REVIEW: Post Hostess Honey Bun Cereal

Post Hostess Honey Bun Cereal

We seem to be in the midst of a cerealssance.

Not only are the permanent fixtures beefing up their flavor varieties, but brands not usually known for cereal keep sneaking their way into the aisle. Hell, at this rate of expansion, they may LITERALLY beef up the aisle with a McDonald’s hamburger flavored cereal soon.

You cringe, but you’d probably be morbidly curious enough to try a box. Don’t lie.

Anyway, the point is, new cereals be droppin’.

After its recent venture into the frozen section, Hostess has partnered with Post to transform two of its most iconic snack cakes into a different form of breakfast treat – Powdered Donettes and Honey Bun Cereal.

In an effort to stick to my “chill on the sweets” New Year’s resolution, I decided only to buy the flavor I’d prefer in snack cake form – Honey Bun.

Right from the jump, a pleasant and familiar scent hit me that I didn’t necessarily associate with Honey Buns, despite really trying. I did however immediately think of ripping the seal off a carton of fresh vanilla icing, so I wasn’t too disappointed.

Post Hostess Honey Bun Cereal Holes

The cereal pieces have an interesting shape completely authentic to the look of Honey Buns, except they’re holier. I’m not just referring to the holes, I also mean “holier” in the religious sense, because HOLY CRAP, this cereal is good!

I imagine some people might say it tastes a bit like sugar cookies, but I’m gonna throw a flavor combination at you because it’s all I could think about while eating these – General Mills Oh’s meets Waffle Crisp. (French Toast Crunch also works.)

Post Hostess Honey Bun Cereal in a Bowl

Oh’s are one of my favorite cereals of all time, but I always kinda hated the rough texture. Waffle Crisp was a cereal that laid dormant in my memory until now, because a nostalgia flavor wave, or “flave™” if you will, hit me as soon as I ate a spoonful of Honey Bun cereal. While there isn’t maple, something about the level of sweetness and the texture instantly brought Waffle Crisp right back into my brain.

Post Hostess Honey Bun Cereal Close Up in Milk

The odd shape of this cereal lends itself to an excellent textural experience. They aren’t teeth-shatteringly crispy while dry, but also don’t sog into mush as they settle in the milk.

Now with all this said, I do still think the flavor is true to the iced goodness of Honey Bun snack cakes, which just makes it all the better.

In case you are wondering, the cereal leaves behind a “Honey Nut Cheerio-esque” milk, which is a perfect capper to the experience.

In the end, Honey Bun cereal might be a little too sweet, but that’s me nitpicking and trying to find a negative.

I wasn’t excited about the prospect of a powdered donut cereal, but you better believe I’ll be snatching Donettes up soon. I cannot wait until every last Hostess snack cake becomes a cereal. At this point, that seems inevitable. Don’t miss out on these.

Purchased Price: $3.69
Size: 11.5 oz. box
Purchased at: ShopRite
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (3/4 cup) 110 calories, 2 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 115 milligrams of sodium, 24 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 14 grams of sugar, and less than 1 gram of protein.

QUICK REVIEW: Hostess Peanut Butter Totally Nutty! Bars

Hostess Peanut Butter Totally Nutty Bars

What are Hostess Peanut Butter Totally Nutty! Bars?

Having grown up in a family that always had Little Debbie treats scattered around the house, these new confections seem to be Hostess’ take on its rival’s iconic Nutty Buddy Bars. They feature layers of peanut butter filling sandwiched between fudge-coated wafers.

How are they?

Hostess Peanut Butter Totally Nutty Bars 2

Hostess was right to call these treats Totally Nutty because they were all about the peanut butter. It was the most prominent flavor I noticed when I initially tasted one of the bars, and it was also the aspect that made me want to reach for another pack after polishing my first one off.

With all the nutty goodness going on, I forgot each bar has a fudge coating. Well, at least until it started to melt on my fingers. It’s easy to forget about because it’s bland compared to the rest of the bar.

Hostess Peanut Butter Totally Nutty Bars 3

If I had to describe the specific flavor of the peanut butter filling, I would say it’s quite close to what’s in Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Creamy, sweet, and salty enough to make them hard to put down, it was the perfect companion for the light and airy texture of each wafer layer.

Is there anything else you need to know?

Unlike Nutty Buddy bars, which come in twin packs, these are individually wrapped. So don’t plan on being able to split a sleeve between you and a friend all that easily.

