Hostess CupCake is an American brand of snack cake produced and distributed by Hostess Brands and currently owned by private equity firms Apollo Global Management and C. Dean Metropoulos & Company. Its most common form is a chocolate cupcake with chocolate icing and vanilla creme filling, with seven distinctive white squiggles across the top. However, other flavors have been available at times. It has been claimed to be the first commercially produced cupcake and has become an iconic American brand.

A chocolate Hostess CupCake, showing the chocolate cake and icing, and the signature line of white squiggles

History edit

The Hostess CupCake was first sold on May 10, 1919.[1][2][3][4] According to author Andrew F. Smith, it was the first commercially produced cupcake, originally produced by the Taggart Bakery as the Chocolate Cup Cake.[2] Hostess has also claimed that it was "the first snack cake ever introduced to the market."[5] In 2004, rival Tastykake disputed this claim, stating that he introduced the first snack cake.[5]

Originally, two cupcakes were sold for five cents.[4] Different flavors were offered during the early years, including cupcakes topped with vanilla or malted milk flavored icing.[3] During the 1940s, an orange flavored cupcake was developed, with orange cake and icing.[3] But until 1950, the Hostess CupCake did not have any filling or the white squiggly line across the top.[3][6]

In 1947, D.R. "Doc" Rice, who started his career at Hostess in 1938 with a job that entailed dumping baked cakes on a table, was given the task of developing the Hostess CupCake further.[3] These developments culminated in an updated cupcake in 1950.[6] A white line consisting of squiggles was added to the top in order to distinguish the Hostess CupCake from other brands.[3][6][7] The vanilla creme filling was also added.[3][6][7] Rice got the idea for using a creme filling when a new machine for injecting filling into Hostess Twinkies became available.[3] Improvements were also made to the cake mix and the chocolate icing in 1950.[3] According to Rice, the updated cupcakes were first produced and test marketed in Detroit.[1]

Other flavors of Hostess CupCakes that have been available at times have been golden (vanilla with chocolate icing) and strawberry.[6]

In 1988, 400 million Hostess CupCakes were sold.[1] As of 2011, Hostess sells over 600 million CupCakes each year.[7] Although Hostess Brands entered into bankruptcy protection in 2012, the company planned to continue making CupCakes and other snack cakes such as Twinkies and Sno Balls.[8] These plans were derailed by the company's liquidation and announcement that they were going out of business on November 16, 2012. However, the company was eventually bought by Apollo Global Management, which began selling Hostess products in July 2013.

Manufacture edit

A halved CupCake, showing the cream filling

The cakes are produced from a batter which includes flour, sugar, cocoa and water. It is baked in trays for 17 minutes in a 70-foot (21 m) conveyor oven that can turn out 11,000 cupcakes an hour. After cooling, the cakes are injected through the top with the vanilla creme, then taken by conveyor to be covered on top by chocolate icing. After a special machine lays white icing in the signature squiggle the cakes are cooled then wrapped.[7]

Branding edit

Hostess CupCakes were marketed for a time by the animated character of Captain Cupcake,[2] who was a companion in commercials to Twinkie the Kid and Fruit Pie the Magician. One marketing slogan that was used was "You get a big delight in every bite."[6] Numerous commercials featured the slogan "Hey! Where's the cream filling?"

Hostess CupCakes are sold as "Pingüinos" (Penguins) in Mexico, and by extension the rest of Latin America (including Brazil),[9] by regional company Marinela (the pastry division of the bread making brand Bimbo).[10]

Popularity edit

Hostess cupcakes have a firm place in pop culture. One survey shows that 97% of those surveyed have heard of them, and at least 71% like them. Gen X leads the way with their support at 75%. Hostess CupCakes are ranked #62 in a list of the most familiar food & snack brands.[11] As copycat recipe sharing took hold in the early 2000s, food bloggers began and continue creating and sharing homemade versions of Hostess CupCakes, using both traditional[12] and healthier ingredients.[13]

Other flavors edit

Standard edit

In addition to the chocolate flavor, these flavors of Hostess CupCakes are available year-round in 8-quantity boxes:

  • Orange CupCakes
  • Red Velvet CupCakes
  • Iced Lemon CupCakes

Limited Edition edit

These flavors are (or have been) available as "Limited Time Only" or "Seasonal" products in 8-quantity boxes; all of these flavors were first introduced after the 2013 acquisition of Hostess by Apollo Global Management.

  • Sea Salt Caramel CupCakes (caramel iced yellow cake with sea salt topping & caramel filling)
  • Golden CupCakes (yellow cake with chocolate icing)
  • Baseball CupCakes (yellow cake with vanilla icing)
  • Baseball CupCakes (chocolate cake with vanilla icing)
  • Sundae CupCakes (chocolate cake with vanilla icing)
  • Birthday CupCakes (vanilla cake with white icing and birthday sprinkles)
  • Star Spangled CupCakes (yellow cake with blue-colored icing)
  • Candy Corn CupCakes (yellow cake with vanilla icing & sprinkles)
  • Caramel Apple CupCakes (caramel apple cake with filling)
  • Pumpkin Spice CupCakes (pumpkin spice cake with filling)
  • Dark Chocolate Raspberry CupCakes (dark chocolate cake with chocolate icing and raspberry filling)
  • Strawberry CupCakes (strawberry cake with strawberry icing)
  • Chocolate Covered Strawberry CupCakes (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 CupCakes (chocolate cake with mint filling)
  • Spring CupCakes (yellow cake with pink-colored, vanilla icing)
  • Unicorn CupCakes (yellow cake with blue-colored, sprinkled icing and vanilla filling)

References edit

  1. ^ a b c "Inventor Honored on Birthday of Hostess CupCake". Daily Union. May 11, 1989. p. 4. Retrieved 2012-02-20.
  2. ^ a b c Smith, A.F. (2011). Fast Food and Junk Food: An Encyclopedia of What We Love to Eat. ABC-CLIO. p. 181. ISBN 978-0-313-39393-8.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Hostess Cupcake Marks 70th Birthday". The Vindicator. May 10, 1989. Retrieved 2012-02-20.
  4. ^ a b Volland, V. (May 11, 1989). "The Hostess Cupcake Turns Sweet 70". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved 2012-02-20.
  5. ^ a b DeWolf, R. (May 14, 1989). "Hostess Cupcake Claim Crumbles Before Tastykake". Boca Raton News. Retrieved 2012-02-20.
  6. ^ a b c d e f "Hostess CupCake". Hostess Brands. Archived from the original on 2012-02-08. Retrieved 2012-02-20.
  7. ^ a b c d "Stuffed". Unwrapped. Food Network. Archived from the original on 2012-02-12. Retrieved 2012-02-20.
  8. ^ Smith, A. "Twinkies will keep coming despite bankruptcy". CNN. Retrieved 2012-02-20.
  9. ^ "Ana Maria inova e lança bolinho cupcake no Brasil". Retrieved 2021-04-21.
  10. ^ "Pingüinos || Marinela". Archived from the original on 2013-12-03. Retrieved 2013-11-28.
  11. ^ "Hostess CupCake Popularity & Fame". YouGov. Retrieved 2023-07-05.
  12. ^ "Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Filling". New York Times. Retrieved 2023-07-05.
  13. ^ "Homemade Hostess Chocolate Cupcakes". Green Smoothie Gourmet. Retrieved 2023-07-05.

External links edit