Some people consider Little Debbie to be the weak sister to Hostess Cakes, the more well known of the snack cake brands. However, Little Debbie snacks enjoy a loyal following that appreciates the attention to detail and variety. So where does your favorite place on the list of top 10 Little Debbie snacks ranked worst to best?
10. Where no Cookie has Gone Before
According to at least some of the snack enthusiasts on the Internet, Little Debbie’s Star Crunch deserves more respect than it is given here. Nevertheless, this sweet concoction has had a popular run. The company describes its product as “a soft, chewy cookie topped with caramel and crispy rice and coated with fudge.” With caramel, crispy rice and fudge there is something in this treat for pretty much everyone to like. What is a little mysterious however, is the identity of the cookie at the core of this sugary stellar mass. The cookies are described as “soft and chewy,” but this isn’t a lot of help because many cookies are described this way. The do it yourself Star Crunch recipes aren’t much help because there are so many variations of this treat. Perhaps the weakness with the Star Crunch, if it has one, is the mix of flavors. For example, for someone who loves caramel, but hates crispy rice this snack could be a turnoff. Alternatively, someone might love crispy rice, but think caramel is gross and that’s that. Even if we assume most people like fudge there are still reasons for finicky snackers to keep Little Debbie’s Star Crunch in orbit. Now that the United States has created a new military branch called the Space Force perhaps the Star Crunch could be the official cookie of this high flying organization.
9. Strawberry Rolls Never
Fresh strawberries are a delicious and healthy treat. Picking them fresh off the low shrubs can be demanding, but the intoxicating aroma makes it well worth the effort. Foods with artificial strawberry flavor are a different matter entirely. Little Debbie’s Strawberry Shortcake Rolls do not feature fresh strawberries wrapped in layers of sponge cake and smothered in fluffy fresh cream. If they did they would be delicious strawberry shortcakes, but instead they are heavily processed impostors that Little Debbie’s web site describes as “Yellow cake rolled with layers of creme and strawberry-flavored fruit filling.” “Strawberry-flavored” covers a lot of ground, but this is the reality of mass produced food that is designed to be shipped hundreds of miles and sit on shelves for days or weeks. Given these conditions the Strawberry Shortcake Rolls aren’t terrible and they aren’t the worst Little Debbie snack cake, but the sugary goo masquerading as some form of strawberry filling is not very pretty. If you’re not going to have actual strawberry shortcake with real strawberries then you’d be better off just getting a jar of decent strawberry preserves so you could make your own fruity snack whenever you get the urge.
8. Moon Over Little Debbie
The Little Debbie Chocolate Marshmallow Pie is very similar to the original Moon Pie invented by the Chattanooga Bakery in 1917. According to the company, the founder asked a Kentucky coal miner what kind of snack he wanted to eat and the miner described something with marshmallows and graham crackers. He also requested it be as “big as the moon.” Genuine Moon Pies are still made with the distinctive round graham crackers, but the Little Debbie description of its snack pies simply refers to a pair of cookies, not specifically to graham crackers, but they apparently are made with the distinctive cookie. Little Debbie’s Marshmallow Pies come in Banana flavor as well. There are also some related marshmallow snacks such as the Marshmallow Puffs and Marshmallow Supremes. The similarity of Little Debbie’s Marshmallow Pies with the Chattanooga Bakery’s Moon Pies led to a head to head taste test in 2016. This blind taste test can be viewed online, but the results can be summed up as… the taste test was a tie. You should be aware that there were only a pair of taste testers so you might want to take this particular test with a generous grain of salt. This test only illustrates how subjective peoples’ tastes are and one person’s delicious treat is another person’s junk. The most common complaint from people who don’t love Little Debbie snack cakes is that they taste too artificial and this seems to be the case with its Marshmallow Pies.
