Mtn Dew Cake-Smash was supposed to come out last year for Mountain Dew’s 80th birthday. But, well, you know, let’s just say it was not a year for celebrating.
And, yes, it’s a bit odd that a beverage marketed to the younger crowd is ancient.
Anyhoo, the brand International Olympic Committee-d it and released it a year after it was supposed to. There was a limited amount to purchase via Mtn Dew’s online store, which predictably sold out within a few hours.
Mtn Dew was kind enough to send samples of the “Dew with a rush of artificial cake flavor,” and after tasting it, I have to say, if Cake-Smash came out last year, it would’ve been a bright spot of 2020. Instead, it’s a 2021 highlight. Actually, it’s a top highlight of my Mtn Dew drinking years.
If you ever get a chance to try it, you’ll probably say something that involves an expletive. Because, holy expletive, this tastes like lemon cake with frosting, and it is Y-U-M-M-I-E. I mean, it’s so good that it makes me forget how to spell.
Although it doesn’t specifically say “birthday cake,” it was created to celebrate a birthday. So I assumed, like with birthday cake-flavored products, it would be either vanilla or chocolate cake. Of course, that was stupid because it’s a Dew, after all. Despite not being what’s considered “birthday cake” in the processed foods universe, I have to say Mtn Dew Cake-Smash captures cake flavor better than most “birthday cake” products.
I don’t know if this will ever make it into brick-and-mortar stores. But I’m going to suggest that it should, and not because I want to make a soda cake with it.
Even though I got samples, I think Cake-Smash is so wonDEWrful that I’m seriously considering spending more than one should on a six-pack on eBay. Or I could just copy and paste the following and direct it to Mtn Dew’s social media accounts every single day until Cake-Smash is in stores.
Hey @MountainDew! Don’t be a Dew Dew Head! Let me buy Cake-Smash in stores!
Childish? Yes. Will I get blocked by Mtn Dew on social media? Probably. Will I be put on a blacklist that prevents me from getting free Mtn Dew samples from now on? Probably. Is Mtn Dew Cake-Smash worth the effort? Oh, most definitely. It’s DEWlightful.
Purchased Price: FREE Size: 16 fl oz can Purchased at: Received from Mtn Dew Rating: 9 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: 220 calories, 0 grams of fat, 75 milligrams of sodium, 59 grams of carbohydrates, 58 grams of sugar, 58 grams of added sugar, and 0 grams of protein.
If The History Channel created a “Food That Built America ’00s Edition” episode, Milk Bar and its founder Christina Tosi would be top billing. I mean, c’mon: you can’t deny Compost Cookies, Cereal Milk Soft Serve with Cornflake Crunch, and Crack Pie were unlike anything we’d ever seen until she burst onto the scene.
The first Milk Bar bakery opened in NYC in 2008, and I would have kind friends haul back packages of cookies for me until I could see that neon pink cursive sign for myself years later.
So, what’s the big deal? Tosi’s James Beard-winning culinary genius is tapping into nostalgic flavors like cereal milk and creating the perfect * chef’s kiss * balance of sweet and salty. I’ve found this true in all her delicious desserts at her flagship bakeries to her newest grocery store items.
The latest to hit shelves are Milk Bar Ice Cream Pints in four glorious flavors that are sure to make OG and new fans giddy. Here’s the rundown:
Birthday Cake: A love letter to Milk Bar’s signature sprinkle flecked layer cake with unfrosted sides, this flavor brings the same delicious layering effect with birthday cake-flavored ice cream, birthday crumbs, and ribbons of birthday frosting. All the celebration, any day of the week.
Cereal Milk: The flavor that started it all. Cousins to the Milk Bar bakery-favorite soft serve offering, this pint combines a Cereal Milk ice cream base with salty-sweet cornflake crunch. Tastes just like the bottom of your cereal bowl.
Cornflake Chocolate Chip Marshmallow: An ode to the bestselling cookie that combines an irresistible combination of cornflake crunch, chocolate chunks, and gooey marshmallow swirls throughout a cookie dough ice cream.
Milk Bar Pie: Deep vanilla ice cream swirled with a gooey butter filling and toasted oat crumble reimagines Milk Bar’s signature pie in ice cream form.
I figured they all be legit because of the Milk Bar brand. However, I also had a good feeling because the receipt detailed “Frozen Custard,” which signaled to me that this would be full flavor compared to an airy, less than 10% milkfat frozen dairy dessert.
I didn’t really know where to start, so I just dove in with the Milk Bar Pie variety. My fellow OGs know this as Crack Pie. Folks newer to Tosi’s empire may ask, “What kind of pie?!” and there ain’t no shame in that either.
