We have been looking forward to these cupcakes since they were announced on the Hostess Instagram feed in August. Something about pumpkin-flavored cupcakes for Fall got us super excited, perhaps changes in foods signal to our brains that the season is changing. I really like that they didn’t call these “Pumpkin Spice” since that seems so overused (FYI..the Pumpkin Spice craze is worth over $500 million in sales, if you can believe that). While buying the ingredients for lasagna the other night, our local grocery store was just starting to stock these, fresh out of the truck from the Hostess factory. We were the first to buy them! I love it when that happens. First!
These cupcakes are normal-sized. I think a lot of us are spoiled with the gigantic cupcakery stuff we can buy with all kinds of crazy flavors and toppings, so they may seem a little small to you. Each of these weighs in at slightly more than an ounce. There are 8 cupcakes in a box at $2 per box. These are extremely affordable, compared to the $2 per cupcake we pay at the cupcakery in our town, although those are much larger.
The size is really nice for a sweet snack, but the dense and moist cake is what makes these phenomenal. The mouth-feel of the cake feels homemade, it is dense and moist. The pumpkin flavor is REALLY strong, with lots of nice nutmeg flavor coming through. It tastes exactly like a grandma’s homemade pumpkin pie. The cream cheese topping actually tastes like cream cheese and has that cream cheese melt/texture going on, which is pretty amazing at this price point. It reminds me a lot of what you’d find on a homemade carrot cake.
The middle filling was the normal Hostess cupcake middle. Overly sweet, creamy, it has a nice texture and helped to smooth out the pumpkin spice flavoring of the cake. These taste better than the pumpkin spice cupcakes from last year, could there be a different topping, maybe? We weren’t enamored with last year’s version or the Twinkie version, but this one is just right. These would be perfect for a kid party at school or treats for a birthday…or a snack for adults too. Nice size, great taste, and the price is definitely right.