It turns out, the peanut-butter-to-chocolate ratio is totally different.

By Emily VanSchmus
September 11, 2020
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The best part of Halloween isn’t the DIY costumes, the carved pumpkins, or the trick-or-treating—it’s the Halloween candy. More specifically, my favorite part about the Halloween season is the pumpkin-shaped Reese’s. I’m a sucker for any combination of chocolate and peanut butter, so I love all kinds of Reese’s. But given the choice between a traditional Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup or a special holiday shape, I’ll choose the shape every time. And it turns out, I’m not the only one who thinks the pumpkins taste better than the traditional cups. 

In my house, we can make a bag of the traditional cups last for a week, but a bag of Reese’s Pumpkins ($5, Target) will be devoured within the same day. So why do the shapes taste so much better than the original? People have been sharing their opinions online for years, and while there’s no official statement yet from the Hershey Company on the specific recipe differences, I consider myself enough of a Reese’s expert to weigh in. So, I did what any good investigative journalist would do—I bought two bags of Reese's and started unwrapping. 

Courtesy of Emily VanSchmus

What I discovered is that it all comes down to the peanut butter-to-chocolate ratio. After cutting open a regular Reese's cup (pictured on the left) and a pumpkin-shaped Reese's (on the right), it's clear that the pumpkin-shaped cup has a much higher peanut butter-to-chocolate ratio.

There are two reasons the ratio of milk chocolate to peanut butter is different between the shapes and traditional cups: The first is that the shapes are larger than the cups, but use about the same amount of chocolate. That means the rest of the area is filled with extra peanut butter filling (yum). The traditional cups also have large ridges around the edges, while the pumpkins, eggs, and Christmas stockings have a smooth surface—meaning the traditional cups have a larger volume of chocolate. 

I prefer peanut butter to chocolate, so it makes sense that I think the special shapes taste the best. But if you’re more of a chocolate lover, you might prefer the traditional cups instead—and hey, that just means more pumpkins left on the shelf for me.

If you’re already looking forward to chowing down on peanut butter pumpkins this fall, you’ll be excited to learn that the very best Reese’s holiday is not long after: As another dedicated Reese’s lover discovered, the Valentine’s Day hearts have the largest amount of peanut butter out of all Reese’s products.

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