The little known history behind an Easter basket mainstay.

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If you've been to the grocery store lately you have probably noticed that the aisles are filling up with Easter treats—neon marshmallow Peeps, milk chocolate bunnies, and, of course, Cadbury Creme Eggs. Those creamy, chocolatey confections, which disappear from store shelves in April only to reappear in January, have become an Easter basket favorite, thanks in part to the popular "clucking bunny" advertisement that has been on the air since 1982. They are so popular, in fact, that some 500 million eggs are made each year, according to food website, Eat This Not That!

So where did the idea for a chocolate egg with a sugary creamy "yolk" come from? It all started back in 1824, when John Cadbury opened his first shop in Birmingham, England, selling tea, coffee, cocoa, and drinking chocolate, made by grinding up cocoa with a mortar and pestle. After purchasing a four-story warehouse in 1831, Cadbury expanded his cocoa product line and launched his manufacturing business.

Of course, Cadbury wasn't the only chocoholic in Birmingham. He had some competition in Joseph Fry, who in 1847 started experimenting with moldable chocolate, according to The Kitchn. When Cadbury got wind of that he started testing his own take on moldable chocolate and came up with the filled chocolate egg. The first Cadbury Easter Egg was hatched in 1875, several years before Cadbury's first milk chocolate bar came into existence in 1897. According to Cadbury's website, the original Easter Eggs were much fancier than what we find in our Easter baskets nowadays with a dark chocolate shell filled with dragees—sugar-coated chocolate drops—without a fake sugar yolk in sight.

Chocolate Eggs
Credit: Getty/Erlon Silva - TRI Digital

By 1919 Cadbury and Fry had merged their companies, and in 1923 they created the very first chocolate eggs filled with cream. However the version of the chocolate cream-filled egg that we all know and love wasn't invented until 1963, when it was sold under the name "Fry's Creme Eggs," which are still made today.

The Cadbury version with its fake yolk was introduced in 1971, made by pouring liquid chocolate into a half-egg shaped mold, filling it with white fondant and a dab of yellow fondant, and topped off with more chocolate. The clucking bunny ad came a few years later, helping Cadbury Creme Eggs hop right into our hearts—and giving them a mandatory spot in our Easter baskets.