Why Do Pumpkin-Shaped Reese's Taste Better Than the Original?

You're not wrong for thinking the pumpkin-shaped Reese's peanut butter cups taste better. Turns out, the peanut-butter-to-chocolate ratio is totally different.

The best part of Halloween isn't the DIY costumes, the carved pumpkins, or the trick-or-treating—it's the Halloween candy. Our favorite part of Halloween candy season is the pumpkin-shaped Reese's. Given a choice between traditional Reese's Peanut Butter Cups or a special holiday shape, many people choose the shape every time.

So why do the shapes taste so much better than the original? People have been sharing their opinions online for years. While there's no official statement yet from the Hershey Company on the specific recipe differences, we're going to proclaim ourselves Reese's experts and weigh in. We did what any good investigative journalist would do—we bought two bags of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and started unwrapping.

Pumpkin Reese's Peanut butter cup cut in half and other candy packages on a wooden background
Courtesy of Emily VanSchmus

We discovered that it all comes down to the peanut butter-to-chocolate ratio. After cutting open a regular Reese's Peanut Butter 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. In contrast, the pumpkins, eggs, and Christmas stockings have a smooth surface—meaning the traditional cups have a larger volume of chocolate.

If you prefer peanut butter to chocolate, it makes sense that you think the special shapes taste the best. But if you're more of a chocolate lover, you might prefer traditional cups instead.

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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