British candy is some of the best candy in the world. But which British candy is the best? We sampled dozens of British sweets and rank our favorites.
During our world travels, discovering British candy was a revelation. We both remember the first time we tasted Cadbury bars at the source. Those bars tasted richer and creamier compared to Cadbury bars we’d previously eaten in America.
We’ve since traveled to London dozens of times. While eating a late night Cadbury bar is still mandatory during each trip, we’ve since expanded our UK candy repertoire to include other British sweets, treats and lollies.
But we wondered which British candy is the best? After all, we can’t buy and eat them all. Or can we???
We bought, photographed and ate each and every box, bag and bar of candy featured in this article.
Sure, we could read online candy reviews or ask our friends for their opinions. However, we decided it would be more fun to taste them all in our quest to identify the very best British candy.
We’ve now eaten enough British candies (dozens and dozens!) to form our own decisions about which British confections are worth eating and which ones should stay on the shelf at Tesco. Some candies reminded us of our favorite American candies while others were decidedly Anglo.
Discover our favorite American candies.
Since it would be impossible to limit our top British candy list to ten or even twenty sweet treats, we’ve separated more than 40 top British candies into the following categories:
You’ll notice that Cadbury dominates our British candy list. It’s not that we’re obsessed (okay, maybe we are) with this particular candy company, but our list parallels the candy company’s domination of the British candy market. Plus, Cadbury produces enough candy varieties to make our heads spin and our tongues tingle.
Cadbury chocolate bars have been a fixture in British culture for more than a century.
Birmingham based brothers John and Benjamin Cadbury debuted their original chocolate bars in 1849. Over the years, the Cadbury confectionary business grew to mega status with a slate of sweet products which have become household names both in Britain and around the world.
Once partnered with Schweppes, Cadbury is currently owned by Mondelez International, a division of Kraft. However, despite Cadbury’s American ownership, Cadbury bars sold in the UK are different from those sold in the United States.
Hershey bought Cadbury’s US candy business in 1988 and retains that ownership to this day.
Cadbury Chocolate Bars
Yes, it’s true. Cadbury is now owned by an American company. But that controversial ownership hasn’t impacted Cadbury’s British product, at least not as far as we can tell. It also hasn’t limited the number of chocolate bars available at British candy shops, markets and news stands.
Buy a selection of Cadbury bars not readily available in the US from Amazon.
Unlike America which sells a handful of Cadbury bars, the British roster remains extensive and continues to grow. These are our picks for the best Cadbury chocolate bars:
1. Cadbury Dairy Milk
Year Introduced: 1905
The Cadbury Dairy Milk bar is proof that bells and whistles aren’t necessary to make great chocolate bars. Not surprisingly, milk is the Dairy Milk bar’s key ingredient along with sugar and cocoa.
Enough people love this milk chocolate bar to make it Britain’s most popular bar by a wide margin. According to The Grocer, 2021 sales exceeded £652 million – triple the sales of the Galaxy bar, Dairy Milk’s nearest competitor.
We’ll always have fond feelings for the Cadbury Dairy Milk bar. It was our British candy gateway and remains a touchstone. The bar’s simplicity and pure milk chocolate flavor continue to delight us every time we take our first bites.
2. Cadbury Picnic
Year Introduced: 1958
Unlike traditional picnics eaten outdoors, the Cadbury Picnic bar tastes just as good when it’s eaten inside. The name derives from ‘Peanuts In Caramel Nougat In Chocolate’ but this acronym is incomplete since the bar also contains puffed rice and raisins.
Cadbury has been producing Picnic bars since it bought Australia’s MacRobertson Chocolates in 1967 but love for this bar pre-dates the acquisition. Cadbury made waves with its slogan declaring that the Picnic bar is ‘deliciously ugly’. Proving that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, we consider this bar to be beautifully delicious. We made it look pretty darn beautiful – see photo below – if we do say so ourselves.
3. Cadbury Dairy Milk Marvellous Creations – Jelly Popping Candy
Year Introduced: 2013
The Cadbury Dairy Milk Marvellous Creations – Jelly Popping Candy bar takes Cadbury’s simple Dairy Milk bar to a marvelous level by adding fruit flavored jellies, crispy coated cocoa bites and popping candy (similar to pop rocks) to the milk chocolate mix. The result is a chocolate bar that Mindi always chooses first during trips to the UK.
Marvellous (the British spelling of marvelous) isn’t a word to use lightly. We could say more but the name says it all.
This milk chocolate bar may be marketed to kids, but Mindi loves the addition of fruity jellies and popping candies. Then again, she’s a big kid when it comes to candy. Daryl likes it too but not as much as Mindi.
4. Cadbury Boost
Year Introduced: 1985
Everybody needs a friendly boost at times. In the UK, that boost can come from a chocolate bar.
