The most popular Easter candy, ranked worst to best

Easter is about one thing, and one thing only when you're a kid: Candy, candy, and more candy. You wake up early Sunday morning — ignoring the fact that a creepy human-ish rabbit has been inside your house — and you race to find your Easter basket, silently praying that it won't be full of useless items like new socks and underwear. There's no finer sight than a basket brimming with sweet treats, because on Easter Sunday all bets are off — it's sugar for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Basket located, you probably start making your plan of attack as soon as you take inventory of your haul. Eat the worst offenders first — get them out of the way so you can focus on the good stuff. 

It's probably been awhile since you've received an Easter basket, but have you thought about how you'd go at that haul as an adult? Maybe your tastes have changed a bit since you were a kid, but chances are if you hated black jelly beans when you were 8 years old, you probably hate them now. 

If we were faced with a basket chock-full of Easter treats? Same plan of attack, of course — from worst to best, here's how that candy would get eaten.

16. Peeps

Peeps are either dead last on your list of Easter candy, or hold the number one spot (though anyone who ranks them in first place is clearly a monster) — there is simply no middle ground here. 

For those of us who hate Peeps it's because… well, they're Peeps. Too general? Okay, it's because their squishy neon carcasses are just disgusting — plain and simple. And also maybe because at some point you decided to make Peeps-infused vodka and you're haunted by the fact that after a day the only thing that remained was a fluffy mass of white goo with two eyes and a nose still intact. 

Undissolvable face aside, Peeps just don't offer enough — not in taste and certainly not in texture — to be counted amongst Easter's best candy. A thin sugary coating that tastes like nothing on a subpar marshmallow doesn't get it done when there are far tastier treats to be had. Sorry, Easter Bunny, but if you delivered a basket of Peeps, we're cursing your name. 

15. Coconut nests

Do you know what would make coconut nests a whole lot better? If they were made with just chocolate. Coconut-less nests has a nice ring, doesn't it?

As it stands, getting through that pile of shredded coconut for the tiny amount of chocolate involved just isn't worth it. It's chewy, but not in a good way, and it seems like there isn't enough jaw power in the world to get those shreds to a point where you can finally swallow. Eventually you just give up because your jaw aches, and you force down a mouthful of half-chewed scratchy coconut wondering why whoever assembled your Easter basket hates you.

Once upon a time a few jelly beans were nestled into the center of each nest, which gave this candy the tiniest bit of redemption, but those are gone now (at least in some varieties) and so it's back to zero redeeming qualities.

Just in case it wasn't clear: Peeps are the only thing saving coconut nests from being in last place here. 

14. Chocolate-covered marshmallow eggs

At first glance, thanks to the packaging, you think maybe the Easter Bunny left you a dozen fresh eggs. An odd choice for a basket full of treats maybe, but far preferable to what's really inside this styrofoam carton: chocolate-covered marshmallow eggs.

Considering you can get your hands on one dozen of these babies for $1, you probably know not to expect too much. Maybe you're hopeful though, and the first moment when you bite through that thin chocolate shell you're thinking "this isn't so bad." But then you realize the chocolate really isn't so great, and by now you've hit the marshmallow, and you start questioning your life choices.

There are probably an abundance of these cartons hitting the landfill the week after Easter, each containing exactly 11 whole eggs and one partially eaten egg. Avoid contributing to that heap of trash and go with the carton of fresh eggs instead. 

13. Cadbury Creme Eggs

Cadbury Creme Eggs are the Easter candy you really want to love. You want to get in on the excitement the true fans feel when they finally hit the shelves; to feel like you're part of that secret club. But there's just one thing preventing that from happening: The filling. 

Sure, it's cute — it looks just like the inside of a real egg. We'll give them one point for authenticity, and another point for the chocolate shell. But it all falls apart after that. The Cadbury Creme Egg's "soft fondant center" seems like what you would end up with if you melted down those wax lips and mixed it with corn syrup in an ill-fated experiment that ultimately ends up in the garbage can. The texture is weird, and it's hard not to envision it sliding down your throat in its original gloopy form. 

One more strike against this candy: Inevitably, the filling leaks through the shell causing the foil wrapper to stick to the chocolate like glue, and now you've got tiny shards of foil to contend with. Hard pass.

12. Brach's Classic Jelly Bird Eggs

Jelly beans are a staple in an Easter basket — it seems sacrilegious not to include them in some form among all the other seasonal goodies. Unless that bag of jelly beans happens to be Brach's Jelly Bird Eggs. Maybe once upon a time, these got the job done. You know, before there were jelly beans out in the world that tasted good.

