23 Kit Kat Flavors, Ranked

Kit Kats have been around for a long time — they were first marketed by the British candy company Rowntree's in 1935, per Penn State University. They're now a popular global brand, but they're not the same everywhere. In the United States, the candy is made by the Hershey Company, but it's a Nestlé product in other countries.

Japan in particular is known for its special Kit Kats, and a much greater variety of flavors is produced for that market than for U.S. consumers. However, Americans aren't just limited to original milk, white, and dark chocolate anymore. We're starting to get a wide variety of flavors, some just as interesting as those coming out of Japan. For this taste test, we sampled a plethora of both American and Japanese Kit Kats in order to find the very best one. Which Kit Kat will rule them all? You'll have to keep reading to find out.

23. Duos Strawberry and Dark Chocolate

The top of this chocolate bar is made from some kind of pink strawberry-flavored fondant (or in Hershey's terminology, creme). It has the texture of white chocolate but doesn't seem to be made with cocoa butter. The bottom is dark chocolate.

When you open the wrapper, you get walloped with a super strong fake strawberry scent, almost like a scratch-and-sniff sticker. The strawberry flavor is, mercifully, less strong than the scent, but it's still pretty powerful. It tastes like strawberry hard handy, which is pretty weird in the context of a Kit Kat. The strawberry portion of the bar also has an unfortunate waxy texture that's shared by all the non-chocolate American Kit Kats. The dark chocolate does help cut the fakeness of it all, but we're still never going to buy Duos Strawberry and Dark Chocolate ever again.

22. Raspberry Creme Miniatures

This flavor is a Valentine's Day special, so you might not be able to find it in stores year-round. If it's not available, don't sweat it: it's not very good. Although the picture on the bag makes it look like there's some kind of raspberry jam between the layers, we didn't really see any.

As far as we could tell, most of the fake raspberry flavor comes from the pink fondant on the outside of each mini bar. That fondant has a strange plasticky quality to it and doesn't melt satisfyingly on the tongue. The raspberry flavor is ostentatiously fake and quite strong. There's nothing else to balance out the artificial fruit taste, either. Still, we found the Raspberry Creme Miniatures less disturbing than the Strawberry Duos.

21. Birthday Cake

Here's another Kit Kat that's not actually coated with chocolate. We're not sure why everyone seems so obsessed with birthday cake/Funfetti-flavored stuff, as it mostly just tastes like sugar to us. Even by those low standards, Birthday Cake Kit Kats are underwhelming.

The waxy fondant is too sugary and tastes like a blend of artificial flavors. The most prominent note is fake vanilla, but some bites also reminded us of Froot Loops and tropical-scented lotion. At least it lacks the assertive imitation fruit flavors of the previous two entries. The fondant is also filled with multicolored sprinkles that add little pops of crispy texture, which is fun. If you are obsessed with birthday cake-flavored foods, you might want to try this, but most people are safe to skip this Kit Kat flavor.

20. White Creme

We are firmly in the camp that insists that white chocolate is overrated, but even worse is "white creme," which is just the same palm oil-based fondant we've been complaining about in several entries on this list. It has a strong milky smell with a hint of tang that's reminiscent of cheese.

You don't get that tangy note in the flavor of this Kit Kat, but we kind of wish it was there, as it would add some much-needed complexity to the proceedings. The White Kit Kat just tastes like milk and vanilla, with very little else going on. It's also a little too sweet. However, this flavor does earn a few points because it doesn't taste incredibly fake. It mostly tastes like low-quality white chocolate, which is what we thought it was before we read the label closely.

19. Matcha

This is our least favorite Japanese Kit Kat, but it's not all bad. For one, the green matcha-flavored coating has a much better texture than any of the non-chocolate American Kit Kats. This is true for all of the fondant-coated Japanese Kit Kats: their fondant recipe is soft and actually melts in your mouth like chocolate. This bar is also not overly sweet, which is nice.

While we appreciate matcha's taste, here it was a bit overwhelming and too intense. The Matcha Kit Kat really tastes like matcha, with all of the savory, smoky notes you would expect. While the flavor fidelity is impressive, for us, it was too much matcha to be pleasant in dessert form. This seems like a love-it-or-hate-it Kit Kat — if you're super into matcha, you might react to it much differently than we did.