The Cadbury Boost bar looks plain on the outside but its inside includes a chocolate center, cookie bits and caramel. Its sweet flavor lingers after the last bite which typically occurs just moments after the first bite.
Since we were expecting the Cadbury Boost bar to taste like an energy bar, we were surprised when we tasted it for the first time. It reminded us of America’s Twix bar but sweeter and with more caramel.
5. Cadbury Curly Wurly
Year Introduced: 1970
Is Cadbury’s Curly Wurly bar shaped like a ladder or is its helix-like structure similar to DNA? Cadbury’s site compares it to the former but it looked more like DNA to us. Actually, it immediately reminded us of a Marathon bar, a defunct yet beloved American candy bar from our youth.
Not for the dentally impaired, the Curly Wurly consists of chewy caramel coated with sweet chocolate. The concept isn’t unique but the shape is except when compared to Mars’ Marathon bar.
Since we both loved braided Marathon bars when we were kids, it’s fair to say that we love Cadbury’s braided Curly Wurly bar too.
6. Fry’s Turkish Delight
Year Introduced: 1914
Cadbury purchased J.S. Fry & Sons in 1919, but the Fry’s name lives on in the company’s Chocolate Cream, Orange Cream, Peppermint Cream and Turkish Delight bars. To us, however, the Fry’s Turkish Delight bar is the one that stands out from the candy crowd.
Apparently, not everybody loves this exotic candy bar of rose-flavored gelée coated with chocolate. The same goes for beets which happen to be the ingredient that provide the gelee’s deep red color. You won’t find this candy, or anything like it, in America which makes Fry’s Turkish Delight unique to the British candy library.
We found this unique bar to be a flavor sensation that’s different from any other commercial candy bar we’ve ever encountered. Mindi especially appreciated the bar’s rose-water scent and flavor.
7. Cadbury Dairy Milk Caramel
Year Introduced: 1970s
Cadbury’s Dairy Milk Caramel bar is basically a Dairy Milk bar that’s filled with ooey-gooey caramel. If you think that it sounds like a Cadbury Caramello bar, you’re not wrong. The differences are minor beyond the two different names.
We’re not complaining but it’s confusing to Americans who are used to eating Caramello bars. After all, it’s hard to complain about a candy bar that combines chocolate and caramel. That would just be wrong.
Since we like Cadbury Caramello bars, we like Cadbury Dairy Milk Caramel bars. As previously noted, they’re pretty much the same.
8. Cadbury Flake
Year Introduced: 1920
The Cadbury Flake bar lives up to its name by being flaky. Very flaky. So flaky that it literally crumbled when we took it out of its wrapper.
The bar itself is long with ultra-thin chocolate layers. Beyond being a candy bar, the Flake is a popular soft-serve ice cream topper. It also has a history of suggestive ads featuring attractive women, which could be a good or bad thing based on your gender.
Call us flakey but we didn’t love the Cadbury Flake bar as much as we expected. We liked the chocolate flavor but its flakey texture fell flat. Maybe we’d like it better if it were coated in chocolate but then it would be a Cadbury Twirl bar (see below) and not a Cadbury Flake bar.
9. Fry’s Chocolate Cream
Year Introduced: Cadbury
Fry’s Chocolate Cream bar may now be part of Cadbury but its biggest claim to fame predates the acquisition by more that half a century. It occurred in 1866 when the Chocolate Cream bar became the first mass-produced chocolate bar.
Not your everyday dark chocolate bar, this one is filled with plain fondant. Other Fry’s cream bars are filled orange cream, raspberry cream, strawberry cream and (most notably) peppermint cream. But this one is the original.
Our initial reaction was that the Fry’s Chocolate Cream Bar is good but not great. Although we liked it enough to keep eating it, our opinion didn’t change.
10. Cadbury Dairy Milk Freddo
Year Introduced: 1930
Not everybody likes eating frogs but most people enjoy eating Cadbury Dairy Milk Freddo bars. This popularity makes sense since Cadbury’s frog-shaped chocolate bars are pure milk chocolate and contain no frog bits whatsoever.
Although Cadbury acquired the Freddo character when it acquired Australia’s MacRobertson Chocolates in 1967, this particular chocolate bar is part of the Dairy Milk family. And, since the miniature milk chocolate bar is shaped like a frog, it’s especially popular with kids.
Cadbury’s Dairy Milk Freddo made us smile. While it reminded us of Cadbury’s more traditional Dairy Milk bar, we appreciated the different shape.
11. Cadbury Dairy Milk Fruit & Nut
Year Introduced: 1926
The Cadbury Dairy Milk Fruit & Nut bar adds almonds and raisins to the classic Dairy Milk bar to create a candy bar that’s crunchier and more interesting than the original version. Its popularity started in the UK before spreading to countries like Australia, India and the US.
