Reese Dark Cups
Reese's Dark Peanut Butter Cups

Reese Dark Cups are very similar to the milk chocolate originals.  Actually they are identical except these have semi-sweet chocolate instead of milk chocolate.  Like the original, these are round pieces of chocolate with peanut butter in the center. Or you could describe them as peanut butter disks covered with chocolate.  Either way, they have the same outward-sloping crinkly rim, the result of being molded in a less tall version of the kind of pleated paper cups used to bake cupcakes.

And like the original, when you peel the paper cup off the chocolate, you get a shower of tiny pieces of chocolate.  All of them intent on sitting on your lap.

Invented in 1928 by H.B. Reese, today these cups are made by Hershey.

Despite some ingredients of doubtful nutritional value, I do like Reese Dark Cups.  Actually I like them better than the milk chocolate original.  That's just because I personally like my chocolate "the darker the better."  And, I don't eat a lot of them.

Ingredients and Nutrition

Based on the ingredients list, the peanut butter here is exactly the same as in the original milk chocolate Reese's Cup.

The only difference is in the chocolate:  Semi-sweet  here, milk chocolate in the original.

This chocolate presumably has at least 35% chocolate in it, because that is the required minimum in the U.S. to be called semi-sweet.

Let's look at just how the recipe changes in going from the original's milk chocolate to this semi-sweet.

In the same order as the ingredients list:

  • More chocolate
  • Less cocoa butter
  • More milk fat
  • Eliminate nonfat milk
  • More soy lecithin
  • Remove lactose
  • Add vanillin
  • Add milk

Another angle - In order by additions and deletions:

  • Add vanillin and milk
  • Remove nonfat milk and lactose
  • More chocolate, milk fat, and soy lecithin
  • Less cocoa butter

I think I'm getting a headache.

Like the original, these cups have polyglycerol polyricinoleate (PGPR) and tertiary butylhydroquinone (TBHQ).  Still doesn't sound very appetizing to me.

They do have at least one nutritional advantage though.  Because of the peanut butter, you get more protein per calorie than in most chocolate bars.  Still, given the amount of sugar and fats, you can’t really justify eating these just to get more protein.



  • SUGAR;
  • MILK);


Ingredients quantity = 12


  • The sugar here is really sugar rather than cheaper alternatives.
  • You get more protein per calorie because of the peanut butter.
  • Semi-sweet chocolate is healthier than milk chocolate.


  • PGPR
  • TBHQ

This 1.5 ounce bar has 210 calories, with 110 of them (52%) from fat. 

I paid $1.00 for this 1.5 ounce (42 g) bar.  For comparison purposes, that's $10.67 per pound, just about in the middle of the price range for popular chocolate candy.

I'm giving Reese Dark Cups my personal score of 3.7 out of 5 stars for Overall Enjoyment, 3.3 for Nutrition, and 4.1 for Value. Keep in mind this is just my personal opinion.  Your mileage may vary, and there's no accounting for taste.

p.s. - Click here for the original milk chocolate Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.

Now you know what Reese's Dark Peanut Butter Cups are.
Any questions?  You know where my Contact Page is!

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H.B. Reese and his wife Blanche had sixteen children (8 boys & 8 girls).

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