Do not buy French Meadow Bakery gluten free chocolate cupcakes. I’ve seen these only at Sunflower Market, but I’m sure they are sold elsewhere. What attracted me to French Meadow Bakery gluten free chocolate cupcakes was the way they looked through the cellophane of the little box. All I could see was the tops of the cupcakes: a very delectable-looking, deep, rich looking swirling of chocolate frosting. Mmmmm!
But did these chocolate cupcakes taste as good as they looked? I wasn’t interested that French Meadow Bakery’s product was gluten free. This was just incidental. I happened to spot the chocolate cupcakes in the freezer section, and put the box in my basket, because that frosting looked so good. I figured, if the frosting looks that good, then perhaps French Meadow Bakery’s chocolate cupcakes — gluten free or not — will be a hit.
Well, I was very disappointed. First of all, the frosting was mediocre. The bigger problem was the cake part of the cupcake. It was extremely dry, and also somewhat spongy. But these were not identified on the box as sponge cupcakes. The “sponginess” seemed to be a function of the dryness. If you slice a fork down on the cake part, the fork is supposed to go through very easily, kind of like it would with warm butter: That’s a sign of a MOIST, FRESH cake.
But the French Meadow Bakery chocolate cupcakes were so dry, that as I pressed the fork down, the cake part went down with it and wouldn’t quite let the fork cut into it without a bit of a struggle. When I eat cupcakes, I like to take off a little bit of the bottom part (the cake part) so that I get a higher ratio of frosting to cake in each bite.
But I could not pull off a little bit of the bottom of these chocolate cupcakes without the entire bottom beginning to detach from the layer of frosting! Well, actually, on a second attempt, I managed to get a little bottom off without tearing the whole thing off the frosting. But this shouldn’t happen, and it won’t, if the bottom is MOIST and FRESH.
The frosting was not stale. It seemed fresh. So this kind of takes away the possibility that the bottom was stale. What I’m thinking was that the recipe just isn’t good. Maybe it has to do with the gluten free. Anyways, I’ve been describing texture.
Now I’ll describe the bottom’s taste. It was NOT good. It did not have a rich chocolate flavor, even though the carbohydrate content for one cupcake is 35 grams, and one cupcake is 220 calories. I figured that with these numbers, these chocolate cupcakes would taste dynamite. But the bottom portion tasted as though each cupcake were only 70 calories; like a diet cupcake. Actually, WORSE than a diet cupcake.
Not only was the bottom bland and tasted as though artificially sweetened (these chocolate cupcakes are NOT artificially sweetened), but the cake portion left an unpleasant aftertaste — with each bite. And after I was completely done, the aftertaste persisted for about 10 minutes. This aftertaste was similar to the one produced by a sweetener called maltitol.
However, there is no maltitol or other similar sweetener in French Meadow Bakery gluten free chocolate cupcakes. So, I don’t know what’s going on here. Maybe the ingredient list isn’t truthful? These miserable cupcakes get a THUMBS DOWN.