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.

REVIEW: Little Debbie Fudge Rounds and Birthday Cakes Ice Cream

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, and I will keep reviewing it. That seems to be the unspoken agreement between the folks behind Little Debbie at McKee Foods Co., the Michigan ice cream makers of Hudsonville Ice Cream, and me, the enthusiastic consumer.

Fudge Rounds and Birthday Cakes are the latest additions to the successful and vast Little Debbie Ice Cream pint lineup. I found them in a freezer endcap at a local Walmart, directly across the aisle from a Little Debbie snack cake display. Clever choice.

Fudge Rounds Ice Cream

Fudge Rounds variety swirls together two types of chocolate ice cream to mimic the Fudge Rounds’ chocolate cookie and chocolate cream filling. The two ice creams, one darker chocolate and one closer to milk chocolate, had distinct flavors on their own. Over time, though, the flavor did sort of just mellow out into one “chocolate” note.

There were some hearty chocolate cookie-ish chunks in the base, and. they were tasty, but didn’t quite taste the same as the Fudge Rounds cookie. In general, I tend to prefer more inclusion pieces, so I would’ve liked more. They offered a nice disruption to the heavy chocolate flavor and overall made the Fudge Rounds Ice Cream pretty interesting and a decent match to the bakery confection.

Birthday Cakes Ice Cream

I’d read a few early positive reviews of the Birthday Cake Ice Cream already, and I think the classic imitation vanilla and almond extract flavor of an American confetti birthday cake is fantastic, so my expectations were pretty elevated. This iteration is a reliably delicious vanilla ice cream with somehow still crunchy sprinkle bits and the occasional glob of vanilla cake, but I have to say I was a little underwhelmed. Yes, it was delicious, but the Birthday Cake flavor wasn’t there as much as I wanted. I mean, you wouldn’t catch me turning this down at a bowling alley birthday party. I just think that given the track record of absolutely nailing the Little Debbie flavors on the nose, this one could have been closer.

Overall I am happy to report that I was generally delighted by these latest Little Debbie Ice Cream additions. I like how this line started with the undisputed cult favorites and then have been working down the “Oh, but do you remember THIS one?” list. I would ABSOLUTELY LOVE to see a banana marshmallow pie iteration. Please and thank you!

Purchased Price: $2.50 each
Size: One Pint
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Fudge Rounds), 7 out of 10 (Birthday Cake)
Nutrition Facts: (2/3 cup) Fudge Rounds – 210 calories, 10 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 35 milligrams of cholesterol, 70 milligrams of sodium, 27 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 20 grams of sugar (including 16 grams of added sugar), and 4 grams of protein. Birthday Cakes – 230 calories, 10 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 40 milligrams of cholesterol, 75 milligrams of sodium, 29 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 23 grams of sugar (including 18 grams of added sugar), and 4 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Kellogg’s Little Debbie Nutty Buddy Cereal

Kellogg s Little Debbie Nutty Buddy Cereal Box

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 previous two 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.

Kellogg s Little Debbie Nutty Buddy Cereal Bowl

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.

Kellogg s Little Debbie Nutty Buddy Cereal Holes

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.