This is part of our #5under5 recipe series, a collection of original plant-based recipes made by yours truly that cost less than $5 per serving and can be made with only five ingredients. No way, right?!
What do you do if you can't decide between having pecan pie and pumpkin pie for dessert? The solution is easier than you think: mash them together and add chocolate! Here's the deal: a thick layer of creamy pumpkin puree and nutty (homemade!) pecan butter is sandwiched between two layers of (also homemade!) bittersweet chocolate and topped with crunchy spiced pecans. Oh yeah. We went there. Can you believe this whole recipe is only five ingredients and just $3.07 per serving? Yep, you get twelve amazing homemade chocolates for way under $5.00. Friends, this might just be our best #5under5 recipe yet!
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#5under5: Pecan Pumpkin Pie Cups [Vegan, Gluten-Free, No-Bake]
Serves12 mini cups
The main ingredients in this recipe are cocoa powder, pumpkin puree, pecans, maple syrup, and coconut oil. Pantry ingredients include pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon), sugar, and salt.
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- A pinch of salt, optional
- 1/4 cup pecan pieces
- 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- 1 1/2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon
Spiced Candied Pecan Garnish (Optional):
- 24 whole pecans
- 1-2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- A generous pinch of pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon
- A pinch of salt, optional (but recommended!)
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To Make the Chocolate Shell:
- We recommend using a 12-cup silicone mini-muffin tray for this recipe, which allows the candies to pop easily out of their molds. If you don’t have this equipment, prepare a regular metal 12-cup (or 6 large cup) muffin tray with paper liners. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the cocoa powder, melted coconut oil, maple syrup, and salt (if using). Mix until completely smooth. The chocolate will be a thin consistency, but that’s exactly what you’re looking for. Taste and adjust for sweetness – this chocolate is on the bitter side so if you like your candy sweeter, add more maple syrup. Otherwise, it is a nice balance to the already sweet filling.
- If using a mini cup tray, fill the cups with 1 teaspoon of chocolate. If using a regular-sized tray, use 1 tablespoon. Cover the tray and place in the freezer for 10-15 minutes, or until the chocolate is solid.
To Make the Pumpkin-Pecan Filling:
- Using a blender or food processor, blend the pecan pieces until they become a smooth nut butter. If you are using a high-speed blender, this will happen very quickly (in under a minute), but if you are using a regular blender or food processor, be patient and scrape down the sides every so often until the butter stage is achieved. Measure out 1/4 cup of pecan butter.
- In a large bowl, combine the pecan butter, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, melted coconut oil, and pumpkin pie spice. Mix until you get a smooth, thick filling. Taste and adjust the seasoning or sweetness to your preference.
- Remove the tray with the bottom chocolate layer from the freezer and place a teaspoon of filling in each of the cups, if using a mini cup tray. If using a large cup tray, use a tablespoon’s worth of filling. Spread out the filling with the back of a teaspoon so the tops are even and touching all sides of the cups. You want to be able to see a clear stripe of filling when the completed candies are out of the tray, so it’s important to make sure no extra chocolate dribbles down the sides.
- Once that’s done, top off the cups with the remaining chocolate in the same ratio: teaspoon for mini cup tray and tablespoon for large cup. Use any extra to fill the cups all the way to the top. Cover and freeze for 1-2 hours, or until the cups are solid.
- When the cups are ready, remove them from their molds and let thaw for a few minutes before eating, as flavors are muted when cold. Don’t leave them out for too long, though, because they begin to melt very quickly!
- Store the cups either back in their molds or in an air-tight container in the freezer.
To Make the Spiced Candied Pecans (Optional):
- After the completed cups have just been put in the freezer, combine the whole pecans, melted coconut oil, sugar, pumpkin spice, and salt (if using) in a bowl. Mix until the pecans are sticky and well-coated.
- When the cups have been freezing for 10-15 minutes and are just starting to solidify, take them out of the freezer and place one pecan on the top of each cup, taking care not to press down too hard. Return the cups to the freezer and continue to wait until they are frozen solid before consuming.
- Alternatively, these spiced pecans would make a great topping for ice cream (kind of like wet walnuts!), or eaten on their own as a snack after being toasted in a 350°F oven for a few minutes, until the sugar is melted and starting to caramelize and your kitchen smells amazing.
This recipe was inspired by Karielyn Tillman's Pumpkin Nut Butter Cups. Karielyn was also the source of inspiration for our first #5under5 recipe, Strawberry Lemonade Meltaway Bites. Thanks, Karielyn!
The cost of the serving size above is based on the NYC Metro Area product pricing below:
Coconut oil: $5.99
Unsweetened cocoa powder: $2.49
15-ounce can pumpkin puree: $1.99
Dry-toasted pecan pieces: $3.99
Grade-A pure maple syrup: $4.99
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