When consumers heard that Hostess was closing its doors for good and that products like Twinkies and Wonderbread would be discontinued, there was a rush to stock up before they were pulled from store shelves. Twinkies in particular were a favorite childhood snack for many of us and, even though some might say that they don’t have the same appeal to an adult palate, it was a bit sad to see them go. There are some Twinkie alternatives out there, however, and Consumer Reports decided to conduct a taste test to see how the Safeway brand Snack Artist Crème Cake compared to the classic Twinkie.
A Twinkie is a small sponge cake filled with a fluffy vanilla cream. The two snack cakes looked alike, with the same coloring, size and shape. They had similar ingredients, though the Hostess cakes contained partially hydrogenated fats and the Snack Artist cakes used soybean and palm oils, and similar nutritional stats (as snack cakes, they’re not exactly good for you!). But when it came down to it, the generic cake didn’t quite match the original cake in terms of texture or flavor. The cake was denser and sweeter than the cake in the Twinkie. It also didn’t have as much cream filling as the original Twinkie, and the filling that it did have was slightly gritty. That said, the members of the Consumer Reports Foods & Sensory department who did the taste testing seemed to think that the store-brand cakes will still satisfy anyone looking for a nostalgic Twinkie fix when the originals are nowhere to be found.