The Real Reason Most Chocolate Easter Bunnies Are Hollow

We can't think about Easter without some classic images immediately springing to mind. The Easter bunny, bright pastel eggs, and egg hunts define the holiday, but no celebration comes complete without the iconic chocolate Easter bunny. While you might assume this classic candy has only graced Easter baskets for the past few decades, chocolate bunnies helped define the holiday thanks to their long history. 

According to Purdy's, collectors have discovered Easter bunny chocolate molds dating back to the 1890s in places like Munich, Germany, and Pennsylvania, where a shopkeeper created a five-foot chocolate rabbit for his store to help promote the holiday. While this festive candy dates back generations, the bunny has received some changes over the years.

Smithsonian Magazine reports that hollow molds for this chocolate treat only started to appear around 1939 in America, meaning that if you chomped into this candy at any point earlier, you might have just sunk your teeth into a solid brick of chocolate. This proved impractical on a culinary level — people can't easily chew chocolate that has a thickness of over 0.5 inches, making hollow chocolate bunnies a go-to solution for chocolatiers who want to show off their candy-making skills while delivering an edible treat (via The Chocolate Fetish).

A time-tested chocolate Easter favorite

Making hollow chocolate rabbits did more than just provide for an edible product. By creating hollow molds for the candy, businesses could increase their profit margins by using less chocolate to construct a full rabbit (via Piece, Love & Chocolate). This change emerged during World War II. Due to chocolate rationing, confectioners had to make due with what little cocoa they could get their hands on, and the hollow chocolate bunnies helped create an iconic treat that confectioners could craft with less chocolate. This ingenuity carried forward over the years, resulting in a classic Easter candy that has stuck with us to this day.

As Easter plans begin to emerge, don't forget to start stocking up on this classic seasonal candy. No celebration comes complete without an appearance or two by chocolate Easter bunnies and thanks to their ideal construction, we can expect this candy to make its appearance at Easter celebrations for years to come.