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Chocolate Covered Cherries - Queen Anne vs. Brachs vs. Cella's

Chocolate Covered Cherries

I have a few reviews of Christmas candy that I would still like to publish. I'll probably skip a few (as we still seem to have a lot around) but I cannot skip my chocolate covered cherries review. Growing up, chocolate covered cherries were as important to the holidays as buying a tree to decorate. We've never gone a year without them for as long as I can remember. I decided I'd try to find all three major brands of chocolate covered cherries, which should be available everywhere in the U.S.

You can read about the history of chocolate covered cherries in the Making History Monday: Chocolate Covered Cherries article. As you can see in the photos below and above, each brand is packaged just a little bit differently. In the photo below from left to right, we have Queen Anne, Brach's and Cella's. The Cella's brand is definitely the prettiest with a swirl and very uniform looking chocolate outside. The other 2 designs are more freeform and do not look as nice as the Cella's. The Queen Anne brand was definitely the freshest of the group, with cellophane Fresh Seal packaging on top of every tray of chocolate covered cherries. Every package had the exact same number of cherries inside with either 2 trays of 5 or 1 large tray of 10.

Chocolate Covered Cherries

In the photo below you can see the Queen Anne on the left, Brach's in the middle and Cella's on the right. There is a very big difference in filling and taste between each chocolate covered cherry brand. While I always assumed the Queen Anne brand was purchased at our house because it was less expensive, the real reason is that it's the #1 chocolate covered cherry in the U.S. and has the best taste of these three brands.

The Queen Anne brand chocolate covered cherry had a nice crisp milk chocolate outside that melted very well in your mouth. This brand has the best ratio of fondant to liquid of the three brands we tried. Everyone in our taste testing panel (my extended family) thought the Queen Anne had the best ratio inside, best tasting chocolate and best tasting cherries.

The Brach's brand chocolate covered cherries came in 2nd place in our taste test. That is odd because I assumed Brach's were the best tasting (blame it on advertising), but I rated them in 2nd place too. I haven't had a box in a long time because they quit making them for several years. I don't think the Brach's brand cherries had been set aside long enough for the inside to liquify. As you can see in the picture below, the fondant was very very thick and filled the entire chocolate shell. There was little to no liquid inside this chocolate shell. At this point I'm guessing some people are wondering what I mean about "cherries sitting long enough for the inside to liquify", so I'll explain. If you study a chocolate covered cherry you'll note that there isn't a hole or seam on the chocolate where you could shoot the inside into it. To create a chocolate covered cherry you first take a cherry and coat it with an enzyme called invertase. This is usually in the fondant, which when cooled can be molded into any shape. It is this shape that is dipped in chocolate. As the chocolate covered cherries sit for a few weeks the enzyme slowly breaks down the outside of the cherry which creates the liquid inside the chocolate shell. As I don't remember Brach's being this thick and heavy feeling in the past, my only guess is that the enzyme did not have enough time to create a larger amount of liquid inside the chocolate. Everyone also thought the inside of the Brach's brand was very, very sugary sweet. No one hated this brand, but almost everyone thought the Queen Anne's were just better in every aspect.

The 3rd place chocolate covered cherry was one none of us had tried, even though it is the oldest brand in the U.S. As I said before, the Cella's were the prettiest of the group and very uniform in appearance. They had a wonderful crisp chocolate snap that gave way to an entirely liquid inside. No fondant inside at all, this candy is pure liquid. Which also led us all to agree this was the messiest chocolate covered cherry to eat. The cherry and liquid has a very nice flavor but we all missed the fondant.

If there's one thing we all learned in this taste test, it's that trying something new is always good. While I thought we'd bought a holiday favorite because it was cheapest, it turns out it really was the best tasting of the group.

Chocolate Covered Cherries
Queen Anne: Taste: 4/5 Really Liked It
Calorie Counter: 2 pieces per serving = 150 calories, 3.5g fat
Price: $1.50 at Walgreens

Brach's: Taste: 3/5 Liked It
Calorie Counter: 2 pieces per serving = 160 calories, 3.5g fat
Price: $2.50 at local grocery store

Cella's: Taste: 2/5 Did Not Like It
Calorie Counter: 2 pieces per serving = 120 calories, 4.5g fat
Price: $2.50 at Walgreens

Update: It's nice to see I'm not alone in my dislike of the Cella's brand of Chocolate Covered Cherries, The Bewildered Brit came to the same conclusion. Great history about Cella's in his article too.


