Always moist, always yummy, always with precisely seven squiggles of white icing atop a bed of chocolate icing, filled with a dollop of rich vanilla cream. That’s right, it’s the chocolatey goodness that could only be a Hostess Cupcake, a treat coveted by every youth that ever set eyes on that squiggly stripe that distinguished it from all other inferior cupcakes. And only time will tell if we ever see these beloved snacks occupy a store shelf again.
According to a Hostess historian, “mystery surrounds who actually invented the snack treat in 1909,” which sounds remarkably similar to “we can’t remember who it was.” Nonetheless, ask who invented the concept of the seven squiggles and you’ll be introduced to the name of baking executive, D.R. “Doc” Rice. At least we can rest easy, knowing the proper credit has been given to a man who made such a lasting contribution to the world of baked snack goods.
Hostess cupcakes were remarkably dense and moist when it comes to pre-packaged snack cakes. The frosting is soft and yet the icing squiggles are hard. The filling is basically flavored corn syrup that has been whipped into a fluffy, creamy delight just waiting to be exposed with that first bite. This joining of multiple sugar textures, along with the chocolate/vanilla – yin/yang experience is what kept kids coming back for more.
Not to rest on their laurels, the fine folks at Hostess made some innovations to the Hostess cupcake over the years. There were golden cupcakes, with a vanilla cake replacing the chocolate, and “Baseballs”, which were, (are you ready for this?) vanilla cake, with vanilla icing and – drum roll, please, red stripes, or laces if you prefer, giving them the appearance of a baseball. Fun stuff, that was. Still, the purists know that there is only one Hostess Cupcake, an old friend from the days of youth.
Sadly, kids may someday as what a Hostess Cupcake or Twinkie was like. As of this writing, there is no more Hostess section in the supermarket, and the future of Hostess Cupcakes, Twinkies, Fruit Pies, Sno-Balls and the rest of their confectionery cousins are in limbo. Perhaps, like Mother’s Cookies, they will re-emerge under a new company. Until then, memories of the Hostess Cupcake is certain to linger for years to come.
If Hostess Cupcakes were one of your guilty pleasures in life, we hope you’ll help us celebrate their memory in our comments section, as we tip our hats to these iconic treats that made childhood just a little more special.