QUICK REVIEW: Little Debbie Mother’s Day Cakes (Strawberry and Lemon)

Little Debbie Mother s Day Cakes  Strawberry and Lemon

What is it?

These are Little Debbie’s attempt to corner the market on treats made specifically for Mother’s Day. They come in strawberry and lemon, and lemon is the only lemon-flavored product available from Little Debbie. I’m not sure what strawberry and lemon have to do with Mother’s Day, but at least the cakes don’t taste like Mom.

Little Debbie Mother s Day Cakes  Strawberry and Lemon 2

How is it?

These have the same textures as most Little Debbie products: cheap, plasticky coating; a super-sweet, oily filling; and dry-ish cake.

Little Debbie Mother s Day Cakes  Strawberry and Lemon 3

The lemon variety has a powerful scent when I open it; the strawberry is less pronounced, but it still has a fruity smell. I really can’t tell what part of the cake is flavored, whether it’s the filling or the cake. The lemon has a nice citrusy taste, but it’s not spectacular — Little Debbie played it safe. The strawberry has more of an artificial flavor, but I actually like it better. If they were bite-sized, I could mindlessly eat 500 calories worth. Again, not spectacular, but it is yummy.

Is there anything else I need to know?

Since these are marketed for Mother’s Day, I had to get the opinions of mothers. My sister agreed with my take on both flavors. My mom agreed with my take on the lemon, but she thought the strawberry was equal to it, not better.

Conclusion:

These are typical Little Debbie fare with fun new flavors. They should not be your only Mother’s Day gifts, but they would be an acceptable supplement. If you’re Cinderella or Snow White and all you have is a wicked stepmother, they would be more than generous.

DISCLOSURE: I received these cakes for free from Little Debbie, but that did not affect my review.

Purchased Price: FREE
Size: 12.01 oz. box
Purchased at: Received from Little Debbie
Rating: 6 out of 10 (Lemon)
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Strawberry)
Nutrition Facts: (1 cake) Lemon – 200 calories, 90 calories from fat, 10 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 1 gram of polyunsaturated fat, 2.5 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 90 milligrams of sodium, 15 milligrams of potassium, 26 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 20 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein. Strawberry – 200 calories, 90 calories from fat, 10 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 1 gram of polyunsaturated fat, 2.5 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 80 milligrams of sodium, 15 milligrams of potassium, 26 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 20 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.

REVIEW: Sour Patch Kids Red White & Blue Ice Cream & Sorbet

Sour Patch Kids Rred White  Blue Ice Cream  Sorbet

To prepare for Independence Day, the Sour Patch Kids have apparently been reading eighteenth-century books.

Have you ever looked at one of those old books? The title page just goes on and on, and it takes up the whole page with its name/description.

The reason I think the Kids have been reading them is that the name/description of this new Dreyer’s product likewise goes on and on:

Sour Patch Kids
RED, WHITE & BLUE
Lemon Sorbet and Vanilla Light Ice Cream,
with a
Redberry Swirl
and
Blue Sour Patch Kids Bitz.

Sour Patch Kids Rred White  Blue Ice Cream  Sorbet 3

Unwieldy title aside, I was excited to try a new seasonal ice cream. When I pulled the lid off, I was struck by how entirely patriotic it was.

The first spoonful surprised me. It instantly reminded me of a summertime treat. It was much tastier and melted more smoothly than I expected.

Sour Patch Kids Rred White  Blue Ice Cream  Sorbet 4

Lemon is by far the dominant flavor. Visually, I can’t tell the difference between the lemon sorbet and the light vanilla ice cream, but I can taste it. They deliver on the “sour, then sweet” promise, with the sorbet being the sour and the ice cream being the sweet. But I wouldn’t call it sour; it’s mildly tart, like lemon sorbet should be, but it’s nowhere near as sour as a true Sour Patch Kid.

It’s hard to isolate the Redberry swirl, but I did find one good vein so I could taste it without too much of the white stuff. It has a generic candy flavor with the faint taste of Redberry. I don’t know how to describe the texture; it’s soft and melty.

Sour Patch Kids Rred White  Blue Ice Cream  Sorbet 5

What most surprised me was the blue raspberry bitz. Before tasting the ice cream, I was skeptical. Whenever gummy candy gets cold, it gets super hard. Case in point: I did get some of the new Red, White, and Blue Sour Patch Kids and stuck them in the ice cream, and the cold tips needed to thaw to be chewy.

But these raspberry bitz are not true Sour Patch Kids. They have a much softer texture. So even though it’s cold, it’s not hard at all, and it dissolves and glides slickly down the throat. You could almost eat a bowl of this stuff without ever chewing. Unfortunately, the blue raspberry flavor is faint, at least compared to the lemon sorbet.

