A Brief History Of...: Cadbury Creme Eggs

In the great tradition of seasonal candy, I have a few favorites. Candy corn, especially those giant candy pumpkins, are delicious, but I'm iffy on candy canes and even more so on those gross Valentine's heart-shaped candy boxes that you always see coated in dust for the rest of the year, waiting for some poor, desperate boyfriend/husband to snatch them at the last minute (not like I have any experience with that). But, in my opinion, the best of the best, my favorite candy season, is Easter, because from January to mid-April drugstores are cheerfully stocked with: Cadbury Creme Eggs.

Oh Cadbury Creme Eggs! They are so amazing. A deliciously smooth milk chocolate shell around a sweet whipped fondant center which would be what Heaven tasted like if Heaven had a taste. Since there are some foods that I love but that would be silly or nigh-impossible for recreate, I'm getting my foodie-geek out in a series of columns I'm calling, "A Brief History Of..." Today: get your giant bunnies ready, it's Creme Egg time.

My real love affair with Creme Eggs, meaning the point in my life where they passed from simple once-in-a-while delicacy to unhealthy (mentally, emotionally, physically) obsession can be dated back to an Easter I spent with my grandparents in Florida. They took me grocery shopping, and for some reason I convinced them it would be a good idea to buy, not one or two Cadbury Eggs, but 2 dozen--pretty much just the entire cardboard box. "No, that's how they're packaged, Pop."

I'm sure I swore to them I would only have 1 a day, but soon I was guzzling 3 or 4 at a time, returning to the fridge (where we stored them) every 20 minutes like a poor alcoholic unable to avoid another drink. In some ways, like in the way that I would stretch out on the couch watching Nickelodeon with chocolate and sugar smeared across my face, it was terrible. But in other, more important ways, it was amazing. Even though propriety and poverty keeps me from repeating it myself, someday, some how, I'll have the cahones to try it again.

Cadbury Creme Eggs date way way back to 1923, when the Cadbury brothers first started making filled eggs. The modern version, made by dropping fondant into liquid chocolate, was first introduced in 1971. The eggs come from jolly olde England, and are the most popular candy in the UK from New Year's Eve to Easter. They are possibly most famous for their lines of commercials, including--but not limited to--the clucking Easter bunnies (played by freakish/endearing Flemish Giant rabbits), and the "How do you eat yours?" campaign (I like to mix it up, but usually I bite off the top and lick out the center).

I'm only going to mention their most recent campaign, "Here Today, Goo Tomorrow," to say that I hate it: Creme Eggs seeking to dispatch themselves in a variety of creative ways in order to release their gooey centers. I'm a fan of the bunny suicides, but I love Creme Eggs like a member of my own family, and it is weird, depressing, and morbid to watch them splatter in so many ways (not to mention, of course, that you don't splatter creme eggs! Creme Eggs are delicious but less so when you're trying to get them out of your carpet).

The success of the Creme Egg has led to the creation of several spin-off eggs, such as:
  • Mini Creme Eggs (bite-sized Creme Eggs)
  • Caramel Eggs (soft caramel filling)
  • Mini Caramel Eggs (bite-sized Caramel Eggs)
  • Chocolate Creme Eggs (chocolate fondant filling)
  • Orange Creme Eggs (Creme Eggs with a hint of orange flavor)
  • Mint Creme Eggs ( green "yolk" and mint flavor chocolate)
They are just all useless. Maybe I wouldn't be so against them except when I'm craving a Cadbury egg and see a few boxes at CVS, my hopes are raised and then heartlessly crushed as I see row after row of orange creme eggs. I tried, out of politeness, to get something going with the caramel egg, but nothing doing--I am simply a one-egg kinda girl.

Despite their all-around popularity, the Creme Egg brand is not without controversy (and I'm not just talking about the weird Stevie-White-like black bunny they've been using to advertise their chocolate eggs). In 2007, Cadbury shrunk the size of the Creme Eggs, and then heartlessly updated their FAQ to say the eggs haven't gotten smaller, "you've just grown up!" Jerks. Luckily, America's candy-eaters were saved, once again, by B.J. Novak, writer-star of The Office and creme egg aficionado. When he was on Conan O'Brien a few years ago, he brought the controversy to light after holding up the current egg and one he'd saved from a few years back (also, can we just pause and have a little "hell yeah" for B.J. Novak that he saves Cadbury Creme Eggs for several years? As if my boyfriend needed another reason to be jealous). Cadbury has since rectified its FAQ, saying only the American versions of the eggs were shrunk.

Meaning, if I ever do want to replicate my 24-egg binge, I'll probably now have to down at least 40. Still not a bad prospect.


  1. Novak is the man. What can't he make funny?

  2. Um. It is not "funny" that Cadbury Creme Eggs were shrunken. It is a tragedy or *at the very most* a dramedy. But I will agree with you that he's the man.