Halloween: which chocolate and sweets make the best spooky treats?

25 Oct 2022


Embrace all things spooky yet tasty with scarily delicious Halloween chocolate treats…

Halloween is a time for indulgence. And one of the best things about this playful festivity is the abundance of delicious nibbles. But why are treats such an integral part of Halloween? Let’s explore the origin of Halloween chocolate and candy.

Halloween shaped cookies with icing

Why do we eat sweets on Halloween?

From Halloween chocolate to toffee apples, there are so many tempting treats to enjoy in October. But what’s the reason behind eating sweet treats at Halloween?

One theory is that the tradition originated with the Celts. Around 2,000 years ago, they celebrated Samhain (pronounced “sow-inn”). This festival marked the end of the harvest season. Many believed that, at Samhain, the veil between the living and the dead was at its thinnest. As part of the festivities, people baked special cakes and offered them to their Gods.

Another theory is that Halloween evolved from a Pagan festival called Pomona. This was a celebration of the goddess of fruit and trees. During Pomona, people would exchange fruits and nuts as gifts.

Whatever the origin, exchanging edible goods has become an intrinsic part of Halloween celebrations as we know them today. This is particularly the case when it comes to one of our favourite All Hallows Eve activities: trick or treating.

Trick or treating

This popular Halloween pastime has rather sad beginnings. It’s thought to have originated in medieval England on All Souls Day (the 2nd of November), when poor people would beg for food. Eventually, children took over the custom, and it became a joyful activity. During this time, it was popular for children to sing prayers in exchange for “soul cakes”, which were sugary buns with crosses on the top.

Over time, this tradition transformed into begging for sweets at Halloween and gradually became the fun-filled holiday we know today.

What are traditional Halloween foods?

When it comes to Halloween treats, we’ve come a long way from exchanging fruit and nuts at the end of the harvest season. And Halloween is a great opportunity to get creative with your sweet tooth.

If you’d like to hark back to tradition, however, here are some classic Halloween treats that have stood the test of time.

Candy corn

Originally called “chicken feed,” candy corn was invented in the 1880s by George Renninger for the Wunderlee Candy Company. The now-iconic tri-coloured candy was originally made by hand, with each piece dipped in liquid sugar and then left to dry.

Today, candy corn still uses some of the same manufacturing methods and remains a popular treat around Halloween. So next time you’re munching on a few pieces of candy corn, remember its rich history!

Bowl of candy corn and  a plate of candy corn sugar cookies

Toffee apples

If you’re looking for a delicious Halloween treat with a hint of nutrition, why not try a toffee apple? These decadent delights pair crisp, refreshing apples with a casing of crunchy, sticky toffee.

Toffee apples originated in England and quickly became a popular Halloween treat in the United States in 1908 when William Kolb produced his first batch of candied apples.

While Kolb was experimenting in his sweet shop with red cinnamon for Christmas treat ideas, he dipped some apples into the mixture and put them in the windows for display.

Today, you can find toffee apples at most supermarkets. But, if you’re feeling adventurous, you can try making your own at home. Embellish them with sprinkles, nuts, or even sugary creepy crawlies.

Pumpkin pie

Although it’s more popular in the United States than in the UK, pumpkin pie is a quintessential autumn dish. Brimming with juicy, naturally sweet pumpkin, it’s the perfect way to use up the insides of your ‘Jack O’ Lanterns’.

Pumpkins are native to North America, where this dish originated back in the 18th century. The first mention of the pie dates back to a 1796 cookbook by Amelia Simmons – and today’s recipes aren’t too far from it.

Amelia Simmons’ pumpkin pie involved mixing stewed and strained pumpkin with eggs, sugar, and cream to create a type of custard which was then baked into a pie crust. She also included fragrant spices such as ginger, nutmeg, and allspice – all of which make excellent additions to the pumpkin pies we know and love today. This dessert also pairs beautifully with a scoop of ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream.

If you don’t have time to bake a pie from scratch or simply fancy a cacao-rich alternative, why not try our Pumpkin Pie Selectors or warm up with a mug of our delicious Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate? After all, hot chocolate is the ideal autumnal and winter warmer.

No matter how you enjoy it, pumpkin is a delicious Halloween flavour.

Pumpkin pie with autumn leaf decoration

Chocolate, of course!

It’s no secret that chocolate is one of the most popular Halloween treats. From individually-packaged mini bites in scary shapes to glorious melted chocolate for dipping fruit and marshmallows in, chocolate is a surefire winner at Halloween.

At Hotel Chocolat, our focus on more cacao, less sugar ensures that our Halloween chocolate nibbles are ideal for little ones and grown-ups alike. So if you’d rather stay away from the excessive sweetness of toffee apples and candy corn, chocolate is the perfect alternative.

The beauty of chocolate is that it’s available in a variety of Halloween-themed shapes. From white chocolate ghosts to milk chocolate witches and dark chocolate cats, the options are endless.

Our talented chocolatiers have gone all-out with our Wingston the Bat and Cryptopher the Vampire collections. Each mouthful is packed with nuanced cacao notes and an irresistible texture.

Halloween chocolate gift ideas from Hotel Chocolat

Are you looking for a Halloween gift? Whether it’s a thank you for a party host or a little something for the friend who just adores the holiday, our Halloween gift ideas range from fun and festive to spooky and sinister.

Enjoy our Zombie Eyes, Blood Orange Sorbets, and Haunting Hazelnuts as part of our Choose Your Poison flask. You can even use this reusable beaker for an adult-friendly cocktail. Alternatively, if you’re a seasoned cook, why not repurpose it for your favourite dressing after you’ve finished indulging?

Treat your little mischief makers to a funky chocolate pumpkin — or our Yumpkin, as we call it. Made with our decadent 40% milk chocolate, this cute delight is sure to be a hit with the little ones.

Whatever your terrifying tastes, we have something for every witch and wizard here at Hotel Chocolat.