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Hostess Twinkie and The Snack Artist Crème Cake taste test

Hostess Twinkie and The Snack Artist Crème Cake taste test

Hostess Twinkies might arise from the junk-food graveyard by summer, but for now, all you fans of the famous snack cake that dates to 1930 will have to get by with alternatives.

Supermarket chain Safeway debuted its own Twinkie wannabe, The Snack Artist Crème Cake, three months before bankruptcy-burdened Hostess shut down its ovens last fall. To see how this Twinkie doppelgänger–labeled as a “golden cake with creamy filling”–compares to the original, six members of the Consumer Reports Foods & Sensory department conducted a blind taste test of the real-deal Twinkie (right in photo) and the Crème Cake (left in photo). Their mission: Determine whether The Snack Artist version is a junk-food masterpiece.

The two sweet treats look about the same on the outside, though the Twinkie had slightly more filling than the Crème Cake.

The Crème Cake was sweeter overall, and its filling had a gritty texture. The Crème Cake was also denser than the lighter, more airy Twinkie. Tasters noted that the Twinkie was a bit dryer, perhaps due to the age of the treats, which we bought from two outlets on Amazon.com

We paid a premium for the hard-to-find Twinkies: 10-count boxes cost us $14.97 and 17.45, not including shipping, an average of $1.62 per cake. At Safeway, the Crème Cakes cost 1.99 for a six-pack, or 33 cents each.

Not surprising, these snacks offer nothing redeeming on the nutrition front. Both contain enriched flour, sugar, and corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup, among other ingredients. The Hostess cakes have partially hydrogenated fats and/or animal shortening; the Snack Artist cakes contain soybean and palm oils.

A two-cake Twinkies (77g) serving has 290 calories; 9g of fat, including 4.5g of saturated fat; 400mg of sodium and 35g of sugars.

In comparison, two of the Crème Cakes (80g) 280 calories; 10g of fat, including 3g of saturated fat; 380mg of sodium and 30g of sugars.

The Snack Artist Crème Cake is not an exact taste substitute for the Twinkie, so die-hard Twinkie aficionados might not be satisfied. But for everyone else looking for something reminiscent of the Hostess product, the Crème Cake will most likely satisfy.

—Amy Keating

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