Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Ah the Starbucks Bakery Counter... pleasure

I think it is high time I held another fun little poll. Now a word about these polls...last time it took me what felt like ages before I was able to present you with what I felt was an accurate enough recipe to represent the winning poll selection. If you have forgotten (and likely you may well have since it was back before Thanksgiving that I held my first and until now only poll... ), here is the link to the previous one, a selection of Cracker Barrel items, the winner being a moist and please-give-me-more-ish chocolate fudge cake.

Cinnamon Cake

I love, truly LOVE coffee. I am definitely one of those people who cannot begin a day without fueling on several cups of piping hot and most certainly caffeinated coffee. I drink it both for the pep and the flavor and quite honestly how can anyone ever not be awoken by the heavenly scent of freshly brewed coffee? I know I can't possibly resist. I am perfectly content to brew my own at home, with either my lovely french press when I am not feeling lazy or more typically with my not-quite-as-good-but-works-when-half-asleep automatic drip machine. If I am out and about and there is a Starbucks in the vicinity, I am certainly very often persuaded to plunk down my $3.75ish and order a drive-thru grande.

Mixed Berry Cake with Crumb Topping

Normally my trips to Starbucks have consisted of a long wait on line for a cup of coffee and by the time I have approached the finish, I tend to just get my coffee and be on my merry way. I have rarely even glanced at the bakery counter before. I am a bit of a baked goods snob actually, preferring my own home baked items to most served in cafes and bakeries, no matter how prettily they have decorated their muffins and cakes. I always tell myself ... I can make that at home, no need to buy it here.

This weekend, as I stood before a surprisingly line free Starbucks counter, I took a closer look at what they had to offer. Everything looked quite tempting really.. a selection of really nice plump slices of cakes, muffins, sparkling donuts, huge oatmeal cookies bejeweled with cranberries, sultanas, and raisins, vanilla bean flecked iced mini scones. I decided to buy a selection and take everything home to analyze (ok fine...sample) and no, I certainly didn't eat everything all in one sitting and yes I shared.

Banana Mini Chocolate Chip Cake

The cakes and the muffin I chose were all labeled as "reduced fat" versions and I have to say, they neither looked diet-y nor did they taste even remotely so. Considering how much fat and calories must be in a typical non-reduced muffin or cake slice, I suppose it is quite possible that "reduced fat" in this case is only a small reduction really. Still, if it tastes and looks good, I am all for saving a few calories. The cookie and the scones were fully-loaded versions.

Personally, I thought the cakes and muffin were perfect - not too sweet and very soft and rich tasting, with the right amount of soft, crumbly texture and moisture. The cookie was marvelous although far too massive and slightly too sweet after a few bites. I loved it, but would prefer to just have tiny cookies rather than one massive one, no matter how delightful it is to grasp a huge cookie in one's hand and begin to nibble. The scones are one of their most popular items, but for me were a bit stale and dry tasting. More cookie than scone. I liked them, but I wished mine were a bit more fresh.

Raspberry Sunshine Muffin

I would be very happy to try to recreate all of these treats, but I will try to focus on just one for now. This is where you lucky readers come in.... please make your selection in the poll in the sidebar and also optionally leave a comment telling me why you chose it (and mention anything else you love from the Starbucks bakery that I might have missed).

Oatmeal Cranberry Raisin Cookie

*NOTE: The mini vanilla bean scones were finicky and refused to come out nice and clear in my photos. They are the three small white almost egg-shaped items on the plate in the main picture.


  1. Everything looks so scrummy Heather!!! I would not be able to choose! xxoo

  2. I was really pleasantly surprised at how good most of their baked goods were. Even the scones that were a bit stale - they still had a nice flavor.