We’d like to think that almonds and raisins transform the Cadbury Dairy Milk Fruit & Nut bar into a healthy snack. We’d also like to win the lottery. Unfortunately, both desires are fantasies that will likely never be realities.
The Cadbury Dairy Milk Fruit & Nut bar is just as sweet and satisfying as we remember from our days of eating the candy bar in America. The extra bits (i.e. almonds and raisins) make it an enjoyable option for both snack time and dessert. Think Raisinets and Goobers combined to create a portable chocolate bar but with almonds instead of peanuts.
12. Cadbury Bournville Classic Dark Chocolate
Year Introduced: 1908
While Cadbury’s Bournville Classic Dark Chocolate bar isn’t the darkest chocolate bar we’ve ever eaten, it’s a lot darker than the company’s milk chocolate bars. According to the BBC, the Bournville bar has a minimum of 36% cocoa while the Dairy Milk Bar has a minimum of 26% cocoa.
That 36 percentile seems low compared to artisinal dark chocolate bars which often have cocoa percentages of 70% or even higher. However, considering that Cadbury has been producing Bournville for over a century, this classic dark chocolate has passed the test of time with flying colors that happen to be dark.
Daryl typically prefers dark chocolate while Mindi prefers milk and white chocolate when given the choice. However, he wasn’t particularly impressed by this bar’s mild flavor that barely qualifies as true dark chocolate. Daryl placed it in the annals of ‘bad British food’ along with spotted dick.
13. Cadbury Mini Eggs Bar
Year Introduced: 2021
Color us surprised when we first encountered a Cadbury Mini Eggs bar during our British candy exploration. After all, although we both grew up eating Cadbury Mini Eggs by the bagful, we had never seen the bar version.
It turns out that we weren’t living under a rock. The milk chocolate bar studded with colorful micro mini eggs debuted in the UK in 2021. Instead, we were just one year late to this particular Easter party.
At first glance, the Cadbury Mini Eggs bar looked like a typical chocolate bar. Then, when we broke into it, we saw the mico mini eggs in all their colorful glory. In terms of taste, the bar reminded us as a chocolate bar filled with M&Ms. We were content with this resemblance since we like chocolate in general and M&Ms in particular.
14. Cadbury Dairy Milk Winter Wonderland
Year Introduced: 2013
Cadbury Dairy Milk Winter Wonderland Edition chocolate bar has a wow factor thanks to a creative design that alternates milk chocolate and white chocolate trees in a handy-dandy bar. Easy to share, each tree can be easily snapped off on its own or in a row.
But, for fans of both milk and white chocolate, the real wow factor happens in the mouth. True chocolate enthusiasts won’t want to share the bar especially when they realize that each white chocolate tree has a bottom layer of creamy milk chocolate too.
We love snapping off the bar’s Christmas trees sections almost as much as we loved eating them. Combining Cadbury’s milk and white chocolates in one bar is a game changer that we don’t want to change.
15. Cadbury Wispa Gold
Year Invented: 1995
Originally released on a limited basis, the Cadbury Wispa Gold bar achieved permanent status two years later due to its popularity. Apparently, Brits have an affinity for milk chocolate bars filled with caramel.
But the Cadbury Wispa Gold bar isn’t just any milk chocolate bar filled with caramel. In addition to the caramel layer, this bar also has a layer of aerated chocolate bubbles, which makes it special.
Since we like both bubbles and caramel, we enjoyed this bar’s taste and texture. The caramel wasn’t overpowering and the bubbles made our mouths happy.
16. Cadbury Twirl
Year Introduced: 1987
The Cadbury Twirl bar is a Flake bar coated with chocolate, solving the Flake’s issue with crumbling. As a bonus, each package has not one but two fingers, making the Twirl ideal for sharing with a friend.
As a result of these enhancements, the Twirl bar has surpassed the Flake bar to become one of Britain’s top selling candy. Twirl options now include a snack size version called Twirl Bites and an orange version called Orange Twirl.
We have just three words to describe this bar that coats flakey milk chocolate with smooth milk chocolate – pure chocolate bliss.
17. Fry’s Peppermint Cream
Year Introduced: 1934
You’re not crazy if you think that the Fry’s Peppermint Cream bar looks just like the Fry’s Chocolate Cream bar. We thought the same thing. However, as their names suggest, the two bars are not the same.
While the Fry’s Chocolate Cream bar is filled with plain fondant, the peppermint version is instead filled with peppermint-flavored fondant. It’s a small but important difference.
The Fry’s Peppermint Cream reminded us of a York Peppermint Patty with a couple key differences. For starters, the bar isn’t round. The peppermint fondant also tastes less minty than a York Peppermint Patty which is a good thing to Daryl who isn’t a big peppermint fan.
