Whenever I see a bakery, I am always tempted to stop in just to see what they might have. After passing by Vanilla Bean Bakery many times, I was enticed by their sign advertising cake pops. Being on this diet for the last month has definitely upped my desire for smaller portions of sweets that I can still enjoy, but feel better about eating.
From the first time I had a cake pop–even though they were just called cake bites at the time–I fell in love. My favorite bakery/coffee shop started selling them about 8 years ago. They didn’t have any sticks attached to them. They looked like large truffles and they were sinfully delicious. I was pregnant with my daughter at the time and just about every time I stopped in to have lunch or get tea with my best friend, I either had to have a toffee cookie or a cake bite. When I was in the hospital with my daughter, my best friend actually brought me a box full of cake bites to help me celebrate.
I quickly figured out how to make them and had lots of fun trying them out in my kitchen. One year, instead of making my usual Christmas chocolates and truffles to give out as gifts, I made cake bites. My cake bites were twists on classic Christmas treats. I had a gingerbread cake dipped in milk chocolate with a fun white squiggle, an eggnog cake dipped in white chocolate with cinnamon on top, a white cake with ground up peppermint candies dipped in white chocolate (with chopped up candy pieces on top) and a chocolate fudge cake dipped in milk chocolate. They were a HUGE hit.
As much as I love cake bites and pops, they are pretty labor intensive. It’s just so much easier to make a cake, so that’s what I usually do these days.
However, I was craving something smaller, so on a whim I succumbed to advertising and stopped in Vanilla Bean Bakery. They had over a dozen different flavors of cake truffles, which are basically just bigger cake bites. It was a hard choice because every flavor was pretty darn appealing. For myself I had to go with Heath because my default is always either caramel or toffee. I also grabbed a peanut butter torte truffle. My husband is a die-hard peanut butter man, so I got him one as well and a carrot cake truffle as he likes fruitier flavors with his chocolate. I got my son a chocolate birthday cake truffle and my daughter a vanilla birthday cake truffle. I figured the sprinkles would be all either of them would really care about. I’m pretty sure they’ll eat anything as long as it has sprinkles on top.
Although I’m usually a saved the best for last kind of gal, I wanted the Heath one last night. The cake was good, but really just chocolate cake. It wasn’t quite as moist as I was expecting it to be. It wasn’t dry, not by a long shot, but it wasn’t as moist as my cake bites are and I was a bit disappointed. I did like the little bits of Heath sprinkled on top which gave it the needed toffee crunch. It was pretty tasty and made even better by the fact that I didn’t have to make it myself.
My daughter let me try a bite of her vanilla birthday cake truffle. It looked like Funfetti cake on the inside and the outside. The white chocolate it was dipped in was VERY sweet. I only got a small bite, but the only flavor I could really taste was white chocolate. Granted, it was a small bite, so it’s probably not a fair judgement.
Tonight I tried my peanut butter torte. I have to say it’s not really torte-y. It’s not so much a cake truffle as it is a giant, slightly grainy buckeye. It has very good peanut butter flavor. It’s not overly sweet, which is nice. Store bought buckeyes can often be cloyingly sweet, but this one is not. I’m not quite sure why it has the grittier texture, but I definitely enjoyed it. It’s definitely not a cake truffle, but if you are just in the market for a peanut butter truffle, it is a solid offering.
Although I only had a small sampling of their cake truffles, I would definitely go back to try some more. I’d also absolutely get the peanut butter one again.
Taste: 8/10 (the peanut butter one definitely bumps it up higher)
Value: 8/10 (they are $1.35 each and HUGE). Cheaper and tastier than Starbuck’s