In 1960, O.D. McKee and his wife, Ruth McKee, founded Little Debbie in Collegedale, Tennessee. The lives of southerners haven’t been the same since. Much like the pride we Tennesseeans feel when we claim Dolly Parton as one of our own, there’s a sense of pride when we can say that Little Debbie started just a little way’s up the road from Chattanooga. I don’t know about you guys, but I grew up on this stuff. Any time we had to stop in the old Suggs Creek Market, which serves as the unofficial Gladeville city limits as far as I’m concerned, when I was a kid, I’d be eager to pick up a snack.
The thing that makes Little Debbie great, to me, isn’t just that they’re good treats, but they’re not served in gargantuan portions. It’s the perfect snack. And, when I see that logo, I’ll admit…I get a nostalgic sense of comfort that calls back to the days of my youth. I never realized how sought after the Christmas Tree Cakes were until this past holiday though. We had family in town. They tried their first Christmas Tree Cakes and were immediately hooked. We tried to take a box home for the holidays, but when we went shopping for them, EVERYONE was sold out. Everyone, that is, except for Buc-ee’s…another beacon of southern living. But, the demand for these items begs the question – which is the greatest Little Debbie snack? Thankfully, I am a journalist, and this is the EXACT thing that journalists investigate.
Power Ranking Little Debbie Snacks
10. Christmas Cherry Cordials – I don’t care what the haters will say. I don’t care that these were the only Christmas Little Debs on the shelves in December because nobody wanted ’em. I do not care – I said what I said. It’s a chocolate covered cherry in cake form. It rules. RULES!
9. Pecan Spinwheels – Sometimes, we just need a little nut to go with our sweet and sticky.
8. Swiss Rolls – No need to get too fancy with the Swiss Rolls. Chocolate. Creme filling. Just give us what we want.
7. Oatmeal Creme Pie – If it’s good enough for Nick Saban to eat every single morning of his life, it’s good enough to make this top 10 list.
6. Raisin Creme Pie – the raisin and its friends (figs, dates) stay one of the most underrated foods in America. That’s right. I said it. Raisins rule. They make the creme pie way better than OATMEAL. You kiddin’ me?
5. Honey Bun – To me, the honey bun is the most instantly recognizable gas station sweet snack on the planet. Sweet and moist, there’s no bad time for a honey bun. It’s the most reliable pastry on this list.
4. Fudge Rounds – Chocolate filling on a soft chocolate cake drizzled with chocolate icing. Chocolate on chocolate on chocolate.
3. Pumpkin Delights – It’s not fall until the Pumpkin Delights have hit the shelves. Real ones know. These cakes have the classic fall flavor, but it’s the spice in them that really hammers home the vibes of the season.
2. Zebra Cakes (really, these are the Christmas tree cakes) – It’s probably the first thing your average cake consumer thinks of when they hear the words ‘Little Debbie.’ There’s a reason this has become a culinary icon. The cake is rich, but the sweetness of that filling is what really drives the ecstasy home. I can’t eat just one. I might not be able to just eat two. I might eat an entire box in one sitting.
1. Strawberry Shortcake Rolls – Apologies to everyone I’ve disappointed by not putting the Zebra Cakes/Christmas Tree Cakes at #1 overall, but I’m standing on it. These Strawberry Shortcake Rolls are the GOAT. I used to look forward to getting these things all the time when I was a kid. Little Debbie combined the sweet fluffy texture of a rich cake with the fruity burst of strawberry jelly (I guess it’s jelly – I don’t know?). This is some mad science right here.
What’s your favorite Little Debbie cake? Let us know in the comments.
Stoney Keeley is the Editor in Chief of The SoBros Network, and a Dogs Playing Poker on velvet connoisseur. He is a strong supporter of Team GSD, #BeBetter, and ‘Minds right, asses tight.’ “Big Natural” covers the Tennessee Titans, Nashville, Yankee Candle, and a whole wealth of nonsense. Follow on Twitter @StoneyKeeley.
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