The life of a snack food reviewer can be much more tumultuous than you may think. No, there’s nothing actually risky about what we do but sometimes it’s so HARD to find a certain item you really want to explore. Some products come and go without ever making it to my region, and sometimes for whatever reason they just allude me. That was the case with the new Hostess Limited Edition Carrot Cake Donettes, but hey, better late than never, right? I already gave you my best carrot cake backstory when I reviewed the Hershey’s Kisses in February, so I’ll just cut right to the chase with this one – let’s eat!
Plunging my nose into the bag the smell is fantastic – sweet and spicy with the classic spring-y cinnamon notes that make this veggie-laced baked good so damn tasty. Biting in, though, there’s a distinctly strong nut flavor that comes across in these little carrot cake tires, something that I don’t usually associate with the spicy orange cake. The only nut I’ve ever had in a carrot cake is the walnut and this flavor is more aggressive and reminds me of a hazelnut flavored syrup or coffee creamer. Taking a closer look at the donette itself the coating seems to be made up mostly of coconut, and checking the ingredient list confirms this as the first ingredient is “crunch coconut coating”. Turns out the strong nutty flavor I’m getting is actually toasted coconut, which is, again, not something I usually associate with carrot cake, and reminds me much more of the Hostess Crunch Donette than said cake.
The texture of the donette’s are very hit or miss, with some of them being kind of dry and off-putting, and some of them, with more coating and crunch, being moist and soft on the inside. The amount of crunchy coconut seems to directly correlate to how successful the flavor is, but unfortunately, even when the flavor and texture comes through on point it still isn’t very much like carrot cake. Although I wasn’t expecting there to be frosting on top of these, the presence of a cream cheese tang would help change the flavor from slightly spicy coconut to something that better resembles carrot cake.
In summation, while these donette’s aren’t disgusting by any means, they’re essentially just cinnamon-spiked Crunch Donette’s with no carrot or cream cheese or distinct cake-y flavors to be found. Yet another lazy rebranding of an already almost-existent product that could have been so much better with a little more effort.
Found at: Walmart ($2.00)