Review: Zitner’s Butter Krak Eggs

Note: If you came here looking for a recipe, please see the last paragraph for link.

For a couple months a year, it is very, very good to live in the Philadelphia metropolitan area. That is when our local gems, Zitner’s chocolate Easter eggs make their brief appearance. Like many Philadelphians, I grew up first seeing these eggs at the checkout counter of a Wawa convenience store, and I was immediately hooked.

There are a number of flavors available, but my favorite one by a mile is Butter Krak. Now I know what you’re thinking: Huh? How can candy with the words, “Zit, Butt, and Crack” — and misspelled, at that — possibly taste any good? Poor, illiterate Philadelphians with no sense of proper marketing language! You’re just going to have to trust me on this one. They are so good. They taste like Easter. They taste like childhood.

In a world of mass produced candy with infinite shelf lives, the centers of these eggs are still placed on wooden trays by hand in limited batches from the same factory in North Philadelphia since 1922. While some automation has occurred over the last 90 years, the recipe has remained the same. I still prefer the earlier versions of Butter Krak eggs which had little pieces of coconut poking through the chocolate (just like someone’s nana would have made in her own kitchen), but the machines they use for coating now provide a thicker layer of chocolate than when done by hand, and those stray pieces of coconut are now covered. Call me crazy, but that little detail makes a difference to me.

I can’t devour the chocolate Easter eggs like I once did, so I try to limit myself to two or three spread throughout the two month season. I love that they’re so little and 140 calories, so while eating one is very satisfying and always feels a wee bit naughty, it’s not doing too much damage. Assuming you stop at one. Which I highly advise.

I love these eggs because they are special to me, but I do wonder if they will hold the same appeal to food-loving folks who didn’t grow up with them. For this reason, I hesitate to yell, “EVERYONE MUST TRY THESE!” Nostalgia is funny that way, and I’m the first to admit it completely robs me of my objectivity. But just in case any of you non-Philadelphians or transplanted Philadelphians are interested, they can be purchased here or through the Zitner’s website.

EDITED: Feb 2013

The following recipe, while not an exact duplicate of Zitner’s Butter Krak eggs, is still quite good, especially if you use higher end chocolate. Give it a try!

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18 thoughts on “Review: Zitner’s Butter Krak Eggs

  1. Hi there! I came across your blog when searching for information about these Butter Krak eggs I keep seeing everywhere (I live in Delaware). I just had my first bite after purchasing them earlier today. As a foodie who did not grow up in this area, I am clearly not nostalgic for them. But I think they are good, if a bit sweet for my palate (I am usually a French dark chocolate lover). I had tried the marshmallow version before, and I think these Butter Krak ones are a lot better. I had planned to eat a third of one (it’s not dinner time yet) and I finished half (wow, I’m really living it up here!).

    I totally get the nostalgia and food thing. It’s taken me awhile to break the sugar-is-love and freshly-baked cookies are love habit and even now, I fall victim to it. Take my wandering around the Easter sweets section in February as proof. I have never understood the Tastee Cake phenomenon, though. Perhaps I am missing something?

    • Hi Eileen! I’m glad to hear that Butter Krak eggs have your approval — and even if you don’t think they’re the best things ever, at least you’re not thinking I’m on the real crack for liking them. I do agree they are a bit on the too sweet side, but (unlike other smaller sized candies) “only” one is actually satisfying.

      As far as the Philadelphia delicacy that is Tastykakes, that’s a tough one to explain. They are definitely better (fresher tasting, perhaps marginally less processed) than Hostess cakes, but they are still not what an objective person would call a good cupcake. Still, it’s a losing battle to fight a Philadelphian on that subject. I think if you didn’t grow up having them as your special treat, they are just as remarkable as a Twinkie. Again, nostalgia.

      Thanks so much for stopping by! — Dawn

  2. Some work buddies and I were talking about what the heck a butter krak was. I googled it on my iPhone and was drawn in by the description of the candy. After trying one, I have to say, butter krak is my new favorite Easter candy! Growing up, I was always a Cadbury creme egg kid. But after tasting a butter krak egg, I am definitely a convert. Bought another for myself and one for my wife to try….I’m sure she’ll enjoy it too

  3. Butter Krak’s are the best Easter treat ever! I grew up in Philly and now live in the ‘burbs of Bucks County, but still look forward to their short appearance each year. I also miss the porcupine-like appearance of the originals, but they’re still delish! As for Tastycakes, well the product of today isn’t quite the same as what I consumed as a kid. For example, the wax paper packaging on the three cupcakes, (vs. two today), was perfect for rubbing on the table to make sure the icing would adhere to the cupcake and not to the wrapping. Somehow the cake seemed moister and fresher too. My personal fav was the cherry pie. Again, nostalgia plays a role–imagine as a kid being able to have your very own pie, all to yourself. This was still in the days of home-cooked, from scratch food–very little pre-packaged/processed food. So being able to get pie without having to wait for your mother to bake it–WOW! (Plus the cost was like 25 cents back then.) Could be a Philly thing, but my sister who lives in Boston, still stocks up whenever she visits! YUM!

