As a kid, my mom was the culprit when it came to bringing sweet things or junk foods into the house. She had a sweet tooth for something chocolately after eating, and often our house had Drake’s Yodels, Devil Dogs, or Ring Dings.
I still fondly recall how the cakes used to be individually wrapped in foil, and often around the holidays the foil would be different colors. We would often roll up this foil and our cat would bat it around as a plaything and we’d find foil balls under pieces of furniture months later.
So certainly these snack cakes were nostalgic and a polysorbate-filled helping of comfort food. I have seen the packaging change for the cakes, from foil to being shrinkwrapped, and the included cardboard tray being removed. I also took note how the cakes bought at a convenience store in an individual serving, looked and tasted different than the ones that came in a boxful from the grocery store.
The company has changed owners several times since it’s pound cake days in Brooklyn in 1888. In addition to pound cake and coffee cake, the other varieties are 50-90 years old and have been family favorites to folks along the Northeast for decades.
For the most part, the flavor was somewhat consistent, until Hostess oversaw the company in 2009. The recipes changed and the company’s corporate debt was a big factor in product quality as the ingredients used changed no doubt.
In April 2013, McKee Foods took over the brand and on September 23’rd Yodels, Devil Dogs, Ring Dings, and Coffee Cakes made their way back onto store shelves in the Northeast.
For the time being the peanut butter based “Funny Bones” cakes are no longer available due to the need to manufacture this product separately.
Upon discovering the slight packaging change which made me notice the holding company had changed to McKee, I decided to give them a try and was glad to find that Yodels tasted much better than the days while Hostess owned them. Also, the cardboard tray liner was back! So the chocolate enrobement that surrounds the cake would keep from cracking. Now if they’d only get the foil packaging back, I’d be inclined to get a cat again…