18. Cadbury Starbar
Year Introduced: 1976
At first glance, the Cadbury Starbar resembles a Cadbury Boost bar. However, a look inside the galactic chocolate bar reveals a center of caramel and crushed roasted peanuts instead of the Boost bar’s caramel, chocolate and cookie bits.
Cadbury previously marketed the Starbar as the “munchiest bar ever.” While that claim is debatable, it’s also debatable that it’s the peanuttiest.
We immediately connected with the Starbar since the peanuts give the sweet bar a nutty flavor. Daryl especially liked its ‘peanutty’ flavor.
19. Cadbury Double Decker
Year Introduced: 1976
Inspired by London’s double decker buses, the Cadbury Double Decker bar provides double the pleasure by filling a milk chocolate bar with two distinct layers – sweet nougat and chocolate coated cereal crisps.
This double decker candy bar hasn’t yet achieved the global fame of London’s double decker bus. However, that status may change once more people taste the Double Decker bar. Its contrasting textures and complementary flavors are that compelling.
Never having tasted a Double Decker bar before, we immediately associated it with America’s 3 Musketeers bar. However, we found the Double Decker bar both crunchier and maltier compared to the one across the pond.
20. Cadbury Snack Shortbread
Year Introduced: 1970s
Many consider chocolate coated biscuits to be cookies. However, since the Snack Shortbread is a Cadbury product, it fits into the candy category too.
This crossover really isn’t a big stretch. After all, America’s Twix bars are also chocolate covered biscuits, albeit longer, thinner and with caramel.
We found the Cadbury Snack Shortbread to be sweeter and more satisfying than a Twix bar. Plus, we liked that there were four bars in the pack instead of just two.
21. Cadbury Dairy Milk Wholenut
Year Introduced: 1930
The Cadbury Dairy Milk Wholenut bar is just like a Cadbury Dairy Milk Fruit & Nut bar except that it’s filled with whole hazelnuts instead of almonds and raisins.
Ironically, the Fruit & Nut bar pre-dates the Wholenut bar by four years. We would have guessed that the simpler hazelnut bar was the older of the two.
Britain’s Cadbury Dairy Milk Wholenut is sweeter than we expected since it’s chock full of nuts. We would have liked it better if it were saltier.
22. Cadbury Wispa
Year Introduced: 1981
We’re not saying that the Cadbury Wispa isn’t original but Rowntree launched the Aero bar in the UK in 1935 while Nestle sold Choco’ Lite bars in the US from 1972 to 1982. All three of these bars are aerated chocolate bars.
Wispa, the Cadbury version, fills milk chocolate with aerated chocolate to create a portable bar that’s easy to eat. In other words, it provides the bubbles without causing any troubles.
Tasting the Cadbury Wispa bar immediately made Daryl think of the Choco’Lite, a candy bar from his youth. As was the case with the Choco’Lite, the chocolate in the Wispa bar tastes as light as a feather.
23. Cadbury Fudge
Year Introduced: 1948
The Cadbury Fudge bar may disappoint people who are totally obsessed with chocolate. While they may expect its center to be chocolate fudge, the center is actually a buttery milk fudge.
Smaller and less caloric than most Cadbury products, the Cadbury Fudge is more of a finger than a bar. Many grown-up Brits have fond childhood memories of eating Fudge fingers. Some remember dunking the sweet confection into their tea cups and hot chocolate.
Sweeter and less chocolatey than we expected, the compact Cadbury Fudge finger provided us with a much-needed break from tasting pure chocolate bars.
24. Cadbury Crunchie
Year Introduced: 1929
The Cadbury Crunchie bar lives up to its name. However, this Cadbury favorite is more than just a crunchy chocolate bar. Specifically, this bar has a honeycomb toffee center.
The outside layer of chocolate finishes the Crunchie but the honeycomb toffee is what makes it unique among Cadbury bars. However, the Crunchie isn’t the only candy in the world to incorporate honeycomb. Other examples include sponge candy in Buffalo and hokey pokey in New Zealand.
Although we liked the Crunchie, we were disappointed that it wasn’t as sweet or as chewy as other honeycomb candies we’ve previously eaten.
25. Cadbury Twirl Orange
Year Introduced: 2019
Cadbury’s Orange Twirl bars combines two things that British candy eaters clearly love – flaky chocolate and orange flavoring. We don’t know why these two things are so popular in Britain but yet they are. We’re not complaining or judging since we like flaky, orange-flavored chocolate too.
Originally introduced more than 20 years after the original Twirl’s debut, Orange Twirl achieved immediate success. After two years on the market, the spin-off chocolate bar achieved permanent status.
Since we described the original Twirl bar as pure chocolate bliss, we have to describe this one as pure chocolate orange bliss. In other words, we like it.
