REVIEW: Little Debbie Chocolate Christmas Tree Cakes Ice Cream

Back in 2021, I reviewed Little Debbie Christmas Tree Cakes Ice Cream. Two years later, Deborah hasn’t aged a day, but she has brought us an additional frozen flavor inspired by one of her yuletide treats: Chocolate Christmas Tree Cakes! (I’m tempted to spell “treat” as “treet” for this review, but I will forbear. You’re welcome.)

Besides the obvious flavor difference, there are some subtle differences between regular CTCs and chocolate CTCs. The regular ones feature a red icing drizzle with green sugar crystals, while the chocolate ones have a white icing drizzle with red and green sprinkles. Hudsonville, the maker of the ice cream, did not overlook these small details.

The regular CTC ice cream features vanilla ice cream with white cake bits and a red swirl with green crystal sprinkles. The chocolate version has a chocolate base with chocolate cake bits and red, green, and white sprinkles. White swirls were swapped out for the white sprinkles.

The chocolate base is wonderful. It’s not that exciting, but it’s a classic ice cream flavor for a reason. And I also really enjoy the cake bits. They almost have the consistency of brownie bits you find in ice cream, so they’re a textural delight.

And speaking of texture: I am so glad the chocolate variety uses sprinkles instead of sugar crystals! The crystals were my biggest complaint about the regular CTC ice cream. They had a gritty, sand-like texture that seemed out of place in the creamy treat.

The sprinkles in the chocolate version, however, have a slight crunch from the cold, but I don’t feel like I’m munching on quartz granules. They are a sensory pleasure. And, of course, we can’t overlook the festive appearance they give this dessert.

My other biggest complaint with the original CTC ice cream was that, although it was good, it was just kind of boring. And, I must admit, this one is also kind of boring. The color of the sprinkles is the only thing festive or seasonal. Chocolate ice cream and chocolate cake are nothing new.

But, you know what? I’m going to overlook the boringness because it’s still a delightful dessert that I will be more than happy to finish.

Purchased Price: $2.74
Size: One pint
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2/3 cup/97 grams) 230 calories, 10 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 30 milligrams of cholesterol, 80 milligrams of sodium, 31 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 21 grams of sugar including 17 grams of added sugar, and 4 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Little Debbie Cherry Cordials Ice Cream

For better or worse, I have had every Little Debbie ice cream flavor since its partnership with Hudsonville took flight a couple of years ago. The most interesting part of the whole thing isn’t the novelty of turning America’s most beloved snack cakes into ice cream, though — at least not for me. It is that there is seemingly no correlation between my personal enjoyment of a snack cake flavor and its corresponding ice cream.

To wit, Fudge Rounds, my favorite Little Debbie, is one my least favorite of the ice creams. Ditto Oatmeal Creme Pie. Star Crunch, which I find okay but would never intentionally purchase a box of, has been my unparalleled ice cream favorite.

Another wrinkle to add to this already-too-complex equation: I have also tended to really enjoy ice creams stemming from snack cake varieties I’ve never eaten. This happened recently with the Apple Pie and Chocolate Chip Creme Pie offerings. The ice creams were stellar; the snack cakes from whence they sprung, however, remain unconsumed by me.

So, if I tell you that I’ve never had a Cherry Cordials snack cake, well, maybe you can guess where this is going.

Hudsonville’s website says the new Cherry Cordials Ice Cream is “Cherry flavored ice cream with cookie pieces, chocolatey flakes and a cherry variegate.” I had to look up “variegate,” by the way. To save you the same effort, should we be shipmates, here you go: “In the food industry, variegates (also referred t’o as ribbons, ribbonettes, swirls, spirals, revels, etc.), are textured flavor dimensions primarily used in ice cream and frozen desserts.” Okay, this is a cherry ice cream with cookie pieces, chocolatey flakes, and a cherry ribbon.

The ice cream base has a mild cherry flavor, like kissing your aunt who just had a Wild Cherry Halls cough drop. The “chocolatey” chips are your standard issue chocolate chips you’d get with any other kind of ice cream. There are many of them; they are of varying sizes and taste semi-sweet. The cookie pieces don’t have much of a standalone taste, but the crunchy texture provided a nice respite. And the textured flavor dimension, see, that’s where the magic happens. If you like hardcore artificial cherry flavor, you’ll be in heaven. My only complaint, as it is whenever there is an enjoyable component with these Little Debbie ice creams, is that I could have done with quite a bit more of the cherry variegate. I guess you could say it was varie-good?

I’ll show myself out.

