REVIEW: Dunkin’ Tomato Pesto Grilled Cheese

Dunkin Tomato Pesto Grilled Cheese Whole

I didn’t know exactly what to expect when I ordered Dunkin’s new Tomato Pesto Grilled Cheese, but I didn’t have particularly high hopes. I was intrigued by the concept, but when a sandwich has only four ingredients, there isn’t much room for error. It seems an especially risky move when you consider that the majority of this restaurant’s foods are round breakfast items whose flaws can be covered in icing or cream cheese. The toasted sandwich features two slices of sourdough bread, nut-free pesto, white cheddar cheese, and oven-roasted tomatoes.

I guess I was wrong to doubt Dunkin’ because this is legitimately good! I ordered it twice in one week, and both times the sandwich was nicely crafted with perfectly toasted bread and melty cheese. It comes in a cardboard box which won’t retain its heat for long, and like any grilled cheese, you should probably try to eat it right away while at peak meltiness.

Dunkin Tomato Pesto Grilled Cheese Top

The bread doesn’t have a robust sourdough tang, but it’s got more heft than regular white bread and a bit more flavor. As someone with a sourdough starter in their fridge (that gets fed as often as a goldfish but rarely becomes an actual loaf), I felt compelled to isolate some bread to taste on its own. You’d probably only be disappointed that it isn’t more sour if you really love sourdough, and I think most people would be pleased with this milder version.

I love a good tomato but find them normally disappointing additions in the fast food world – pale, mealy slices that you fling off after the first bite and wish they’d been left off altogether. Here that problem is solved by oven roasting, concentrating the flavors and bringing out their best sweet and savory qualities. The first time I tried this, the tomatoes were a bit chewy and more akin to the sun-dried variety, but they were tender and juicy the second time. Both were enjoyable in their own ways and definitely not the kind of thing I felt the need to pick off.

Dunkin Tomato Pesto Grilled Cheese Side

Each sandwich has one thick slice of white cheddar, and while some might want more cheese on something that touts itself as a grilled cheese, I found the amount appropriate. I assume no one would order this unless they like pesto, and the spread delivers where it should, on par with most store-bought pestos I’ve tried. It strikes a nice herby balance without being too garlicky. When I lifted my sandwich, I noticed the parts of the bread the pesto had seeped into looked a bit like a science experiment in a petri dish, but hey, I’d rather the pesto be bright green than an oxidized brown.

Dunkin Tomato Pesto Grilled Cheese Split

Overall I found this sandwich to be a delightful surprise. It’s higher quality than I anticipated, and the only real issue is that all the filling ingredients contribute to a pretty oily situation. If you’re looking for something to eat while driving or on the go, this isn’t it. It doesn’t come sliced in half, and while you might manage to keep it from dripping on you, you aren’t going to be able to avoid the grease-slicked fingers. If you’re looking to change up your usual Dunkin’ routine, I highly suggest grabbing some napkins and giving this one a try.

Purchased Price: $5.29
Size: N/A
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 520 calories, 22 grams of total fat, 9 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 45 milligrams of cholesterol, 1110 milligrams of sodium, 60 grams of total carbohydrates, 5 grams of dietary fiber, 4 grams of sugar, and 20 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Dunkin’ Cake Batter Signature Latte

Dunkin Cake Batter Signature Latte 1

Summer is (sort of) here, and with it comes Dunkin’s new summer menu featuring the Cake Batter Signature Latte because nothing says summer like stirring unbaked cake into your coffee. What, you’ve never done that? Do you mean to tell me you’ve never set out to make a cake, decided it was too hot to turn on the oven, and then solved the problem by just swirling the batter into your espresso? Yeah, me neither, but that didn’t stop me from deciding I needed to know what it would be like if I did.

Combining espresso and milk with cake batter flavor and topped with whipped cream, mocha drizzle, and rainbow sprinkles, this beverage blurs the lines between coffee and dessert. It looks like something you’d order if you decided to have a little party for yourself.

My quest for this party began on a cold Chicago day where summer felt far away, but the idea of coffee with sprinkles felt just right. I ordered both iced and hot versions, and my request was met with confusion. I couldn’t tell if this was because the employee didn’t understand why I’d want both or if he didn’t know what the Cake Batter Latte was. After some questioning, I received them, and now it was my turn to be confused.

Dunkin Cake Batter Signature Latte First Attempt

Both had whipped cream and sprinkles, but “rainbow” would be a stretch as most were white or very muted pastels. Where there should have been a mocha drizzle, there was a thin, tan syrup and a dash of brown powder. The drinks weren’t bad but were kind of sad looking and tasted nothing like cake batter. I walked away thinking I had two possibly hazelnut flavored lattes and vowed to try again.

Ok, Round Two! A new day, a new Dunkin’ location.

