Kellogg’s Little Debbie Nutty Buddy Cereal tastes familiar to me. You might be thinking, “Well, yeah, it’s supposed to taste like a Lil’ Deb Nutty Buddy.” But that’s not it, and I’m pretty sure it doesn’t, even though I’ve never had a Nutty Buddy.
Why am I so sure?
Well, the previoustwo Kellogg’s and Little Debbie collaborations didn’t taste like the actual treats, so there’s an excellent chance this also doesn’t.
Instead, this reminds me of something that many of you have probably never had — round chocolate puffs from 7-Eleven Japan that we can get here on this rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Note that I mentioned the snack is chocolatey, but not peanut buttery.
I’ve eaten half the box, and I’m not convinced that what I’m tasting, besides the chocolate, is peanut butter. My taste buds think it’s the underlying puff, which is made with whole grain oat, whole wheat, and rice flours. Maybe it’s Kellogg’s version of artificial peanut butter flavor, or the company’s attempt at replicating the taste of Nutty Buddy’s wafers, or perhaps both. But whatever it is, it’s the dominant flavor.
Now, the thing about that 7-Eleven snack I mentioned earlier is that it’s one of my favorite things to eat. So having an entire bowlful of something that tastes like it in milk has been awesome. Even though my taste buds aren’t convinced there’s peanut butter flavor, they love this cereal and its airiness.
Now, some of you might be wondering about those holes. Despite being in every piece, the cereal doesn’t instantly get soggy. When they do get milklogged, they are quite squishy. But I wonder if these, with their sugary coating, would’ve been like tiny Noah’s Arks if those holes weren’t there to help facilitate the sogginess. Anyway, if you’re a slow cereal eater, you’ve been warned.
While I’ve never tasted a Nutty Buddy, which prevents me from comparing it with this cereal, I’ve had enough chocolate, peanut butter, and chocolate AND peanut butter cereals to compare. I think my taste buds might be stereotyping what peanut butter-flavored cereals should be, and I don’t notice any of those with this. So maybe Kellogg’s is doing something different with the peanut butter here. Or maybe my taste buds are broken and I’m overthinking things. Anyhoo, Kellogg’s Little Debbie Nutty Buddy Cereal is quite good as a chocolate with maybe peanut butter flavor cereal.
Purchased Price: More than one should pay on eBay Size: 13.1 oz box (Family Size) Purchased at: eBay Rating: 7 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: (1 1/3 cup – cereal only) 170 calories, 3 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 1.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 1 gram of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 125 milligrams of sodium, 33 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 15 grams of sugar (including 15 grams of added sugar), and 2 grams of protein.
PUMPKINUNDATION: the annual influx of pumpkin-inspired products into our grocery stores, characterized by bright orange packaging and liberal use of spice. Whether Pumpkinundation inspires profound joy or the urge to grumble that maple is the superior fall flavor, we junk foodies know that pumpkin rings the official bell of autumn.
To me, there is no greater harbinger of autumn than Little Debbie Pumpkin Delights. Styled like jack-o’-lantern faces, these seasonal soft spiced cookies are stuffed with pumpkin jam filling. They are chewy, delicious, and easily crushed in your purse when you carry one around as an emergency dessert. (I am speaking from experience.) Pumpkin Delights are Charlie Brown’s Great Pumpkin in edible form. When they appear on shelves, I am overtaken by a terrible urge to wear heavy wool sweaters and visit a Spirit Halloween store in August. In short, I love them.
Little Debbie and Hudsonville Creamery have granted my autumn wish by adding a Pumpkin Delights variety to their line of ice creams. This Walmart-exclusive line is extensive and has received largely favorable reviewsfrom ourcontributors. Since this was my first experience with the line, I was eager to evaluate both the product’s overall taste and its similarity to its beloved namesake.
This new variety’s package offers no hint as to its flavor or composition (besides “artificial flavors added”), so I dove spoon first into the mystery. Peeling back the foil lid, I was pumpkin-delighted to see orange: a pumpkin base. Maybe I am just cynical by nature, but I had expected vanilla ice cream, an easy base to carry novel mix-ins. I should have known Little Debbie takes no shortcuts.
The ice cream is creamy, delicious, and nicely rich. Unlike other pumpkin snacks, it doesn’t rely too heavily on spice for flavor. It reminds me of a pumpkin cheesecake ice cream: a bit of tang and a bit of spice that enhance an authentic pumpkin taste.
