13 Popular Nut Butter Cups, Ranked Worst To Best

If you're as much of a fan of salty and sweet desserts as we are, then you can't deny that nut butter cups are the best candies out there. Rich, creamy chocolate coating a generous serving of super salty nut butter? Immediately, yes. At one time, it seemed like Reese's was the only way to get our chocolate and nut butter fix. But times have changed, and there are now more nut butter cups on the market than ever before. Some of these sweets are top-notch treats, while others could leave you hungry for something different.

Before you make your way to the candy aisle and stand there, unsure of which brand to buy, take a look at our ranking of nut butter cups from worst to best. While most of these options are solid choices, some are better than others, and it helps if you have the scoop beforehand. Use this ranking as a guide, but don't be afraid to give all of these brands a chance. You never know what nut butter cup will be your favorite until you give them all a try.

13. Justin's White Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Let us start by saying that we're huge fans of Justin's. If you're looking for a brand that sells every type of nut butter cup imaginable, then Justin's is definitely the brand for you. It makes sense, though, that with so many different options, one or two would fail to meet expectations. And that's exactly what happened in the case of Justin's White Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups.

Let's be honest: The real problem here comes down to the white chocolate. Even in the best of cases, it's too sweet, and it doesn't have any of that richness that real chocolate has. Therefore, when it meets the peanut butter, it just falls flat. This white chocolate treat lacks the depth of flavor that we were looking for.

For those who prefer white chocolate to milk or dark, this peanut butter cup will do its job. However, for most of us, getting on board with the white chocolate in this nut butter cup over the deep, complex goodness of the chocolate in the other options on this list is never going to happen. We love that Justin's is trying to give us plenty of options, but we think that they could leave this one off of their lineup entirely.

12. Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Everyone loves a Trader Joe's run, and we're not telling you not to pick up their Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups the next time you pay a visit to the store. What we are telling you, though, is that you shouldn't go out of your way to pick this candy up — not when there are so many other, more widely available nut butter cups to choose from. Though they do boast dark chocolate, they have a bit too much sweetness to them for our taste. We love the dark, intense flavor of seriously dark chocolate, and this variety seems like it can't make up its mind about whether it wants to be sweet or skew bitter. And to make matters worse, the peanut butter isn't salty enough, so you're left with a much sweeter and much less salty dessert than you may want.

One thing we do love about these treats is the fact that the ingredients list looks pretty simple, which we would prefer over a massive list of ingredients we can't even pronounce. However, when it comes to taste, there are better nut butter cups on the market.

11. Reese's Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Reese's Peanut Butter Cups are glorious. They're the candy that everyone wants in their trick-or-treating bucket. But when you think of Reese's, you probably think of the classic milk chocolate variety. Why is that? Well, sure, it may have been around first, but there's also the sad fact that Reese's Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups just aren't that good. Of course, they maintain the original super-salty filling status of their siblings, but the dark chocolate is just not up to par.

The chocolate in these nut butter cups tastes overly processed, which isn't surprising considering that Reese's is a Hershey's brand. Most people want some bite and some texture to their dark chocolate, but all you're going to get from this candy is a super silky chocolate that doesn't complement the flavor of the peanut butter like the milk chocolate does.

These candies certainly aren't terrible, and you may not even mind buying a pack from time to time when you can't find any other options in the candy aisle. But when you consider how much we love milk chocolate Reese's, trying this variety was definitely a let-down.

10. Theo Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

All those looking for an amazing grocery store chocolate brand, direct your attention to Theo. This brand carries all kinds of different chocolates, and most of them are out of this world. That's why we weren't completely thrilled when we tried the Theo Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups. There's not anything particularly wrong with them — they just didn't meet the expectation that the brand's other products have already set.

The main issue here is the fact that the peanut butter isn't as salty as we would want it to be. The more sweetness in the chocolate, the more salt the nut butter needs to balance it out, and that's just not what we got here. The milk chocolate is delicious, but without that saltiness to mellow it out, you're left with a really, really sweet treat. If that's what you like in your nut butter cups, then you should definitely check out these cups from Theo. Otherwise, you'll find better nut butter cups out there (including better options from this brand).

9. Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Sunflower Seed Butter Cups

Now here's something you don't see every day: a nut butter cup that utilized sunflower seed butter. We love this twist on a classic, and it just seems like a tasty springtime treat. In our opinion, it was definitely a good call for Trader Joe's to use dark chocolate here instead of milk chocolate in their Dark Chocolate Sunflower Seed Butter Cups — we don't think the end result would have been that tasty if it were much sweeter.

However, the chocolate in these treats is pretty thick, so it doesn't actually taste like you're getting much sunflower seed butter at all. If you're just looking for a peanut butter cup replacement, then you might appreciate this move on Trader Joe's part. But if you actually really love the taste of sunflower seed butter and want to see it shine in nut butter cup form, then you're likely to be slightly disappointed by this TJ's offering.

For those with allergies to tree nuts, though, this offering is fantastic — not everyone can eat cashews, almonds, and peanuts. We definitely appreciate Trader Joe's offering inclusive candy options for all the nut-free snackers out there.

8. 365 Mini Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Cups

If you've been waiting for the almond butter offerings, you're in luck. Whole Foods' 365 Mini Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Cups are a solid choice for all those who want to avoid peanuts. We love that this is a relatively affordable alternative to some of the other more high-end brands on this list, and we also love that they're offered in small, bite-size pieces. (Though this always convinces us that we can eat more than we really should.)

Are these the best nut butter cups on the market? Decidedly no. The almond butter is too gritty for our taste, but we do appreciate that it had been generously salted. The dark chocolate is good, but it's nothing particularly special. When it all comes together, though, you're left with a chocolate treat that you probably wouldn't turn your nose down at.

If you happen to be at Whole Foods and want to pick up some nut butter cups, then these might as well be on your shopping list. If, however, you're looking for the very best nut butter cup around, you still need to scroll to the bottom of this page.

7. Unreal Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Not every store around you is likely to stock Unreal Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups, so you may not have seen them before. Luckily, even if no local spot carries them, you can still easily order a pack or online so you can try them out for yourself. This brand is really trying to mimic Reese's, even down to the packaging. And overall, we think that they're doing a decent job. These dark chocolate peanut butter cups are tasty, though we wish that the peanut butter was a bit creamier. The chocolate itself tastes like it's high quality, which is  a selling point. The brand also claims that these cups contain 36% less sugar than the leading nut butter cup — definitely a selling point!

However, because of the cost, we can't get completely on board with this brand. Their products are of good quality for sure, but the prices can be a bit steep. Even though these nut butter cups are good, we don't know if they're totally worth the elevated price tag.

6. Free2B Milk Chocolate Sun Cups

We already discussed the sunflower seed cups from Trader Joe's, but did you know there's another brand that carries something similar? Free2B's Milk Chocolate Sun Cups also contain sunflower seeds, but it's superior to the Trader Joe's version. Of course, you'll get the benefit of avoiding tree nuts by eating this sweet treat, but you should know that it's actually completely free of the top 12 allergens! People with food allergies can miss out on a lot of foods the rest of us love, so we appreciate that they're being seen and represented here. They're also vegan, kosher, and certified gluten-free, so most snackers will be able to partake.

And what's even better, they even taste delicious too. Even if you're not trying to avoid allergens, they're still worth a try. The creamy sunflower seed butter offers a slightly different profile than the more conventional nut butters on this list, which makes it a winning choice for those who want to try something different while still indulging in a familiar classic. Find this brand at your local grocery store, or grab some online. You won't regret it.

5. Aldi Choceur Peanut Butter Cups

We're surprised to report that Aldi's Choceur Peanut Butter Cups make the top five in our ranking. This might be a budget brand, but that certainly doesn't mean you should pass it up. Basically, these things taste just like Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. If they didn't come in a marked package, you may not even be able to tell the difference. Aldi definitely has some dupes that have fooled us in the past, but this one really is uncanny. We love the just-thick-enough chocolate, the ultra creamy and ultra salty filling, and the fact that this candy perfectly breaks apart when you take a bite.

