Starbucks Bite Size Desserts: Low-Cal Reasons to Support Coffeemaker's World Domination
For years I hated Starbucks. I sensed they were plotting a world takeover starting with the invention of their own sizing scheme, which to this day I refuse to adhere to (it's a small not a tall). I would accuse anyone who drank their coffee as a co-conspirator and kept their name on a secret list, kept in a secret place, written in super-secret code. Triple shots of espressos are amazing, aren't they?
But, I've come around. I have seeeeeen the light! And a significant change of heart came during the YouTube Presidential Debates. The best question ever went something like this: "If I can go anywhere in the country and order a grande iced half-caff triple mocha latte macchiato, and have it made the same way every time, why can't the government create an efficient way to count votes?"
Maybe Starbucks should run the world.
For its 40-year anniversary celebration (which should be called a brewhaha, no?) Starbucks has a new line of petite desserts. Each are all less than 200 calories and cost just $1.50, so you could have like seven and still feel good about things.
First off, any food item that is made with peanut butter and chocolate I feel I am obligated to try. Sort of like how Ke$ha feels obligated to do bad songs. So, I had to restrain myself from scaling the counter when I saw Starbuck's new Peanut Butter Mini Cupcakes. My expectations were low though because there are a lot of bad cupcakes out there right now. Surprisingly, this was really good. I expected the cake to be dry and the icing to taste like flavored Crisco. Wrong on both accounts. You know how sometimes peanut butter things taste oily? Not this stuff. The icing was like straight-up whizzed peanuts.
The Lemon Sweet Square was lemony and squarey. Ringing in at just 120 calories each, I could down a dozen.
There are also these Salted Caramel Sweet Squares. I give those two thumbs up too. Initially I was skeptical because I figured I would have to pull caramel out of my teeth, but it is mostly chocolate with just a bit of caramel. Then it's stacked on a shortbread crust with pecans and pretzels to add the salty flavor.
Another day I bribed my smallest chicken (I herd chickens) with a Cake Pop. He chose the birthday cake with rainbow sprinkles. Can't go wrong there, right? Sadly, you can. And Starbucks did. He took one bite and gave it back to me. I tried it. Horrible. The cake was raw inside and the icing was a flavorless candy-type shell.
Then I found out from the Starbucks corporate website that they had a hard time getting the cake ball to stay on the stick, so they had to do a lot of testing with both cakes and sticks. Imagine how many conference rooms were booked for that one issue. I'm just wondering, perhaps they found that a slightly undercooked or dense cake was stickier? See, another conspiracy -- let's make them all think partially cooked cake is delicious.
The Red Velvet Whoopie Pie was just as bad. Again, one bite for him, one bite for me and nothing but regret. Maybe I'm just not a whoopie pie girl, whatever that is (actually, I'm sure there's a YouTube video somewhere).
Lastly, The Carrot Cake Mini Cupcake is a solid choice. The icing is light, fluffy and very sweet. And the cake is moist. Great small dessert for those who need something sweet but don't want to go into diabetic shock from sugar overload. Not that I would judge a person who did want to.
Get the Dining Newsletter
The week's top local food news and events, plus interviews with chefs and restaurant owners, dining tips, and a peek at our print review.