18. Sacher Torte

Lots of Japanese Kit Kats are supposed to taste like fancy desserts. You know this one is extra fancy because you only get a single miniature Kit Kat segment in the package. We had to look up what a Sacher Torte was — apparently it's an Austrian dessert with an illustrious history that consists of a dark chocolate cake glazed with apricot and dark chocolate frosting.

On our first bite, the Sacher Torte Kit Kat was as complex and European as its inspiration would suggest. We got rich dark chocolate along with a fruity note that almost tasted like a liqueur. Unfortunately, this candy wore out its welcome on our palates. It had a long, sour aftertaste that partially ruined its initial positive impression. Still, the fancy wrapper and the apricot flavor gave this candy a sophisticated allure that wasn't completely destroyed by the acidic aftertaste.

17. Dark Chocolate

Moving back to America, we have the stateside version of a Dark Chocolate Kit Kat. We love Hershey's milk chocolate, but the company's dark chocolate isn't super tasty. We do enjoy that this bar has more bitterness and tang than a standard Kit Kat, but the tradeoff is that the texture is much less luscious. Hershey's dark chocolate is extra firm, though at least it does melt, unlike the fondant.

The dark chocolate in this bar also lacks depth of flavor. You get some bitterness, but it's not backed up by the rich creaminess you'd taste in higher-quality dark chocolate. It tastes strongly of cocoa powder and little else. As we'll see later on this list, Japan does dark Kit Kats much better than the U.S. does.

16. Café Au Lait

Not to spoil the end of this list, but this coffee-flavored Kit Kat was one of the rare times when we thought the American version of a similar concept was executed better. The Japanese Café Au Lait Kit Kat is coated with milky-tasting white chocolate or fondant. It has a nice texture and flavor, but it's very sweet.

The coffee flavoring in this bar seems to come from the wafers. It tastes like real coffee, but it's not bitter enough to counteract the sweetness of the candy coating. We think this Kit Kat would have a better balance of flavor if it was coated with milk or even dark chocolate, as that would add some more bitterness. It doesn't taste bad, but we're glad it's a miniature — a full-sized version would be way too much sugar.

15. Chocolate Orange

We have to say, the flavor scientists behind Nestlé's Japanese Kit Kats are very impressive. We're not sure how they were able to make chocolate-coated wafers taste so strongly of candied orange peel, but they figured out a way. Hershey has a long way to go with its fake fruit flavors if it wants to get on Japan's level. Chocolate Orange Kit Kats taste exactly like chocolate-covered orange peels but have the delightfully light, crispy texture of Kit Kats. It's a mind-bending eating experience.

Like the Matcha Kit Kat, this seems like it could be a divisive flavor. We happen to enjoy orange and chocolate together, but if you don't, this candy bar is your worst nightmare. For orange chocolate lovers, however, it's perfect: the chocolate and citrus are beautifully blended.

14. Cheesecake

The lovely classic cheesecake slice with a toasted top pictured on the label gave us high expectations for this candy. Sadly, the Cheesecake Kit Kat didn't quite deliver on the flavor it promised. We got some cream cheese tang from the aroma when we opened the wrapper, but that smell didn't translate to the taste at all, even though there was supposed to be cheese powder and salt inside.

Mostly, this just tasted like a white chocolate Kit Kat, with the vanilla and milk notes you'd expect from that flavor profile. We were hoping we'd get some brûléed taste based on the label illustration, but we didn't pick up any roasty notes. This flavor feels like a missed opportunity. It's not bad by any means — the coating seems like it's made with high-quality white chocolate — it's just a little bit boring.

13. Cacao 72%

This flavor is made with darker chocolate than the regular Japanese Dark Chocolate Kit Kats. The higher cacao percentage makes the chocolate quite bitter and firm. It's fairly similar to an American Dark Chocolate Kit Kat in flavor, though somewhat more complex.

The Cacao 72% Kit Kat has an extra trick up its sleeve that puts it above an American dark bar — the coating is embedded with little pieces of cacao nibs. These crushed cocoa beans, which are often used to garnish chocolate desserts, have a pleasantly deep bittersweet and toasty flavor. They elevate this Kit Kat and make it feel a bit like eating a dessert from a fine dining restaurant. They also add a fun crunchy texture to the exterior of the bar.

