Earlier this year Hostess released three new spins on some of their established cakes, which, unlike most new/limited flavor varieties were available in the gas-station-classic single serve size instead of a big ole box of 8 or 10. This got me excited, since I love trying new products but rarely need that many – it was a golden opportunity to taste without commitment. The hunt was real for these bad boys, as it took me nearly two months and three different locations to track them all down. Conveniently, all three of these cakes are being released in big box grocery format this week, so if any of these treats sound too tantalizing to deny, you can get em in a ten pack. Alright Hostess, let’s round em up!
Chocolate Cake Twinkies
A very basic but surprisingly interesting and successful twist to the golden sponge cake classic. It’s less greasy than yellow Twinkies but more moist than a Suzy Q, which are notoriously dry with an odd stiffness. The cake itself has a moderate chocolate flavor that reminds me of Cocoa Puffs with a light sweet profile that steers clear of any bitterness.
The cream filling is same as any hostess product, and works well in tandem with the chocolate sponge, which overall tempers the sweetness compared to a normal Twinkies. I enjoyed eating this a lot more than I anticipated and I would probably even buy them again!
White Fudge Ding Dongs
A fluffy, fairly one-noted sweet vanilla cake. Surprisingly less sweet than its closest competitor, Little Debbie’s Zebra Cakes, it has a noticeably rich almost buttery flavor to it. The white fudge coating is soft and does have a slightly smoother less waxy coating than your typical Hostess outer layer. It feels a bit thicker, which is maybe the desired effect of “fudge”.
The cream filling pops a lot less than a regular Ding Dong because of the already vanilla-sweet cake and coating. It’s more moist than the original Dong with a greater/equal distribution of cream filling that leads to an overall creamy bite. It’s not bad but it isn’t really all that great either; and I’m generally a fan of white cake with white frosting.
Peanut Butter Ho Hos
I’ve never had a Hostess product with peanut butter in it and I am now a happy boy. The overall flavor is still very sweet with the dominant taste being the light chocolate of the Ho Ho cake and outer coating. It would be nice if there was a big authentic salty PB presence to offset the sweet, but it comes off more like a sweet peanut butter frosting than true butter (which isn’t much of a surprise).
Still, it’s peanut butter and the nuttiness is a welcome addition to the Ho Ho’s inner swirl which makes the cake overall more dynamic and interesting. That being said, it doesn’t deliver the same PB satisfaction as a Reese’s or Little Debbie’s PB creme pie so I’m not sure this would be my go to in the future if I was having a cake-y peanut butter craving.