Since the whole "Goodbye forever buy all our stuff on eBay just kidding we're back now you can go back to not really buying any of our stuff" Hostess incident of a few years back, Hostess has been relatively quiet. I think. I haven't really paid attention. I've always been more of a Drake's man, myself.
Anyway, Hostess is getting in on the "Should we make a pumpkin variation? Obviously! $$$$!!!" train. What's surprising is that it's taken them so long. It's odd they've never made a Pumpkin Twinkie.
Not content to just bring out one fall flavor, Hostess has two variations - Candy Corn Cupcakes and Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes
I tried the Candy Corn Cupcakes first, because they seemed like a far more terrifying concept. Candy corn is okay. I'm not against it, but it's just sort of there. As I'm sure you recall, I have already discussed this. But in case you somehow forgot that landmark ranking, there you go.
The packaging could probably be better, as upon first glance it doesn't really look like a special release. It's got "Limited Edition" on there, and a few pieces of candy corn - and, you know, it does say Candy Corn at the top - but still... Eh, whatever. It's good enough, I guess. Ignore my previous criticisms.
Also to ignore is my assumption that Hostess doesn't do many variations of their products. A quick Google Image search proved me very wrong. I still don't think there's been a pumpkin Twinkie, though.
The biggest downside, besides the potential scary candy corn taste, is that the Candy Corn Cupcakes don't have that cool frosting circular swirly thing on top. That swirl is awesome. Maybe for fall they're temporarily distancing themselves from their sort of racist looking cupcake man.
The cupcake looks okay, nothing exciting. It looks slightly burned, which is odd. But it's got fall-colored sprinkles and some brown specks in the frosting to indicate spices, so it covers most of the necessary bases.
What was most surprising is that the cupcake is actually really good. This is largely due to the fact that it doesn't seem to taste like candy corn at all.
It just tastes like a Drake's Sunny Doodle with frosting on top - which is a good thing. So as a candy corn cupcake, it's kind of a swing and a miss. But as a good, normal cupcake - sure.
The Pumpkin Spice Cupcake was the more obvious of the two when it came to a potential favorite. Will it prove to be superior? Well keep reading and stop interrupting me with questions, and you will find out.
Despite a pretty similar layout, the Pumpkin Spice packaging definitely reads more "limited fall edition" right off the bat.
The first thing I noticed was that apparently Hostess doesn't think the Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes deserve to have a little piece of cardboard to sit on in the wrapper. The Candy Corn Cupcakes had them, but the Pumpkin Spice get shafted. They just have to live in their cellophane and deal with it.
The other thing I noticed was that the cupcakes didn't quite live up to their brethren on the packaging. Where the packaging cupcakes are fluffy, tall, and doused with sprinkles, the actual cupcake was short with a bad limp, and was suffering from cupcake pattern baldness when it came to sprinkles.
But no one is expecting the actual product to live up to the unrealistic Hollywood standards of the packaging, so we will move on.
Taste-wise, it's what you'd expect. A middle of the road pumpkin cupcake. Nothing exciting, nothing weak - it's just there, and it's pumpkin flavored. That will probably be enough to please most people, desperate for their next hit of pumpkin.
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