Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Hostess Scary Cakes

Two days ago, I talked about the return of Orange S'Cream Twinkies and the return of Hostess Halloween products.  Well, with those beautifully filled sponge cakes comes another spooky legend - Scary Cakes!!  Now, we've talked about these Halloween-themed cupcakes in the past, but long before we ever thought they'd disappear.  In 2012, I reviewed Scary Cakes and compared them to what they used to be.  Sure, the cupcake itself has stayed relatively the same, but the box art and package design has changed almost every single year.  Then, I talked about the old-school Munster Pack and change to Monster Cakes.  Those were monumental times in my life because I was literally drawn in by these works of art and inspired to illustrate, animate, color and design myself.  There were something about those pieces that infatuated me and filled my heart with Halloween spirit.  To this day, I can remember where I was and who I was with whenever those boxes were bought, put on the table, or opened.  It was a happy time, now a nostalgic period, and I payed homage to that in 2012.  Then, as I mentioned two-days ago, Hostess closed up shop and Scary Cakes were gone... forever?  So it seemed, but in 2014, Scary Cakes are back!!  This time, I'm not comparing them to the past.  I'm just happy they're once again a part of the present.

As if orange Twinkies weren't enough, the Scary Cakes comeback proves that Hostess is alive and well.  Similar to the Orange S'Cream box, we have a foreboding purple sky in the background filled with rabid bats.  In a happier section of this dark land stands a smiling scarecrow named Jack, for obvious reasons.  He's not sure whether he's safe from evil or if those blood-sucking bats just haven't reached him yet, but he's a bit preoccupied regardless.  He has his eyes set on those Orange Frosted Scary Cakes and can only wish he wasn't strapped to a pole and had legs.  For that matter, he wishes he had arms, too.  Like any good tease, Jack can look but he can't touch.  That's okay.. while the bats nip away at his straw, we'll be sure to indulge in Jack's memory.

While the taste never changes, the look sometimes does.  Over the years, we've seen different shades of orange.  We've seen sprinkles.  We've even seen promotional movie colors.  But, for the first time that I can recall, this year's Scary Cake features the original squiggle.  What's a squiggle?  It's that decorative chocolate swirl across the top of the Scary Cake.  No, I didn't know that without the power of Google but I'll give you 10 Halloween points if you did.  In my experience with Hostess and Halloween, the squiggle is usually reserved for other brands of snacks.  I know we've seen it featured on Halloween Orange CupCakes, but that's about all I remember for this time of year.  Personally, I'd rather have sprinkles because they remind me of what I grew up with, but the squiggle is legendary, classic, and puts a Hostess trademark on Halloween.  To be honest, until now, I had no idea such a design was copyrighted and owned by Hostess.  The fact that they've brought their powerhouse squiggle to the world of Halloween in an attempt to make a statement is fine by me!

If you've never tried a Scary Cake, then you're sorely missing out.  Not only do they taste delicious, but they're something to look at, too.  Sure, the icing isn't the softest, but that glittery squiggle has me in a daze.  Have you ever looked that closely at a Cupcake?  It's sad, but I can now officially say I have and it's a good 2 minutes of my life that I'll never get back.  What's worse is that I actually don't mind and enjoyed taking my time to inspect the glitter in a squiggle.  You can judge, but don't hate, playa.

Overall, I'm very happy to see Hostess Scary Cakes back on shelves.  Are they what I remembered?  Not completely.  Are they perfect?  No, but they're close.  With this return, I can accept baby steps as Hostess transitions themselves back into the Halloween fray.  They've been gone for a while and are still finding their niche.  With Twinkies, they blew me away.  With Scary Cakes, their return was enough to do the same.  However, in the future, I'd like to see something different or completely retro.  Most of what we see on and in the box has been done before.  Orange S'Cream Twinkies have a novelty to them that Scary Cakes, besides nostalgic associations, simply do not.  Hostess either needs to embrace that nostalgia and release old-school box art, or change things up and take Scary Cakes in a new, more innovative direction.  Regardless, they're still going to be a Halloween hit but, with a little more effort, they can be a Grand Slam!

9 / 10

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