
Which is exactly what happened here.
Next idea. Hmmm.. How about a banana’s foster or vegan caramelized banana peanut butter cookie bites recipe. Ohh that sounds good.
Test test. Good stuff but not feeling the whole no bake bite thing this month. Shocking, I know!
Which leads me to my third idea that happened on accident. Happy accident.
Caramelized banana, meet your long lost soul mate dark chocolate almond butter cups. Together you will marry and be showered with extra dark chocolate shavings and sea salt.
You will also be filled with the caramelized banana slices and then frozen in time so can savor you forever.
You see what I mean? The marriage of two recipes created one happy chocolate almond butter cups accident. BLISS!
Paleo…ish. Vegan friendly. No refined sugars. TOTALLY ADDICTING. Trust me, I had to give almost all of them away before I devoured.
I recommend you master self-discipline and constraint before making these. Just sayin. One bite and you’re totally hooked.
If you do decide to take up my chocolate almond butter cups self restraint challenge, there are two ways you can practice. Meaning, two ways to layer the ingredients for two totally different craving. Chocolatey banana or Banana peanut buttery (almond buttery)!
One, you melt the dark chocolate and fill the cup to create and outer layer, add banana and almond butter inside, then more chocolate, sea salt, and caramelized banana topping.
Or … second option.
Melt and layer the Almond butter first, freeze, then a swirl of chocolate, caramelized banana, and them more chocolate banana to top.
Either way, you will have amazingness and you can you use all the same ingredients!
Here’s what you need to break the rules and make CARAMELIZED BANANA CHOCOLATE ALMOND BUTTER CUPS.
Simple Healthy REAL FOOD Ingredients:
- coconut oil or vegan butter
- dark chocolate for melting and shavings to top
- almond butter
- coconut sugar
- sea salt
Caramelized Banana Chocolate Almond Butter Cups. Vegan and Paleo Friendly!
For the Caramelized Bananas
- 2 small bananas, sliced thin or in half (slice 1/2 banana in circle slices for topping).
- 2 tbsp coconut sugar
- 1 tbsp naturally refined coconut oil or soy-free vegan butter (clarified butter can be used for non vegan)
- 1 tbsp hot water
For muffin pan lined with thin muffin cup liners:
- 1/2 – 2/3 cup dark chocolate for melting. Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate is great for vegan option.
- 2 tbsp coconut oil, divided.
- Optional 1/2 tsp vanilla extract mixed in chocolate if desired
- 1/2 cup creamy almond butter or sunflower seed butter for nut-free version (no stir)
- Sea salt and dark chocolate shavings to sprinkle
For the caramelized bananas:
- Melt coconut oil or vegan butter in large frying pan. Add coconut sugar; cook, stirring, until sugar and butter are melted together and somewhat dissolved.
- Add sliced bananas and 1 tbsp water; cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, about 2 minutes or until banana slices coated and caramelized.
- Set aside, let cool, then slice again into dice size pieces.
For the chocolate almond butter cups:
- First melt 1/3 cup dark chocolate with 1/2 tbsp coconut oil in microwave in 30 second increments, mixing between until melted.
- Pour into muffin pan lined with thin muffin cup liners. (See notes for almond butter swirl option).
- Place melted chocolate in Freezer for 10 minutes to set.
- While the chocolate is setting, melt almond butter with 1/2 tbsp coconut oil. Microwave in 30 second increments, mixing between until melted. *Note* You can melt both chocolate and almond on stove top (separately) with oil if you don’t have microwave.
- Spoon the almond butter on top of the frozen chocolate lined cups. Add thick slice of caramelized banana (about the size of dice).
- Place in Freezer for 10 minutes to set.
- While the chocolate, almond butter, banana cups are freezing, melt remainder 1/3 – 1/2 cup chocolate with 1/2 tbsp oil. Pour the remainder of the dark chocolate over cups to fill.
- Top each up with remaining caramelized banana slices. Garnish with dark chocolate shavings and sea salt.
- Freeze 20 minutes until set. Then let them sit out for 5 mins before serving from freezer. Or keep in fridge and serve anytime! See notes for storing.
If you prefer more almond butter flavor, melt the almond butter first and place it on the bottom layer, then the chocolate banana, then the almond butter again to top. You might need more almond butter for this. This is the opposite of the chocolate/ almond butter layers noted again. See pictures for reference.
Store the almond butter cups in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer for up to 10 days.
You can use mini cups as well just make sure the bananas are cut smaller to fit. This will make 11-12 mini cups or 6-7 large cups.
Estimated nutrition shown below is per 1 large almond butter cup
- Category: dessert
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1 piece
- Calories: 173
- Sugar: 10.5g
- Sodium: 40mg
- Fat: 10.5g
- Saturated Fat: 6g
- Carbohydrates: 15.5g
- Fiber: 2g
- Protein: 1.5g
- Cholesterol: 1mg
Keywords: chocolate almond butter cups, gluten free, paleo, vegan
Ready to dive in? I dare you. Gasp!
What’s one of your favorite chocolate banana desserts you’re wanting to make healthier? I’m up for the challenge. In the meantime, let’s all drool over this combo. Mmm k?
p.s don’t judge me if I post another “clean-ish” Easter dessert soon. Although, I will try to space it out with a mega healthy veggies side dish.
MORE EASY GLUTEN FREE EASTER RECIPES HERE!
This recipe is part of our Easy Gluten Free Easter Recipes collection. Check it out!