Conclusion:

Despite the fudge coating’s shortcomings, I still found these quite enjoyable. They may not carry the Reese’s name, but peanut-butter-lovers everywhere should definitely make a spot for these in their snack cabinet.

Purchased Price: $2.99
Size: 12 oz. box (8 bars)
Purchased at: Kroger
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 bar) 230 calories, 140 calories from fat, 16 grams of fat, 9 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 105 milligrams of sodium, 23 grams of total carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 16 grams of total sugars, and 2 grams of protein.

QUICK REVIEW: Hostess Bakery Petites Salted Caramel and Strawberries & Creme Cake Delights

Hostess Bakery Petites Salted Caramel Cake Delights

What are they?

Two new flavors to the Hostess Bakery Petites Cake Delights line, joining Vanilla White Fudge and Double Chocolate, which you can read about here. They’re basically eco-friendly cake pops because they aren’t on top of a stick that gets thrown away. Although, now that I think about it, they come in a non-recyclable, resealable bag, so, I guess, they’re not eco-friendly cake pops.

How are they?

Hostess Bakery Petites Salted Caramel Cake Delights 2

The Salted Caramel one is great if you love chocolate, but not great if you love salted caramel. The chocolate cake and coating dominated every bite. There are brief moments of caramel from the creme filling, but there’s too little of the filling to make it stand out.

As you can see, there are cloudy granules on every piece, which makes you think these might be salty. But no fears, my hypertension-prone friends, they may crunch like salt, but they don’t taste like it. If there’s any saltiness, my taste buds couldn’t detect it.

Hostess Bakery Petites Strawberries  Creme Cake Delights

The Strawberries & Creme also had opaque granules in the coating. But some pieces had a lot of them, and others hardly had any. They’re there just for show and crunch because I didn’t notice a difference in flavor between those that had an abundance of them and those that didn’t.

Hostess Bakery Petites Strawberries  Creme Cake Delights 2

Two foods that came to mind as I was eating these mini cake bites were Red Vines and overripe strawberries, but mostly the candy. The strawberry comes from the cake which is made using fruit puree. They have a natural flavor, meaning they don’t taste like Strawberry Nesquik or cheap strawberry candies, but they smell artificial.

Is there anything else I need to know?

The coating might’ve melted a little in the bag after being shipped to stores, which could cause the cake bites to fuse together.

Conclusion:

These two Hostess Bakery Petites Cake Delights varieties are fine, but they don’t make me want to repurchase them so that I can plate them at my next tea party. If you like chocolate, get the Salted Caramel one, but you also get the Double Chocolate one. As for the Strawberries & Creme, I enjoyed it a little less than the other new variety, but it’s still good. Also, I feel some folks will find its flavor to be odd.

Purchased Price: $3.68 each
Size: 7.9 oz. bags
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 6 out of 10 (Salted Caramel)
Rating: 6 out of 10 (Strawberries & Creme)
Nutrition Facts: (3 mini cakes) Salted Caramel – 230 calories, 100 calories from fat, 12 grams of fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 350 milligrams of sodium, 30 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 22 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein. Strawberries & Creme – 250 calories, 110 calories from fat, 12 grams of fat, 9 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 10 milligrams of cholesterol, 150 milligrams of sodium, 34 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 26 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Hostess Cookies ‘n Creme Brownies

Hostess Cookies  n Creme Brownies

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’ve always been one of those people that get paralyzed by the abundance of choice I have when it comes to food.

Do I want peanut butter or almond butter on my sandwich? Cinnamon chewing gum or spearmint to keep in my purse? As for coffee, don’t even get me started on Starbucks since I can easily spend half an hour trying to decide what I want.

With Hostess and its new Cookies ‘n Crème Brownies, though, at least I won’t have to agonizingly choose between cookies or brownies for dessert anymore!

Hostess Cookies  n Creme Brownies 2

Out of the box, each one of these cute little pucks come individually wrapped in Hostess-branded cellophane, which I suppose is to keep them fresh while also making them easy to eat on the go. Also, as an unintentional bonus, they help to prevent people from confusing them for especially lonely Little Debbie Zebra Cakes, which is appreciated since they look nearly identical from the outside.

Picking one of them up, I was surprised to find they’re oddly light for brownies. I associate brownies with being dense, fudgy, chewy squares of bliss, so I had a hard time believing these were going to be anything like that.

