REVIEW: Hostess Limited Edition Birthday CupCakes

Hostess Limited Edition Birthday CupCakes

What are Hostess Birthday CupCakes?

Hostess celebrates its centennial with a limited edition themed version of its iconic cupcake in a birthday variety. It’s a frosted speckled yellow cake with creamy filling complete with Hostess’ signature squiggle and tons of rainbow colored sprinkles.

How are they?

In some of my past reviews I have sometimes decreed something as a sugar bomb, but I need to rethink my definition because these things take the cake (and yes pun intended, of course). Between the squiggle, the sprinkles, the icing, and the cream on the inside, these were hard to eat and to be honest I had trouble finishing just one.

Hostess Limited Edition Birthday CupCakes Innards

If there was more cake a la a regular Twinkie or a different flavor going on to break it all up, it wouldn’t be so bad. But sadly it’s just sugar on top of sugar on top of more sugar filled with sugar that overall tastes like sugar.

To be fair, I guess that’s what a tried a true birthday cake is but again with not enough of the cake part and in such a compact form it comes together as disappointing. The biggest offender though is the icing which has a little bit of vanilla flavor but is on the harder side and overall seems sort of stale. It reminds me of fondant which isn’t known to be delicious, but it makes up for it because it’s used to create insanely decorated cake masterpieces, of which these are not.

Is there anything else you need to know?

Hostess Limited Edition Birthday CupCakes Icing

It’s not all birthday tears as there are some positives since the cake is sufficiently moist and Hostess didn’t skimp on the sprinkles, which are full size and represent every color of the rainbow.

Also, here’s some fun history about Hostess: Did you know the its cupcake was the first commercially produced one and it may have been the first snack cake ever introduced to the market? Although, rival Tastykake refutes this.

Conclusion:

I love snack cakes, birthday things, and all things Hostess, but these are not that good unless you have an extreme sweet tooth as they’re pretty one-note taste-wise. They’re festive with the colorful adornments, but it’s nothing mind-blowing (hello, Funfetti) that you need to see in person like those cool slime Ghostbusters Twinkies from years’ past.

If you want to celebrate Hostess’ birthday, pick up the O.G. chocolate ones and hum happy birthday as you indulge. There’s a reason they’ve lasted a century.

Purchased Price: $2.97
Size: 13.1 oz. box/8 count
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 3 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 cake) 190 calories, 9 grams of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 10 milligrams of cholesterol, 90 milligrams of sodium, 27 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 23 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Post Hostess Donettes Cereal

Post Hostess Donettes Cereal

Hitting shelves just in time to take advantage of America’s nationwide diet-fatigue following a month of calorie counting and gym-going, Hostess has recently collaborated with Post to release a dynamic duo of breakfast cereals drawing inspiration from two of their most iconic treats!

Advertising miniature donut-shaped pieces coated in a dusting of superfine powdered sugar, it’s easy to see why Hostess’s Donettes cereal would lure weary resolutioners away from Post’s more “healthful” (i.e. boring) offerings. After all, why settle for Shredded Wheat when you can chow down on a bowl of Donettes for breakfast?

Tempting premise aside, my less than awesome experience with Kellogg’s recent Pop-Tarts cereals caused me to be a just a bit skeptical towards how accurately Post would be able to portray the nostalgic fried delights in spoonable form.

Post Hostess Donettes Cereal w Cheerios

My trepidation turned out to be unjustified, though, because Post actually did a really good job with these. Each piece truly resembled the famous mass-produced dough rings, and dwarfed Cheerios by size alone. The sugary outer dust of each miniature donut directed the cereal’s flavor profile, much like with actual Donettes. I think the ultrafine sugar arguably worked even better in this instance, since it wasn’t thick enough to require you to have a glass of water on hand to help you get them down.

Post Hostess Donettes Cereal Bowl

It holds up surprisingly well in milk, too, especially since it’s just shy of 50% sugar by weight. This isn’t Captain Crunch or anything, but I was able to finish my bowl before it got soggy. Better yet, the sweet dust surrounding each morsel was similarly robust, and I was able to detect its presence even on my final few bites.

Post Hostess Donettes Cereal Closeup

At the end of the day, is this the most unique breakfast item out there? Probably not. That dubious honor undoubtadly belongs to Jimmy Dean’s Blueberry Pancakes & Sausage On-A-Stick. Even so, Donettes Cereal is still tasty in its own right, and it’s the marketing that really allows eating this to be an experience of its own. If nothing else, I would tell people to give this a shot just so they could experience the simple joy of shoving donuts into their mouth by the spoonful.

Now, please excuse me while I pour myself another bowl of Donettes.

Purchased Price: $3.98
Size: 18 oz. box
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 cup) 150 calories, 50 calories from fat, 6 grams of total fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 115 milligrams of sodium, 25 milligrams of potassium, 24 grams of total carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 13 grams of total sugars, and 0 grams of protein.

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.