Friday, May 8, 2009

Gluten Free Cake at Starbucks

I wrapped my excitement in skepticism as I approached Starbucks. The gluten free rumblings had put me onto the release of a new product: Valencia Orange Cake, that's gluten free. While cleaning my desk, I found a gift card from two years ago - don't judge, we all procrastinate - and was giddy to see if a gluten free treat could be mine!

I tempered myself, conjuring up all the not-so-great and down-right horrible ____-free products I have tasted. Its not fair to set the bar too high, especially on a company's first try.

Upon reaching the counter I thought I had been thwarted, no orange cake in sight. The barista informed me that they do carry the Valencia Orange Cake, they are tucked behind the counter and individually wrapped for safety. The same cheery fellow commented on how moist and delicious the cake was. I let my enthusiasm shine through a bit and commented: "I am just excited that you even have it!"

The cake was not only moist, it had a small, even crumb. I was afraid it would be overly sweet, but the orange flavor was light; the orange oil flavor much more strongly pronounced than the orange peel or juice. The almond flavor was not very strong either, and without the few sliced almonds dotting the top, I am not sure their contribution would be easily recognized.

VERDICT: Would eat again. More importantly - and increasingly becoming my new measuring stick - it was good enough that I would share this with a gluten-eating friend.


  1. I passed this along to my uncle! I wonder if they have this little goodie in their Florida stores.

  2. I believe they started rolling them out on May 5th and its national!

  3. We did have these in England for some time, but they have now withdrawn them. They did have a tendency to unwrap them and store them alongside gluten-containing foods and/or use the same tongs so I often didn't buy one anyway. However, they were delicious. If you want to make something very similar you could try Nigella Lawson's clementine cake, or chocolate orange cake.

  4. They pulled them in the US as well, which really bums me out. I do have to say that I was always impressed that they NEVER unwrapped them and one time they even mentioned not unwrapping it to keep them safe from contamination. (It was the only thing in their display case with the wrappers on)

    I will have to look into this Nigella recipe...