How Fantasy Candy Kingdoms Have Evolved Over 200 Years

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Fantasy fiction has a sweet tooth. It seems that worlds full of magic and mayhem need sugar to keep their denizens powered through endless winters, strange adventures, and harrowing school years. We’ve assembled a brief chronology of sugary tales (eschewing video games for the time being. The Mario games alone could fill a book with candy worlds) containing our favorite (and often very magical) cakes, cookies, and candies—from an edible cottage set deep in the woods, to the enchanted sweets hidden in the robes of our favorite Headmaster…


“Hansel and Gretel” (1812)

Illustration by Arthur Rackham (The Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm, 1909)

Hansel and Gretel live with their parents at the edge of a deep, dark, extremely Germanic forest. Their parents decide it costs too much to feed them, and concoct a plan to take the siblings into the forest and abandon them. But, as ...

The Nutcracker and the Mouse King
Alice in Wonderland fantasy confections drink me eat me Mad Hatter Tea Party
Moomins and the Great Flood
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
where to start with Seanan McGuire's books Beneath the Sugar Sky Wayward Children