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Home | Blog | I try ALL of Starbucks’s New G . . .

I try ALL of Starbucks's New Gluten-Free Treats

Elizabeth Barbone - June 25, 2014
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Starbucks recently rolled out some gluten-free treats. Today? I tried them all.


Chewy Chocolate Cookies


The cookie, a dark chocolate affair studded with chocolate chunks, is rich. How rich? Tony Stark rich. Über-rich. Rich, rich,rich. These cookies aren't fooling around. They taste slightly like an underbaked brownie.

And you get two of ‘em. Unlike the other treats, there are two cookies in this package.

Like the top of a fudgy brownie, the outside of the cookie is shiny and kind of flaky. For my taste, these are a little too sweet and a little too rich. I can't imagine eating two of them. But….Iif I think about it, I can see getting a black coffee, sitting for a bit with a friend and maybe eating two cookies in small bites. Because, as everyone knows, small bites contain less calories.



GRADE: A for taste, texture.

Note: For *me*, someone who doesn't love over-the-top rich cookies, I'd give these an A-/B simply because they are so rich and brownie-like. I can see myself ordering them to split with a friend occasionally but they would  not be a cookie I reached for when I just felt like a cookie.


Lemon Tea Cake

This sounds like a cake that was designed for me: lemon and almond. Two of my favorite things in one treat!

Several years ago, Starbucks offered a Valencia orange cake. It was moist and eggy---if memory serves it contained no flour. I wondered if this cake would be like the old orange cake.

It was not.

Brown rice flour, tapioca starch, arrowroot starch, sorghum flour are just a few of the ingredients. Honestly, the ingredient list is long on this one.

The cake tastes pretty good.  It's... [brace yourself. I'm going to use the word that everyone hates.] The cake is...moist. There, I said it. The cake is moist.  I don't mind this but I know some people find it off-putting. It sort of reminded me of those too-rich coffee cakes that I enjoyed before going gluten-free. I liked it.

Then I hit the center. There's a squirt of...well I don't know what in the center of the cake. Is it lemon curd? Lemony Icing? What is that puddle in the center of the cake?

Whatever it is, and I think it's suppose to be lemon curd, it's tart. and lemony.  And while I love lemon curd, I found that the muffin under the curd a little too gooey. That I didn't love. I wish they'd skipped the lemon curd. If they had, I would have REALLY liked this tea cake. 




GRADE B/B-  muffin is ok. I'd really like it if it wasn't for that dollop of lemon curd in the center.


Marshmallow Dream Bars



Funny story: For years, each time we'd go to Starbucks, my friend Jessica ordered a Marshmallow Dream Bar. She LOVED them. Since the treats weren't gluten-free, she'd ask if I minded her eating a gluten-y treat in front of me.

I didn't care. It doesn't bother me AT ALL if people enjoy gluten-filled foods in my presence. I know this isn't true for everyone but it's true for me.

Fast forward a few years.  At the end of 2013, Jessica was diagnosed with celiac disease. See? That's what happens if you hang out with me too much. I give you celiac*.

*This is a joke. Celiac isn't contagious. The only thing you can catch from hanging out with me is AWESOME and for that I don't apologize.  

So the day I saw the reformulated gluten-free crispy treat sitting in the Starbucks case, I texted her a photo of the treat with this note:


That afternoon, she stopped at a Starbucks and bought one. (Note to self: teach Jess how to make crispy treats at home.)

Since she's such a fan, I texted her as I typed up my review.


Me: Got anything to say about the new Starbucks Marshmallow Dream Bars?


Jess: That they're a DREAM come true?? Is that corny enough? (Also true).


Me: Totes corny. I love it. So you're a fan?


Jess: I am!


Me: Would you give them an A+++++++ because you love them so much?


Jess:  I WOULD!


Me: It's the little things, right?


Jess:  It is!


Me: Admit it, you want right  now, don't you?



With all this, I was excited to try them. I took a bite. It tasted like a crispy treat! A really good crispy treat. Nicely buttery. Sweet. Crispy. They're everything you want in a crispy treat.


I've got to give it to Jess, these are good.




GRADE: A  (Grade from Jess A+++++++)


About the author: Elizabeth Barbone is the owner and editor of and is the author of Easy Gluten-Free Baking. and "How to Cook Gluten-Free".

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