The Incredible Mediocrity of Carl's Jr.'s Ding Dong Ice Cream Sandwich

Before the first bite, and it's already starting to fall apart.EXPAND
Before the first bite, and it's already starting to fall apart.
Josh Chesler

The Guilty Pleasure: The Hostess Ding Dong Ice Cream Sandwich
Where to Get It: Carl’s Jr.
Price: $1.49
What it Really Costs: A sweet sticky mess of crumbs and mediocrity

The Ding Dong might not be the most famous Hostess product (that’d be Twinkies, probably followed by the cupcakes with the squiggle on top), and it would be tough to find anyone to argue that it’s the best Hostess cake (that's a world where Chocodiles reign supreme). But Ding Dongs, we can probably all agree, are among the Hostess items best-suited to be made into a sandwich. 

And that's exactly what Carl’s Jr. did. 

Now, we know what you’re thinking. “How could a scoop of vanilla ice cream possibly harm the deliciousness of a Ding Dong?” The answer is two words: Structural Integrity.

We’re not here to speculate on why the Ding Dong isn’t the king of the machine-wrapped sweets universe, but it might have something to do with the fact that there are constantly little bits of chocolate shell and cake crumbling off of the snack with each bite. Ever try to eat a Ding Dong while eating white dress clothes? Good luck.

Normally, the messy nature of the Ding Dong isn’t so bad as to dissuade people from munching on them, but the ice cream sandwich version of it kicks the sloppiness up a level.

While the semi-frozen nature of the cake itself when in sandwich form doesn’t help with its crumbling problem, it doesn’t make notably worse. On the flip side, the race to down the entire thing before the ice cream begins to either melt or seep into the cake (creating a sort of runny but chunky version of cookies and cream frozen yogurt) is a challenge on its own.

As far as taste goes, there’s really nothing to complain about on the sandwich. It’s a scoop of fast food vanilla ice cream stuck between the two halves of a Ding Dong. The ice cream tastes like ice cream and the Ding Dong is still a Ding Dong. If anything, the ice cream actually complements the cake, cutting into some of the rich chocolate flavor with a little refreshing change.

When you order the Ding Dong ice cream sandwich, you pretty much already know what you’re getting into. Like many other semi-unsuccessful fast food attempts before it, the sandwich tastes exactly as you’d imagine and just like it sounds. While the structure didn’t hold up so well on ours, we’re willing to chalk that up to a single miscue (and, honestly, there’s nothing wrong with it if you’re cool with a small mess from each one).

There was only one true disappointing surprise about the Carl’s Jr./Hostess collaboration… Where’s the classic foil wrapper?

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