Strawberry Shortcake Cupcake Review!

***Disclaimer: This is a cupcake review. Yes, I am aware that baked products like cakes and cupcakes tend to have frostings that are too sweet, which can be spooned off, but let’s remember, I also bake cakes from scratch, including icings, and eat cupcakes monthly. Therefore, my taste for cupcakes may be pretentious and specific. Please bear this in mind before finding the urge to say “cupcakes are supposed to be sweet!” I am a bit of a dessert snob because I have been exposed to quality desserts.:D Thanks.***

Now, for the review:

Today I ventured into Barnes and Noble and sampled a new item from the cafe; A strawberry shortcake cupcake. It was unpretentious in appeal- a plain white cupcake liner revealing a rose pink strawberry cupcake, and a mountain of icing that made my teeth cry. Although I might risk getting another cavity, I felt the risk was worth it. I bought one, and on my first bite didn’t think it was unique in flavor. It tasted like a plain strawberry cupcake laden in artificial flavoring, and appeared to have a bit of food coloring. I could tell the cake had an artificial influence, (I know, it’s Barnes and Noble, but I am a cupcake snob, and am sensitive to natural and artificial flavors in cupcakes) but it wasn’t disgusting.

Cupcakey Gooeyness.

The cake and center wasn’t too bad, but the scariest thing about this delicacy was the icing. Overly sweet, which is not unique for cupcakes- but way too sugary. I would have recommended perhaps applying less frosting on the cake to the bakers (of course you could spoon it off as well). Then things got better for me. I took another bite, much closer to the center, and bit into a jelly center that tasted like rich, ripe sweet berries. This was the ticket right here. The cupcake had gone from something Little Debbie may sell (which to say that Little Debbie isn’t horrible, however the artificial and slightly processed tastes was present) to a cake that instantly earned a summery richness. The gooey, ripened center gave this cupcake jazz and depth. It went from being something that tastes unoriginal and too sweet to slightly more delicate. Sad news, though. Because of the diabetes flavored frosting, I couldn’t finish the whole cupcake. 😦

Strawberry Shortcake Cupcake Yumfactor: 3 tongues (3 out of 5 stars) It’s ok, not bad if your teeth and glucose can handle it. Better because of the center, but I’d rather find a recipe online and make these myself from scratch. It’s $2.50 a pop and available at Barnes and Noble.

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Strawberry Shortcake for Breakfast? Sorta!

Isn't it pretty?

Dunkin Donuts has newly released a fun limited edition flavor for their line of ground coffees- Toasted Almond and Strawberry Shortcake! (If there are anymore, I do not know of them because I only saw these two flavors at Target).I was interested in the Shortcake bcecause I figured toasted almond was more easy to imagine taste wise and wasn’t as interesting compared to the pink prettiness of the Strawberry Shortcake. I picked it up, excited about what newness I’d experience upon tasting it. And I sniffed it a little.  OH goodness! It was heavenly! So juicy, sweet and flirty to my nostrils! SOLD!

I bought it for about $6.50-ish? at Target and when I first tried it, I literally wanted to spit it back out. (and yes, I did follow the instructions on the back) Slightly disappointed, I added Coffee Mate’s Italian Sweet Cream Creamer to it to enhance the overall flavor, and tone down the artificial strawberry taste. Sure, I’m sure some of you out there are saying “Well duh, of course it’s going to taste yucky! It is artificial!” But mind you, I have had coffees and even teas with strawberry flavoring that was magnificent.  Anyhow, I tried it again, but decided to add slightly more sugar to it, specifically a 1/2 a teaspoon more,a teaspoon of  Torani’s French Vanilla Syrup and to my relief, I ended up with a smoother strawberry flavor that seemed to blend better with the coffee.  On the the last run, (my third attempt at Strawberry Shortcake Coffee perfection) I added 3 teaspoons of turbinado sugar, realizing this coffee has to have quite a bit of sugar added to it to reduce the slight bitterness of the strawberry flavor and tasted pretty decent.

Now, with that said, I have concluded the following:

  • This coffee flavor is unique, complete with pretty pink packaging and smell goodness. Your nostrils may actually thank you for sniffing the bag a little. You have my permission 🙂
  • This coffee is not exactly pleasant unless 3 teaspoons or more of sugar (in my case Turbinado Sugar) is added to reduce the sharpness of the strawberry taste.
  • This coffee doesn’t necessarily need Vanilla flavoring to be added unless you do indeed feel you have been shortchanged in the cream department.  (On the package, not only does one see the berries and the fluffy sponge cake but also whipped cream) Sadly, the whipped cream flavor, or cream flavoring for that matter, fails to be tasted. Yes, I am literal with my flavors. If you promise or imply  cream, I expect to taste the cream,too.
  • This coffee is basically made or broken depending on the sugar content. May not be suitable for patrons who have diabetes and/or persons who want to enjoy coffee without very much sugar in it. (And I don’t have to add that much sugar to most of my coffees and teas, nor do I really like the idea of doing so.)

Pros: It’s pretty pink color, sinfully yummy smell, and unique flavor. Pretty good with (2 1/2 to maybe 4?) teaspoons of Turbinado Sugar. (just being specific with the sugar. I’m sure regular ole white sugar will work fine as well)

Cons: Not very tasty unless I piled on the sugar. Not for persons who want to go easy on coffee that doesn’t have lots of sugar; may end up being too sweet for some of you out there. Oh, and adding vanilla creamer didn’t really do much. Can taste artificial and sharp to some taste buds. Not cheap,either. Coupon usage is highly recommended.

Strawberry Shortcake Coffee Yumfactor: (Without the heaping amounts of sugar) 2 out of 5 tongues and a tastebud. (2.5 out of 5)(With the extra sugar helpings) 3 out of 5 tongues and a tastebud and a half (3.75 out of 5). It’s not too bad with the sugar.

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