Foodie confession time! I hate Tastykakes. There, I said it. They're an iconic product, and east coast staple, but I've never understood the obsession. I hate their dense texture, the oily residue they leave on your fingers, and their artificial flavorings. As a kid I would sometimes eat the sponge cakes with the jam filling, but I only ate them because Tastykakes were the only sweets my grandpa would keep in his house.
With that being said, I did not buy these for myself. These were a gift from one of my awesome friends, and while I totally appreciate the gesture (he's a super awesome guy), I am not going into this review with high hopes. I'm actually dreading it to be honest. Well, no more stalling. Let's get this
The packaging is a seasonally decorated cardboard box with 6 plastic serving packets inside, each with two little "cupkakes." It functions well, and for a company that spells cake "k-a-k-e,"the design is more sophisticated than I would have expected. We have warm fall colors, some hints of texture from the burlap-looking table cloth in the photo, and a subtle pumpkin themed pattern in the back ground. Not bad, not bad at all. It has a decent layout that's easy to read, and it photographed nicely. If this review were based on looks alone, I'd say this was a 3/5 on the pumpkin scale, but (sadly) it's not. Let's open this up and give these
sponges"kakes" a try.
Individually, the packaging is as plain as ever. We just have some clear plastic with absolutely no printing at all so we can easily see the product. We have two cupcakes with an off white frosting extruded on-top (fondant sheet-style) and two spiced looking cake stumps. To me, these smell faintly like pumpkin spiced candles and week old fry oil. Definitely not appealing.
Okay, moment of truth. I took a bite, and it's just as bad as I remember. The cake is dense and surprisingly dry instead of being overly oily like normal. There is a mild pumpkin spiced flavoring, which starts out pleasant enough, but quickly turns into horrible artificial "should I be eating this" plastic. Thankfully, the icing is more tolerable. It's fondant like, so you could peel it off in a sheet if you wanted to, and it tastes sweet, sugary, and a bit artificial as well.
Overall, this tasted like I was eating a sponge you used to clean pumpkin spice-covered dishes with and topped with some fondant. No sugar coating this one. I hate this. Hate isn't a word I use very often, especially in food reviews, but this? This is awful. Tell them I hate them.
I gave some to my Tastykake loving grandpa, and he absolutely loved them. (Spiced cakes are his favorite.) So maybe there's something wrong with me? Maybe my taste-buds just can't comprehend whatever it is about these Tastykake products that everyone else loves so much, but I don't want to buy these ever again. I gave them all to my grandpa and mother. (Who both love these these things.) So if you are already a Tastykake lover, I'm guessing you'll absolutely love these. If you're a "hater" (like me) these are atrocious. I can't say I recommend them at all, but judging by my family's reactions, I could have broken taste-buds.
On a Pumpkin Scale of 1-5 (5 being the most pumpkin-y) I’d give this a 0. I am not a picky eater, but these taste like gross candle-y sponges. I don't know if there was something wrong with my box, or my tongue, but even so, I won't be buying these again unless they were for my grandpa. (Who loves them.)