Purchased Price: $2.74
Size: One Pint
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (97g) 230 calories, 11 grams of fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 35 mg of cholesterol, 70 milligrams of sodium, 30 grams of total carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 23 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Little Debbie Turtle Brownies, Apple Fruit Pies, and Chocolate Chip Creme Pies Ice Creams

Conceptually, the idea of Little Debbie Ice Cream is pretty wonderful. You take everyone’s favorite low-rent snack cake, deconstruct it into nuggets or swirls, and commingle it with a complimentary ice cream flavor from Hudsonville Ice Cream. Unfortunately, the execution just isn’t always there. The “icing” from the Zebra Cake variety, for example— which I think is the same stuff from the belly of the Strawberry Shortcake Roll— assumes a strange and unpleasant consistency when married with the ice cream; the rainbow sprinkles from the Cosmic Brownies become insufferably hard, a veritable cracked molar waiting to happen.

The fact of the matter is, as much as I want to love these things — especially at a $2.74 Walmart price-point — the only one I’ve ever felt compelled to buy more than once is Star Crunch. For whatever reason, I find that one to be heavenly, so good, in fact, that I have to force myself to refrain from consuming an entire pint in one sitting.

Will any of the three new flavors buck the trend of general disappointment?

Turtle Brownies

Hudsonville Ice Cream’s website describes it as follows: “Brownie batter flavored ice cream with brownie dough and crushed peanuts throughout, finished with a caramel swirl.” Look, I’m not gonna lie: I’m not entirely sure how this ice cream was “brownie batter flavored” as opposed to just, you know, chocolate. There was a very small amount of tasty brownie dough (it tastes like they use actual Little Debbie brownie, in fact) interspersed throughout, and… maybe a few peanuts? I couldn’t find many at all. Ditto for the “caramel swirl.” This could have used more of both. And because it needed a little more everything, this one came up a bit short.

Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2/3 cup) 230 calories, 10 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 30 milligrams of cholesterol, 80 milligrams of sodium, 32 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 20 grams of sugar (17 grams of added sugar), and 4 grams of protein.

Apple Fruit Pies

Here’s the thing — I don’t even know if I’ve ever had a Little Debbie apple fruit pie. (Or any of her fruit pies, for that matter.) I was always a wax-papered Hostess hand-pie guy. So I didn’t really know what to expect here. Hudsonville says this one is “Cinnamon vanilla ice cream with an apple pie filling swirl and pie crumbs throughout.”

My first few bites garnered nothing but ice cream, which, let me say this — the ice cream in these has always impressed me, particularly at this price. It’s creamy and thick and is pretty damn good, frankly. This was no different. But it took a bit for me to find any apple pie filling swirl or the pie crumbs. But when I did, I was pleased. The apple swirl was requisitely apple pie filling-like, both in taste and texture, and the pie crumbs were thick, with a bit of a crunch and a subtle graham flavor. The only thing keeping this from being elevated into the stratosphere of “I’m clearing space in the freezer for six more of these” was the sorrowful lack of mix-in. Even still, it was a winner.

Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2/3 cup) 220 calories, 10 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 35 milligrams of cholesterol, 75 milligrams of sodium, 29 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 23 grams of sugar (17 grams of added sugar), and 4 grams of protein.

Chocolate Chip Creme Pie

Like the Apple Fruit Pie, I’ve never had a Chocolate Chip Creme Pie from The Debster. The fact of the matter is, if I’m gonna consume a circular El Deb pie with a “creme” component, it’s going to be of the Oatmeal Creme variety, OR its chocolate sister, the Fudge Round. I may need to branch out after having this revelatory ice cream, however. Described as “Vanilla creme flavored ice cream filled with chocolate chip cookie pieces,” it was my favorite of the three. The “chocolate chip cookie pieces” were plentiful. There were a LOT of chocolate chips throughout, a few hundred, at least. Really, this just ended up tasting like chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream with a bonus creme component, which was very enjoyable.

Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2/3 cup) 240 calories, 11 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 35 milligrams of cholesterol, 90 milligrams of sodium, 32 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 24 grams of sugar (20 grams of added sugar), and 4 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Kellogg’s Little Debbie Swiss Rolls Cereal

Little Debbie and Kellogg’s have once again joined forces to miniaturize and breakfast-ify a popular snack cake so you can eat them for breakfast without feeling too much guilt. The new Little Debbie Swiss Roll Cereal follows Oatmeal Creme Pie, Cosmic Brownies, and Nutty Buddy Cereals. Will they be able to beat shoving a whole Swiss Roll in your mouth and washing it down with a glass of milk in the morning (a.k.a. the breakfast of champions)?