I imagined that deep vanilla would be like a sweet cream ice cream, but it tasted more like caramel ice cream with the honey-like sweet notes smoothed out with a buttery richness. The oat crumble was more like crushed oats, but it cued the actual dessert’s crust very well. Unlike a cheesecake graham crust or flaky pie dough, it’s pretty flat. However, the creamy base was so dominant that the crumble didn’t taste particularly oat-like to me. All it did was get stuck in my teeth per usual with oat.
I briefly considered getting the actual dessert shipped so that I could eat a Crack Pie a la mode with Crack Pie ice cream. Excessive? Most definitely.
Purchased Price: $5.99 Size: 14 oz Purchased at: Whole Foods Rating: 8 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: 220 calories, 13 grams of fat, 10 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 55 milligrams of cholesterol, 220mg of sodium, 0 grams of fiber, 22 grams of carbohydrates, 16 grams of sugar, and less than 1 gram of protein.
Cornflake Chocolate Chip Marshmallow
But, I did try something similar with the Cornflake Chocolate Chip Marshmallow (C3M)!
First, I tried it on its own and WOWZA. I could not get enough of the marshmallow flavor, which was like having ooey gooeyness goodness around the campfire without all the flame, char, and ash! The cookie dough ice cream base really complemented and brought out the ‘mallow. The rest of the ingredients helped to seal the deal. There was great texture from the chocolate chips, which were more like rectangular chunks reminiscent of Ben & Jerry’s inclusions.
Additionally, the cornflake crunch was not soggy but not a frozen flake either, so I considered it just right on the texture spectrum. And guess what? They tasted just like cornflakes. Said corn flavor was as comforting as my childhood cereal.
As Milk Bar also sells a grocery-exclusive version (read: different from the ones in their bakery) of their cookies in the same exact flavor, I decided I would also use them to make an ice cream cookie sandwich. This is not a cookie review, so I’ll just concisely say that the ice cream MADE the sandwich – the key again being the marshmallow goodness. I’d prefer to eat it on its own, though!
Purchased Price: $5.99 Size: 14 oz Purchased at: Whole Foods Rating: 8 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: 300 calories, 19 grams of fat, 11 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 40 milligrams of cholesterol, 110mg of sodium, 0 grams of fiber, 29 grams of carbohydrates, 20 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.
I was eager to try the Cereal Milk one after getting a taste of how good the cornflakes were in the C3M variety.
The pint itself really looked like the bottom of the cereal bowl with pieces of yellow cereal flakes peppered throughout. The ice cream itself was a bit more complex than just a sweet cream as I picked up on some saltiness. It wasn’t overwhelmingly so, though! I would liken it to putting a sprinkle of sea salt on a chocolate chip cookie and how that pinch really brings out the flavors.
When I had a spoonful with a density of cereal bits, the cornflakes definitely became more pronounced, and the texture turned into that of soggy cereal. I do prefer the cornflake crunch available as a topping in her bakeries, though. Maybe it’ll make it to shelves soon, so I can use it as a pint topping!
Purchased Price: $5.99 Size: 14 oz Purchased at: Whole Foods Rating: 8 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: 270 calories, 17 grams of fat, 9 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 40 milligrams of cholesterol, 170mg of sodium, 0 grams of fiber, 26 grams of carbohydrates, 17 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.
Unintentionally saving the best for last, Birthday Cake was stellar. My first impression was that it was a bit sweeter than the others, as I’ve come to expect from cake batter ice creams. Additionally, as I was scooping, I saw unappetizing white bits that reminded me of ice chunks.
However, I was so wrong. They MADE the flavor as soon as my mind caught onto the taste of frosting. It reminded me of the childhood birthday cakes from the grocery store and brought me back to simpler and joyous times. This is the Tosi magic right here, folks.
The crumbs, though, seemed like an afterthought to me. I didn’t detect any added flavor or texture. As for the sprinkles, they did their job to add festive colors and a bit of that typical grittiness when you chomp them. I know that may sound unpleasant, but it reminded me of being a kid and eating allllllll the sprinkle-laden desserts. Birthday cake-flavored ice cream is never at the top of my list, but I will definitely keep this one stocked in my freezer!
Purchased Price: $5.99 Size: 14 oz Purchased at: Whole Foods Rating: 9 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: 300 calories, 19 grams of fat, 10 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 40 milligrams of cholesterol, 85mg of sodium, 0 grams of fiber, 29 grams of carbohydrates, 23 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.
What a foray into precious grocery store space, Milk Bar! It’s a strong effort that should be rewarded with fellow shoppers snatchin’ up the pints for a treat unlike anything else in the frozen aisle today!