Starbucks Valencia Orange GF Cake!

Everyone in my various GF networks have been raving about the new Starbucks Valencia Orange GF Cake! I quickly checked out the ingredients and was pleasantly surprised with it being DF/SF too! Yay! The ingredients are:
Whole Eggs, Valencia Orange Pulp, Almonds, Sugar, Orange Peel, Gluten Free Baking Powder, and Orange Oil.
Isn't it grand when life is nice and simple! And, it looks like they really know what they're doing! They even disclosed how they are manufacturing these little beauties and I have to admit that I am impressed! It's SO nice to have a mainstream company really looking out for us GF!

After searching around for it for a few days, I finally found a store that had them. I purchased 3 - 1 for myself, 1 for my husband, and 1 for later. Hubby and I had one that night for dessert.

For the first one, I thought it was VERY moist, it was not crumbly or dry or grainy, the flavor was pretty good and the serving size was great - not too big, not too small. Now for the bad - only that I thought that it was very orangy. It's okay but a bit strong by itself, but would probably be better with coffee - which I'm sure was the intention. But I couldn't order any because I can't drink coffee black and Starbucks does carry a DF/SF milk (Starbucks, if you are reading, could you please carry a DF/SF milk? Hemp or hazelnut milk would be divine, but I'll settle for almond or rice milk).

Well, fast forward 5 days after purchasing them, I opened up the third one. Short version - not good. The cake had a faintly moldy smell and it was super sticky and stringy. In fact, in my first bite, there was a string hanging from my lip and I thought it was a hair or something. Nope. It was from the cake. It seriously looked like a cobweb. Maybe excess sugar? It's sort of like the strings from Rice Krispie treats or something, but they were tougher - sounds funny, I know, but it's true. I tried taking a picture of it, but it just didn't come out. Anyway, I tried breaking the strings by pulling the bite further from the cake - nope - the strings grew longer. I tried breaking it with my finger. It worked, but I had to pull far and I got a sticky finger. The only other way to deal with them was to spin the cake around until the strings broke. I don't know what all that stringiness was, but it completely turned my stomach. Just to make sure, I pulled a few more bites off with my fork, and sure enough, other bites did it too, so it was not just a fluke. Yuck. I do notice though that there are no preservatives listed in the ingredients, that might be it. The other thing is I see printed "10909 17:34" so I am guessing a manufacturing date of January 9, 2009 at 5:34pm. So maybe it has just been too long? I have seen this before though. When I first started baking from scratch, I made a pumpkin pie. I left it out at room temperature thinking that like store-bought ones, it would be fine. Well, within a week, it was not! The top was super glossy, the pie smelled faintly of mold and it was stringy. I'm thinking whatever happened to the pie has now happened to this cupcake.

Don't believe me? Well, sadly, I'm not the only one with this experience. Ginger Lemon Girl said the same thing happened to her poor cupcake - and what's worse is hers were like that from the day she bought them! She did not the chance to experience them when they were actually decent! :( But, she did really enjoy their Passion Tea Lemonade!

I'm not mad at you, Starbucks. I was and am thrilled, excited and hopeful about your efforts - and especially thankful for your trying to cater to us poor food intolerant people. Unfortunately, this product falls way short of just how good GF/DF/SF can be! If you want some help, I know plenty of recipes that would be better suited for this application! ;)



marylandceliac said...

This is a great post! Sounds like a science project. I wonder what stage of going bad my cake was. It had a strong orange smell, but didn't taste much like orange and made my tongue sting bad! The Starbucks employee said they are only good for three days.

Clara said...

Only good for three days? Interesting. My first one must have just been taken out - it was great. I wish they would have put "keep refrigerated" on the bag somewhere. I was so sad when that last one was all moldy and yucky! Oh well - lesson learned! ;)

glutonicwoman said...

I've gotten the strings on both orange cakes I've eaten, but wasn't grossed out by them. I just figured they were from the high concentration of egg and all the other ingredients they use to keep it super moist.

A moldy taste did not accompany my strings, but I could see how something so moist in a sealed package could go bad quickly.


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