More Cadbury Candy
Despite the mind-boggling number of Cadbury bars available in the UK, they’re not the only Cadbury candies worth eating. Some of the most popular Cadbury candies are seasonal while others are available on a year-round basis. These are our favorites:
26. Cadbury Creme Egg
Year Introduced: 1971
Spring time is a happy time for chocolate fans. This is the time when they can eat Cadbury Creme Eggs with abandon. It’s also the time when they can stock up for the bleak, egg-free months that will follow until the next spring.
We’re not making this assertion lightly. Mindi has a long history with the Cadbury Creme Egg back in America. She may have even been a Creme Egg hoarder before Daryl shamed her out of that annual practice.
Cadbury sells its Creme Eggs from January 1 to Easter Day each year. Mark your calendars for this specific but limited time span.
For those who aren’t familiar, the Cadbury Creme Egg consists of a hard chocolate shell filled with creamy fondant. But not just any creamy fondant. This fondant is colored white and yellow just like the center of a real chicken egg.
It’s sweet. It’s messy. It’s wonderful.
We’ve eaten a lot of Cadbury Creme Eggs over the years; however, we found the cream in the British version to be slightly less sweet than the cream in the American version.
27. Cadbury Puds
Years Introduced: 1995 & 2021
Puds make Brits smile for two different reasons that Americans just don’t get. First, the word “puds” evokes thoughts of pudding desserts which are so popular in the UK. Second, it evokes childhood memories of Cadbury Puds which disappeared from store shelves for almost two decades.
This seasonal candy looks like little Christmas ornaments but not just any Christmas ornaments. Since these particular ornaments are made with chocolate, hazelnuts and rice crisps, they’re extra special.
Rounder than a Cadbury Creme Egg, Puds is a tasty treat that makes us wish we had bought a five-pack instead of just one Puds.
28. Cadbury Mini Eggs
Year Introduced: 1967
Cadbury’s Mini Eggs became a popular Easter treat before the first Creme Egg was hatched. It’s true. Despite the Creme Egg’s iconic status, the Mini Eggs did indeed come first.
Although most people prefer one Cadbury egg over the other, the two popular seasonal candies have distinct similarities – they’re both just available for Easter and they’re both made with chocolate. However, the similarities stop there.
Unlike the Creme Egg which has a chocolate shell, Mini Eggs have pastel candy shells. And, instead of a cream center, the smaller eggs are filled with Cadbury chocolate.
British Mini Eggs look different from American Mini Eggs. They have speckles and come in just four colors – white, pink, yellow and purple. Once we got past the fact there were no blue Mini Eggs, we focused on their taste. We found our speckled eggs to be sweet but not too sweet. We liked them.
29. Cadbury Giant Buttons
Year Introduced: 1999
Cadbury Giant Buttons are made with the same milk chocolate used to make Cadbury Dairy Milk bars. These circular buttons solve the problem for those who don’t like biting into a rectangular candy bar.
A person could hypothetically eat one button and save the rest for later. We don’t know those people but they probably exist somewhere.
Buttons, giant or otherwise, taste like Cadbury milk chocolate because they are Cadbury milk chocolate. They provide an excellent alternative to eating a full bar.
30. Cadbury Dairy Milk Jingly Bells
Year Introduced: Cadbury
Cadbury Dairy Milk Jingly Bells aren’t shaped like bells but that doesn’t stop the festively wrapped candy from ringing in sweet holiday vibes with two different hazelnut flavors – Chocolate Noisette and Hazelnut Creme.
We went the Hazelnut Creme route when we bought a bag of Cadbury Dairy Milk Jingly Bells. Our bag was filled with ten pretty chocolate balls filled with hazelnut cream. Their centers weren’t particularly creamy but they did indeed taste like hazelnuts.
Once we got past the fact that Cadbury Milk Jingly Bells are shaped like balls instead of bells, we were able to appreciate the holiday baubles anyway. We found the sweet, soft balls to be similar to truffles with just the right amount of hazelnut flavor.
Even More Cadbury Bars and Candy
Clearly, our British candy project is just beginning. We’ve identified the following additional Cadbury bars and other candies that we’re yet to sample:
Other British Candy
Sometimes we forget that the UK has candy that’s not produced by Cadbury. But, in actuality, some of the best and most popular British candies are produced by companies like Nestle, Mars and Maynards Bassett’s.
Purchase a selection of British candy bars that aren’t so easy to find in the United States from Amazon.
After tasting a lot of candy bars and other candies, the following are our favorite British candies not produced by Cadbury:
Year Invented: 1937
British Smarties are nothing like American Smarties. The American version is tart, chalky and chocolate-free while the British version, with their colorful candy shells that encase chocolate centers, is more similar to M&Ms. But, make no mistake, British Smarties are different from M&Ms.