7. BeTwix and Between
Like the Twix candy bar, which hit the store shelves in 1979, Little Debbie’s Salted Caramel Cookie Bars have a distinctive cookie crunch. The similarity continues with the rich, soft caramel in the middle and a fudge coating. The official Little Debbie web site even suggests that this treat might remind you of “your favorite candy bar.” Many online reviewers generally gave these salted Caramel Cookie Bars good reviews with a few people comparing them favorably to the Twix candy bar. This comparison with Twix is part of the problem, however, because they are so similar you might as well go ahead and have an actual Twix bar. The candy bar is likely to be found near the checkout counter while you may have to go to other end of the big box store you’re in to track down a box of Little Debbie’s Salted Caramel Cookie Bars. This snack, regardless of the similarities, deserves to be considered on its own merits. Unfortunately, these cookie bars are only OK and so it makes sense that they be less well known and less popular than the Twix candy bar they will always be compared to by snack lovers. If you like the Salted Caramel Bars from Little Debbie you might also like the Peanut Butter Crunch Bars. This snack bar is similar to a Peanut Butter Twix candy bar.
6. No Hiding these Cakes
You might have assumed that Zebras’ stripes have evolved to help camouflage the animals from predators as they traverse the African plains, but this isn’t so. Researchers have learned that the alternating stripes of black and white fur reflect light in a certain way that confuses horse flies. The confusion makes the flies less likely to bite Zebras than plains animals with more conventional coloring. The makers of Little Debbie’s Zebra Cakes hope this doesn’t stop people from biting into this distinctive looking treat. Zebra cakes are made with yellow cake and covered with white frosting and fudge stripes. There are several versions of Zebra cakes other than the Little Debbie variety. The classic recipe uses chocolate wafer cookies lined up in a row and smothered in whipped cream to produce a Zebra stripe effect. This homemade treat is sometimes called an icebox cake, but whatever you call it, it’s a tasty combination of rich ingredients that are likely to please all but the most finicky eaters. The Little Debbie Zebra cakes are pleasant tasting, but are not the decadent dessert the homemade recipes promise to be. Little Debbie’s Zebra Cakes are similar to its Fancy Cakes, but the latter uses white cake instead of yellow and of course they don’t have the zebra looking fudge stripes.
5. Rectangular Donut?
There is a fan gaming page on the Internet that discusses a number of strange characters including one called Cosmic Brownie. The image on this site resembles Little Debbie’s Cosmic Brownies complete with the colorful candy coated chocolate pieces in orange, pink, purple, yellow, blue and green. The packaging refers to the colorful chocolate pieces as “chocolate chip candy.” The gaming site in question refers to a Cosmic Brownie as having originally been called a rectangular doughnut, but none of this information appears on the snack cake maker’s official web site. Putting questionable web sites and rectangular donuts aside, the Little Debbie Cosmic Brownie is indeed a rectangular shape and brownie – not a doughnut of any kind. The chewy brownie is frosted with fudge and sprinkled with the colorful candies that perhaps represent planets, stars or other cosmic characters. If you are used to your mom making you delicious fudge brownies from scratch then Cosmic Brownies might seem a little weak by comparison. As is the case with most mass produced and heavily processed snacks they’re just not as fresh and tasty because they are designed to have a relatively long shelf life. Of course keeping the brownies around as long as possible was something mom didn’t have to worry about when she was baking brownies at home.
4. Sticky and Sweet
It’s hard to go wrong with Little Debbie’s Honey Buns. These breakfast pastries are available in glazed and iced varieties. The iced variety is higher in calories because the icing is a heavier topping than the glaze. Both honey buns combine delicate pastry with a touch of cinnamon for a not too sweet, delicious treat. A glass of cold milk and a honey bun makes for a perfect pairing as an afternoon or late night snack The sugary flavor of the glazed variety is similar to a glazed doughnut, but the addition of the cinnamon gives it a little extra kick. The online reviews of these honey buns are generally pretty mediocre, but as the reviewers point out they are also pretty inexpensive. A box of 6 honey buns retails for about $2.00 so you are getting a pretty good deal because most doughnut shops charge you a lot more than that for a half dozen doughnuts. Everyone knows that fresh pastries like doughnuts and honey buns are much better than their processed and packaged counterparts. However, given the limitations of these kinds of mass produced snacks, Little Debbie’s Honey Buns hold up pretty well. A little tip you might want to try is to pop them in the microwave for a few seconds to give them a quick warm and gooey makeover. Either variety of the company’s buns go perfect with a hot cup of coffee in the morning, but let’s face it: pretty much any time is a good time for a honey bun.
