While on my first safari to the snack cake aisle at Wal-Mart, I had the good fortune of seeing a box of wild zebra cakes which I quickly snatched before they were able to stampede away towards the Ho-Hos. Not being able to wait until I got back to my dorm room, I eagerly cut the box open and ripped into the plastic covering of the zebra cake.
As soon as I touched the Zebra Cake’s slightly oily surface, which makes you think it’s leaving residue on your fingers even though it really isn’t, I was instantly reminded of my childhood and how I would beg my mom to buy a box of Zebra Cakes, promising her that I would eat them sparingly only to promptly eat four as soon as I got home (which I did this time around too, but you know, old habits die hard, right?).
At first bite the Zebra Cake offers a slight resistance, the sugary vanilla flavored shell yields to your (hopefully) stronger teeth and allows you to access the slightly dry sponge cake beneath. Even though the sponge cake is dry, it’s still soft, sort of like how I assume a cotton ball would feel and taste like if saturated with sugary goodness and left to dry. The cream center helps to moisten the sponge cake, and while there isn’t as much cream as I would like there to be, it is what lingers the most. Its super sweetness refuses to leave your mouth much like your favorite pop song that gets stuck in your head. The longer the song stays in your head the more you start to hate it, much like the sweetness the cream leaves behind (but I also have eaten like four in the past two days so what do I know).
Is it worth the calories?
I would say a soft yes, as soft as the vanilla shell is on this mostly delicious Zebra Cake. Is it worth the calories to eat the two that are provided in the package? I would say it depends on how much you hate yourself that day. For me, coming out of Sorority recruitment, those cakes full of sugary goodness were indeed worth the calories as they let me forget my tired body and troubled soul for as long as it took me to realize, after much confusion, that there was not, in fact, any Zebra Cake shell residue on my fingers.