Unlike M&Ms which all taste the same, orange Smartie shells are flavored with natural orange oil. Other British Smartie colors (i.e. blue, brown, green, pink, red, violet and yellow) have no added flavors. As a bonus, the standard Smarties container is a recyclable hexatube.
British Smarties reminded us of American M&Ms except for the orange Smarties which have an orange essence.
32. Liquorice Allsorts
Year Introduced: 1889
Manufacturer: Maynards Bassetts
All sorts of people like Liquorice Allsorts. Kids like the chewy candy’s various shapes and colors while adults appreciate its licorice flavor. Interestingly, most Americans aren’t Allsorts fans since they didn’t get the licorice memo.
Legend has it that Liquorice Allsorts started as a happy accident when a Bassetts employee spilled a tray of candy, inadvertently creating a mix of all sorts of candy. True or not, the company is still mixing up its colorful candies more than a century after that fateful day.
Not surprisingly, Mindi likes this candy more than Daryl since she likes licorice more than the average American. Since she also likes chewy candies, our bag of Liquorice Allsorts hit her candy sweet spot.
33. Aero Peppermint
Year Invented: 1959
Debuting 24 years after Rowntree released the original Aero bar, the Aero Peppermint bar takes the concept of aerating chocolate to the next level by filling a chocolate bar with tiny green bubbles. And not just any green bubbles. These bubbles taste like pure peppermint and melt in the mouth like a dream.
If you think this concept sounds weird, think again. The Aero Peppermint bar is beloved in the UK along with the original Aero bar, the Aero Caramel bar and the Aero Orange bar. Nestle even sells Aero biscuits for those who like some crunch with their munch.
Mindi loved everything about the Aero Peppermint bar – the color, the taste and the texture. Daryl agreed on two counts – the color and texture. It’s not the bar’s fault that Daryl isn’t a fan of combining chocolate with peppermint.
34. Wine Gums
Year Invented: 1909
Manufacturer: Maynards Bassett’s
Created by Maynards (now operating as Maynard Bassett’s and a subsidiary of Mondelez) more than a century ago, Wine Gums are still a fixture on British candy counters. While each Wine Gum has a unique color, shape and flavor, Wine Gums don’t contain are surprisingly alcohol-free.
The concept of combining wine and gummy candies is apparently too good to be true. While this quintessential British candy is indeed a gummy, its recipe doesn’t include any wine. Not even an ounce or a gram.
Since Mindi loves both wine and gummy candies, she wanted to love Wine Gums. Unfortunately, we both found the flavors of this candy to be intense and unpleasant.
Year Invented: 1932
A Mars Bar is a Mars bars except in America where it’s a Milky Way bar. If you like the American Milky Way, then you’ll like the British Mars bar and vice versa.
Forest Mars, Sr. launched the British Mars bar in 1932. Filled with caramel and nougat, it spread around the world with one exception – the United States. However, America’s Mars bar was originally filled with nougat and almonds, though caramel was later added to the mix, before it was discontinued in 2002.
The Mars bar tastes like an American Milky Way bar. Since we like Milky Way bars, we like British Mars bars too.
36. Jelly Babies
Year Invented: 1918
Manufacturer: Maynards Bassett’s
Originally called Peace Babies at the end of the World War I, Jelly Babies are one of the most popular non-chocolate candies in England. Famously eaten on the Dr. Who television series, chubby Jelly Babies come in different colors and feature a light dusting of sugar. Each color has its own name and flavor.
We were curious as to which Jelly Baby would taste best. Would it be the red Brilliant flavored like strawberries or the yellow Bubbles flavored like lemon? Or would it be the purple Big Heart flavored like blackcurrants? Surely it wouldn’t be the green Boofuls flavored like lime. Then again maybe it would be the pink Baby Bones flavored like raspberry or the orange Bumper flavored like orange.
We’d tell you our which color became our favorite but it would ruin the fun. True Confession – We liked them all.
Mindi loved these so-ugly-they’re-cute candies which were full of jammy fruit flavors. Daryl could take them or leave them since he’s not a big gummy fan.
37. KitKat Orange
Year Invented: 1996
Originally called a Rowntree’s Chocolate Crisp when the chocolate wafer bar debuted in the 1930s, KitKats have evolved into one of the UK’s most popular chocolate bars. This popularity has spread around the world to the US as well as to Japan where Green Tea KitKats reign supreme.
Original milk chocolate KitKat bars remain popular in the UK where the candy bar was invented; however, newer flavors are the ones to try when you jump the pond. Our favorite is the Orange KitKat.
It may look like an original KitKat but the Orange KitKat tastes, obviously, like orange. Orange-flavored chocolate takes this candy bar to the next level while its crispy wafer makes it taste like a… KitKat.
We knew we were going to like the Orange KitKat as soon as we smelled its chocolate-orange aroma. However, Daryl appreciated that the orange flavor didn’t overpower the chocolate.
