Note: Here's a post from 2009 that really needed to see the light of day again. Enjoy!
Oh, Little Debbie. You loyal lunchtime companion, you siren of saccharine sweetness. With you, we've unwrapped so many smiles--and you've never asked for anything in return.
Which is all to say, Little Debbie, that you never did anything to deserve what follows...but in the dark reality of the real world, sometimes bad things happen to good people. Yup--it's time for a...
But first, to get some important information out of the way:
What have you done?
A side by side comparison of several Little Debbie treats to see which one will rise victorious through various challenges. Winners were determined simply: at the end of each challenge, which seemed the most edible? (Though, as a disclaimer, we did not eat them afterward)
Which Treats Were Used?
Since the Little Debbie line boasts over 50 varieties of snack cakes, it was elected (for the sake of brevity, and to conserve cash) to choose just four treats that would be representative of some of the major textures and flavors; ultimately, it was narrowed down to the following contenders from their list of bestselling treats: Cosmic Brownies, Oatmeal Creme Pies, Swiss Rolls, and Zebra Cakes.
Why Did You Do This?
To see which snack cake is truly superior. And also, you know, for fun.
Let the games begin:
Challenge One: Death by Boiling
To see which treat would last the longest when dropped into a pot of boiling water.
Dude. This brownie was a survivor--while the icing melted fairly quickly, even after six minutes the cake part was holding strong and still retaining much of its original form. It wasn't until minute seven that it began to fall apart.
Oatmeal Creme Pie:
This little guy never stood a chance. Almost instantly the snack cake began to fall apart when it hit the boiling water; in under thirty seconds, it had completely liquefied, with not even crumbs remaining.
These dudes were probably the luckiest of the bunch: since they come in pairs, at least they didn't have to die alone. When the rolls hit the boiling water, the chocolate glaze melted almost immediately, with the cream filling following in short order--however, the cake held on for dear life, slowly unraveling and remaining solid (albeit bloated and soft) for a good four and a half minutes before the spongy pieces began to fall apart.
The first thing that happened was that this cake seemed to dissect itself: the top icing and middle creme layer began to melt, thus separating the cake layers, which then began to expand in the water. The pieces held steady for nearly five minutes until they began to disintegrate.
Winner: Cosmic Brownie, which not only lasted longest but also retained the best form.
Challenge Two: Death by Car
Objective: To see which treat would fare best when run over by a car.
Brownie: Held its form surprisingly well, considering that it was a frosted brownie--no frosting stuck to the car wheel. Perhaps because it was so oily? This one was definitely the most interesting to look at, too.
Oatmeal Creme Pie: Like the brownie, this little sandwich cookie fared pretty well, retaining its general makeup and not even losing much filling.
Swiss Roll: Total Goners. They stuck everywhere: the tire, between the treads, the ground. It was grisly.
Zebra Cake: Not much better than the Swiss Rolls--it seemed as if this snack cake exploded under the weight of the car.
Winner: Oatmeal Creme Pie. While it was a hard decision between this and the brownie, ultimately the fact that the filling was intact made it slightly more appetizing.
Challenge Three: Death by Flight
Objective: To see which snack cake would fare best after being dropped from a second-story window.
Brownie: After landing on its side, Brownie almost looked normal...but upon closer inspection, had a strange and unnatural twist in its side. Sure, it survived...but it would never be the same.
Oatmeal Creme Pie: The cookies acted as a protective buffer, and quite honestly, this one probably just could have been dusted off and given to a friend, and nobody would have been the wiser.
Swiss Roll: The roll cracked open at the seam, allowing the sweet cream to ooze out--the equivalent of a confectionery head wound?
Zebra Cake: Poor, poor Zebra Cake. This one fared the worst, hitting a step on the way down and leaving a sad trail of creme filling as it went. Zebra Cake was so not okay.
Winner: Oatmeal Creme Pie. It didn't seem to have suffered very much at all, other than collecting some dead leaves and dust.
Challenge Four: Death by Danny
Objective: To see which treat will fare best when jumped on by my friend.
See? He meant business.
Brownie: Not so bad at all. It definitely suffered, but didn't lose its form under the weight of the mighty jump.
Oatmeal Creme Pie: Sure, it's only a small bit of creme filling poking out of the top cookie...but who's to say it's not a cookie concussion, bound to claim the cookie's life at any moment?
Swiss Roll: Oh, poor swirly treats: the creme that makes them so delicious was also their downfall, popping out at the ends and rendering them limp and a shadow of their former selves.
Zebra Cake: Though the form was somewhat intact, the moment the cellophane was lifted, half of the frosting and cake came with it. Another one bites the dust.
Winner: Brownie. It was close, but ultimately the Oatmeal Creme Pie looked like it might not survive.
Which Snack Takes the Cake?
Looks like it's a tie between the Oatmeal Creme Pie and the Brownie--but if you want a sweet survivor, stay away from the the iced snack cakes--they're total softies.
Overall, these Little Debbie treats are hardier than you might think: they're willing and able to withstand all sorts of hardship and will generally remain surprisingly edible. Of course, whether this information is comforting or horrifying is up to you. Naysayers may express horror at the health implications of ingesting foods that won't die. But isn't it much nicer to think that if you grew up eating them, you might have absorbed some of these sweet super powers?