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Richard @ The Bewildered Brit

I looked at Cella's Cherries at the start of December and I agree with you that they're the worst of the bunch.

If you want more background to the history of Cella's, you can check out my article:


Thank you for the feedback, I posted an update at the bottom of this article with a link to your excellent article. I appreciate your visit to my site and comments!

Barbara Welser

Queen Anne's Chocolate Covered Cherries are indeed the best of the three. My son gives me Cella's for Christmas and I give them away. I would also like to include 'Zachary's' Choc. Covered Cherries in this group. At only $1.00 a box an sold at Dollar Stores they are also very, very good and similar to Queen Anne's. I used to be able to purchase both brands between Christmas and Valentines Day. Now I'm told they are only carried in the stores over Christmas. I would love to know where I can get either Queen Anne's or Zachary's Choc. Covered Cherries now. Thank you, Barbara


I haven't seen the Zachary's brand at our dollar store Barbara, but thank you very much for bringing it to my attention. I will definitely review that brand if I can find them.

I have the best luck finding the Queen Anne brand at Walgreens or CVS, they seem to keep very good stock of holiday candy. I hope that helps and thank you for commenting!


I don't know what you are talking about. Cella's liquid center dark chocolate cherries are the best around. Unfortunately, those little boogers are too high in caloric count and sugar. One of those things alone are 60 calories and who can just eat one? Four is probably the true normal serving size and you are talking 10 percent of your suggested calories for the entire day taken up by those little things.


I'm glad you disagree with me Scott. We can't all like the same things and I hope people only take what my opinion as a starting reference point, but please try all candy so you can reach your own conclusion which could be different from mine. I am in no way the final authority on candy. :P

Thanks for commenting and reading my site!

Kelly Goins

I have to respectfully disagree with this assessment. However, if we all agreed on everything, it would be a boring world indeed!

I do not like the Queen Anne CCC's (chocolate covered cherries). I admit that I have never tasted the Brach's, but from the picture posted above, I'm pretty sure that I would still prefer my favorite: Cella's.

First, I am not fond of the creamy, frosting-like center found in Queen Anne's and what appears to be in Brach's. To me, the center of Queen Anne's is gritty and takes away from the cordials' overall taste. I prefer a liquid confection center, which is my favorite part. Cella's boasts a 100% liquid center.

To avoid the mess in eating a Cella's CCC, I take a bite from the top of the cordial and suck the liquid out or pour it directly into my mouth. Then, I bite into the side of the cordial, savoring the rich, creamy and smooth milk chocolate. (I find Queen Anne's chocolate to be a bit grainy). My last bite is by far the best. I eat the remaining chocolate with the cherry. That last bite always contains enough liquid so that I get a nice combination of all three ingredients that make Cella's my absolute favorite cordials in the world.

Kelly Goins

Oh yes! For the record, I believe that yesterday was National Chocolate Covered Cherry Day!

Happy Belated CCC Day, everyone!


I am glad to see this was created this year. I have been looking all over for Brach's! I prefer those and Queen Anne second. I have never liked the Cella's. Mostly because of the fondant ;) and I just never really liked the taste. I can't remember since it's been such a long time since I've had any but, either Queen Anne or Cella's cherries tasted weird and were "pit-ty". I grew up eating the Brach's so, I guess that's why I prefer them over Queen Anne but, if I can't find the Brach's anywhere then I will surrender to the Queen.
Thanks for this great review!


I disagree with your review. Cella's are the best bar none. Queene Ann and Brach's are not good. Cheap, grainy and no flavor. Cella's is HEAVEN!

Of these 3, I have only tried the Queen Anne and the Cella's. Personally, I favor the Cella's and think the Queen Anne are absolutely disgusting. I have always absolutely HATED that fondant filling (so I probably won't ever try Brach's), and love the fact that Cella's are all liquid. :) Plus, 90% of the time when I bought the Queen Anne, the sugar inside had crystallized into a gritty texture that was awful to eat.
Once our family discovered the Cella's, we switched immediately and have never looked back. Plus, it's nice when they have the large boxes of individually wrapped ones around during the holidays, as it makes them easier to put out in a bowl for snacking.
I don't find them messy to eat at all, but that's because I too eat the tops off first, then suck out the cherry and syrup.