38. KitKat Zebra
Year Invented: 1921
Just like zebras we spotted in the wilds of South Africa, the KitKat Zebra caught our eyes and we couldn’t look away. Instead, we bought the relatively new British candy bar so that we could see if the unique candy bar would live up to its evocative packaging.
As we discovered upon opening the package, the KitKat Zebra coats classic KitKat wafers with both dark and white chocolate. But that’s not all. There’s more dark chocolate inside each of the bar’s four fingers.
It’s a striking candy bar and one that we’ll be happy to purchase again. Daryl thinks it has more chocolate flavor than an actual KitKat, which he considers to be a good thing.
We both loved it. Like all KitKats, the Zebra KitKat has a nice crunch plus it was chocolatey without being too sweet.
39. Terry’s Chocolate Orange
Year Invented: 1932
Originally produced in York but now produced in Strasbourg, the Terry’s Chocolate Orange is a unique chocolate treat that’s a popular gift item in the UK for a couple reasons. First, it’s a chocolate candy produced with ‘real’ orange oil. Second, and equally important, it’s shaped like an actual orange.
Part of the fun of eating this ‘deliciously unsquare’ British candy favorite is peeling each ‘wedge’ from a round chocolate ball. The traditional approach for loosening the wedges is to ‘tap and unwrap’ them. However, some people prefer the ‘whack and unwrap’ method.
As non-Brits, we were wowed by the shape of the The Terry’s Chocolate Orange. We were less wowed by the taste of the candy despite its creamy texture and distinct orange flavor.
40. Fruit Pastilles
Year Introduced: 1881
Would Pastilles with a different name be worth eating? We ask this question because Pastilles have different names in different countries.
We’re going on a limb to answer our own question affirmatively. We’d eat this candy by any name and we assume that other would too. Then again, we typically like gumdrops when they come in flavors like blackcurrant, lemon, lime, orange and strawberry.
At first glance, our Fruit Pastilles looked like hard candies with a sugar dusting. We quickly realized that they were chewy and that we liked the fruity flavors that were sweet without being too sweet.
Year Invented: 1936
Nestle’s Milkybar is the most popular white chocolate bar in the UK which is nothing new. Brits have been eating Milkybars for almost a century, albeit with a break from 1940 to 1956.
You may be familiar with the Milkybar even if you’ve never given it a try. The simple white chocolate confection is called Galek in numerous countries around the world. Despite the different name, the Milkybar and Galek are the same Nestle product.
The Milkybar tastes like white chocolate which is what it is. Mindi liked it better than Daryl since she’s the bigger white chocolate fan.
42. Quality Street
Year Introduced: 1936
We didn’t grow up eating Quality Street chocolates though we’ve seen them hundreds of times at different duty free shops. Apparently the ‘purple one’ with hazelnuts and caramel is the most popular flavor while the ‘caramel swirl’ is the company’s signature bonbon.
Despite its name, Quality Street offers both quality and quantity. The package we purchased included no fewer than 25 chocolates and toffies wrapped in seven different colors. Inside the multi-color wrappers, there were 11 different flavors. And, yes, we tasted them all.
Quality Street candies remind us of the chocolates in Whitman’s Samplers we ate as kids. Whitman’s is now owned by Russell Stover and Quality Street is now owned by Nestle. As for us, we’re still masters of our own domain.
43. Rowntree’s Randoms
Year Introduced: 2009
Randoms live up to their name by being seeimingly random in terms of shapes, colors and flavors. These random shapes include ice cream cones, flowers and pigs while the colors span the candy rainbow. Flavors made with real fruit juice include blackcurrant, cherry, lemon, lime, orange and strawberry.
Don’t get too excited about the real fruit juice. The first two listed ingredients are glucose syrup and sugar. Randoms are candies after all.
We found Randoms to be squishier than our favorite German gummies. We liked but didn’t love this squishiness.
Year Invented: 1976
In Africa, the lion is the king of the jungle. In the UK, it’s a chocolate candy bar filled with caramel, wafers and puffed rice cereal.
Simultaneously chewy and crunchy, the Lion bar has a lot going on inside its chocolate shell. Some Brits go so far as to rate it as their favorite candy bar.
Struck by the contrast between its ugly exterior and stylish interior, we found the Lion bar to be solid and enjoyable. It wasn’t our favorite British candy bar but we also wouldn’t say “no” when given the opportunity to eat one.
45. Drumstick Squashies
Year Invented: 2012
Manufacturer: Swizzels Matlow
No new kid on the British candy block, Swizzels Matlow launched Drumstick Squashies a decade ago. The candy gained popularity despite its name. Let’s face it, Drumstick Squashies may be the absolute worst candy name in the world. And, to make matters worse, the original raspberry & milk flavor looks like it’s designed for toddlers.