My trepidation about the texture wasn’t unfounded, either, because the brownies were as airy as I had expected them to be. They were so cakey that I don’t even think that they’re in the same galaxy as Cosmic Brownies. Compared to the decadent delights brought forth by Little Debbie, these are more like a flat, chocolate snack cake coated with Cookies ‘n Crème-styled icing.

After I stopped thinking about them as brownies and start thinking about them as any other snack cake, they get a lot more enjoyable. They smell like a combination of milk chocolate and sweet cream, and that’s the primary flavor that comes across when I chomp down on one of them. The white outer coating supplied the “cream” aspect, while the baked interior reminded me of cookies.

Hostess Cookies  n Creme Brownies 3

Expanding on the cookie aspect, Hostess didn’t nail the whole Oreo-esque flavor profile that well here. Instead, I felt the light cocoa and spongier texture used in the cake were more reminiscent of the cookies used to construct Whoopie Pies. While that’s not necessarily a bad thing, I still think that Hostess should have used a crème filling studded with cookie crumbs or something to bring the Cookies ‘N Crème theme around full-circle.

Even though I would consider two or three of these a worthy choice for a midnight snack, I still think Hostess should take some baking lessons from Little Debbie, because her brownies are out-of-this-world delicious by comparison.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 Brownie – 180 calories, 80 calories from fat, 8 grams of total fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 80 milligrams of sodium, 24 grams of total carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 17 grams of total sugars, and 2 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $2.97
Size: 6-pack
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Not having to decide between cookies and brownies. Branded wrapper keeps you from confusing them for a different snack. Pretty tasty when you think of them as snack cakes. Acceptable choice for late night noshing.
Cons: Not nearly fudgy enough to be called a brownie. Doesn’t remind me of Oreos. Needs a crème filling or some cookie crumbs or something. Makes me wish that Little Debbie could teach Hostess how to make better brownies.

REVIEW: Hostess Peanut Butter Ding Dongs

Hostess Peanut Butter Ding Dongs

Sometimes, life presents small, yet pressing emergencies that must be addressed at once: the printer is out of ink, your car engine’s sputtering fumes, your roommate ate all the popsicles on the first 80-degree day of spring (always share the popsicles!).

These are the everyday, yet highly significant crises, the things that cannot wait for some imagined perfect time on your agenda. And today? That crisis is the craving for peanut butter and chocolate. To ignore this need would be reprehensible, so let us not dilly-dally. Onward! To the snack cake!

Hostess Peanut Butter Ding Dongs 2

I have tried all the snack cakes – the rolls, the crispies, the fluffies, the strange holiday shapies — and, I dare say, this iteration is quite pleasant. While not nouveau or flashy by any means, this humble pastry circle does good on its promise to highlight the cake’s prima donna: chocolate and peanut butter.

Biting in, there’s an ample floof of creamy peanut butter filling much akin to peanut butter-fied frosting from the tub. Surrounding it is a milk chocolate-y coating that’s been drizzled together with peanut butter confection, which has enough nutty, cocoa-y chime to remind me why I shovel Reese’s into my mouth like a Hungry Hippo.

The chocolate portion of the coating is a tad thin, yet quite tasty. Sure, it’s not Ghirardelli by any stretch of the imagination, but it brings flavors of fudge, milk chocolate, chocolate frosting to the fore and, like all the Hostess goods of my youth, combines into an experience that is deliciously familiar and so crammed with sugar, I probably have enough energy to perform Riverdance blindfolded right now.

Now, the cake is another story. Maybe I got a crummy batch, but when it comes to being light and fluffy, this pastry has hitched a one-way ticket on the struggle bus. It’s dense, flavorless, and nothing more than ho-hum. That said, I didn’t expect some extravagant cake straight from the ovens of the Great British Bake-Off, especially when a pack of two is only 50 cents.

The cake’s really just a neutral vehicle to hold all the chocolate and peanut butter together, which it does quite well and for a super inexpensive price. So if, and I’m just thinking ahead, you know, thinking of us, you were to buy, say, 29 packs, it may prove to be one of the best decisions you’ve made in 2018.