Princess Robin

I'm sorry, but I have to totally disagree with you and your family. Cellas are not only the prettiest, they are definitely number one with many people like myself, who don't like that thick white stuff that us way, way, way too sweet! Yuck. And everywhere I have lived, it never fails, the holidays come around and the stores can't keep cellas on the shelves. They always have to keep reordering them. Not so with Queen Ann. There is always an abundance of those left over, so I don't think I'm alone in my feelings. That white filling is just too much. You have to at least consider the fact that as your panel was made up of family who grew up eating queen ann, that if would obviously be what you were used to and thus your favorite. Thanks, Princess Robin


I have to definitely disagree. I find the fondant filling that is in most chocolate covered cherries to be, frankly, disgusting. I prefer the all-liquid center that is found only in the Cella's. My wife fortunately agrees, and she is a far bigger fan of chocolate cherries than I am. Personally I'd like them better if they were less sweet with a 80% or more dark chocolate shell. When I lived in Tucson the only place with Cella's was Walgreen's during either the Christmas or Valentines seasons. Here near Seattle Safeway seems to have them all the time, so I get to treat my wife to her favorites often.

golden boy

this is so yummy...

Laura Caldwell

Well, I just had the first opportunity to taste the Brach's Chocolate Covered Cherries since they took them away...and to me, they tasted quite different. The chocolate melted much more easily with the old recipe...and there was a new, and very different 'flavor' (I want to use quotations, because it seemed more like a processing byproduct than a flavor per se) I am quite disappointed.

Craig Morrison

I will stick with my Brachs

Anna Vasica-Rabold

I agree with the others who have disagreed with your assessment that Cella's the worst. I find them absolutely DELICIOUS!! I don't find them mess because I bite the bottom and suck out all the fabulous tasting liquid and then eat the cherry then finish the rest of the chocolate shell. The only other one that comes close is Godiva because they don't have all that disgusting creamy stuff in the center. Everytime my husband gives me Queen Anne's chocolate cover cherries, I get annoyed and give away the box. Ick! You would think after being married for almost 19 years and repeated comments on how I can't stand any other chocolate covered cherries other than Cella's would be enough of a hint.

Kaylea Beth Brown-Beougher

Well I am of the opinion that your panel is biased. You can't possibly have a family who favors a certain brand, try other brands objectively. What you love about Queen Anne's is the cream. Obviously your not going to favor Cellas. What MAKES Cellas, Cellas, is the 100 % liquid center. I recommend you go the nearest college and ask 100 students to try and choose their favorite... No pushing your favorite, and see which brand comes out on top. You had what seems like five people in your family have some cccs and choose. A random poll of these comments would already beat out Queen Anne's. Do a proper poll and repost your review. BTW my choice would be..... Cellas!!!!

Brian Furches

I agree with the last 2 post. Cellas is much better than the others. I can't stand that nasty powdered sugar and water paste. It is NOT fondant at all and has no flavor other than sugar unlike Cellas which has a cherry flavor. This year I tried a Queen Anne French Vanilla ccc my dad bought, and noticed the chocolate shell on Queen Anne has gotten very thin but it was MUCH better than the regular, it actually had flavor. I eat ccc as much for the chocolate as I do the cherry but Queen anne is as thin as paper. Not worth it. I want more chocolate with my cherry.

Christine Musich

I'm going to add my experience. When I was in school (MANY years ago...) part of our Home Ec classes included how to add finer things to your home. We learned about chocolate making and how to make different kinds of fine chocolates, including CCC's. We drained the cherries, made the fondant, melted the right combo of chocolates, wrapped the cherries, painted the chocolate molds with a couple layers, put the wrapped cherries in the molds, covered with more chocolate, and let them sit overnight. We unmolded the next morning and we each got to package up our own. We were allowed to taste a raw one, then the hard part.....letting our teacher put our boxes of CCC's away until the filling had COMPLETELY dissolved...she was insistent in teaching us that the mark of a quality CCC is in how dissolved the filling was.

Long story to explain that even though we purchase QA bc they are cheaper ($1 @ wm) when my husband or I buy them for a special occasion, we get Cellos, Godiva, or Russell Stover. Maybe I'll just go back to making my own...they really aren't hard to make--I just hope I have the patience my teacher did when she put our precious Cordial Cherries in the top cupboard where we gazed every day for a couple weeks as if there was a stash of Christmas presents hiding behind those wooden doors!

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