Pumpkin Hazelnut Butter Cups are the perfect cozy winter treat. Hints of cinnamon, ginger, vanilla, and nutmeg transition us seamlessly from fall into winter.
With Halloween behind us and fall unofficially coming to a close (I saw Christmas decorations in the stores yesterday, guys), I wanted to get one last pumpkin-focussed recipe on the blog. This isn’t your ordinary, in-your-face, pumpkin spice recipe. The pumpkin and pumpkin spice flavours are quite subtle here; and when blended effortlessly into raw, toasted hazelnuts and a myriad of seasonal spices and flavourings, the combination becomes quite special. Earthy, but sweet; crunchy on the outside with a gooey inside; profound, yet understated–they are a unique little treat
Don’t let the word pumpkin fool you into thinking that this is a fall-only treat, though. Because of its subtlety, they’re perfectly acceptable to make all winter long. And to my US friends, I was thinking of you when I developed this post because if you make these, you’re either going to be the best Thanksgiving host or the best Thanksgiving guest at your holiday celebrations this year.
Let me explain: If you’re going to be a Thanksgiving guest this year, you can make these cups as a delightful hostess gift. Wrap them in a beautiful box or tin as a thoughtful way to say thanks. If you’re the host, go the extra mile and send your guests home with a trio of their very own pumpkin hazelnut butter cups wrapped in something pretty. You will forever be known as the best host in the books!
Alternatively, if you’re not feeling pie this year (or even if you are), you can make these instead of (or in addition to) the classic pumpkin pie. Finally, to put your leftover wizardry to the test, puree leftover squash or pumpkin from your celebrations and get right to making this nut butter as soon as is possible. Wherever you may be and whatever celebrations you choose to take part in, these pumpkin hazelnut butter cups are a treat worth making.
Pumpkin Hazelnut Butter Cups: Crunchy chocolate shell meets sweet, earthy, gooey pumpkin hazelnut centre.
- 1 cup, plus 2 tbsp (155g) raw hazelnuts (see notes)
- ½ cup (96g) pumpkin puree
- ¼ cup almond milk, plus a bit more as needed
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Few grates of nutmeg
- Pinch of sea salt
- 6-7oz (170-198g) your favourite chocolate, milk or dark (I used milk here for a sweeter treat)
- Flaky salt for topping, optional
- Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C) and pour one cup of hazelnuts onto a sheet pan. Place in the oven and roast until fragrant and very golden in colour with blistered skins, approximately 10 minutes.
- Move hot nuts into a clean kitchen towel, wrap and rub them assertively against the towel and one another to remove loose skins. Remove 2 tablespoons and finely chop, reserve for topping the cups.
- Add remaining (1 cup) toasted nuts along with the pumpkin puree, almond milk, vanilla, coconut oil, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt into a small cup food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Add an additional tablespoon of almond milk, if needed. If you have a standard size food processor or high-speed blender, see my notes.
- Break the chocolate into pieces and melt it in a double boiler or in the microwave for 30-second intervals, taking it out to stir in between.
- Line a muffin tin (mini or standard) with liners and spoon a bit of melted chocolate into the bottoms, swirling it around to coat the sides and bottom of the liners. Place in the freezer for 5-10 minutes to set.
- Spoon pumpkin hazelnut butter mixture onto the cold chocolate bases. With damp hands, gently press the nut butter down to smooth it out. Again, place in the freezer for 15-20 minutes to set.
- Drizzle remaining melted chocolate on top of each pumpkin hazelnut butter, tilting as necessary, to cover completely.
- Sprinkle each one with a pinch of chopped toasted hazelnuts and flaky salt, if using. To set, chill in the freezer for approximately 30 minutes, or until the chocolate is firm.
- Store in a sealed container in the fridge for 1-2 weeks.
- If you don’t have a small bowl attachment for a food processor or other small capacity, high-speed blender cup (I use the twister jar for the blendtec and I can’t recommend it enough), you will want to double this recipe.
- If doubling the recipe, you can use any high-speed blender and simply follow the manufacturers instructions for making nut butter. If using a food processor, I recommend grinding the nuts into nut butter first before adding the remaining ingredients and blending fully.
- Recall from this article that food processor will take more time to process.
- Extra pumpkin hazelnut butter will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for 1-2 weeks and is brilliant for spreading or dolloping over all your favourite breakfast foods, as a dipping sauce for fruit, stuffed into dates, or eaten straight off the spoon. What I’m saying is, you won’t have trouble using it up!
Keywords: Pumpkin, pumpkin spice, hazelnut, butter, cups, peanut butter, almond butter, nut butter, chocolate, Thanksgiving, hostess gift, vegan, gluten-free,
More Recipe Inspiration
If pumpkin isn’t your jam, make another nut or seed butter and sandwich it in between your favourite melted chocolate. This will always be a win.
If you could ride the pumpkin train well into the depths of winter, how about any of these recipes?
- Rosemary pumpkin biscuits and smoky mushroom gravy
- Pumpkin spice breakfast cookies
- DIY pumpkin pie spice or hawaij
- Brown butter and roasted squash bread puddings with butterscotch
Or if hazelnut is more your thing, you should definitely check these out:
- Chocolate ganache tart with hazelnuts?
- Next level chocolate espresso hazelnut granola?
- Pumpkin hazelnut tart with toasted marshmallow?
Chocolate. Who doesn’t like chocolate?