Dollar Tree Cinnamon Crumble Cakes (Dollar Tree)

Box of Baker's Select Cinnamon Crumble Cakes sitting on a Dollar Tree shelf.
I'd pass on this one.

I had Aldi’s version of these not too long ago, and after stumbling upon a similar product inside Dollar Tree, decided to give them a shot. I didn’t really have high hopes for them, considering I wasn’t all that impressed with Aldi’s brand (which costs 2.5x more), but figured they’re only a buck, so who cares?

They’re small, as to be expected in this price range (hell, Aldi’s are teeny too, though a little bigger than these, and cost $2.49 for the same number of cakes). There’s a mild-looking layer of cinnamon streusel on the top...it doesn’t look great, but should probably be serviceable. Like the Intergalactic Brownies, they each have a muffin wrapper around them, even though they’re, like, a third of the size of a typical muffin. Also, where is that luscious packaging that’s featured on their version of Twinkies?! All we get here is a typical plastic wrapper, but without divots to easily tear them open.

First things first: it smells like a factory. Like, it doesn’t really smell like a moist homemade cake, but rather like it came out of a machine. You’d think it would be the smell of cinnamon, or maybe even bread...but nope, it’s the smell of automation. I mean, obviously, it did come out of a machine, but it’s still not supposed to make it so obvious...that’s like “Mass-Produced Foods 101”. It kind of made my tummy feel weird, and for a second thought of throwing the package in the trash can and never looking back...but of course, I still ate it.

Yeah, it’s more or less what I expected...the cinnamon streusel definitely tastes a little “off” compared to other brands, but is at least edible; ditto that for the cake. The cake portion is actually pretty moist, and goes down easy, so it gets some additional points for that. I don’t know if the weird smell has anything to do with it, but there’s a slightly off-putting aftertaste after it’s all said and done, as well, which seems to linger for a little while upon completion. It’s not gross, but it’s not all that pleasant, either.

It’s really about what I was expecting: mostly edible, but nothing else. If that’s what you’re looking for, you’ve found it; if you’re looking for something with a more convincing cinnamon flavor, you’re going to have to look elsewhere. And as a huge fan of cinnamon, I have to admit to some pretty strong feelings of disappointment.

Overall: 4/10. It starts off as an almost pitch-perfect “straight down-the-middle” average experience, but a weird smell and a slightly off taste bury what could have been a perfectly average product. Each “cake” is incredibly small (as to be expected), and the flavor starts off pretty accurate to other brands, before veering off ever so slightly into uncharted territories. It’s perfectly edible, but it’s not as enjoyable as eating something with cinnamon should be. If you’re in a pinch, I suppose these will do; personally, I’d spend more to get better ones elsewhere.

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