For this post, I decided to knock out a bunch (well, four) snack cake reviews in a row. I chose Little Debbie to be my muse and selected four different snack cake boxes from the shelves at random (okay, I picked the ones that only cost like $1.79 instead of $2.39). I ended up going home with Donut Sticks, Star Crunch cookies, Fudge Rounds, and Honey Buns to share with my friend Hannah. She and I ranked each snack cake based on smell, taste, texture, and after taste with our final evaluation question being- was it worth the calories? Since our final rankings differed, I’ll put mine in order and add hers to the end.
1) Donut Sticks
I have to admit my bias on this one before I begin. I love donuts, I think they’re so pure despite being loaded with unnecessary calories. The Little Debbie Donut Sticks smelled like a cinnamon coffee cake that had been dipped in donut glaze (which I guess essentially is what happened). The glazed outside is the only thing that really made this cake moist, as the inside was dry enough to make me wish for more glaze, but not dry enough to cause me to stop eating. Hannah, on the other hand, thought it was “moist, and not too crumbly.” It was pretty straightforward in its taste, since it tasted like it smelled- like a coffee cake dipped in donut glaze. Surprisingly, there was no aftertaste, although my tongue did feel like the coating of the Donut Stick had stuck to it, but the feeling receded after a few seconds.
Was it worth the calories? I gave it a resounding yes, not only did I enjoy it, but I’m thinking about buying a second box when I next visit my favorite aisle. I ranked this as my number one treat. Hannah on the other hand said that it was only worth the calories “if you want small cheap coffee cake,” and that it wasn’t her cup of tea. She ranked this treat third on her list.
2) Star Crunch cookies
I bought these because I vaguely remembered eating them as a child and liking them, so I wanted to give them another go. At first smell, I was reminded of the cheap Halloween chocolate that is wrapped in tinfoil painted to look like eyeballs and fingernails. Not too impressive. The texture of the cookie Hannah described as being “crunchy, gooey, and waxy at the same time,” which I definitely felt as well. I also noticed that the longer you chew it the chewier it gets, which seems like a paradox to me, but maybe that’s what Little Debbie was going for. As for the taste, it again tasted like it smelled, like cheap Halloween chocolate, only with a bit of caramel thrown in. Hannah didn’t detect an aftertaste, but I felt like the cheap Halloween chocolate taste lingered for a bit more than it was welcome.
Was it worth the calories? Possibly, if you like caramel with a crunch. It wasn’t my favorite out of the bunch, but I would eat it again if it was available. Hannah also ranked this as second on her list.
3) Fudge Round
This treat smelled peculiar, but not unpleasant. It smelled like cheap brownie mix powder, but almost like the powder had somehow been burned. It had the same texture as the oatmeal creme pies, but with little ridges of drizzle on top. The Fudge Round was very underwhelming, it definitely tasted like chocolate, but it was a “bitter chocolate,” as Hannah described. It wasn’t overly sweet like the other snack cakes were, it just tasted very subdued, like the people who were creating this decided to make a treat that had chocolate flavor but were too lazy to add in the standard 300 bags of sugar into the mix. Hannah felt the aftertaste was similar to “baking chocolate.”
Was it worth the calories? For me, no. I actually like being assaulted with the taste of sugar whenever I indulge in a snack cake, so I was caught off guard by the subdued flavor of the Fudge Round. Hannah on the other hand loved that it wasn’t as sweet as was expected, and stated firmly that this is indeed worth the calories. She ranked these first on her list, and got to keep what was left as her prize for helping me.
4) Honey Buns
I was so excited to buy these at the store, I have so many fond memories of Honey Buns that I couldn’t wait to give them a second try. I guess maybe they’ve changed the recipe since I last ate them, because my experience was vastly different the second time around. To start off, the Honey Buns smell like artificial honey, donut glaze, and bread. Hannah sums this up nicely by saying they smell “sweet.” That’s about the only nice thing to say about the Honey Bun. Since the bun is coated in “honey,” it has a slightly slimy, slightly waxy texture. Hannah says she there was no taste, only slime (it should be noted here that Hannah may be a bit biased as she admits she hates honey). I got past the slimy texture enough to taste the honey and the bread. The bun part of the Honey Bun tasted like a piece of Wonder Bread had been soaked in sugar then left to dry, as the treat was very sweet. There wasn’t much of an aftertaste, but my tongue did feel like it had been coated again like with the Donut Sticks, only much stronger. I felt like I had dipped my tongue in wax, which was not a nice feeling.
Was it worth the calories? Hannah says no, “unless you are dying of hunger.” I say no too, they’re nice if you appreciate the taste of sugar and glaze, but overall I probably wouldn’t eat another one. Both Hannah and I ranked this as our least favorite.
So the overall takeaway from this experience is that if you’re the type of person who doesn’t appreciate that much sugar, Fudge Rounds are for you, and if you like your tongue to feel waxy after eating, you should definitely try a Honey Bun (even though you really shouldn’t).