When I mentioned to friends that I was trying 7Up Cream Cheese Cake Bites, at least 3 of them said “Ew!” I couldn’t understand this reaction. 7Up is just lemon-lime – how is that a revolting cake? Cream cheese and citrus isn’t a new combo.
The soda-cake thing isn’t groundbreaking, either – Cola cake has existed for more than half a century. Why were they acting like I was volunteering to each live cockroaches? Have people become so conditioned by coffee potato chips and strawberry-flavored cheese that their Pavlovian reaction to any new flavor variety is to make a face and groan? I, for one, was excited about 7Up Cream Cheese Cake bites.
On first glance, I saw two things I liked: streusel topping (I love streusel. Haven’t found a way to make an all-streusel coffee cake yet, but I’m working on it!) and a very prominent “Freshness Date” – great, they aren’t shelf-stable until the end of time. When I opened the package, the smell was lacking in lemon-lime-essence. White cake and cream cheese were dominant, with a little shred of lemon way in the back.
My first bite was a continuation of the aroma experience – not much in the way of lemon-lime. The base was a simple yellow cake. It was tasty, but didn’t scream citrus. The cream cheese topping added a nice tang, but again, not much 7Up flavor. I tasted the streusel alone and realized it wasn’t actual streusel. I think it’s re-baked cake crumbles. Bummer. I wish the package had pointed that out in advance.
While lemon peel zest is 8th on the ingredients list, lemon oil and 7Up concentrate are 11th and 12th, under “2% or less.” No lime listed at all. That just about sums up this experience – there’s 2% or less of 7Up in this product. I find lemon in particular a flavor that’s hard to skimp on – it’s so powerful, even a little makes itself known. I suspect employee #9145 at the industrial baking plant dozed off for a couple minutes (he’s got a newborn, after all) and forgot to add in the 35-lb. bag of powdered citrus extract.
The cake is moist and the texture is a nice middle ground – not too light, not too dense.
They’re not bad little cakes, which has earned them some points, but they’re not what they claim to be, which has lost them some points. I would enjoy these on a dessert table at a party, without knowing they’re supposed to be soda-flavored, but I wouldn’t buy them again.
(Nutrition Facts – 1 cake bite – 120 calories, 7 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 15 milligrams of cholesterol, 70 milligrams of sodium, 14 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 9 grams of sugars, and 1 gram of protein.)
Purchased Price: $5.97
Size: 16 cake bites/box
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Decent cake, cream cheese topping is good. “Freshness Date” lets me live the illusion these aren’t mass-produced fake food.
Cons: Lemon-lime taste? In the immortal words of Geoffrey Holder – “Never had it, never will.” Drink an actual 7Up with these if you want the titular experience. And don’t ever tease me with fake streusel. I can’t take it.