12. Sweetness For Adults

The multipack of Japanese Kit Kats we ordered online came with a little cheat sheet for non-Japanese speakers to identify each flavor of Kit Kat. Unfortunately, the cheat sheet didn't completely match all the flavors we received, and this candy bar wasn't labeled. Based on the packaging design and flavor, we think it's the saucily-named Sweetness For Adults.

There's nothing particularly adult about this Kit Kat, but it is tasty. It's basically a cookies-and-creme variation, with a white chocolate coating that's studded with crushed-up chocolate biscuits. It's quite sweet, but also complex. The white chocolate has an almost caramelized, toasty flavor in addition to tasting like milk and vanilla. The little cookie bits don't have much chocolate taste but they do add textural interest to each bite.

11. Whole Wheat

This is another mystery flavor that wasn't listed on our cheat sheet. Even though the packaging doesn't look exactly like it does online, our best guess based on how it tastes is that it's the Whole Wheat flavor, but if you can read Japanese and we're wrong, please reach out.

This is basically a white chocolate Kit Kat with wafers that taste like graham crackers. It's quite good. As with the Sweetness For Adults flavor, the white chocolate tastes caramelized, almost like dulce de leche. The graham crackers add a toasted wheat note that blends very well with the white chocolate. The Whole Wheat Kit Kat has a buttery quality to it as well. It earns its place over the previous entry on this list because the graham flavor cuts the sweetness of the white chocolate a bit more, giving this Kit Kat a more refined flavor.

10. Strawberry Gateau Chocolate

Here goes Nestlé again with the fancy European names for Japanese Kit Kat flavors. We were afraid that the Strawberry Gateau Chocolate would have a weird taste. After all, we hated the American strawberry Kit Kat, and the Sacher Torte, which is like an apricot version of the Strawberry Gateau, was disappointing too. However, we learned to never judge a book by its cover — this is a yummy Kit Kat.

It smells like fake strawberries but tastes much more like the actual fruit. In fact, this Kit Kat is a dead-ringer taste-wise for the dense chocolate cake garnished with strawberries that are pictured on its wrapper. Unlike the Duos Strawberry + Dark Chocolate, this has a high-quality milk chocolate coating that tastes delicious and melts the second it meets the heat of your tongue.

9. Caramel

Chocolate and caramel is a no-brainer combination, and it works predictably well in Kit Kat form. It's strange that there's no American version of a Caramel Kit Kat, but at least it's fairly easy to order the Japanese version online.

This has a standard milk chocolate coating, with the caramel inserted between the wafers. The combination of smooth chocolate with assertive caramel made us think of Rolos or Caramellos, but with the added dimension of that perfect Kit Kat wafer crunch. We also thought we could pick up a hint of coconut oil flavor in the caramel. If we have one criticism, it's that the caramel tastes kind of cheap. It doesn't have the complexity of a fancier caramel. Still, it's hard to go wrong with this flavor.

8. Milk Tea

As far as we could tell, the Milk Tea Kit Kat was coated in the same milky white chocolate as the Café Au Lait. This Kit Kat ended up tasting way better, however, because the flavor of the interior counteracted the sweetness of the candy much more effectively.

The filling of this Kit Kat had a strong black tea taste with floral elements that were reminiscent of Earl Grey. The bitterness of the tea was a perfect pairing with the sweet milky candy on the outside of the bar. The overall experience was quite complex, and we noticed new nuances every time we took a bite. The savory qualities of the tea didn't dominate the dessert elements like in the Matcha Kit Kat. It effectively reproduced the experience of drinking real milk tea.

7. Duos Mocha and Chocolate

Finally, we're back to an American Kit Kat. Duos Mocha + Chocolate Kit Kats are coated with mocha creme on top and milk chocolate on the bottom. If you've ever been to a gas station and gotten one of the fake powder-based "cappuccinos" that comes from a self-serve machine, that's what they smell like.

We were happy to see the milk chocolate in these, as that's what Hershey does best. The creme layer was much better than the creme in many other varieties of Kit Kat because it actually tasted like real coffee. Even better, there seemed to be ground-up coffee beans mixed into the creme, which added both flavor and a crispy texture. This Kit Kat variety is also a little creamy inside, which contributes to the textural interest. This is a much better coffee Kit Kat than the Café Au Lait.