    • Oh, what memories! Tastykake pies were the best. Every now and then my husband will bring them home for the kids, and they are always a hit. You’re right — who wouldn’t love their very own little pie? And I totally forgot about the wax paper used on Tastykakes back in the day. I agree they tasted better years ago.

      I hope both of these Philadelphia institutions survive. The fact that the Zitner’s website hasn’t been up and running for a while http://zitners.com/ doesn’t give me a very positive feeling for the company’s future. My Philadelphia geography is poor, but I am hoping the new investors don’t plan on selling the building if it’s in a revitalized area.

      • Mom Mom-the building is most certainly NOT in a revitalized area. I don’t think it’s worth much at all. I’ve read that the candy is quite costly to make, as it is largely made by hand, and requires lots of marble counters. I think Zitner’s has been sold twice since the family gave it up. I sure hope it can be kept going, too. I am also a proud, lifelong krak addict. If there’s a finer candy anywhere, I sure would like to try it!

      • Thanks for your comments, Jolene. I haven’t checked the website in a while, so I was pleasantly surprised when I looked this morning. It’s 100% improved and looks much less depressing than last year. Here’s hoping for many more seasons of our Krak!

  4. Pingback: Zitners chocolate | Selcycer

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  6. My girlfriend, Annette, introduced me to Zitner’s Butter Krak. We were at $5 dollar movies at the Old Ritz movie theatre on rte 73. It is called Rave now. So every time I go there I want a Butter Krak. I am still a big fan of the chocolate covered coconut and my better half eats two in one sitting. We go to Wegman’s to get them as they have an abundant supply and the best price. At least they did for the last 3 years. I am going for my first supply today. Wegman’s, don’t let me down.

    • Hi Joyce! I hope you find some at Wegmans — usually a safe bet. I haven’t been to Wawa this season (aside from getting gas) and didn’t notice if they are there, but last year I was surprised our Wawa didn’t carry them. Acme (yuck, I know) had boxes of six on sale for $4.99 last week. I have FAR exceeded my seasonal consumption of Butter Kraks, and we’re barely into March. Enjoy!

  7. Hi Mom Mom!
    I am so addicted to the Butter Krak eggs! Personally I don’t understand people that don’t love these delicious nuggets of pure chocolate evil! In general I love chocolate from the average Hershey bar to Ghardelli and Godiva but the Zitner Butter Krak is what I wait for all year long and then its gloves off as I find myself making up excuses to go to 7-11 or anyplace that has my krak! The combination of the dark chocolate and the sweet coconut meld together on the tongue send me into sensory overload! Its just short of an out of body experience!
    Let me apologize because I wanted to make a comment about something else perhaps nostalgic iconic Philly foods or something but Krak got to me . . . uh-oh, Mom Mom I need to go, just remembered there was something I needed to do. 😉

    AKA (Anon Krak Addict

  8. I first found these at Upper Dublin Pharmacy in the 70s and each year, I anxiously await their arrival on the shelves. Wal-Mart had boxes of 8 for $4.25 (reduced to half price yesterday, buried under all the left-over peanut butter ones) but they are smaller than the individually wrapped one available at CVS or Wa-Wa. I have actually come to prefer them frozen, especially when we have a warm Easter. Just freeze, slice (carefully) and let each slice just melt in your mouth. YUM! Re Tastykakes, they are much greasier than they used to be and I do not enjoy them nearly as much. Three packs are still available if you can find individual packs but the boxes packages have them in twos. I miss the less greasy version, wrapped in waxed paper. Two other things I miss (but from the 50-60s) are the big Charms lollipops that were sold at the movies for a nickel, and the wonderful frozen Milkshake candy bars, sold in the frozen version only at the movies. Does anyone remember when 3 Musketeers were actually three flavors – vanilla, chocolate and strawberry?

  9. My mother in law is coming to visit us in Tampa, Florida and we are begging her to bring us Zitner Butter Krak and Peanut butter eggs! Can still remember how good they are!!!

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