REVIEW: Pillsbury Donut Shop Glazed Donut Toaster Strudel

Pillsbury Donut Shop Glazed Donut Toaster Strudel

There are a few childhood joys that I vividly remember: snow days, skipping math class, faking a sick day, etc.

You get the idea.

Almost nothing could make me happier as a child than neglecting my education. The only thing that came close was seeing that mom had decided to splurge on Toaster Strudels instead of the unfrosted store brand Pop-Tart knock-offs that she usually bought. You got to frost them yourself! They were virtually fine dining in a toastable format.

It’s been years since I’ve eaten a Toaster Strudel, so I was excited to try Pillsbury’s new Donut Shop Glazed Donut Toaster Strudels. The box promises that they’re “Like a donut, but even better!” That’s a strong statement, but given my childhood affection for the pastries, I’m willing to give it the benefit of the doubt, even if it does come from a piece a sentient dough like the Pillsbury Doughboy.

Toasting the strudels for the manufacturer’s recommended 1 to 2 cycles at low to medium heat results nicely browned pastry. Even better is the sizzling sound they make while toasting. I don’t know if these can replicate a true donut flavor, but a little bit of fried taste would go a long way towards convincing me.

Pillsbury Donut Shop Glazed Donut Toaster Strudel 2

I tried to recreate the frosting face from the box, but it got just as messy and disfigured as one might expect. It always frustrated me as a kid that I couldn’t get the frosting to look as lovely as on the box. It’s why I eventually just began to eat the frosting separately… Ok, that’s a lie. I ate the frosting separately because I couldn’t wait for the toaster to pop up. I would’ve failed the marshmallow test.

The first bite doesn’t disappoint. The crust is flaky and crisp, and there is indeed a flavor that’s reminiscent of a donut fresh out of the fryer. There’s a whiff of that weird artificial pastry flavor that frozen baked goods often have, but it’s not overpowering. (Don’t know what I’m talking about? Go smell a partially defrosted pot pie sometime.)

Pillsbury Donut Shop Glazed Donut Toaster Strudel 3

The filling is strange. It’s plain. I was expecting the filling to deliver the glazed donut flavor if glazed donuts have a flavor besides “sweet,” but it doesn’t. It tastes like a simple vanilla filling. It’s not bad, but it means that these come much closer to replicating a Bavarian cream filled donut than a glazed. I guess I was hoping that Pillsbury food scientists would have somehow distilled the essence of the glazed donut and injected it into the pastry, but I’ll choose a filled over glazed donut any time.

Pillsbury Donut Shop Glazed Donut Toaster Strudel 4

As a child, I ate childish things. When I became a man… I still eat childish things, but now I have to buy them myself instead of having mom do it. These are worth price even if they don’t live up to the promise of providing glazed donut flavor.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 pastry – 170 calories, 6 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 mg milligrams of cholesterol, 170 milligrams of sodium, 27 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 10 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $2.59
Size: 6-pack
Purchased at:
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Crisp and flaky crust that gets a bit of fried flavor from the toaster.
Cons: It doesn’t really replicate the flavor of a glazed doughnut. It’s just a Toaster Strudel with vanilla filling.

QUICK REVIEW: Pillsbury Grands! Limited Edition Cinnamon Rolls with Strawberry & Cream Flavored Icing

Pillsbury Grands Cinnamon Rolls Strawberry Cream

What is it?

Pillsbury has released Limited Edition Grands! Cinnamon Rolls that are essentially regular cinnamon rolls with a specialty icing. The strawberry & cream flavored icing comes in a generous tub. Don’t be intimidated by the Pepto-Bismol coloring.

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How is it?

If you’re a fan of Pillsbury’s normal cinnamon rolls, there’s nothing disappointing about these. The cinnamon flavor was on par, and I loved the icing. The fact it was a little difficult to scoop out of the tub was negated by the epic melting capabilities on a warm roll. The strawberry flavor is pretty authentic – it’s not too sweet or artificial – and it pairs extremely well with the cinnamon. Not sure why Pillsbury didn’t put this combo together sooner.

Is there anything else I need to know?

Pillsbury Grands Cinnamon Rolls Strawberry Cream 3

The tube comes with five cinnamon rolls, and although they are “pre-cut” in the dough, it was a slight challenge to pull them apart and separate. Since they’re pretty large, one is satisfying. My cinnamon roll baking method is to lay them out on a pizza pan instead of a round cake pan (for easier grab-and-go access), and I’m glad I did since these were pretty big once baked and ready. Oh, your hands WILL get pretty messy, but it’s definitely worth it.

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Looking to switch up your Sunday brunch routine? If so, these are a must-purchase. It’s a nice change of pace from the usual offerings. Good work, Pillsbury!

Purchased Price: $3.50
Size: 17.5 oz. tube
Purchased at: Meijer
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 roll) 300 calories, 7 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 520 milligrams of sodium, 56 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 24 grams of sugars, and 5 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Pillsbury Sweet Moments Chocolate Fudge Molten Lava Brownies

Pillsbury has been the champion of making baking easier with their pre-made cookie dough. And they have been the thorn in the side of fat, pale people everywhere who get poked in the stomach by their friends who hope to make them giggle like the Pillsbury Doughboy.

Now Pillsbury has completely taken the “aking” out of baking by introducing their new Sweet Moments line of products, which consists of bite-sized, ready-to-eat brownies in a bag and their microwaveable molten lava brownies.