Within the base is a graham cookie swirl that basically tastes like a mashed up Pumpkin Delight cookie. Its flavor is wonderful: a combination of pumpkin, molasses, and brown sugar. A hint of grittiness through the cookie crumbs adds a pleasant texture — a welcome departure from the Pumpkin Delight’s softness. My major gripe is that there isn’t nearly enough swirl. I found one good hunk of the stuff in my serving, and as I dug through the remnants of the container, I excavated mere additional scraps.
Although stingy — no, miserly — with its cookie swirl, Little Debbie’s Pumpkin Delights Ice Cream is a delicious fall treat for pumpkin lovers and a satisfying counterpart to its cookie inspiration. It is high quality ice cream — not “frozen dairy dessert” — and certainly the best I’ve tried at this price point. For $2.50 per pint, I might pick up another container and go excavating for more cookie swirls. Digging for sugar, after all, is the most time-honored tradition of Pumpkinundation.
Purchased Price: $2.50 Size: One pint Purchased at: Walmart Rating: 8 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: (per 2/3 cup) 240 calories, 12 grams of total fat, 35 milligrams of cholesterol, 85 milligrams of sodium, 28 grams of total carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 23 grams of sugar including 17 grams of added sugar, and 4 grams of protein.
Little Debbie’s Snickerdoodle Crème Pie is the newest addition to the product line that includes the classic Oatmeal Crème Pie, beloved by kids and former kids alike. Will these Crème Pies earn a place next to the adored oatmeal variety?
How is it?
The Snickerdoodle Crème Pie is made of two cookies with vanilla crème sandwiched in between. It’s a simple snack, but sometimes the simplest things can be the best.
In this case, it’s just kind of boring. The cookies are soft, cakey, and moderately sweet with cinnamon flavor but lack anything to make them stand out. They’re not rolled in cinnamon sugar like a normal snickerdoodle but have cinnamon bits that add textural interest. They’re unevenly distributed, though, being completely absent from some cookies. The vanilla crème is inoffensive when eaten with the cookies but also doesn’t bring much excitement. When eaten alone, it leaves a waxy residue, like bad cake frosting.
Anything else you need to know?
I was shocked at how tiny these are. The Oatmeal Crème Pies I eat are much larger, and it sent me down Google hole to find out what was going on. It turns out there are actually two Oatmeal Crème Pie sizes commonly available. The large is often marked for individual sale and seen in convenience stores, and the smaller can be seen in multipacks at grocery stores. The Snickerdoodle Crème Pies seem even smaller than those. What I’m saying is that if your preferred size is the Triple Decker Oatmeal Crème Pie, you should plan on eating several of these.
These are serviceable yet unremarkable cookies. Those who love snickerdoodle cookies might love them, but others will probably find them unexciting.
Purchased Price: $2.29 Size: 9.57 oz/8 pack Rating: 4 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: (1 cookie) 150 calories, 5 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 mg milligrams of cholesterol, 95 milligrams of sodium, 24 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 14 grams of sugar (including 14 grams of added sugars), and 1 gram of protein.
A few months ago, I reviewed a seven-flavor lineup of Little Debbie-themed ice creams exclusively available at Walmart. Despite a few instances of bare shelves, the original seven can now regularly be found at my local Wally World just in time for Miss Deborah and Hudsonville Creamery to grace us with two more line extensions: Star Crunch Ice Cream and Sparkling Strawberry Unicorn Cake Ice Cream.
I had high hopes for these two additions because they both contain a textural element (the crunchy rice puffs in Star Crunch and the candy sprinkles in the Unicorn Cakes).
The Star Crunch Ice Cream has a chocolate ribbon swirl and chocolate-coated puffed rice. There was also, I’ll call it, an adjacent swirl that was very similar to the chocolate but tasted a bit more like the center of the Star Crunch. That amalgam of cookie and caramel wasn’t super strong, and it didn’t hit me over the head with caramel flavor, but I liked that it didn’t seem like there was one single chocolate swirl. The chocolate-coated puffed rice pieces were crunchy, and the chocolate flavor was well balanced against the vanilla ice cream. The Star Crunch itself is a tricky flavor to make stand out in ice cream, but I think the puffed rice pieces helped elevate this without a doubt.
Next up was Unicorn Cakes, and, gosh, did it have several wow factors. Upon opening, WOW that looks like psychedelic chicken pox! Bright blue sprinkles were EVERYWHERE and stood out against a pink strawberry-flavored ice cream base. The candies were crunchy and super sweet, and I think the candy made the ice cream overwhelmingly sweet, but the crunch was an impressive texture variant.
Like the Zebra Cake, Swiss Roll, and Strawberry Shortcake Roll ice cream flavors, this one also had little vanilla cake pieces. I found them to be a little saturated but authentic.
