Easter is a holy day for many. But it’s one of the best candy holidays for everyone. Along with Halloween, Christmas, and Valentine’s Day, it’s one of the sweetest times of the years. There’s no better way to celebrate a special occasion than by stuffing your face with sugar. Spring’s tasty treat lineup isn’t as deep as that of some other seasons, but what it lacks in quantity it makes up for in quality. (For the most part.) Not every traditional offering is worth looking forward to. Here are the nine big Easter candies, ranked from Jordan Almonds to best.
Almonds “are one of nature’s all-time greatest conduits of other flavors.” However, there is one major exception to that rule. They do not work as a conduit for a bitter-infused candy that comes encased in a concrete-like sugar coating. I imagine an evil group of dentists eager for business invented these popular pastel nightmares, which are also common wedding favors. They are quite literally a pain to eat. And even if you manage to avoid cracking a tooth, all you get is a different kind of disappointment. Ninety percent of all couples that give these out at their wedding get divorced, probably.
We’ve all heard the old adage, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” I wish Peeps had kept this saying in mind before they became a year-round treat. For most of my life, I could only eat those sugar-cased soft marshmallows at Easter. You either got bunnies or chicks in your Easter basket, and you were happy to get them. (So long as they came in your preferred color, because you were a silly child who thought the color corresponded with the flavor.) But the more you eat Peeps, the more you realize they are too sweet. Turns out coating marshmallow in pure sugar is… a lot. All that said, Peeps do get a bum rap. They’re mediocre, but not bad.
Remember that scene in Wayne’s World, when Wayne and Garth stood in front of a blue screen and pretended to visit exciting places? They got all amped up to “go” to New York, Hawaii, and Texas. Then the bit ended with them being “magically whisked away” to Delaware. To which a dead-eyed Wayne says, “Hi. I’m in Delaware.” Jelly beans are the Delaware of Easter candy. (For the record, I have been to Delaware. I wasn’t there long, but I thought it was delightful. I enjoyed a wonderful oceanside lunch of Maryland-style crabs…that were actually from Texas. So, you know, Delaware!)
Solid Chocolate Easter Bunnies
Usually there’s no such thing as “too much candy,” because you can always eat some later. And, almost always, more chocolate is preferable to less chocolate. However, eating candy should be a pleasant experience. And there’s nothing pleasant about gnawing at a thick piece of chocolate like a leopard trying to get the marrow out of a giant bone. There’s a reason Hershey’s Bars aren’t three inches thick. I’m never going to turn down a solid chocolate Easter bunny, but when I need a knife or a lobster cracker to avoid developing lockjaw, that hurts your ranking.
Hollow Chocolate Easter Bunnies
When I was but a wee lad, I hated hollow chocolate Easter bunnies. Receiving one was like opening a giant bag of potato chips and finding out it was 60 percent air. Only a gazillion times worse. I wanted retribution. Promises had been made, only for the rug to be pulled out from under me when I bit into my chocolate rabbit. But you know what I always did despite my frustration? I always ate the whole damn thing, because it was still chocolate.
I now realize it was more than that. Hollow chocolate bunnies have a totally different texture and feel from normally chocolate. They tend to be thinner and curved, so they are unlike traditional chocolates. And some parts allow you to get a double bite, like if you bit through both ears at once. They’re a special seasonal treat that don’t come with the risk of an emergency trip to the dentist. Nor are they a chore to finish. Hollow bunnies deserve to be ranked above their solid counterparts!
Cadbury Mini Eggs
Explain to me like I’m five exactly why there’s a giant, creamier, tastier version of M&Ms, but they are only sold during the spring? Actually, don’t bother, because the whole thing is malarky. There are many delicious versions of these types of mini eggs (though Cadbury is the most famous). The best feature a perfect ratio of chocolate to candy-coated shell. They’re just thick enough to give a satisfying chew without making you feel like your teeth are going to crumble. The only downside is that it’s way too easy to eat an entire bag. A problem I assume others deal with every Easter.
Chocolate Marshmallow Eggs
There are many varieties of chocolate Easter eggs with fillings, like coconut or strawberry creme. Every year I’m ashamed at how many different types of Russell Stover eggs I buy the nanosecond Walgreens puts them on sale. (It’s genuinely mortifying how many I buy every year. I know because my wife is always, indeed, mortified.) But only one style is so good it’s sold by the carton. And that variety is the chocolate marshmallow egg. These eggs are soft and delicious—so good you eat them 12 at a time. (Or so I would like you to pretend for my benefit.) There’s nothing complicated about marshmallow and chocolate, an ideal combination that always delivers no matter the brand.
Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs
Like Peeps, you can essentially get these year round now. Hershey’s sells peanut butter-filled chocolates in all sorts of shapes for different holidays. But unlike with Peeps, there’s no getting sick of Reese’s Peanut Butter anything. And they are, without question, at their absolute best in egg-form. I don’t understand the science behind why; it’s simply the ideal shape. If someone tells me they prefer a Reese’s Peanut Butter Christmas Tree, I’ll assume they’re doing reconnaissance for a planetary invasion and they just blew their cover.
Cadbury Creme Eggs
Cadbury Creme Eggs in the UK are different than the ones sold in America. The British ones have less sugar, but a higher fat content in the chocolate. Both are perfect in their own way though. They each feature a pillowy fondant inside a delicious chocolate egg that is just thick enough to provide a solid bite without being impenetrable. No matter which side of the Atlantic you are on, a Cadbury Creme Egg is the unquestioned best Easter candy.
Originally published March 31, 2023.