Much to our surprise based on the candy’s awful name and odd appearance, Drumstick Squashies are popular for a good reason. These gummy-like rectangles taste really good, have a delightful chew and provide a pleasingly sour finish.
After getting past this candy’s name and appearance, we discovered that we liked both the flavor and the texture. Mindi compared Drumstick Squashies to edible chewing gum while Daryl thought it tasted more like sour gummies.
46. Galaxy Smooth Milk
Year Invented: 1960
Since the Galaxy Smooth Milk bar is the second most popular candy bar in the UK, the question isn’t if Brits love milk chocolate. Instead, the question is whether they prefer Cadbury’s Dairy Milk version or Mars’ Galaxy version.
Both bars are pure milk chocolate without any nuts or other bits added. The only way to find your favorite is to taste both. When you do, don’t be surprised if you think that the Galaxy Smooth Milk bar tastes like a Dove bar. Although the packaging is different, the two Mars milk chocolate products are markedly similar.
Less sweet than a Cadbury Dairy Milk bar, the Galaxy Smooth Milk bar reminded us of a Dove bar. While Mindi’s on team Cadbury, Daryl is batting for the Galaxy team.
47. Galaxy Ripple
Year Invented: 1969
With its rippled milk chocolate center, the Galaxy Ripple bar would be unique if it weren’t for Cadbury’s Twirl bar (see above). There’s no debate that the two chocolate-coated chocolate bar are eerily similar. Both bars are chocolatey. Both bars are flaky. Both bars leave a sweet trail as they melt in the mouth.
Although the Twirl bar is the bigger bar in terms of sales, only you can choose a personal winner. We’d tell you our favorite but, to be honest, we agree to disagree on this matter.
Sweet and flaky, but not overly sweet or flaky, Daryl wouldn’t say no to the Galaxy Ripple bar. As for Mindi, she prefers the Cadbury Twirl bar.
Year Invented: 1936
As if launching the Mars bar (see above) wasn’t enough, Forest Mars, Sr. also gets credit for launching Maltesers just four years later. No mere afterthought, these malt balls currently rank as a top ten candy in the UK.
Marketed as the lighter way to enjoy chocolate, Maltesers are small round chocolate balls filled with a malted milk center. Research reveals that one Malteser has 10 calories. However, it’s practically impossible to eat just one Malteser.
Daryl thought that British Maltesers tasted similar to American Whoppers. Mindi, however, found Maltesers to be less malty than Whoppers. Since she likes malt in both candy and beer, she prefers Whoppers over Maltesers.
Year Invented: 1976
The antithesis of Maltesers (see above) which promise a lighter, dare we say more feminine, chocolate experience, the Yorkie bar puts the pedal to the metal when it comes to masculinity. We kid you not. Some of this candy bar’s past slogans were literally It’s Not for Girls and Not Available in Pink.
Ironically, there’s nothing particularly manly about the Yorkie candy bar. Invented in York (hence the name), the Yorkie is a milk chocolate bar that’s chunky in shape but otherwise unremarkable.
Less sweet than a Cadbury Dairy Milk bar and less smooth than a Galaxy Smooth Milk bar, the Yorkie tasted like a middle-of-the-road milk chocolate bar. We liked it but we wouldn’t choose to buy it again.
Year Introduced: 1951
Britain’s Bounty bar is similar to two American candy bars – Mounds and Almond Joy. All three chocolate bars have a shredded coconut filling.
If you love chocolate and shredded coconut, then you’ll love the British Bounty bar. If not, eat one or more of the other bars above instead.
We dislike the Bounty bar as much as we dislike Mounds and Almond Joy bars. Hey, we hate shredded coconut. Sue us.
Even More British Candy
Check out the following additional British candies if you can handle even more sweet treats:
British Candy FAQs
Cadbury Dairy Milk is England’s most popular candy bar.
Other British words for candy include sweets and lollies.
British lollies are similar to American lollipops.
The following sweets are uniquely popular in the UK: Jelly Babies, Malteseers, Rhubarb & Custard and Wine Gums.
Although it’s a global chocolate world, the following chocolate bars are easier to find in the UK: Curly Wurly, Flake Bar, Galaxy Bar and Lion Bar.
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About the Authors
Daryl & Mindi Hirsch
Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.
Original Publication Date: April 9, 2022
Saturday 18th of March 2023
How can you have a list of British chocolate bars without including the Twix???
Daryl and Mindi Hirsch
Tuesday 21st of March 2023
We just saw that and you're right. We'll look into it.
Wednesday 4th of January 2023
The name drumstick squashies which you found strange, originates from the drumstick lollipops. Made by swizzles and are the same flavours but are hard and then seriously chewy… tooth filling removing powers. The lollipops have been around in the uk for a long long time…mostly appeal to kids
The squashies derived from these