If you saw my pale belly that’s been poked several times by my friends to try to make me giggle, you might be able to tell I enjoy molten lava cakes and their gooey warm innards. Unfortunately, these Sweet Moments Chocolate Fudge Molten Lava Brownies don’t have gooey warm innards. Instead, there’s a layer of chocolate fudge that sits on top of the brownie, looking like smooth pahoehoe lava. This is extremely disappointing and it hurts me like I’m walking on jagged ‘a’a lava.

While there’s no baking involved, the instructions call for the brownie, and the four-inch bowl it comes in, to be warmed up in the microwaved for 15 seconds. I put mine in for 20 seconds. When I pulled it out, the bottom of the brownie was warmed perfectly, but the top crust and top layer of chocolate were still on the cold side, making the molten lava part of the dessert not at all molten.

If you prefer your brownies chewy, like I do, you won’t enjoy the way the brownie turns out, which is a lot more cake-like. Although, if you don’t warm it up at all, it’s a lot more chewier. But taste-wise it is what the box says it is, “Decadent & Delicious.” It’s really sweet and chocolatey, so I suggest having a tall glass of milk with you while you eat it.

Again, the Sweet Moments Chocolate Fudge Molten Lava Brownie is really good, but for a company that encourages us to bake, I’m disappointed Pillsbury baked it for us. At least the microwaveable Betty Crocker’s Warm Delights make me feel like I’m actually preparing something, even though it just involves mixing water with cake mix, microwaving it for 45 seconds and then drizzling it with frosting.

I guess I believe that eating pre-baked brownies will give you sweet moments, but baking brownies will give you sweet memories.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 brownie – 370 calories, 19 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat*, 45 milligrams of cholesterol, 180 milligrams of sodium, 47 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 35 grams of sugar, 4 grams of protein, 2% vitamin A and 8% iron.)

*contains less than 0.5 grams of trans fat due to use of partially hydrogenated palm kernel oil

Item: Pillsbury Sweet Moments Chocolate Fudge Molten Lava Brownies
Price: $3.49
Size: 2 pack
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Sinfully delicious. Chocolatey. Droppin’ volcanic knowledge on yo’ asses. Great for those who like brownies but don’t like to bake them. Having knowledge of lava because I grew up on an island with an active volcano.
Cons: Molten lava wasn’t molten after microwaving it. Brownie is not thoroughly warmed up after microwaving. Brownie not chewy after being warmed up. No warm gooey innards. Good source of saturated fat. Ending a review with a corny line.

REVIEW: Pillsbury Mozzarella & Pepperoni Savorings

I’m no party planning expert, but I do know a fancy toothpick though a Vienna sausage does not make it a classy hors d’oeuvre you can serve your hoity-toity friends. The bite-sized Pillsbury Mozzarella & Pepperoni Savorings may have the light, elegant croissant exterior that would appeal to your pretentious pals, but when stuffed with pepperoni, mozzarella cheese and tomato sauce the flaky crust instantly becomes this product’s fancy toothpick. Actually, I don’t think any flavor that you can also find in a Hot Pocket can be stuffed into a croissant without causing a French pastry chef somewhere to weep in disgust.

The outside of each Mozzarella & Pepperoni Savorings was flakier than a crack addict responsible for turning in the rent check. It was delicious and its taste reminded Totino’s pepperoni party pizzas, which after some research shouldn’t have been surprising since Totino’s is a Pillsbury product. I also found out during my investigation that Totino’s also has cheap pepperoni Pizza Rolls, which probably tastes like these Savorings. So basically this product tries to be sophisticated, but despite the flaky pastry exterior it’s just a simple pizza roll. It’s just like the contestants on Rock of Love: Charm School; as hard as they try to be refined, deep down they’re still strippers and whores.

The only characteristic that makes the Pillsbury Mozzarella & Pepperoni Savorings seem fancy it its price, which is much more than its lowbrow cousin, Totino’s Pizza Rolls. With a high price tag, it was even more disappointing that the box contained only 12 measly pieces. Not only are these Savorings pricey, they’re also a pain in the ass to make because, according to the box, they can’t be microwaved. Instead I was forced to kick it old school by doing some preheating and baking them in an oven or toaster oven for 17-22 minutes. I would understand doing this for a meal, but not for a snack.

The Pillsbury Mozzarella & Pepperoni Savorings may be small, but they’re big in saturated fat and sodium. Eat four of them and you’ll get 35 percent of your daily recommended allowance of saturated fat and 20 percent of your daily recommended allowance of sodium, which is somewhat salty, but not as salty as your hoity-toity friends.

(Nutrition Facts – 4 pastry bites – 250 calories, 16 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 20 milligrams of cholesterol, 450 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 2 grams of sugar, 6 grams of protein, 10% Vitamin A, 4% Calcium, and 8% Iron.)

Item: Pillsbury Mozzarella & Pepperoni Savorings
Price: $4.99 (on sale)
Size: 12 count
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Delicious. Nice crunchy, flaky exterior. Reminds me of Totino’s Pepperoni Pizza. A product of Canada and not China.
Cons: Damn expensive. Can’t microwave. Number of pieces seem low for something so expensive. For something so small, it’s high in saturated fat. Flaky crumbs. Giving the rent check with your crack addict roommate. Your hoity-toity friends. Making French pastry chefs cry.