Still, even though the red and blue portions have faint flavors, they make the ice cream more interesting and enjoyable.

Overall, I liked this sorbet/ice cream much more than I expected. But I worry that the marketing will seal its doom. With the bright yellow carton with Sour Patch Kids all over, people will expect it to be super sour, with rock-hard gummy bitz. But that’s not what it is at all. I would have preferred a title like “Patriotic sorbet and ice cream, featuring Sour Patch Kids flavors!”

This is a solid product that I hope returns every year. Just with a different name.

(Nutrition Facts – 1/2 cup – 130 calories, 25 calories from fat, 3 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, less than 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 30 milligrams of sodium, 24 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 20 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.)

Purchased Price: $3.48
Size: 1.5 quarts
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Nice tart lemon sorbet accompanied by sweet vanilla light ice cream. Patriotic appearance. Blue bitz are soft. Better than expected.
Cons: I wish I could taste the blue and red parts more. Some of the sorbet is icy. The marketing makes it sound worse than it is. Long eighteenth-century titles.

QUICK REVIEW: Dunkin’ Donuts Mint Brownie Donut

Dunkin Donuts Mint Brownie Donut

True story: I had to buy this Dunkin’ Donuts Mint Brownie Donut twice, because I wasn’t sure they gave me the right one the first time.

But they did.

Part of what gave me pause is that the frosting looked nothing like the festive green on the promotional materials. The first was more blue than green. But the second just looked white. If it’s not green, what on earth does mint have to do with St. Patrick’s Day?

Dunkin Donuts Mint Brownie Donut 3

On top of the frosting are crunchy chocolate bits. I don’t mind the crunchiness, but it’s not the texture I associate with brownies. My second donut’s pieces were so small it was almost a powder. When I pulled an Ariana Grande and licked the frosting, it was just plain frosting with no flavor.

Dunkin Donuts Mint Brownie Donut 2

The main part of the donut is a typical yeast dough; you can’t go wrong with it. Inside the donut is a chocolaty filling. Here’s where the discrepancy is between the two donuts I tried. On the first, I couldn’t taste the mint. It reminded me of the oily filling of those Hostess chocolate pies I loved as a kid, but it wasn’t minty.

Dunkin Donuts Mint Brownie Donut 4

The second, however, did taste like a mint brownie, though toned down from most that I’ve had. I liked it.

So, if you go down to your local Dunkin’, I can’t guarantee whether your mint donut will actually taste like a mint donut. If it does, it’s great! It’s an underutilized flavor for donuts. But if it doesn’t taste like it, you’re left with an ordinary chocolate-filled yeast ring.

Purchased Price: $1.09
Size: N/A
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 370 calories, 170 calories from fat, 19 grams of fat, 9 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 370 milligrams of sodium, 47 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 25 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Little Debbie Easter Carrot Cake Rolls

Little Debbie Easter Carrot Cake Rolls

A few days after Easter last year, I had a dream that I was walking through Walmart, buying bunny-shaped treats and Little Debbie Carrot Cakes. (Most people dream about flying or being naked. Junk food reviewers dream about grocery stores.) I was disappointed when I woke up and realized that Little Debbie Carrot Cakes did not exist.

So when I learned that Little Debbie Easter Carrot Cake Rolls were a new product this year, it was literally a dream come true.

Little Debbie Easter Carrot Cake Rolls 2

While I was delighted that these carrot cake treats existed, I didn’t have high hopes for them. Over the past year, I have had Little Debbie’s minty St. Patrick’s Day Creme Rolls; Red, White and Blueberry Creme Rolls; and Pumpkin Spice Rolls. I was disappointed, in one way or another, with all three of those flavors.

Additionally, carrot cake is my all-time favorite dessert, but since there are no carrots in the ingredient list, I was skeptical they could pull it off.

Maybe it’s because my expectations were so low, but I was pleasantly surprised.

Though carrots are nowhere on the ingredient label, there are real spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. (Aww, why don’t they ever invite clove to the party?) These spices are welcome guests: these rolls do indeed taste like a spice cake.

Little Debbie Easter Carrot Cake Rolls 3

It’s an unwritten rule that carrot cake has to have cream cheese icing. Cream cheese is not on the ingredient list, yet somehow, there is a cream cheese flavor to it! The white drizzle on top and the oily, fluffy filling complement the spice cake very well.

I can’t say it tastes exactly like a carrot cake, but it’s a close enough approximation from an un-gourmet brand like Little Debbie.

Little Debbie Easter Carrot Cake Rolls 4

I know it’s a joke to pretend you’re being healthy by eating carrot cake, but there’s no way to pretend here since there aren’t any veggies. But I did wonder if I could use the creme filling as a carrot dip, instead of ranch.