3. Hit or Swiss
Little Debbie’s Swiss Rolls hit a milestone in 2013 when the chocolate cakes with spirals of cream filling turned fifty years old. These fudge covered chocolate cakes would go well with a nice mug of hot chocolate – like from the makers of the Swiss Miss brand. But whether you like hot chocolate or not there’s a good chance you’ll like these Little Debbie snack cakes. The combination of chocolate cake, cream filling and fudge coating is a winner. This kind of treat has been made by a number of baking companies including Hostess and Drakes. The Hostess version are called Ho Hos and used to feature a Robin Hood like mascot, but this character and most of the other Hostess mascots have been discontinued. The Drake’s snack cake is called a Yodel, but all three treats are basically the same thing. Drake’s is owned by McKee Foods which is the founder of the Little Debbie brand. One web company conducted a taste test to see if a generic brand of this roll cake snack would measure up to Little Debbie’s classic snack. Aldi’s Baker’s Treat Swiss Rolls are a little cheaper than Little Debbie’s and in a head to head taste test the Aldi’s version was judged to be “very similar” to its more famous sister snack. The difference in price is only a few cents per cake so you won’t break the bank if you prefer Little Debbie’s Swiss Roll to other brands like Aldi’s.
2. Not your Morning Oatmeal
If you love oatmeal cookies then Little Debbie’s Oatmeal Creme Pies should be a part of your life. This treat features 2 tasty cookies with creme in between for a chewy and sweet snack. The Little Debbie site describes this snack this way: “whole grain oats, molasses, and irresistible creme filling combine to create this classic treat”. They are a classic treat and they’re small enough that you’ll probably want more than one. Be careful however, because Oatmeal Creme Pies contain 170 calories each with 37% of those calories coming from fat. These nutrition facts point out the reality that even though these pies are made with oatmeal you shouldn’t confuse these treats with some kind of healthy breakfast alternative. These pies have been around since 1960 and have the distinction of being the first snack baked under the Little Debbie brand name. Even though it’s easy to get this snack at your local store there are plenty of recipes online so you can make your own whenever you get a craving. It’s essentially a matter of making your favorite oatmeal cookie recipe and then whipping up the cream filling to slather between a pair of the cookies. There are different cream filling recipes but it is usually made using a combination of ingredients like cream cheese, butter and sugar. The homemade oatmeal pies recipes are relatively easy to make and promise to be delicious, but how do these recipes compare with Little Debbie’s Oatmeal Creme Pies? This is the perfect excuse to find out for yourself.
1. Buddy, can you Spare a Bar?
“Brother, can you spare a Dime?” was a popular song written in 1930 that gave voice to the dire conditions millions of people were suffering with because of the economic upheaval of the Great Depression during the 1930s. O.D. McKee had a small bakery in Chattanooga, Tennessee during the Depression, but started out by selling his baked goods out of his car. He was able to make a pretty good living selling his baked goods and expanded his business. Today, the McKee Food Corporation, maker of Little Debbie snacks and other brands, is among the oldest family owned businesses in the world. Little Debbie’s Nutty Buddy Wafer Bars are scrumptious fusion of tasty flavors. The snack bar consists of layers of peanut butter cream spread between crispy wafers covered with fudge. The combination of crunchy and creamy makes for a enjoyable texture that is as important to the enjoyment of this snack as the peanut butter and fudge flavors. Little Debbie’s Nutty Buddy shared this name with an ice cream cone that featured vanilla ice cream, chocolate ice cream, chocolate and peanuts. This cold and creamy treat was put out by the Seymour Ice Cream Company in Dorchester, Massachusetts. The company went out of business in the 1980s, but fans of Little Debbie’s Nutty Buddy can only hope that the same fate does not befall McKee Foods or Little Debbie could also become a thing of the past.