What even are those flavors? Allegedly, they're pineapple, lemon, lime, orange, raspberry, cherry, and grape. But really, they're more of a whisper of something vaguely fruity, like each jelly bean passed over a fruit bowl once or twice. And then, of course, you've got the licorice jelly bean. It's the jelly bean nobody ever asked for; it's the jelly bean that ruins an otherwise aesthetically pleasing array of Easter colors; and it's the jelly bean that ensures a bag of Brach's Jelly Bird Eggs stays relegated to the bottom of any Easter candy list forever.

11. Brach's Marshmallow Easter Hunt Eggs

Not to hate on Brach's again — they make some perfectly fine candy —  but Marshmallow Easter Hunt Eggs are not their best-ever creation. 

The biggest problem with this candy is that it has the tendency to go stale, so rather than pleasantly chewy, you get hard chewy. The kind of chewy you think might dislodge a filling. 

They do have a couple things going for them, though. 1. As far as marshmallow candy goes, these are not your typical squishy abomination. The center is more of a super-condensed marshmallow — more Lucky Charms than Peeps — which is a definite plus, and prevents them from falling further down this list. 2. Each egg is individually wrapped, which makes them a good choice to roll around in baskets and plastic eggs without getting funky. 

You have to ask yourself though — if a candy's best attribute is that it's individually wrapped, is it worth eating?

10. Foil-wrapped chocolate eggs

What kind of Easter candy do you reach for when you want to satisfy your chocolate craving, and fast? Not a foil-wrapped egg, that's for sure.

Yes, these eggs are cute and colorful and add a bit of whimsy to any Easter basket, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with a bite of plain ol' milk chocolate. But those cute and colorful foil wrappers are a nightmare to get off. Where is the edge? Nobody knows. And don't even think about trying to indulge in this candy if you don't have nails — that's an exercise in futility. The point is, if you're looking to get your hands on some chocolate in a hurry, foil-wrapped eggs are not where you want to turn.

On the other hand, if you're looking to ensure that you only eat one piece of candy every three hours, foil-wrapped chocolate eggs are the perfect choice.

9. Solid milk chocolate bunnies

A solid chocolate bunny is great in theory, but bad in practice — particularly if it's one of those huge, life-size bunnies that weighs 10 pounds (yes, those really exist). It's an Easter staple, to be sure, but it has one major design flaw…

See, a chunk of chocolate (bonus points if it's good chocolate) sounds like a wonderful idea. The problem is, that chunk of chocolate is hard to navigate. You have no choice but to attack an edge or a corner, gnawing on it like a rodent chewing on a piece of wood. Not only does it feel like you're one wrong bite away from cracking a tooth, but the longer you gnaw, the spittier the chocolate becomes, and before you know it you've got a fair amount of chocolate drool happening. It's not a good look.

Of course, there is a simple solution to this solid chocolate bunny conundrum, but we'll get to that later.

8. Mini Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs

Everybody knows that the best part of Reese's anything is the peanut butter. Yes, the milk chocolate is important to the overall Reese's experience, but it should in no way overwhelm that peanut butter. This is the very reason that the peanut butter cup miniatures are not as good as their big brothers, and it's also the downfall of mini peanut butter eggs — there's just not enough peanut butter.

Now, don't get it twisted — if Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs in miniature form were the only peanut butter eggs in existence, it would be a different story. These would be near the top of the list of best-ever Easter candy, hands down. But we do have other options — bigger, better options — and so the small scale version won't crack the top five, at least not until its larger counterpart goes extinct (and we very much hope that never happens).

7. Cadbury Caramel Eggs

Now this is a Cadbury Egg we can all get behind. All our problems with the original egg have been solved, and the nightmare days of slurping fondant filling down your throat are gone. 

When you bite into this iteration of the Cadbury Egg, you'll be sinking your teeth into a creamy, dreamy caramel filling, no faux egg yolk in sight. As with the original, the chocolate shell is just fine. If there was one thing to nitpick about the Cadbury Caramel Egg, it would be that there's just too much caramel. With your first bite, you'll swear you could eat it forever. But after a few more bites, you begin to realize just how sweet this chocolate and caramel combination is. You think maybe you'll try to cover up the exposed top with the foil wrapper, but that never works — either the egg tips over and the caramel runs out, or the top layer gets crusty. Like it or not, this is one instance where sharing is probably your best option. 

6. Robin Eggs

Despite the fact that you can get regular ol' Whoppers any time of year, there's something about the colorful candy coating on Robin Eggs that makes them at least 10 times better than the original. Plus, they're way cuter with their speckled pink, blue, and white shells.