Don't think you have to make an extra trip to another grocery store if you're craving Reese's (or just really good nut butter cups in general). These hit the spot, and it's a treat that won't make you throw your budget out the window. What more could you want?

4. Justin's Dark Chocolate Cashew Butter Cups

We've seen some sunflower seed butter, a bit of almond butter, and of course, plenty of peanut butter. You would think that there weren't plenty of other nuts to make incredible nut butter cups from. But Justin's is here to save the day and gives us something new with their Dark Chocolate Cashew Butter Cups. As you can expect from Justin's, the chocolate is absolutely top-notch. It's rich, it's creamy, it's smooth — basically, everything you'd want in your dark chocolate.

The cashew butter is where the real magic happens, though. We truly think it's the best nut butter out there because of its fattiness and creaminess. The flavor is a lot more subtle than peanut butter, which allows the saltiness to shine while adding just a hint of sweet nuttiness. When you put the dark chocolate and that cashew butter together, it really is a match made in heaven. We wish that more brands would include cashew butter in their nut butter cups, but we're not sure they could one-up Justin's anyway.

If you're not a huge fan of peanut butter and you love dark chocolate, these cashew butter cups are a no-brainer.

3. Reese's Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Is it any surprise that Reese's Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups have landed solidly in the top three? Because it shouldn't be. This absolute classic of a candy always has been delicious and always will be. It's the prototype. It's what every other nut butter cup is trying to be. And with few exceptions, the other cups fail. That's just how good Reese's cups are. Even if you're not a huge candy person, you can't deny that these things are downright delicious.

It all comes down to the saltiness of the peanut butter and the peanut butter-to-chocolate ratio. The peanut butter is so salty that you probably wouldn't want to eat it on its own, but when it's bathed in an ultra-sweet coating of milk chocolate, the resulting combo is something special. And while there is plenty of chocolate on the thick, sturdy edges, the middle of each cup is nice and soft to the touch, indicating just how little chocolate there is — that's to make room for the peanut butter, of course.

Plus, since you can find Reese's just about everywhere, it makes sense that they would come in near the very top of the list. In fact, don't you want some right now?

2. Theo Peanut Butter and Jelly Cups

Now, this one has earned its place on this list because of sheer inventiveness alone. What other brand have you seen carrying a nut butter cup that's also filled with jelly? The Theo Peanut Butter and Jelly Cups are like something out of our weirdest — but most inspiring — dreams, and we couldn't believe how good they were once we took that first bite. They start with a 55% dark chocolate, which is ideal in this scenario. It's not so sweet that it overpowers the sweetness of the jelly, but it's not too rich for such an indulgent treat either. The chocolate on this one is a bit thicker than the chocolate on Reese's, but that makes sense because it has to hold all those ingredients together.

Then comes the layer of peanut butter, which is salted to perfection and pairs well with the chocolate. The real surprise is the raspberry jelly. Our first reaction was that we were grateful they hadn't gone with grape jelly instead. Our second reaction was that these nut butter cups are absolutely out-of-this-world good. Imagine a slice of chocolate raspberry mousse ... but add some peanut butter to the mix. How could you not like that?

If you're looking for something totally different and unique, Theo's got you covered.

1. Justin's Super Dark Chocolate Espresso Almond Butter Cups

We never realized that we needed an espresso-infused nut butter cup until we came across Justin's Super Dark Chocolate Espresso Almond Butter Cups. To say these things are amazing is a massive understatement. This is basically the sophisticated, grown-up version of every other nut butter cup you've ever eaten, and we don't know if we can go back to the basics after getting a taste of these.

The dark chocolate is very rich, so if you like an intense bitter chocolate, this is going to be perfect for you. The espresso adds even more intensity to the chocolate along with a little bit of texture that takes it to the next level. Add in the creamy but still somewhat textured almond butter, and it's clear why this one takes the cake for the best nut butter cup around.

The idea of this cup is simple, which makes us wonder why it had never been done before. Now that it has, though, we've officially graduated to espresso nut butter cups from here on out.