When I pour the chocolate spirals into my bowl, I see a light dusting of a white sugary coating. The chocolate cereal tastes like chocolate cereals I’ve tasted before. The frosted coating adds some vanilla flavor and tastes like the frosted coating I’ve tasted before. It’s good but could be inspired by any number of chocolate and vanilla treats instead of Swiss Rolls.

These remind me of the childhood favorite, Cookie Crisp. Everyone is a bit disappointed when they learn that they’re actually not eating tiny baked chocolate chip cookies for breakfast. But it’s still exciting to think of the possibility.

It’s always difficult to know what to say about these cross-branded products. Is this cereal actually like miniaturized Swiss Rolls? Of course not. It’s a standard frosted cocoa cereal in an admittedly neat spiral design. It’s fine but has nothing to do with its namesake snack cake. Do you really want to think of what eating a crunchy Swiss Roll would be like? It does make me wonder what other vaguely disconcerting cross-brand opportunities are out there. Krispy Kreme Go-Gurt? Anything that those freaks at Lay’s try to turn into a chip flavor?

I’m up for all of it, but sometimes I wish products like these were more than simply branding and did something exciting. Maybe I would enjoy these more if they were filled, like Krave cereal. Or perhaps I’m just experiencing breakfast ennui and asking too much from my cereal bowl.

And despite it not being a standout breakfast option, I’ve been munching it by the handful while writing this review. So perhaps that’s how it’s best enjoyed. So, while Kellogg’s Little Debbie Swiss Roll Cereal is more of a branding exercise than an innovative breakfast option, it’s still a tasty one.

Purchased Price: $3.59
Size: 8.4 oz box
Rating: 7 out of 10
?Nutrition Facts (56 grams): 160 calories, 3.5 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 mg milligrams of cholesterol, 160 milligrams of sodium, 33 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 15 grams of sugar (including 15 grams added sugar), and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Little Debbie Nutty Bars Ice Cream Bars

Little Debbie is getting a little too big for her britches.

A snack cake empire just wasn’t enough for Big Deb. Now she’s taking over the ice cream and cereal game too. If a chocolate treat is sold in the park, Notorious D.E.B. wants in on it, and ya know what? It’s working.

I’ve been hoovering up every new thing she slaps her name on, and on my way to literally getting too big for my britches. In fact, with the push to conquer the supermarkets, the Little Debbie empire’s new motto is “Britches get stitches.”

I’m sure you have your favorite Little Debbie product. For me, it’s always been Nutty Bars, formerly Nutty Buddies, or Nutty Buddies formerly Nutty Bars. I’ll be honest, I’ve lost track of the name and feel like I’m trapped in a Mandela Effect vortex. Either way, Nutty Blanks are amazing.

I loved the cereal Deb dropped a few months ago, so you know I had to try the ice cream bars.

Nutty Bars Ice Cream Bars consist of peanut butter ice cream dipped in a crispy milk chocolate shell. All the elements of the iconic snack bar are there, so it burns me to tell you that, well, these don’t really come too close to the OGs.

These are good, and I’ll give them credit for having a very satisfying texture. The ice cream is a perfect consistency for a bar like this. It’s not a frozen block, but it’s also not melty and holds its form well. The outer shell is actually top-tier, and the crispies are plentiful while adding a solid amount of crunch.

With that said, these just aren’t good enough for something inspired by the Little Debbie Nutty Bar.

The peanut butter ice cream is kinda bland. Not only does it not look like peanut butter ice cream, but it also doesn’t explode with peanut butter flavor.

I compared the ice cream bar to the actual Nutty Bars, and while those have a pretty mild peanut butter flavor in the grand scheme as well, the ice cream really needed to have a strong peanut butter taste to make these things pop.

While I like the crispies, what ultimately gets lost here is the wafer. Nutty Bars have such a perfect structure of delicate, diamond-sheeted wafers between the chocolate and peanut butter that these little dotted crispies never really had a chance. It just ends up tasting like it could be literally any ice cream brand’s generic crunch bar varietal.

So, I’d recommend these as an ice cream bar on their own, but not as a version of the Nutty Bar. The flavors just don’t pop enough. Whereas I actually think they did a great job on the cereal’s texture, these just never really get to where I wanted them to.

The collabs between Deb and the Hudsonville ice cream company seem to be going strong, so maybe they can go back to the lab and remix the flavors a bit. Just release them again as “Nutty Buddy Ice Cream Bars” in a few months and really mess with my head.

Purchased Price: $4.48
Size: 4 pack
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 Bar) 210 calories, 13 grams of fat, 9 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 20 milligrams of cholesterol, 55 milligrams of sodium, 19 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 15 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.