The final wow factor in this ice cream was the bright blue swirl, representing the icing design of its cake counterpart. My inner child was delighted by the vibrant colors. The adult in me was instantly concerned for the rest of my day after realizing I was eating something that tasted remarkably like strawberry cotton candy made into ice cream. What a trip.
Overall, I think these two are welcome and unique additions to the Little Debbie ice cream lineup. I preferred the balance and texture of the Star Crunch, but I can see how Unicorn Cake could delight the masses the way only something with crazy colors and candy can.
Purchased Price: $2.50 each Size: One pint Purchased at: Walmart Rating: 8 out of 10 (Star Crunch), 6 out of 10 (Unicorn Cakes) Nutrition Facts: (2/3 cup) Star Crunch – 250 calories, 13 grams of total fat, 35 milligrams of cholesterol, 95 milligrams of sodium, 31 grams of total carbohydrates, 1 grams of dietary fiber, 25 grams of total sugars, 19 grams of added sugars, and 4 gram of protein.
Unicorn Cakes – 240 calories, 12 grams of total fat, 40 milligrams of cholesterol, 75 milligrams of sodium, 28 grams of total carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 23 grams of total sugars, 18 grams of added sugars, and 4 gram of protein.
There aren’t many independently-owned companies with a brand as well-known and emotionally coveted as Little Debbie. Maybe it’s the vast and varied number of snack cake, donut, and bakery items. But I think Little Debbie has managed to package up some processed snack food magic in its little boxes, and when I heard it had collaborated to create Little Debbie-themed ice creams, my Cosmic-Brownie-loving heart did a flutter.
I realize there are a lot of nostalgic ties to Little Debbie treats. People have strong opinions about their favorites. My review aims to evaluate each ice cream for its overall representation of the snack cake and the total quality as a stand-alone ice cream. I purchased as many of the accompanying snack cakes as I could find but could not track down a Honey Bun or Swiss Roll IRL. (Supply chain shortages, UGH!)
I started my journey with the Nutty Bars one and immediately noticed the foil lid with a Hudsonville Ice Cream label. In my excitement to find these, I had missed the fantastic detail that these are all truly “ice creams” and not “frozen desserts,” “light ice creams,” or “soft serves.” The first three ingredients in every variety are milk, cream, and sugar (and then many other ingredients, but still, I was delighted and hopeful).
Nutty Bars Ice Cream
The Nutty Bars variety is a peanut butter ice cream with chocolate swirls and small Nutty Bar-type inclusions. The pieces were wafer squares covered in chocolate which had a more dense texture than the Nutty Bars themselves but were still pretty representative and delivered a wafer crunch. I was smitten. The flavors were clear and balanced, and the ice cream had enough flavor and texture elements to make it enjoyable while also definitely reminding me of a Nutty Bar.
Rating: 10 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: (1/3 of the container) 280 Calories, 16 grams of fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 35 milligrams of cholesterol, 115 milligrams of sodium, 28 grams of carbohydrates, 1 grams of fiber, 21 grams of sugar, and 5 grams of protein.
Zebra Cakes Ice Cream
Next up, I dug into the Zebra Cakes version, stopping to admire the zebra-striped lid and familiar graphics. It has a vanilla ice cream base with chocolate fudge swirls and vanilla cake pieces. The base tasted remarkably similar to the cake and frosting of the actual snack. The fudge swirl was a great addition, though I think it overrepresented the chocolate note compared to the snack cake’s decorative chocolate swirl. The pieces were more saturated than the Zebra Cake cake, which somehow made them better. This reminded me of the Christmas Tree Cakes Ice Cream, but with the welcome addition of the over-achieving chocolate swirl. Also, yeah, the only Zebra Cake I could locate was a Zebra Cakes ROLL, but the flavor, for comparison’s sake, was the same.
Rating: 9 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: (1/3 of the container) 220 Calories, 10 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 40 milligrams of cholesterol, 80 milligrams of sodium, 30 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 23 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of protein.
Strawberry Shortcake Rolls Ice Cream
After the Zebra Cakes, I went for the similar Strawberry Shortcake Rolls Ice Cream. This was vanilla-based with a strawberry swirl and vanilla cake pieces. This flavor made it clear that Little Debbie was an active participant in this collaboration because the strawberry swirl tasted IDENTICAL to the strawberry cream in the snack cake version. Like, WOW. There were lots of vanilla cake inclusions, and once again, the base had a bit of that vanilla cream flavor as well. In terms of tasting like the snack cake, this one felt about as close as you could get in an ice cream form. I’m not typically a strawberry ice cream fan, but there isn’t anything I don’t like about this.