Hostess Peanut Butter Ding Dongs 3

If you’ve ever been charmed (understandably) by a Reese’s, these are not going to replace the confection in the chocolate-and-peanut-butta-lovin’ pocket of your soul, but if you’d like a pretty good, no-nonsense snack cake, these are chocolate-y, peanut butter-y, and sturdy enough that you can add ice cream and they will not turn to mush.

Simple and to-the-point, they require little thought other than ripping open a little tag of cellophane and even make a nice breakfast on a Wednesday. And don’t we all deserve a nice breakfast on a Wednesday?

(Nutrition Facts – 2 cakes – 350 calories, 160 calories from fat, 18 grams of fat, 12 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 10 milligrams of cholesterol, 200 milligrams of sodium, 47 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 36 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: 50 cents
Size: 2-pack
Purchased at: 99-Cent Store
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Chocolate coating. Peanut butter drizzle in coating. Frosting-like peanut butter floof inside. Reason to use “floof” in everyday language. Clogging Riverdance blindfolded.
Cons: Dense, flavorless cake. Could have greater ratio of chocolate coating. Discovering you’re out of printer ink. Roommates who eat all the popsicles without asking.

REVIEW: Hostess Suzy Q’s (2018)

Hostess Suzy Q s  2018

Suzy Q Review: Take 2.

Back in 2015, I reviewed the re-release of Hostess’s Suzy Q’s and absolutely hated them. To this day they’re the lowest rated food I’ve ever had the (dis)pleasure of reviewing for this site.

I remember being timid when submitting the negative review, thinking the comments section would light me up for blaspheming a classic snack cake. Thankfully, everyone kinda agreed. We all seemed to have some Q’s for Suzy.

There was a social media outcry for Hostess to fix their mistake, and they did, by re-re-releasing Suzy Q’s.

Guess what folks? They’ve now gone and *REEEEE-MIXXXX* re-re-re-released them.

Here we are in 2018 and Suzy is finally back and better than ever? Let’s find out. Everyone deserves a fourth chance.

Hostess snack cakes all have the same welcoming smell of oily processed chocolate goodness, so these started out on the right foot. The smell instantly put me in mind of a Drake’s Devil Dog. These even look like a Devil Dog’s stubbier little sister.

These new Suzy Q’s boast 50 percent more cake, and 50 percent more crème. I’ll let you do the math there. I will not fat shame Suzy, but I do feel the need to shame Hostess.

Hostess Suzy Q s  2018 2

Hostess Suzy Q s  2018 3

Hostess Suzy Q s  2018 4

While the cake is spongy and moist enough, there’s too much of it. Sadly, it’s still the highlight here.

The crème is out of control. There’s wayyyyy too much crème. It’s thick, slightly gritty, cloying, and overbearing after two bites.

After the first bite, I was ready to say these tasted like Hostess’s famous cupcakes without the top coating and swirl, a.k.a. the best part. After the second less pleasurable bite, I knew exactly what these tasted like – Whoopie Pies.

Are you all familiar with Whoopie Pies?

My mother used to go to Pennsylvania Dutch Country and buy these Amish-made hockey puck-sized Whoopie Pies and that’s exactly what these put me in mind of. That may not exactly help you, but if you’ve ever had a Whoopie Pie from a Farmer’s Market type place, that’s a circular Suzy Q. They basically taste like a more processed knockoff of Whoopie Pies, and I was never a big fan of those to begin with.

For those reasons, Suzy Q’s almost taste like another company trying to mimic Hostess’ formula. I realize these were one of the O.G. Hostess cakes, so maybe I’m just not well versed in Hostess’ taste history.

In the end, these were an improvement from the last time, but I still think they’re in the bottom rung of Hostess products. The previous duds were definitely a more manageable size. With all the variety on shelves, I see no reason to ever buy Suzy Q’s.

Suzy Q, baby, I don’t like you.

I’m gonna freeze the rest of the box, because I feel like the crème will taste a little better cold and hardened, like my soul.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 cake – 260 calories, 100 calories from fat, 11 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 520 milligrams of sodium, 38 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 27 grams of sugar and 2 grams of protein..)

Purchased Price: $2.97
Size: 15.66 oz. (6 cakes)
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Much better than last time. Extra point in rating for Hostess admitting to its mistakes. I’ll probably like these better when I find ’em in the back of the freezer in a couple months. CCR is the greatest American rock band, don’t @ me.
Cons: Way too much crème. Too much cake. Tastes like a Whoopie Pie knockoff. Fool me twice, shame on me.