Hostess Cupcakes

Hostess Cupcakes (History, FAQ, Flavors & Commercials)

There are few snack products that are more iconic than the Hostess Cupcakes. This is one of the most beloved cupcakes around, and there are few people alive today who have not had this lovely little treat at least once in their life. There is something delightfully sweet, gooey, and satisfying about Hostess Cupcakes, and they are rivaled in popularity only by the Twinkie.

While there have always been parents who did not want their kids to get to enjoy this sugary treat, many kids simply buy them at the gas station or the grocery store on their way home from school. This is one of the most popular snack items of all time, and it has earned its standing by being consistently delicious for more than 100 years now.

Please leave a review or any memories of this snack in the comments at the bottom of this page. Thank you!

Hostess Cupcakes

History

Hostess Cupcakes are one of the most recognizable of the Hostess brand’s snack lineup. These dreamy little chocolate cupcakes filled with crème filling and topped with vanilla crème icing swirls have been a favorite of snackers for generations by now and are still going strong. There are other flavors of this snack as well, but the chocolate cupcake remains the most popular and the most recognizable to most people as well.

The first Hostess Cupcakes were sold in 1919. This was the first commercially produced cupcake. Taggart Baking company was the first production company that made the cupcakes, and they were not bought by Hostess until 1925. Hostess was really Continental Baking at this time, and the cupcakes were not renamed Hostess cupcakes until later.

 The early 1900s were not really a time where snacking was focused upon as most people were still struggling just to get by. The roaring 20s were just about to get started, however, and the concept of affordable luxury was just starting to enter the minds of people who had survived the first World War and were looking to cut loose and have fun finally. Snack foods and things that were eaten just for fun were becoming more popular during this period, which gave these little cupcakes the opening that they needed to become really popular.

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This was the first snack that was made to market just as a delicious snack item, and the original cupcakes were sold for just 5 cents apiece. There were some other flavors than the classic chocolate cupcake that is so popular today when the products first hit the market. You could get vanilla and malt-flavored Hostess cupcakes in 1919, but these flavors were soon trumped by the popularity of the chocolate version of the snack. There are still other flavors on offer within the lineup of Hostess cupcakes, but the chocolate flavor is the one that everyone thinks of when you mention the little treats.

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In the 40s, an orange cupcake was offered for the first time with orange cake and icing. This flavor still is sold in some markets, but it is not nearly as popular as the chocolate cupcake. Up until the 50s, there was no filling in the cupcakes, and the squiggly line of crème frosting was not placed on the top either. It is hard to imagine this iconic snack product without these two features, but for many of the early years of the product’s sales, it was a lot like other cupcakes on the market.

By the end of the 40s, Hostess had realized that they needed to make some changes to their product to make it more relatable. They asked Doc Rice, who had begun working at Hostess in 1938 as an assembly line worker, to try and develop the cupcake further. He was the inventor who came up with the crème filling in each cupcake and the squiggly line of crème frosting across the top of the cakes.

Rice got the idea for the filling in the cupcakes from the Twinkies product, which was always filled with crème filling that was vanilla flavored. He also improved the flavor and texture of the cakes so that the cupcake itself was also more delicious. The updated cupcakes were made and tested in Detroit and landed on the market in the Detroit area first. Clearly, these little snacks were a big hit, and the company sallied forth with this new style of cupcake that is still very recognizable today.

Hostess sells over 600 million cupcakes each year as of 2022. The Hostess company did enter into bankruptcy in 2012, and their plan had been to retire all other products besides the cupcakes and Twinkies. However, this did not pan out, and Apollo Global Management bought the products and continues to produce them today. The name of the products has not changed, so many people are not aware that Hostess doesn’t make the cupcakes and Twinkies that they are buying today.

Hostess cupcakes recently celebrated its 100th birthday, and the birthday cake flavor cupcake was sold for a brief time to commemorate this event. The CupCake Craze retail program that the brand offers made it possible to get batches of various specialty cupcakes that were only offered during the months of birthday celebrations. While these flavors are likely not going to come back to market anytime soon, there is nothing to complain about with the options that are on offer at all times.

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These are still some of the most decadent and enjoyable cupcake or snack products sold on the market today, and you will not be disappointed if you have not tried one in years. Apollo Global has stayed true to the original recipe and has not changed much of anything about the products since they took over. The wrappers still look the same, and the branding is still really similar, as is the recipe that contributes to the flavor. 

Enjoying a Hostess Cupcake is still a really enjoyable and guilty pleasure, just like it was when you were a kid and got to enjoy them all the time. You can still get these delicious little treats at most gas stations and grocery stores around the US, and there are various other markets that offer them as well. You might see them under various names in foreign markets, but there is nothing that looks like Hostess cupcakes. These are some of the most recognizable snack products around, and they have looked the same for so many years that almost everyone would know them on sight.

