How Do These Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups Compare to Reese's?

Peanut Butter Cups Taste Test


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Peanut Butter Cups Taste Test

Build Me Up (Peanut) Butter Cup

Peanut butter cups are a top-tier candy. You may think one brand in particular has the market cornered, but there are plenty of other brands who have thrown their cups into the ring. We tasted all the versions we could find, including tons of Reese's varieties, a low-sugar brand, and options from Aldi and Trader Joe's, comparing them on the quality of the chocolate, flavor and texture of the filling, and ratio of chocolate to PB. We've ranked them all from forgettable to crave-worthy, starting with our winner, a cup that comes with its own cult following. 

Prices and availability are subject to change.

Related: We Tried 13 Kinds of Chocolate and These Are the Best

Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Winner: Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

$4.49 from Trader Joe's

Trader Joe's dark chocolate peanut butter cups have a cult following with good reason. The mini cups have a perfect ratio of chocolate to peanut butter; neither overpowers the other and they combine handily. The peanut butter filling is so smooth that I wish I could frost cakes with it. The chocolate, which has just a hint of bitter, roasted bite, is smooth too, so the whole thing melts in the mouth as soon as you take a bite. Eating these feels like a dessert and not just a candy. Plus, pulling the wax paper off these little morsels is extremely satisfying, especially if you like your peanut butter cups frozen. 

Related: Taste Test: Which Ice Cream Sandwich is the Best?

Reese's Pretzels Big Cup

Runner-up: Reese's Pretzels Big Cup

$1.69 from Target

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The lumpy surface of this Big Cup reveals the secret to its magic: big hunks of pretzel inside the peanut butter filling. It's pretty hard to go wrong with a chocolate/peanut butter/pretzel combo, and Reese's is capitalizing off it big here. Unlike the potato chip version, this crunchy and salty addition is in large chunks for huge variation in texture. You get some bites with that distinct pretzel char, some that have a crispy burst of salt, and all with that undercurrent of peanut butter. This is a well-rounded candy bar with a balance of ingredients, not just a peanut butter cup.

Reese's Peanut Butter Cup

3. Reese's Peanut Butter Cup

89 cents from Target

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Almost everyone reading this has had the OG Reese's peanut butter cups, and for good reason. They're the first candy gone from the Halloween stash, and they're integral ingredients in cookies, ice cream, and many other dessert recipes. But as great as they are, they're not without flaws, including chocolate that doesn't taste much like chocolate and filling that tends to be dry and crumbly. Nostalgia probably plays a factor in our love for them, but we're still never going to give them up. You know exactly what you're getting when you pull the waxy brown paper cup off, and it's always delightful.

Justin's Organic Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

4. Justin's Organic Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

$2.49 from Target

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The peanut butter in Justin's cups seems the most like freshly ground. It's soft and smooth without the dryness that hampers Reese's. The peanuts taste like they were lightly roasted, and it's just gooey enough without making it messy. It's got a great chocolate-to-peanut butter ratio, and the chocolate is snappy with very little bitter edge. This cup feels the most like it's from a boutique chocolate shop. 

Related: Fancy Peanut Butters and Other Spreads to Try After Nutella

Reese's Potato Chips Big Cup

5. Reese's Potato Chips Big Cup

$1.19 from Kroger

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Potato chips being used in candy is not as unusual as it might seem, and Reese's solved the Big Cup problem of overabundance by including them. They stay crunchy, which seems like a feat of food science, lending some much needed texture to break up the sea of peanut butter filling. Salt from the potato chips is also welcome, balancing out the cloying sweetness. It would be ideal if the chips were in larger pieces instead of feeling like the gritty bottom of the chip bag, but I still wouldn't pass up this cup and its interesting ingredient mix.

