I Tried the New Reese’s Plant-Based Peanut Butter Cups — Here’s How They Compare to the OG Version

published Mar 14, 2023
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reese's peanut butter cups: comparison between original version and new plant based version
Credit: Mara Weinraub

Is there a more iconic candy than a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup? I think not. They are a top-seller year round and the most sought-after treat by the costume-clad community. (Fun fact: I’ve dressed up as Princess Peanut Butter Cup for Halloween the past two years in a row. And yes, I will make it a three-peat this October.)

When I heard Reese’s was launching a new cup AND it would be vegan, I’ll be honest, I had some reservations. There have been many successful plant-based dairy dupes, but there’s also been a few #fails. I, like many people, hold the original in the highest regard. I couldn’t help but wonder, how would these new plant-based peanut butter cups fare against my all-time favorite. I had to find out for myself.  

I secured myself a sample (job perks!), picked up a pack of the OG cups, and did a side-by-side comparison. Here’s how it went.

Credit: Mara Weinraub

First, I looked at the ingredients listed. Of course, they’re different. The plant-based cups (on the top) are made without any dairy, and with oat and rice flour. BUT there is also plenty of overlap between the two packs, including sugar, peanuts, cocoa butter, chocolate, dextrose, and lecithin. 

Credit: Mara Weinraub

Then, I unwrapped them. The plant-based cup (on the left) looked darker and the tiniest bit smaller. It had a slight residue, presumably from the cocoa butter, and no inside wrapper. (Yay, less packaging!) 

Credit: Mara Weinraub

I took a page out of the CliffsNotes’ version of Reddit user Rustid’s book and grabbed a scale to weigh each cup. Despite the variation in size, the two cups are exactly the same weight. I also cut each cup in half to scope out the ratio of chocolate to peanut butter for each. The plant-based cup looked to contain more chocolate (and less peanut butter) than the original. Next, it was time to try them!

Credit: Mara Weinraub

I started with the plant-based cup (top). The chocolate was firm — I heard a faint snap when I bit into it — with a prominent chocolate flavor and a slightly grainy texture. The peanut butter was sweet, nutty (as if I mixed some nut butter with confectioners sugar) and had the consistency of cookie dough batter, which I’m not the least bit mad at. Because of the ratio, the chocolate really did overwhelm my palate and I ended up having to break apart a second cup to suss out more of the peanut butter flavor.

Credit: Mara Weinraub

Compared to the plant-based cup (left), the first thing I noticed about the original was how sweet it is. I went back to the package and checked. Turns out, the original has seven more grams of sugar in two cups (a serving). The milk chocolate was smoother, sweeter, and less chocolatey. The peanut butter also had a more subtle flavor and a slight graininess. I could eat that filling with a spoon. On repeat.

I honestly like both versions, and would turn down neither. I feel like the new plant-based cups would be better for people who prefer more chocolate-forward cups (both in terms of flavor and proportion!). They’re also ideal if you follow a vegan diet. The original would be better when you want mostly peanut butter in each bite. Either way, you have two solid options.

Have you tried the new Reese’s cups? Tell us about it in the comments!