Branding

In the early days of the company, the cupcakes products were advertised with the help of Captain Cupcake. Later on, this character also appeared in ads for Twinkies alongside Twinkie the Kid and Fruit Pie the Magician. The marketing of the early products was aimed 100% at kids and with great success. There were various ads after the crème filling was added to the cupcakes brand with the slogan, “Hey! Where’s the cream filling?”

In Mexico, the advertising for the products is a bit different because the product is sold with the name “Pinguinios” due to the penguin-like colors of the Hostess cupcakes. In most parts of Latin America, a penguin-based ad campaign is used for advertising the products. This is a charming departure from the American advertising efforts, which have stagnated in recent years. This product doesn’t require much introduction to American audiences since it has been so popular for so long. You will find that most of the ads that you can find online are from ages ago.

Logo

Hostess Cupcakes Logo

Flavors

  • Chocolate
  • Orange
  • Red Velvet
  • Iced Lemon

There have also been limited edition Hostess cupcakes that were made now and again. Nearly all of these were introduced and tried out when the bankruptcy sale to Apollo Global was finalized. Most of these flavors have been retired with no plans to bring them back. The birthday flavors were related to the 100th anniversary of the cupcake brand and were never intended to be sold after that year.

  • Sea Salt Caramel (caramel iced yellow cake with sea salt topping & caramel filling)
  • Golden (yellow cake with chocolate icing)
  • Baseball (yellow cake with vanilla icing)
  • Baseball (chocolate cake with vanilla icing)
  • Sundae (chocolate cake with vanilla icing)
  • Birthday (vanilla cake with white icing and birthday sprinkles)
  • Star Spangled (yellow cake with blue-colored icing)
  • Candy Corn (yellow cake with vanilla icing & sprinkles)
  • Caramel Apple (caramel apple cake with filling)
  • Pumpkin Spice (pumpkin spice cake with filling)
  • Dark Chocolate Raspberry (dark chocolate cake with chocolate icing and raspberry filling)
  • Strawberry (strawberry cake with strawberry icing)
  • Chocolate Covered Strawberry (strawberry cake with chocolate icing)
  • I Love You Cakes (chocolate cake with chocolate icing) – shaped like a heart
  • ScaryCakes (chocolate cake with orange-colored icing) – available during the Halloween time period
  • HolidayCakes (yellow cake with vanilla icing & sprinkles)
  • Shamrock (chocolate cake with mint filling)
  • Spring (yellow cake with pink-colored vanilla icing)
  • Unicorn (yellow cake with blue-colored, sprinkled icing and vanilla filling)
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Ingredients

  • Sugar
  • Water
  • Enriched Bleached Wheat Flour [Flour, Reduced Iron, B Vitamins (Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate (B1), Riboflavin (B2), Folic Acid)]
  • Corn Syrup
  • Palm Oil
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Cocoa
  • Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable and/or Animal Shortening (Soybean, Cottonseed and/or Canola Oil, Beef Fat)
  • Soybean Oil
  • Contains 2% or Less of: Glycerin, Soy Lecithin, Cocoa Processed with Alkali, Calcium Carbonate, Leavenings (Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Baking Soda, Cornstarch, and Monocalcium Phosphate), Whole Eggs, Modified Corn Starch, Glucose, Baking Soda, Dextrose, Salt, Corn Starch, Whey, Corn Syrup Solids, Inulin, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Mono and Diglycerides, Egg Whites, Potassium Sorbate, Agar, Calcium Sulfate, Locust Bean Gum, Sunflower Oil, Disodium Phosphate, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Polysorbate 60, Sorbic Acid (to Retain Freshness), Xanthan Gum, Wheat Flour, Enzymes, Sodium Stearate, Cellulose Gum, Gelatin, Titanium Dioxide (Color), Chocolate Liquor.

Nutrition

Serving Size:2 cakes (90g)% Daily Value*
Amount Per Serving
Calories 330
Calories from Fat 117
Total Fat 13gs20%
Saturated Fat 5g25%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 5mg2%
Sodium 420mg18%
Total Carbohydrates 53g18%
Dietary Fiber 2g8%
Sugars 36g
Protein 2g
Vitamin A0%
Vitamin C0%
Calcium20%
Iron2.7%
  • Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet.

Pictures

Commercials

An 80s ad:

A 90s ad:

Some classic Hostess ads in a compilation:

A Twinkie the Kid ad:

FAQ

How many calories in Hostess Cupcakes?

There are 165 calories in 1 Hostess Cupcake (45g)

Please leave a review or any memories of this snack in the comments below. Thank you!

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