Related: We Sampled 16 Kinds of Potato Chips — These Are the Best (and Worst)

Reese's Peanut Butter Lovers

6. Reese's Peanut Butter Lovers

As a dedicated chocoholic, I didn't have much hope for Reese's Peanut Butter Lovers cups, but I'm a convert. It has chocolate on the bottom half of the cup, but a peanut butter-flavored cover on top. It tastes exactly like Reese's Pieces, even more so than the cups filled with Pieces. And while it's missing that crunchy candy shell, it has a creaminess and melt-in-your-mouth quality that Pieces do not. Without more chocolate, it's hard to rank this one higher, but it's a solid choice.

Related: We Tried 11 Hot Cocoa Mixes and This is the Best

Reese's Organic Dark

7. Reese's Organic Dark

$1.99 from Target

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For some reason, Reese's felt the need to fancy up its organic peanut butter cups. These depart far from the beloved standard with a much thicker dark chocolate shell that looks like it came from a chocolate shop instead of a factory. The chocolate has a great snap and a hint of bitterness, reminding me of smooth Dove dark chocolate. The peanut butter is a bit grittier than a regular Reese's, but it tastes pretty similar. I just wish it didn't get lost in all the chocolate. 

Unreal Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

8. Unreal Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

$5.29 from Kroger

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Unreal bills its peanut butter cups as having less sugar than its competitors, and using sugar and agave instead of artificial sweeteners. The result is pretty good, but the small cups are not without fault: The chocolate dominates the peanut butter and leaves a lingering bitterness that only dark chocolate fanatics will enjoy. It's got the most liquid peanut butter of the bunch, so much so that it squishes out the side of the cup when you bite it, but it doesn't pack enough peanut flavor. If you're looking for a gooey cup, this is it.

Reese's Pieces Big Cup

9. Reese's Pieces Big Cup

$1.99 from Kroger

Reese's peanut butter cups and Reese's Pieces taste very different even though they're both peanut butter. If you just can't decide which one you want to eat, grab a Reese's Pieces Big Cup. There are whole Reese's Pieces in the filling, and they add a bit of that distinct Pieces flavor without letting you forget you're eating a PB cup. The candy shell on the Pieces adds some welcome texture to the daunting wall of filling in the Big Cup, but overall it still suffers from being too big for its own good.

Choceur Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

10. Choceur Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

$3.69 from Aldi

Aldi's peanut butter cups are mini sized and come in a bag without papers or foil on them. The milk chocolate is dairy heavy, to the point that it tastes more creamy than chocolatey, with an aftertaste that's all caramel for some reason. It reminds me of those Santa-shaped, foil-wrapped chocolates in your Christmas stocking as a kid, and like those, the idea of the candy is better than the reality. Thankfully, the peanut butter filling, which is creamy and packed with peanut flavor, makes these worth eating.

Reese's Big Cup

11. Reese's Big Cup

$1.64 from Walmart

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Reese's Big Cup proves you can have too much of a good thing. While the original cup has a great ratio of chocolate to peanut butter, this one is all out of whack. There's just too much filling, and when there's so much of it, you learn it's pretty dry and too cloying — you'll reach immediately for a glass of milk. This chonky boy crosses the line from a nostalgic but controlled sugar rush into an all-out sugar assault.

Theo organic peanut butter cups

12. Theo Organic Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

$2.19 from Kroger

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Theo's organic, fair trade cups are adorably shaped like a fat little heart, but that's the best thing about these peanut butter cups, unfortunately. The filling is chalky, dry, and a bit gritty, and while there's an even layer of 55% cocoa all around for a great chocolate-to- peanut butter ratio, it's hard to get past the intense roasted flavor. These cups leave a lingering charred-coffee taste in your mouth. 

Reese's White

13. Reese's White

$1.96 from Walmart

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If you've ever thought, “boy, I wish this peanut butter cup tasted more like five-day-old supermarket cake,” the white version is for you. Don't dare call it white chocolate, because the package says “white creme” and certainly has no discernible white chocolate flavor. The peanut butter is suffocated by the sickly sweet white shell that coats your teeth in sugary film, just like low-quality frosting does. It's an affront to peanut butter cups everywhere.

You can find all of Cheapism's taste tests right here.