Growing up in the 1980’s and 90’s meant that your house probable had a few different boxes of Little Debbie treats. We would get one after playing outside, have a box handy when we played games with our friends, and definitely had one in our school lunches as our nutritionally mandated dessert. My lunches always consisted of a sandwich with mustard and one piece of Carl Budding ham, a baggie of chips, some form of fruit, a Mendota Springs, and a Little Debbie. That overtly sweet snack cake was the highlight of my entire school day.
Today I am feeling a bit nostalgic and thought it was high time we gave a definitive ranking of what are the ten best Little Debbie treats from my youth. I know there are some new treats in the collection of Little Debbies, but I did not have those in my lunches. If it came out after 1993, I did not eat it. Also there will be no “rolled” cakes on here. The rolled cakes suck, as do the Banana Twins and any marshmallow pie. Take my advice and skip those boxes.
Remember this is the definitive list. We have performed super science to get the correct rankings. Don’t agree? Come at us.
10. Pecan Pie
The mini pecan pie in the tiny aluminum tin is hard to find these days, but it does still exist. Many people hate this extremely sweet and sticky creation. Those people are wrong. The pecan pie has it’s problems (the sticky and sweet parts) but it was always a treat to gulp down a whole round pie in two or three bites. Just make sure you have some Mendota Springs to wash all that sweetness down.
9. PB Crunch
The PB Crunch was like a lower grade peanut butter Twix. Cookie, peanut butter and chocolate, plus the Twix like shape could confuse anyone’s eyes. While the peanut butter Twix is super deliciousness, the PB Crunch had a little blandness. Yet, peanut butter and chocolate can never be a total disaster.
8. Caramel Cookie Bar
Another Twix clone but switch the peanut butter for caramel. Also the shape was flat and not long and slender like the PB Crunch. The caramel was mildly gooey, and could mess up your nice Izod shirt with the popped collar, but was still a decent end to a balanced meal.
7. Cosmic Brownies
Many people are more familiar with the Walnut version of Little Debbie brownies, but if you got the candy sprinkled top of the cosmic variation, you were in luck. The brownie itself is another love it or hate concoction. It was more of a fudge like consistency and a fairly mild chocolate taste. Add the thick frosting (usually half the damn thing) and the colorful candies, the Cosmic Brownie was a faux chocolate delight.
6. Fudge Rounds
Here is where you start getting into some of all time great Little Debbie treats. The Fudge Round had a great cake top and bottom, and an awesome low grade chocolate moose in the middle. All parts of the Fudge Round tasted amazing, it just usually suffered from not enough the middle part. Many times that filling only covered half the cake sandwich. Little Debbie needs to do better.
5. Zebra Cakes
The two square cakes that come in the plastic package have many different versions. There are fancy, chocolate, and a variety of seasonal offerings. The OG Zebra Cake has them all beat. You can actually taste the chocolate and vanilla together. When you sit and peel the cake apart, outstanding. Pulling pieces of frosting off and unwrapping the cake was like a zen ritual to get you through the rest of the school day.
4. Oatmeal Creme Pie
I am not that big of a fan of oatmeal as my cereal or my cookie, yet the Oatmeal Creme Pie is all kinds of awesome. The grittiness of the top and bottom cookie combined with the ample amount of creme in the center is a tactile and taste sensation your tongue will thank you for.
3. Cherry Cordial
For some reason the Cheery Cordial seems to be a seasonal offering (Valentines Day I think?). That is not right because this is hands down a culinary masterpiece. You have another cake sandwich with a creme like filling. This time it is a cherry filling, vanilla type cake, and the entire thing is encased in a chocolate shell. The edges are always have a little more crunch than the center, and it is glorious. This needs to be a year round thing.
2. Nutty Buddy
Peanut butter and chocolate are almost perfect. Add a couple layers of wafer cookies, and Little Debbie achieved near perfection. The Nutty Buddy is better than most candy bars, that is how good this thing is. It is another one of Little Debbie’s offerings that ask you to take the treat apart. Peeling layer after layer of cookie, peanut butter, and chocolate is the near perfect end to any meal. There is almost no equal to this delight.
1. Star Crunch
The Star Crunch not only equals the Nutty Buddy, it surpasses it. The caramel is not overly gooey, the cookie is the perfect balance of crunchy and chewy, the crisp rice adds and extra pop to every bite, and the chocolate brings the whole package together in one of mankind’s finest creations. The Star Crunch is a perfect dessert for any occasion. There is no snack cake/treat equal to the Star Crunch. It is quite simply the greatest Little Debbie ever made.
There it is, the definitive rankings of the ten best Little Debbie treats of my school days. You can not go wrong with any of these ten delights. One’s day is made all the better when devouring these creations. Now it is time for us all to go out and revisit some of the sweetness of our youth. I may just go and house an entire box of Star Crunch’s when I’m done writing here.
RD Kulik is the Head Editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast.
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