Dark Chocolate Peanut Clusters

Dark chocolate peanut clusters, also known as crockpot Christmas crack (!), is an easy-to-make slow cooker candy that’s great for the holidays. You only need four ingredients to make it, so make a big batch for an easy gift for family and friends… or keep it all to yourself! I won’t tell.

close-up photo of a dark chocolate peanut cluster

Seeing as it’s the holidays, I figure there’s no better excuse to make things with “crack” in the name. In this case, we’re making crockpot Christmas “crack” or what I like to call dark chocolate peanut clusters.

There are many variations of this holiday treat (I played around with a recipe I found on Just a Pinch), and mine has a salty-sweet combo of roasted peanuts, dark chocolate, and peanut butter. There’s some vanilla in there, too, so it’s sort of like a peanut butter cup fell into a vat with some whole peanuts and white vanilla candy.

I’m not usually into things with the word “crack” in the name, but this four-ingredient chocolate candy is so good and so simple to make I’ve made batches of the stuff over the last few weeks. I’ve given out little baggies of the stuff and have gotten requests for more, more, more! So, the name isn’t hyperbole: crockpot Christmas “crack” really lives up to expectations.

Make it for gifts or make it for yourself – if you love chocolate, peanut butter, vanilla, and nuts all wrapped up in a piece of candy, well, this is a recipe for you.


I’m not one for fussy candy recipes, but this one I can handle. It’s so straightforward it’s hardly a recipe. All you need to start are four ingredients and a slow cooker, that’s it.

  • 12 ounces dark chocolate: I used dark chocolate bars, but you can use chocolate chips if you prefer. Other recipes call for milk chocolate chips or semi-sweet chocolate chips, so you can play around with it if you want to switch it up.
  • 16 ounces roasted salted peanuts: I love the salty-sweet combo, but if you’re not into it, you can use plain roasted peanuts, too.
  • 16 ounces vanilla candy melts – I like the Ghirardelli brand.
  • 10 ounces peanut butter chips
overhead photo of the packaged ingredients in a slow cooker.

Recipe Instructions

Pull out your slow cooker and layer all of the ingredients in it starting with the peanuts followed by the chocolate, peanut butter chips, and vanilla candy coating.

photo collage showing how to layer the ingredients.

Set the slow cooker to low and melt chocolate and candy for 30 minutes. Give the mixture stir and let it cook for another 30 minutes or until all of the candy and chocolate is melted. Give it all a really good stir so it’s well combined.

All slow cookers are different so you may need more or less time, so keep an eye on it. You definitely don’t want it to burn!

the melted candy and nuts in a slow cooker.

The most time-consuming part is scooping all of that melted goodness into mini cupcake liners. I admit it’s easier to just scoop it directly onto parchment paper or wax paper-lined baking sheets in little mounds, but I like the little liners, so I opted to do it that way. If you have a small cookie scoop, it makes the job easier. I scooped a generous tablespoon for each candy.

It depends on how big you make your candies, but I can get about 70 candies using mini cupcake liners and filling them almost all the way. The candy is pretty rich, so a little goes a long way.

Once you’ve filled the cups just, pop them in the fridge (I line mine up on a baking sheet) until the chocolate is set.

overhead shot of mini paper liners being filled with the melted chocolate and nuts.

Fun Facts

  • Want a big giant batch? You can double the recipe!
  • For a twist, sprinkle a little bit of sea salt over the candy before they set for salted chocolate clusters.
  • These dark chocolate peanut clusters keep well at room temperature as long as it’s not too warm.
  • You can also keep them in the refrigerator if you like them chilled.
  • Because they keep so well they are perfect for gifting and for candy or cookie platters.

The last thing we need this time of year is high-maintenance homemade goodies. These are so not high-maintenance but they are a little dangerous, so don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Happy candy-making!

overhead photo of the finished clusters.

More Treats for the Holidays

Want more ideas? Here are a few more treats I love to make this time of year…

  • Tired of chocolate? I have a similar recipe for Butterscotch Peanut Clusters, made with butterscotch chips and peanuts.
  • Another great gift is Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix especially when it’s made with three different kinds of chocolate. This mix keeps for six months!
  • My favorite cookie to make this time of year are Molasses Cookies because you can make the dough ahead and bake them as you want them. Plus, you can use melted butter – no waiting for butter to soften (that’s such a drag).
  • If you want more cookie ideas, be sure to check out my round-up of Classic Christmas Cookies – there are 21 one recipes to choose from.

Dark Chocolate Peanut Clusters

chocolate peanut cluster.

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 3 reviews

This four-ingredient chocolate candy is so easy to make. Also known as crock pot Christmas “crack”, it’s a combination of dark chocolate, peanuts, vanilla candy, and peanut butter chips. It keeps well at room temperature and is great for gifting.

  • Author: April Anderson
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: approximately 70 candies 1x
  • Category: Candy
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: American


  • 16 ounces salted roasted peanuts (see note)
  • 12 ounces bittersweet chocolate (60%), broken into pieces (see note)
  • 1 (10-ounce) bag peanut butter chips
  • 1 (16-ounce) bag vanilla candy coating (see note)


  1. Pour the peanuts into the slow cooker and spread them into an even layer.
  2. Place the dark chocolate, peanut butter chips and vanilla candy coating on top of the peanuts.
  3. Set the slow cooker to low for 30 minutes. Give it all a stir and continue cooking it on low for another 30 minutes, or until it’s all melted.
  4. Stir the melted candy well so it’s completely combined. Line up your mini liners on a baking sheet and fill each with a generous tablespoon of the melted candy. I used a small cookie scoop or you can use a small spoon. I filled the liners almost all the way which yields about 70 candies.
  5. Chill the candy until hardened. They will keep well at room temperature as long as it’s not too warm. Or, you can store them in the refridgerator.


I love the salty-sweet combo, but if you’re not into it you can use plain roasted peanuts instead. Also, I like to use dark chocolate bars but you can also use dark chocolate chips. If you can’t find vanilla candy coating you can substitute the same amount of almond bark.


  • Serving Size: 1 candy
  • Calories: 140
  • Sugar: 8g
  • Sodium: 52.6mg
  • Fat: 8.8g
  • Saturated Fat: 4.5g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 3.5g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 12.9g
  • Fiber: 1.1g
  • Protein: 3.1g
  • Cholesterol: 0.3g

Do you love this recipe? Don’t forget to leave a comment and your recipe star rating!

The nutrition is an estimate only. It was calculated using Nutrifox, an online nutrition calculator.

Post updated from the archives. First published in December 2019.


  1. This is super easy and just delicious! I’ve made t wo batches to give my neighbors, but it’s really hard to leave them alone! Hope I have some left for gifts!

  2. I can’t believe I’m 45 years old and have never made these. Super easy and super delicious! This will be on my annual list for Christmas for sure. Thank you for sharing this recipe ❤️

  3. I made a batch of this about 2 months ago, and I was pretty happy with it … but it wasn’t quite dark chocolatey enough for me. It was super yummy, and everyone liked it, but I just wanted it to be a darker chocolate flavor. Today I made another batch with a few changes! I substituted dark chocolate chips for the peanut butter chips, and dark chocolate melting wafers in place of the vanilla melting wafers. I’m very happy with how they turned out!

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