Homemade sunflower seed caramel is surrounded by dark bitter chocolate in these easy to make sweets. Sunflower seed caramel cups taste similar to traditional peanut butter cups but are free of the dairy, nuts and palm oil. Suitable for nut-free, vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, coconut-free and Paleo diets.
As these cups are made from sunflower seeds they are relatively inexpensive. Good quality sunflower seed butter isn’t available everywhere and is usually quite expensive so in this recipe uses whole sunflower seeds.
Sunflower Caramel Dark Chocolate Cups Recipe
- 8.8oz / 250g Dark chocolate
- 2 cups / 300g Sunflower seeds
- 4 tbsp Maple syrup, Coconut nectar or similar sweetener
- 1 tbsp Molasses
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- a pinch of Salt
- Spread the sunflower seeds on a pan and roast for 10-12 mins at 190C / 375F.
- Take out of the oven as soon as a few turn golden. Watch like a hawk as they can burn quickly.
- Leave to cool for 10 mins.
- Place the warm seeds along with everything else apart from the chocolate into a blender and pulse blend to make a paste.
- Depending on your blender you may need to scrape down the sides and blend for several minutes until it combines.
- Melt 3/4 of the chocolate in a double boiler then add melt the last 1/4 off the heat for easy tempering.
- Pour half of the chocolate into the cases and then chill for a few mins to set.
- Press the sunflower caramel into the cases then cover with the remaining cholate.
- Sprinkle with sunflower seeds and chill to set.
- If you want a smooth seed butter then blend the seeds first on their own, but you will need a powerful blender and some patience.
- I find a food processor is best at making the seed paste, but a liquidiser or a jug blender (in batches) also works well but requires more scraping of the sides and blending.
- Enjoy within a week and store in the fridge.
Sunflower Caramel Dark Chocolate Cups Video
The seeds are roasted to give a similar taste to a peanut butter cup. Roasting also makes the sunflower seeds blend smoother as the oils are easily released.
It is difficult to get a smooth homemade sunflower seed butter without adding additional oil but the chunky crunchy texture of the sunflower seeds works well with the smooth dark chocolate.
You can make a raw version of these by instead of roasting the sunflower seeds soaking them in water for 8+ hours with a pinch of salt. Then drain and rinse the seeds and use in the recipe. For the raw chocolate; melt 1/3 raw coconut or cacao oil then mix with 1/3 cacao powder and 1/3 of a liquid sweetener (like maple syrup or coconut nectar). This raw chocolate topping can be used like melted chocolate.
Silicone molds about 1″ in diameter were used to make this as they are firm enough to allow you to press in the sunflower seed filling. You can use paper ones but they will need to be in a lined tin for rigidity.
I used an 85% cocoa solids dark chocolate to make these sweets. The bitter dark chocolate complements the sweet sunflower seed caramel center. If you don’t eat dairy remember to check that the chocolate you buy is dairy free as I’ve noticed butter oil in some dark chocolate.
A high cocoa chocolate is used to make these low sugar and give a rich robust flavor.