Rating: 10 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: (1/3 of the container) 220 Calories, 10 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 40 milligrams of cholesterol, 80 milligrams of sodium, 28 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 21 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of protein.
Oatmeal Creme Pies Ice Cream
Having established a heightened level of expectation, I chose the Oatmeal Creme Pies one next. This flavor had a lot of pressure, as it’s one of Little Debbie’s most well-known and best-selling treats (according to the internet). The ice cream base was a nice clean vanilla, and the mix-in was marble-sized gobs of cinnamon cookie pieces that didn’t appear to have any oats. Still, they were certainly representative. My biggest qualm is that there were too few cookies since they were the only inclusion. They also tasted too heavily of cinnamon and ginger. They were delicious, yes, but they didn’t taste as close to the Oatmeal Creme Pie cookie as I thought they would. Once I found and ate the cookie pieces, I was left with too much plain vanilla ice cream.
Rating: 7 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: (1/3 of the container) 220 Calories, 9 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 40 milligrams of cholesterol, 85 milligrams of sodium, 31 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 25 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.
Honey Buns Ice Cream
Honey Buns Ice Cream was next, and I have to say, I was really disappointed I couldn’t find an actual Honey Bun to compare. I did find a Hostess Jumbo Honey Bun, but that’s a different brand, and I was dedicated to the accuracy! When trying this, the first words out of my mouth were, “Holy crap! How’d they do that?” This delivers on the donut flavor. The base tasted exactly like a Honey Bun (again, maybe this is the magic of shared artificial flavors, and if so, I’m ALL for it!). There were cinnamon sugar swirls and sugar-coated fried dough chunks, which were slightly CRUNCHY like an old-fashioned donut. This ice cream blew my freaking mind. I will buy this again. The cinnamon might have been a tiny bit heavy, but those donut pieces, whoa.
Rating: 10 out of 10 with enthusiasm. Nutrition Facts: (1/3 of the container) 240 Calories, 13 grams of fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 40 milligrams of cholesterol, 95 milligrams of sodium, 27 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 21 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.
Swiss Rolls Ice Cream
Heading back to the cake roll realm, I tried Swiss Rolls Ice Cream next. Again, pathetically, I couldn’t find an actual Swiss Roll to compare it with and had to go a bit on memory for this one. This featured a chocolate base which, again, tasted remarkably similar to the specific chocolate frosting found on Swiss Rolls. There were chocolate cake pieces and a white swirl to represent the sweet cream filling which had sort of a marshmallowy flavor. It might have just been my pint, but I thought the cake pieces were noticeably smaller than those in the Zebra Cake or Strawberry Shortcake varieties, and that made it hard to taste/notice them. When I did encounter some cake, it was dry and gritty. Overall, I still think this came close to representing a Swiss Roll, but as a stand-alone ice cream, the quality wasn’t as high as the others.
Rating: 6 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: (1/3 of the container) 210 Calories, 9 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 30 milligrams of cholesterol, 70 milligrams of sodium, 31 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 23 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.
Cosmic Brownies Ice Cream
And to round out this crossover launch, there’s Cosmic Brownies Ice Cream. Bright-colored chocolate sprinkles and gobs of chewy chocolate brownie were scattered against a background of chocolate ice cream. I honestly think the base’s flavor could have been stronger, but that might have taken it closer to the taste of Cosmic Brownie frosting. Maybe they could have also added a chocolate swirl? The brownie pieces, however, were fantastic. Chewy, chocolatey, and plentiful, the only thing wrong with them is that I think I liked them better than an actual Cosmic Brownie, and that made me feel like a traitor. The vibrant sprinkles are a little bit lost and muted when submerged in ice cream, but I was surprised that they still did deliver a candy flavor of their own. A pretty decent match with the popular treat and not at all a bad stand-alone ice cream.
Rating: 8 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: (1/3 of the container) 230 Calories, 10 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 40 milligrams of cholesterol, 85 milligrams of sodium, 30 grams of carbohydrates, 1 grams of fiber, 22 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of protein.
I was pretty blown away by this lineup. I told A LOT of friends and family to go find them. I don’t think many other brand crossover launches like this have done this well at replicating flavor profiles, and I tip my hat to the ingenuity of McKee Foods and Hudsonville Ice Cream. I was particularly impressed with the quality, especially at a $2.50 price point. As mentioned above, the only disappointment was when I occasionally realized I might like one or two of these better than their bakery counterpart. Heaven forbid.