Dunkin Cake Batter Signature Latte Cake on Summer

This time I opted for just the iced version and was relieved when it looked more like the image on the menu encouraging me to “Cake on the Summer.” Don’t mind if I do! The mocha drizzle was clearly present this time, and the sprinkles had a brighter appearance. Then it came to taste time and I was disappointed that the bulk of this coffee is the same flavor I had before, and it still doesn’t taste like cake batter to me. It seemed closer to a French Vanilla and I’m wondering if the nuttiness is some sort of almond flavoring. Almond extract is a fairly typical ingredient in many cakes, so maybe it’s unfair to say this doesn’t taste like one. I should say that it doesn’t taste like the kind I thought it would, a vanilla-forward birthday cake mix. Maybe this tastes like a petit four?

Dunkin Cake Batter Signature Latte Sprinkles

Dunkin Cake Batter Signature Latte Mocha Drizzle

The espresso has a rich flavor and the (non)cake batter flavoring and toppings don’t totally overwhelm it. It’s sweet but more balanced than you might anticipate something swirled with cake batter to be. The mocha drizzle doesn’t add much taste but aesthetically contributes to a decorated cake look, and the drink itself is pleasantly creamy. Some sips seem thicker and sweeter, like frosting, which wouldn’t really be present in cake batter but does make one think of cake. The highlights for me were any sips with sprinkles. They don’t taste like anything, but they provide some textural pop and festivity. If made correctly, this drink looks like it should be served next to presents and a bounce house, but the taste doesn’t deliver the same amount of fun.

Update: There was a birthday in my house this week, and because I care about authenticity, I sampled a boxed mug cake batter and a homemade cupcake batter. Both confirmed my suspicions that I know what cake batter tastes like, and this latte doesn’t capture it.

Purchased Price: $5.29
Size: Medium (Iced)
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (Medium iced with whole milk) 440 calories, 14 grams of fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 45 milligrams of cholesterol, 190 milligrams of sodium, 67 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 62 grams of sugar (45 grams of added sugar), and 11 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Dunkin’ Cornbread Donut

Dunkin Cornbread Donut One

What is Dunkin’s Cornbread Donut?

Heads up to that one guy who kept pestering Dunkin’ to make a glazed corn cake donut.

Your time has finally come, my friend.

How is it?

Ok, well, I don’t actually know if this aforementioned guy exists, but I certainly didn’t expect Dunkin’ to add cornbread to its menu in any form. I was pretty skeptical, but it’s a tasty little donut.

Dunkin Cornbread Donut Two

That skepticism was hard to shake at first, too. I ordered one donut, and the Dunkin’ employee gave me two. Was it because they were so bad no one was ordering them or was it just because of my winning smile? I’m still not entirely sure, but I appreciated it and enjoyed them both.

The cornbread donut is similar in texture and density to Dunkin’s more “cakey” donuts.

Dunkin Cornbread Donut Inside

It’s glazed and has stripes of white icing, so I expected it to be equal parts sweet and savory, but it’s sweeter than expected, with the cornbread being pretty disguised. I’d say this is 80% sweet, 20% savory.

You’d barely notice the cornbread flavor if it weren’t for that familiar grittiness of the cake. You know that consistency cornbread has, where you can almost taste little bits of sandy cornmeal? That comes through, which I could see being a dealbreaker for some.

I also expected this to be very dry, but it was – here comes that dreaded word – moist.

Anything else you need to know?

Your mileage will vary on this one depending on which type of Dunkin’ donut you prefer. This falls right in line with the glazed blueberry, pumpkin, and the chocolate devil’s food donuts. I love a blueberry from time to time despite how heavy they are.

I’d rank this last among those, but it’s not a huge gap. The sweetness from the glaze and that little bit of cornbread flavor makes it unique enough to stand on its own. At worst, you should grab one of these if you order a dozen.


I ultimately don’t know if this one will make the cut and be anything more than a limited flavor, but it’s worth a shot. You could even just order one in Munchkin form if you’re scared of wasting food.

I appreciate the idea, and I enjoyed the outcome. If Dunkin’ doesn’t do a banana bread donut like this next, I’m gonna be really bummed.

Purchased Price: $1.35
Size: N/A
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 380 calories, 20 grams of fat, 9 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 10 milligrams of cholesterol, 420 milligrams of sodium, 45 grams of total carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 31 grams of total sugars, and 4 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Dunkin’ Salted Caramel Cream Cold Brew

Dunkin Salted Caramel Cold Brew Cup

This was a hard review to write, and by that, I mean I gave in to the temptation to take a tiny taste of cold foam immediately after leaving Dunkin’ and then had to exert a downright colossal amount of willpower to make the suddenly-excruciating three-minute walk home without downing the entire thing.

