The Best Peanut Butter Cups You Can Buy, According to Candy Fanatics
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As candy fanatics, we had to find out if Reese's was really king. Find out which peanut butter cup stole our hearts.
When you think peanut butter cup, what’s the first name to come to mind? Reese’s, right?
Reese’s is the biggest name in the peanut butter cup game, but every once in a while we’re tempted to reach for another brand while shopping to fuel our candy cravings. After all, what if there’s something tastier out there (other than homemade peanut butter cups)?
How We Found the Best Peanut Butter Cups
Our Test Kitchen team indulged their curiosity with this test and grabbed every milk chocolate peanut butter cup they could find at the grocery store. Each cup was sampled blindly and judged according to these criteria:
- Peanut butter: We all know that it’s what’s inside that counts. A good peanut butter cup should be filled with nutty, satisfying peanut butter with a pleasant texture.
- Chocolate: While many may argue that peanut butter is the star of the show for this candy, our Test Kitchen knows that quality chocolate can make or break this treat. The milk chocolate coating the center of these candy cups must be smooth and delicious.
- Chocolate-peanut butter balance: Combined, these two ingredients must have the right balance. Our team sought a cup that let both ingredients sing in harmony.
Our Test Kitchen-Preferred Peanut Butter Cup Brands
This was a delicious test, and four brands earned our Test Kitchen’s stamp of approval and the right to be called Test Kitchen-Preferred.
Most Surprising Peanut Butter Cup Find: Aldi
Many of us rely on Aldi for great deals on basics, but it turns out this budget grocer also stocks top-notch treats on its shelves. Aldi Choceur peanut butter cups were one of our Test Kitchen’s favorites—an unexpected frontrunner!
These cups have a great balance of smooth milk chocolate and silky peanut butter. The filling in these bite-sized cups was positively unmatched in this test: no grittiness, just perfectly creamy and slightly salty peanut butter. Combined, our testers couldn’t get enough.
An unexpected but delightful bonus with this Aldi find: The peanut butter cups aren’t wrapped! That makes them perfect for baking treats like these peanut butter cookie cups (no fussing with paper wrapping) or just for popping them in your mouth one after the next.
Best Candy Store-Style Peanut Butter Cup: Justin’s
Need a reminder that peanut butter cups aren’t just for kids? Pick up a pack (or two or three…) of Justin’s peanut butter cups.
These treats look straight out of the case at your favorite candy counter thanks to a small swirl of chocolate topping each cup. Biting into this confection, these candies have the satisfying snap of tempered chocolate—a quality only Justin’s had in this test. While marked as milk chocolate, our testers note that the coating here tasted somewhere between milk and dark chocolate—so these wouldn’t be ideal for dark chocolate-avoidant kiddos.
Inside this chocolate case, you’ll find a smooth peanut butter center that played perfectly with the nearly dark chocolate.
Another reason to love Justin’s: The brand’s candies are all USDA-certified organic, so you can feel good about indulging. And if peanut butter isn’t quite your thing, you can grab Justin’s almond butter or cashew butter cups for something a bit different.
Best Bite-Sized Peanut Butter Cups: Trader Joe’s
Courtesy Trader Joe's
At Taste of Home HQ, Trader Joe’s dark chocolate peanut butter cups have a serious following, and this test proved that Trader Joe’s milk chocolate peanut butter cups are also worth adding to our carts.
These mini PB cups pack a lot of creamy peanut flavor inside and a good dose of salt—just right for people who can’t resist a good salted caramel or other sweet-‘n’-salty treats. This smooth and soft peanut butter is encased in sweet and smooth milk chocolate.
Some testers found the chocolate to be too sweet while others thought these bite-sized candies were spot-on. Our recommendation: If you’re a milk chocolate fan, don’t hesitate to pop these into your shopping basket; if you don’t like treats that are so sweet, try the brand’s dark chocolate variety.
Most Nostalgic Peanut Butter Cup: Reese’s
While we tasted and enjoyed several other brands in this test, there’s no replacing the joy you get biting into a classic Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.
These cups have that signature Reese’s nuttiness. The peanut butter here has a slight crunch and a bit of salt. Paired with the soft, super-sweet milk chocolate, you’re instantly transported back to childhood with this candy. These cups had our testers reminiscing about trick-or-treating and debating which Reese’s holiday shape is the best.
No doubt about it: You can’t go wrong with a classic Reese’s peanut butter cup.
More Ways to Love Peanut Butter Cups
Taste of Home
While there’s no easier way to enjoy your favorite candy than unwrapping and enjoying, you can take peanut butter cups to the next level by stirring them into some delicious recipes.
Chop up a few of your preferred PB cups to make this sweet and salty peanut-chocolate bark. You can also use these candies to garnish a peanut butter cheesecake, chocolate poke cake or homemade ice cream sandwiches.
One more tempting way to use peanut butter cups in the kitchen: this five-star peanut butter and brownie trifle.