We Ate Hostess' New Donettes and Honey Bun-Inspired Cereals

Donettes and Honey Bun cereal
Lee Breslouer/Thrillist

It's been a weird month for cereal: First movie-theater candy got transformed into breakfast, and now two classic truck-stop snacks are getting the same treatment.

After taste-testing Post’s Sour Patch Kids cereal and seeing the heated reactions to it, I figured there’s no way Post would go back to just making Grape Nuts for your meemaw and/or peepaw. And sure enough, those morning-time maniacs upped the ante and released cereals based on two of the most popular Hostess snacks: Donettes and Honey Buns. (I’m calling it now: A Twinkies cereal can’t be far behind.) These cereals are designed to give you all the flavor of your favorite convenience-store breakfast, but in bowl form. I had to try them. Here's how they stacked up.

Donettes cereal
Lee Breslouer/Thrillist

Hostess Donettes Cereal

If you haven’t had Donettes in a while, here’s a refresher. They’re tiny, thick, little yellow cake donuts covered in powdered sugar. I hadn’t had a Donette in a hot minute, so I ate one. To be honest, the hot minute was the length of my entire life until the present. You see, growing up in the Philadelphia area, I was a devoted Tastykake man. That five-star company has its own line of adorable powdered donuts called -- get this -- Mini Donuts. But when I took a bite of those Donettes, I understood why they’re a Hostess staple: they’re bite-sized, delicious, and when you buy ‘em at the supermarket, you get at least 15+ in a bag.

When I opened the Donettes Cereal box, I was pleasantly surprised. It smelled like cake batter! But I wondered how the company was going to replicate the donut’s soft, pillowy mouthfeel in cereal form. Bad news: if there’s a way to do this, Post hasn’t figured it out. Can’t they just buy that shrink ray from late ‘80s-era Rick Moranis or something?! Instead, eating the little corn-based mini-Donette cereal is like eating supersized Cheerios covered in powdered sugar. Which isn’t a bad thing, but it’s super crunchy, and you lose out on one of the best parts of an actual Donette: that glorious mouthfeel. But the sugary finish in the cereal is fairly reminiscent of the donut, so I’ll count that as a win.

Because I can’t help myself, I dunked a Donette in a glass of milk to see if it tasted better than eating a bowl of Donettes cereal. It just makes the donut taste wet. Do not try this at home. Unless you like wet donuts! In which case, carry on! Freak.

Hostess Honey Bun Cereal
Lee Breslouer/Thrillist

Hostess Honey Bun Cereal

First, I had to reacquaint myself with the Hostess Honey Bun. Sorry, I had to acquaint myself because that Tastykake Honey Bun has long had my heart. Because my supermarket stupidly didn’t sell Hostess’s cinnamon-filled treat, I walked into a nearby convenience store about the size of a New York City apartment’s bathroom hoping to find one. Despite its size, the cashier helpfully pointed me to the Honey Bun. Success! After I tore the package open, my first bite was a great one, what with the honey bun’s lusty mix of honey and cinnamon notes, and a satisfying chew.

When I opened the cereal box, I expected it to smell like a honey bun -- loads of honey and cinnamon. That smell must be hard to replicate, because this cereal smelled like watching someone eat a honey bun over FaceTime. As in, it didn’t smell like much except corn cereal with a dusting of honey. If you’re looking for the intensity of a real Honey Bun, this is not your bowl of cereal. Here’s the good news: the cereal has some honey and cinnamon flavors! There are serious Honey Nut Cheerios vibes in the finish -- it’s like they dusted those Cheerios with a bit of cinnamon and renamed it Honey Bun Cereal. Post also gets points for aesthetics -- I love the hundreds of miniature Honey Buns in every bowl.

What’s better: the cereal or the real thing?

Both of the Hostess products are objectively better tasting than the cereal. You might’ve expected that, but whereas I have to tap out after a few bites of Honey Bun lest my body shut down from honey overload (not a real disease), I can easily put away an entire bowl of Post Hostess Honey Bun Cereal. That’s as high a compliment as I can give a bowl of cereal. Each spoonful makes you want to eat another spoonful. And the Donettes Cereal also scores points for anyone who loves little sugar-coated nuggets in their cereal bowl. Overall, Hostess and Post have two strong new entries into the cereal aisles. Only one question remains: when’re we getting that Twinkies cereal?

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