6. Thins Chocolate and Hazelnut

The Thins line is Kit Kat's attempt to make a snackable version of its product that won't weigh you down. Each Kit Kat Thin has a shorter stack of wafers in the middle, which makes it smaller and changes the chocolate-to-wafer ratio in favor of chocolate. The serving size is five Thins, which is pretty fun.

It would take real incompetence to screw up the hazelnut and chocolate flavor combination, and Hershey is not incompetent. This is a really tasty piece of candy. It smells like Nutella and has a strong hazelnut flavor. The inside is a little bit soft, which suggests to us that it's filled with some kind of hazelnut creme. The hazelnut taste works great with the wafers too. Overall, the experience is like eating a slightly less delicious Ferrero Rocher (less delicious because the chocolate isn't quite as good).

5. Japanese Dark Chocolate

We thought about lumping the Japanese Dark Chocolate Kit Kat in with its American cousin, but it's so different from (and superior to) the U.S. version that it needed its own spot on the list. Finally, we found some dark chocolate that delivered more than one-note cocoa powder bitterness. This chocolate is a little bitter, but it also has a richness to it that the other dark Kit Kats lacked. It's also softer and has an overall better texture.

We're not sure if we're imagining this, but we could swear that the wafers inside this bar were baked a little darker than the wafers in a normal Kit Kat. They almost tasted toasted. This roasty wafer flavor worked well together with the dark chocolate, creating a harmonious eating experience.

4. Duos Mint and Dark Chocolate

If you're a big fan of Thin Mints and wish you could get them all year, we have good news for you: Kit Kat Duos Mint and Dark Chocolate tastes remarkably similar to everyone's favorite Girl Scout Cookie. They smell like York Peppermint Patties, which made us worry the mint would taste too much like toothpaste, but it was actually the perfect amount of mint flavor.

We've made our feelings about Hershey's dark chocolate clear by this point, but in this product, it really works. The bitterness pairs beautifully with the sweet coolness of the mint creme (and the dark chocolate adds to the overall Thin Mints vibe). We bet these would be really good frozen too. Just pray they don't get discontinued so you can get your fill of mint-chocolate cookies whenever you want.

3. Japanese Mint

What mint-flavored Kit Kat could be better than the previous entry on this list? Why, the Japanese Mint Kit Kat, of course. It tastes very similar to the Duos version but does a couple of things just a bit better. For one, instead of having a layer of mint creme on top, the wafers are entirely enrobed in delicious milk chocolate. The mint flavor is actually in the wafers, which are also dyed green. The chocolate coating has a much nicer texture than the creme and dark chocolate in Hershey's mint product.

The overall mint flavor is dialed down a bit in this candy bar, which suits our preferences better, but some people might like a stronger mint flavor. The higher-quality chocolate and fun green wafers are the things that place this Kit Kat higher than its American equivalent.

2. Pistachio

Pistachio Kit Kats are amazing. They taste like the Chocolate Hazelnut Thins, but ever so slightly better. You still have the same Nutella vibe (in fact, if we were tasting these blind, we might guess they wer Nutella-flavored). However, the pistachios bring a mildly bitter edge and taste just a little more complex than hazelnuts do.

We also think the chocolate in this Kit Kat tastes nicer than the chocolate in the Kit Kat Thins. This gets extra points overall for being a full-sized mini Kit Kat rather than a Thin because you get more wafers and creamy pistachio filling. Pistachios don't get used in desserts all that much in the U.S., but it's time to change that. The combo of pistachios and chocolate is too good to ignore.

1. Classic

What else could we place in the number one spot other than the treat that started it all? Sure, the new flavors are cool, and many of them are delicious, but none have topped the simple decadence of creamy milk chocolate and crisp wafers.

We tasted both the American and Japanese versions of the classic Kit Kat and found them hard to distinguish from one another. Both have impossibly silky, milky chocolate. Both have super-light wafers that are just the right amount of toasty. And both are perfectly balanced between chocolate and filling. There's a reason this simple candy formula has stood the test of time: it works. Whether you're eating a Hershey's Kit Kat in America or a Nestlé Kit Kat in the rest of the world, you can't go wrong with the original recipe.