REVIEW: Hostess Pumpkin Spice Donettes, Tastykake Pumpkin Spice Mini Donuts, & Tastykake Caramel Apple Mini Donuts

No food says “I hate myself” quite like the doughnut. It’s a scientific fact that there’s no way to navigate eating a doughnut without having sticky fingers, getting powdered sugar all over your face, or sporting an unsightly jelly stain on your business suit just as your boss calls you in for your annual appraisal. “Sorry, but your performance is not up to our standards and is that Boston creme in your hair?” Yes, it is. Luckily, we can hate ourselves a little less tonight with some miniature donuts.

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We shouldn’t be shocked that the mini donut has gotten the pumpkin spice treatment. I am, however, a little surprised that it took Hostess and Tastykake so long to get on board the pumpkin bandwagon. We also have Caramel Apple, but who cares?

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Hostess is just spraying it everywhere this pumpkin season. I’m absolutely obsessed with the Hostess Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes, which are currently leading our Pumpkin Power Rankings and will never relinquish the title if I have anything to do with it (Drunk Female, don’t you dare). Hostess even pumpkinized their famous Twinkie recipe. These Hostess Pumpkin Spice Donettes are described as “pumpkin spice mini donuts with cinnamon glaze.” They contain real pumpkin puree, which is always a plus… probably. The donuts are completely covered with the cinnamon glaze except for the bottom.

These actually aren’t all that messy. Great, full-bodied pumpkin spice flavor here; a spice blend similar to the pumpkin spice cupcakes. Cinnamon is a lead player both on the spice side in the cake and on the sweet side with the cinnamon glaze. These donuts aren’t one-dimensional, though. The donuts are soft and fresh, and I didn’t find them to be too sweet. Best of all, these donuts didn’t make me embarrassed to be a human being.

How Many Hostess Pumpkin Spice Donuts I Intended To Eat Rating: 1 out of 10
How Many Hostess Pumpkin Spice Donuts I Actually Ate Rating: 4 out of 10
Overall Rating: 7 out of 10

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Whereas the Hostess variety went with a glaze, these TastyKake Pumpkin Spice Mini Donuts have gone with a powdered sugar covering. Do they look messy to you? You have no idea. I’m covered in sticky powdered sugar already. I’ll be blunt: these donuts suck. They’re not sweet enough, they’re not pumpkin-spicy enough, and they’re extremely rubbery. These are basically just cinnamon powdered sugar failure donuts. I did eat a second one, but only to confirm that I hated it. Mission accomplished.

Because my Mom taught me to always find the good in things, these Tastykake Pumpkin Spice mini donuts have nice… color? Ugh. I had to wash my hands three times during this short review just to use my keyboard.  The packaging says Tastykake donuts were “made deliciously since 1914,” but I can confirm these Tastykake Pumpkin Spice Mini Donuts were made grossly in 2015.

Worthiness of the Name “Tastykake” Rating: 2.5 out of 10
Worthiness of the Name “Grosskake” Rating: 7.5 out of 10
Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 10

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Oh, Jesus. Here we go again. These Tastykake Caramel Apple Donuts have gone with a weird, crumb-like coating that is guaranteed to bring ants into your home. The donuts are crumby in every sense of the word. This flavor cannot be described because it is so uniquely terrible that it hasn’t been created by anyone before. Is it caramel? Nope. Is it apple? Not a chance. It’s got a mysterious fruity sweetness, but it’s not apple. It tastes worse than fake. There are a bajillion strange ingredients on the package; so many that I grew tired of searching for “caramel” or “apple.” I’m not sure I even want to pawn these off on coworkers or they might hate me forever. These are going in the garbage, which may improve their taste.

Mystery Fruit Rating: 2 out of 10
How They Taste Out of the Garbage Rating: Better out of 10
Overall Rating: 2 out of 10

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7 Responses

  1. I would favor the glazed variety over the powdered variety any day of the week. Just looking at the tasty cake donut it looks terrible. The texture looks rubbery and dense. Not good 🙁

    • Junk Male says:

      I had a feeling the cinnamon glaze was the better choice. Hostess’s pumpkin spice cakes, for a mass-prouced product, is much more on point.

      • Have you tried the Sara lees pumpkin cakes? I’ve heard they are absolutely fantastic! And is the pumpkin spice cake texture light and fluffy? Or pound cake like?

        • Junk Male says:

          I have not tried the Sara Lee ones! Let me know if you try them before I do. Hostess’s pumpkin spice cake is somewhere in between “light & fluffy” and “pound cake,” maybe favoring pound cake a bit. I assure you that it works!

          • Good to know!! I will definitely let you know on those. And I’m sure the pumpkin spice cake works. Just throwing some ideas out for you: Lenny and Larrys pumpkin spice protein cookie, Starbucks refrigerated psl (their bottled fraps), vitatops pumpkin spice, clif bar pumpkin spice, Lara bar pumpkin spice. Sorry for bombarding you! I’ll let you know more when they come to me!

  2. Jessica says:

    I don’t know if I purchased a bad batch of donuts but the Hostess Pumpkin Spice Mini Donuts are disgusting! No pumpkin flavor, ALL sugar, and they leave a weird after taste. Can barely even taste the cinnamon glaze cuz their’s so much sugar. And no wonder there’s no pumpkin flavor, it’s the last ingredient on their ingredient list meaning that it was the least used ingredient.

    • Junk Male says:

      I’m sure you didn’t buy a bad batch; just different preferences! I didn’t find them to be as sweet as you did. I don’t take issue with pumpkin being the last ingredient here because this was just meant to be pumpkin spices vs. pure pumpkin flavor. I thought the spices were decent; about as good as I would expect from mass-produced bagged mini donuts. I wonder if you would like the Tastykake ones if you like less sweetness.

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