Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Review: Starbucks Gluten Free Orange Valencia Cake!

Happy Cinqo de Mayo - or, in the gluten free universe, Happy Gluten Free Starbucks Day! For today Starbucks started carrying their gluten free Orange Valencia cake. It's an almond cake with the following ingredients: Whole Eggs, Valencia Orange Pulp, Almonds, Sugar, Orange Peel, Gluten Free Baking Powder, and Orange Oil. I'll admit that I swung through the Starbucks' drive-thru on my way home from work today and didn't step inside (yes, I'm part of the problem, but I was in a hurry!) but apparently there is a single, unwrapped cake in the display cake. The cakes that are actually sold, though, are individually wrapped "for gluten free goodness."

The barista who served me at the drive-thru made a comment that "Finally! We have some gluten free products!" So I am sure I'm not the only anxious customer who requested the orange valencia cake at that particular Starbucks today. I ordered two cakes and the total came to just under $4. I brought the cakes home and my husband and I had a taste test - first we smelled the cake, which had a delightful almond-orange-y smell. (Go figure, with the ingredients, right?) I then broke apart the cake and saw a very soft, moist cake - it looked absolutely delicious.

Their cake didn't disappoint. It was wonderfully rich, moist and chewy. My husband thought it needed a little something - he finally decided that more of a glaze on top would make it 100% perfect, but I thought it was great as is - anything more and it would have been too rich. It's a great pastry choice to go with a cup of afternoon coffee - gluten free or not.

Finally, the orange valencia cake rolls in at 290 calories. Considering the size of the cake, it's surprising at first until you consider the fact that it's mostly almond flour - which isn't necessarily bad for you but certainly packs a caloric punch. Our final verdict: Starbucks Orange Valencia Cake is definitely a winner, and quite possibly a regular monthly indulgence. We definitely recommend trying it! (The puggle was not allowed to partake in the taste test, as she's still on her diet - but I'm sure she would have loved it).

I only hope that Starbucks comes out with more gluten free bakery items soon too!


H.Peter said...

Great review! can you believe that Starbucks Canada is not selling it?

Unreal. So we had to make our own!

Kat said...

Oh, it's not in Canada!? That stinks - I heard that European Starbucks had it well before the US so I can only hope that it comes to Canada very soon!

You made your own? It seems like pretty straightforward ingredients, I'd love to hear more!

Anonymous said...

i am a celiac and i loved it too and i used have one every week...just one as it was calorie heavy.

But it is not available here in Chicago anymore. Is it the same elsewhere or is it only here?

Kat said...

Anon -- Starbucks no longer carries this cake. I'm still upset about this -- it was one thing when they didn't have anything gluten free, but then to offer this and yank it back from us, well, let's just say I'm no longer as regular a customer as I was. :-)