First, I need to shine a spotlight on the lid that delivered this sweet sneak peek. If you’ve had a drink with cold foam before, you’re probably already familiar with its wider-than-usual opening that serves a mouthful of intact foam with each no-straw-required sip (before the foam inevitably melts, anyway).

Dunkin Salted Caramel Cold Brew Foam

Next, I need to thank said lid for allowing me to experience such a delicious flavor. The Salted Caramel Cream Cold Brew name is predictably accurate, as right off the bat, the foam packs a mix of salt, caramel, and cream flavors. Interestingly, though, while I don’t usually think of either salt or caramel as being subtle, they were not what stood out to me in my sampling. That honor goes to the foam’s creaminess, and I don’t just mean its soft, luxurious texture. The flavor that it most reminded me of was actually Twinkie filling. Sure, its rich, sweet taste played a large part in that, but so did the sheer feeling of comfort it brought me. Coffee tends to get a bad rap through its association with the stressed out, overworked, and under-slept, but this saccharine cold foam had me feeling childlike wonder.

Dunkin Salted Caramel Cold Brew Half Full

The cold brew (which I ordered black, though you can opt for cream) felt pretty standard with its dark, almost chocolatey flavor profile. While it was velvety and milder than a brew of the non-cold variety, I didn’t get much of the tang of saltiness nor the buttery richness of caramel from the drink itself. Notably, it performed a bit of color-changing magic. Remember that inevitably melty foam? The coffee started out a very deep brown but ended up practically tan from foam seepage, which presumably contributed to its rich, silky taste. I’ve witnessed the occasional schism between “serious” coffee drinkers who prefer a plain and simple experience and those like myself who welcome every frilly flavor out there, but I don’t think this offering is any less elegant for its sweetness, achieving a middle ground that can appeal to both sides.

I will say, I’m not sure why this is specifically a spring menu item. Maybe I’m just distracted by the thought of caramel apples, but the flavor strikes me as autumnal, if anything. So it’s a bit of a seasonal stretch, but eh, tomayto, tomahto (or cair-a-mel, car-mel).

Ultimately, if you’re not already a cold brew fan, I don’t think this will be the drink to convert you. But if you are a curious connoisseur — or if you’re just looking for some extra pep in your step and want a smooth, multifaceted flavor to help you achieve it — I’d recommend checking this one out.

Purchased Price: $5.00
Size: Small (12 oz)
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 140 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 10 milligrams of cholesterol, 75 milligrams of sodium, 28 grams of total carbohydrates, 27 grams of total sugars, 0 grams of fiber, and 1 gram of protein.

REVIEW: Dunkin’ Roasted Tomato & Hummus Toast

Dunkin Roasted Tomato  Hummus Toast Box

What is Dunkin’s Roasted Tomato & Hummus Toast?

A little over a year after the debut of its Avocado Toast, Dunkin’ brings a new item to its expanding toast menu. This variety starts with the same sourdough bread but has hummus as the spread and is topped with oven-roasted tomatoes. It’s then finished with a generous dusting of za’atar seasoning (oregano, thyme, sumac).

How is it?

I genuinely feel like Dunkin’ must be reading my diary because this item feels made for me. Hummus is one of the foods you will always find in my fridge, and za’atar is a pantry staple. Admittedly, I was a little worried the quality of both would be lacking since the Avocado Toast was a letdown. The first bite, however, was delicious. The hummus has a strong but not overpowering garlic flavor that works well with the sourdough. Za’atar adds a kick that elevates the entire item.

Dunkin Roasted Tomato  Hummus Toast Tomato Closeup

The oven-roasted tomatoes honestly reminded me more of sun-dried tomatoes in the sweetness they had. They felt like rehydrated sun-dried tomatoes (if that’s even possible?), and it was a pleasant surprise. I wish the tomato pieces were a little smaller, as taking a bite with them meant you were committed to a whole tomato chunk.

Anything else you need to know?

From now until March 22nd, if you order the Hummus & Roasted Tomato Toast through the app, you will get 2x the points. If you don’t like tomatoes, you can request just the hummus and za’atar on the toasted sourdough.


Dunkin Roasted Tomato  Hummus Toast Side

The Roasted Tomato & Hummus Toast is an absolute win for Dunkin’. The price is a little high for what amounts to a snack, but it feels worth the cost because of the quality of ingredients and size of the item. It feels like a slide out of the breakfast zone and more into a midday snack you can grab when you get your afternoon caffeine boost. Just make sure to have some gum or mints after to curb that hummus breath.

Purchased Price: $3.99
Size: N/A
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 piece) 300 calories, 13 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 690 milligrams of sodium, 39 grams of carbohydrates, 6 grams of fiber, 5 grams of sugar, and 8 grams of protein.