I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it because the oiliness of the creme was weird on the crunchy carrot texture. However, it’s still better than eating carrots plain, IMO.

This was not the only time I dreamed about a nonexistent seasonal dessert, and if they all could be executed this well, I hope more make it to the real world. Next, I’m hoping for conversation heart ice cream.

(Don’t worry. I dream about flying and being naked, too.)

(Nutrition Facts – 1 roll – 270 calories, 110 calories from fat, 12 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 2 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 3 grams of monounsaturated fat, 10 milligrams of cholesterol, 115 milligrams of sodium, 30 milligrams of potassium, 39 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 27 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.)

Purchased Price: $2.19
Size: 13.13 oz. box/6 cake rolls
Purchased at: Dick’s Market
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Uses real spices. Tastes like cream cheese frosting. Better than other Little Debbie rolls. Dreams do come true!
Cons: Doesn’t exactly taste like carrot cake. Little Debbie has never been gourmet. You can’t pretend it’s healthy, because it doesn’t have any carrots.

REVIEW: Peeps Mystery Flavors (2018)

Peeps Mystery Flavors  2018

UPDATE: Apparently, if you look at the boxes the Mystery Peeps come packed in on store shelves, they’ll tell you what the flavors are. If you want spoilers, here you go (in no particular order).

In college, I studied Early Modern English, which includes the language of the King James Bible. When I read the Old Testament passage that talks about “wizards that peep, and that mutter,” I imagined something like chicks with pointed hats casting spells in a dungeon somewhere.

Peeps Mystery Flavor  2018 2

The Peeping wizards at Just Born have once again conjured up three mystery flavors of Peeps Marshmallows just in time for Easter. All three flavors are as white as Dumbledore’s beard, so there’s no way to tell them apart from each other, other than the packaging.

Peeps Mystery Flavor  1 of 3

The first flavor is familiar, and after a few seconds of chewing, it is obvious: root beer. I’m 90 percent confident on this. It could also be wintergreen since that’s a similar flavor, but root beer seems more likely. It’s not as strongly flavored as, say, a root beer barrel hard candy, but it’s decent. There’s a little whiff of sassafras in the package.

Peeps Mystery Flavor  2 of 3

The second flavor…I’m not so sure about. It has citric acid in the ingredients list, which is not in flavor 1. I want to say it tastes like purple conversation hearts, so grape, but it also tastes like the smell of lemon Lysol. Given my guesses of flavors 1 and 3, I’m going to guess, with 60 percent confidence, they were going for a soda theme and made this lemon-lime (aka Sprite). It’s OK.

Peeps Mystery Flavor  3 of 3

The third flavor is different from the other two, as far as ingredients go. It has fumaric acid (whatever that is) and pectin, and citric acid is higher in the ingredients label than in flavor 2. As a result, it has a slightly spongier texture and a slightly lower sugar content. This one is by far the most fragrant of the three, with a strong scent infiltrating my nostrils.

While I’m eating the marshmallow, I really can’t place the flavor. I know I’ve had it somewhere, but all I can taste is a summer day at the amusement park. Minutes after I have swallowed, the residual flavor tastes like Dr Pepper. Even though Dr Pepper is what I taste eventually, it’s not what I taste while the Peep is actually in my mouth, so I’m not sure. My guess is cherry cola, but I’m only 50 percent confident. I’m 30 percent confident on Dr Pepper (or whatever they call it to avoid trademark issues), and I’m 20 percent clueless.

All of them are pleasant enough flavors and a nice change from the original, but I doubt I would buy them if they made them regular flavors. They’re not very memorable. Flavor 1 is the best of the three. My final verdict on the flavors: root beer, lemon-lime soda, and cherry cola.

But guessing was harder than I expected. If I get them wrong, will the Peeping wizards revoke my reviewer’s license?

And when I told my dad I was reviewing mystery-flavored Peeps, he thought I said Listerine-flavored. There’s an idea for next year, Just Born!

(Nutrition Facts – 4 chicks – Flavors #1 and #2 – 110 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 0 milligrams of sodium, 27 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 24 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein. Flavor #3 – 100 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 0 milligrams of sodium, 26 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 23 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.)

Purchased Price: $1.24 each
Size: 3 oz./10 chicks
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 7 out of 10 (#1 of 3)
Rating: 6 out of 10 (#2 of 3)
Rating: 7 out of 10 (#3 of 3)
Pros: Root beer is obvious and the best of the three. Pleasant enough flavors. They keep you guessing. It’s nice that they’re doing something fun with an otherwise boring treat.
Cons: It’s frustrating when you can’t guess! Not memorable flavors. Nutrition facts are not identical. Peeping wizards revoking your reviewer’s license.