REVIEW: Fiber One Limited Edition Birthday Cake Baked Bar

Fiber One Limited Edition Birthday Cake Baked Bar

Having eaten a lot of stuff from Fiber One over the years, I’ve always felt that it seems to specialize in what I like to call “Dieter’s Delights.” That is, it makes treats that only seem delightful if you’re already depriving yourself of everything else that could even remotely be considered indulgent.

Nowhere is this appeal to the calorie-conscious more apparent than in Fiber One’s new Limited Edition Birthday Cake Baked Bars. After all, what kind of dieter could possibly allow themselves a slice of fiberless, fattening cake, when Fiber One promises to deliver as much flavor and enjoyment for only 90 calories AND with 5 grams of fiber to boot? Being the Birthday Cake queen that I am, I opted to buy the value pack of 12 individually wrapped bars, figuring that these would be right up my alley.

The first thing I noticed about these baby-cake-bars is that they’re small. Like, really small. They’re two, maybe three bites at most, and I actually took a picture of one of them next to a quarter so that you can get a good idea of how small I’m talking here.

Fiber One Limited Edition Birthday Cake Baked Bar 2

Looking at them, I can clearly tell they’re supposed to be emulating Funfetti cake, although the hue of the sprinkles in the bars themselves look noticeably more anemic than they do on the box. The “frosting” (or lack thereof) is a measly tangle of sugar-drizzle that makes me think that my cakes might have gotten caught under a dripping conveyor belt of freshly-frosted Krispy Kreme doughnuts.

Size and cake-nakedness aside, they certainly smell delicious! They have a delicate, sweet vanilla scent that reminds me of any boxed mix that you’d be likely to whip up at home. But, at the end of the day, taste is what matters most in any baked good, and Fiber One delivers here. The bars taste like a yummy (albeit tiny) square of yellow cake, and they’re as good as any other snack cake that you would find prepackaged at the grocery store.

They’re a bit on the dense side, but I actually kind of dig that, especially with the crunch of the icing drizzle and the Funfetti sprinkles there to give some variation to the overall texture. I’m still finding the size on these guys to be a problem, though. I find myself wanting to eat three or four to feel like I’ve had a satisfying treat.

Fiber One Limited Edition Birthday Cake Baked Bar 3

Ah, well, since I bought the value pack, I figured that I may as well set about rectifying the size and frosting issues by whipping up a quick batch of buttercream frosting and assembling eight of the bars together into a little Fiber One-inspired cake. NOW this is an indulgence! Diet-friendly? Probably not, considering that my buttercream has three cups of powdered sugar in it. But, delicious? Oh, you better believe it!

(Nutrition Facts – 1 bar (25 grams) – 90 calories, 25 calories from fat, 3 grams of total fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 80 milligrams of sodium, 18 grams of total carbohydrates, 5 grams of dietary fiber, 8 grams of sugar, and less than 1 gram of protein.)

Purchased Price: $4.98
Size: 10.6 oz. (12 bars)
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: BIRTHDAY CAKE! Calorie-conscious treat! Delicious when assembled into an actual cake!
Cons: Not nearly enough frosting. One bar is just a tease. The resulting assembled cake not being diet-friendly.

REVIEW: Keebler Limited Batch Birthday Cake Fudge Stripes Cookies

Keebler Limited Batch Birthday Cake Fudge Stripes Cookies

During the 45 years or so of the Cold War, the United States and Soviet Union built up massive quantities of nuclear weapons in an effort to counter each other and become the world’s leading super power.

Each had their own spheres of influence, but since separate hemispheres weren’t enough, both nations just kept building more and bigger missiles until one couldn’t keep up any longer.

A quarter century after the Berlin Wall fell, another arms race is occurring. The good news is that the entire existence of the human race is no longer at stake. The bad news is that we are all going to get massively obese.

It’s a trade I am totally cool with.

Gone are the days when Oreo was content with being the world’s leading chocolate sandwich cookie; likewise, Keebler’s elves aspire to an empire greater than just fudge covered shortbreads. The two companies have fought for cookie supremacy in recent limited time offerings of red velvet and pumpkin spice, but the latest flashpoint in the great cookie conflict is one flavor that I never get tired of celebrating: Birthday Cake.

While I give the elves credit for creating a cookie that has all three traditional elements of birthday cake (sprinkles, frosting, and uh, “cake”) I do need to point out that the box artwork features a cupcake. At first I thought this was just a celebration of portion control, but since the package also happens to be non-resalable — thus increasing my chances of inhaling all the cookies in one sitting — I realize the elves probably just suck at making distinctions.

I, however, do not. And to be sure, the distinction of Birthday Cake vs. Cupcake is one I take seriously. If you show me a cupcake, I expect the frosting to steal the show. That’s not the case with these cookies, though.

Keebler Limited Batch Birthday Cake Fudge Stripes Cookies 2

Oh, I mean the shortbread element is fine. It’s buttery with a delectably fine crumb and the non-overpowering element of sweetness I admire about the original Fudge Stripe.

But whereas the original Fudge Stripe can get away with a faux-chocolate glaze that works to balance the shortbread, the frosting glaze on the latest batch of shortbread just tastes like that generic palm oil glaze we’ve all had a million times. It’s not buttercream frosting; it’s not cream cheese frosting; it’s not even a damn Swiss meringue. It’s just way too sweet, and lacks that luscious mouthfeel of an actual frosting element. Likewise, it’s cut off from the sprinkles, which themselves lack the crunchy contrast I want buried in frosting.

Keebler Limited Batch Birthday Cake Fudge Stripes Cookies 3

Fortunately, since my pantry is always willing to celebrate an actual birthday, I had some rainbow chip frosting handy. Now, while I realize this stuff would be good on anything from pancakes to Ritz crackers, I did find it especially wonderful when stuffed between the Fudge Stripe Birthday Cake cookies.

Biting through the crunchy shortbread into actual, sprinkled-filled frosting — even in an artificial, shelf-stable form — reminded me of Oreo’s birthday cake attempt and how providing just a level of textural contrast can go a long way to really making a birthday cake-flavored product worth the purchase.

Does the fact that Oreo makes a better birthday cake cookie than Keebler mean that the Elves are destined to toil in a downtrodden economy until an ex-KGB spy who likes to take his shirt off attempts to assert them as the world’s leading cookie makers? Probably not. But in the arms race of cookie flavors, Keebler’s latest gambit just can’t keep pace.

(Nutrition Facts – 2 cookies – 130 calories, 6 grams of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 70 milligrams of sodium, 18 grams of carbohydrates, 10 grams of sugar, and less than 1 gram of protein.)

Purchased Price: $2.99
Size: $2.99
Purchased at: Weis Markets
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Delectable shortbread crumb. Crunchy sprinkle pieces. Wonderful vehicle birthday cake frosting.
Cons: Waxy, mostly tasteless frosting element. Too much shortbread taste for a birthday cake product. Non-resalable packaging. Cookie company flavor arms races.