Biting into a Robin Egg is a delightful experience all around. First you crack through that crunchy shell (which doesn't really offer much in the way of flavor but we'll let that slide), then you hit the layer of milk chocolate (that's not too chocolatey so as to distract from the main attraction), and finally you're into the good stuff — the malted milk center. It's light and fluffy with the perfect amount of crispness, and the whole thing just kind of melts in your mouth. All of this is to say that an Easter basket without Robin Eggs is no Easter basket at all.

5. Cadbury Mini Eggs

Allow us to introduce you to the king of all Cadbury products: Cadbury Mini Eggs. If Cadbury Creme Eggs, or even Cadbury Caramel Eggs, disappeared off the face of the earth, it wouldn't make a bit of difference, so long as we still had these mini eggs.

Now, these eggs are not like their big brothers — they have no filling. They are made of solid milk chocolate, surrounded by a crisp sugar shell (and in cute pastel colors, to boot). The trick to eating Cadbury Mini Eggs, if you want the full experience, is to put one in your mouth, crackle the shell lightly between your teeth, and then let the whole shebang melt in your mouth. It's no easy feat — the desire to chomp right into that egg and chew it up is strong — but your patience will be rewarded with one of the best Easter candy-eating moments of the season.

4. Big Chewy Nerds Jelly Beans

Let's be honest — Big Chewy Nerds Jelly Beans are cheating just a little when it comes to being Easter candy, because really they just slapped a couple extra words onto the package, added a pair of bunny ears onto their regular Big Chewy Nerds mascot, and called it a day. But no matter — we are here for this "Easter" candy, and not even a little bit sad about the fact that they're available in some form all year long.

If you grab a bag of Big Chewy Nerds Jelly Beans hoping for something jelly bean-like, you're going to be disappointed. Sure, they're vaguely oval, but that's where the similarities end — and that's not a bad thing. They're super crunchy, then they're chewy. They're sweet, and also a little bit tangy. And they are 100 percent addictive. You will open a bag and before you know it that bag will be gone, and even though you probably have a stomachache you won't care because Big Chewy Nerds are that good.

3. Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs

Sure, you can get Reese's Peanut Butter Cups any time of year, but the cups have one serious downfall: That too-thick, fluted edge of chocolate. We do not need all that chocolate in a peanut butter cup. We did not come to Reese's looking for chocolate. We came for the peanut butter, obviously. Which is why Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs are one of Easter's most glorious treats. (Full size, of course — don't waste your time with those minis if you can help it.)

Thanks to a very thin layer of milk chocolate encasing the egg, you're getting the most bang for your buck on the peanut butter side of things. You still get the necessary hint of chocolate, of course, but the focus is on all that peanut butter goodness which is somehow creamy and a little bit grainy all at once. And yes, in this case "grainy" is a compliment, in case that wasn't clear.

2. Starburst Jellybeans

You know these have to be good to be a solid 10 spots ahead of their competitor, so what is it about Starburst Jellybeans that makes them better than Brach's Classic Jelly Bird Eggs? Let's think about this for a second… oh, right… they actually taste good. And bonus, there is not a single licorice jelly bean in sight.

Starburst Jellybeans are the jelly beans others aspire to be. Their flavors really do burst in your mouth — there's nothing vague about the fruitiness of this candy. And rather than that slightly stale vibe other jelly beans give off, these are perfectly tender and chewy every time, never hard or crackly. 

Perhaps the best thing about Starburst Jellybeans? Because this company clearly knows that red candy is the best candy, they don't even make you pick through an assorted bag to find your favorites. You can buy bagfuls of just the strawberry, cherry, and watermelon flavors — aptly dubbed FaveReds. Smart move, Starburst.

1. Hollow milk chocolate bunnies

There is no better Easter candy — and arguably no better holiday candy — than a hollow chocolate bunny. The hollow bunny solves all the problems we had with the solid bunny. If fact, this is the bunny the solid chocolate rabbit wishes he could be. And it's all because of the ears. 

Is there anything more satisfying than that first hollow bite of ear? You chomp into the void, the whole thing collapses, and you end up with a mouthful of broken chocolate that forms one melty bite. It doesn't matter if the chocolate isn't that great, or if you have no intention of finishing the entire bunny. Maybe it will sit in the candy drawer, earless and forgotten, until next Easter when you toss him to make room for the newest resident. That's fine. You simply must take a bite of a hollow chocolate bunny's ears for Easter to count.