I tried 15 of Entenmann's most popular treats, and the doughnuts are far from the best

Lucien Formichella
·16 min read
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I tasted a bunch of sweet treats from Entenmann's and ranked them. Lucien Formichella for Insider

Entenmann's is a classic brand, with a surprising variety of products, that's been producing cakes, pastries, and other treats for over 120 years.

Most of my experience with the brand comes from my grandparents, who were known to break out one of its cakes after a delicious meal. But I'm excited to be trying a wider array of Entenmann's treats. 

As a writer for Insider, Entenmann's sent me 15 varieties of baked goods to review. Although the products were free for reviewing purposes, a typical package usually costs between $4.50 and $7.00. 

Keep reading to see how the classic Entenmann's treats stacked up. 

I don't trust Entenmann's to properly temper the chocolate on these frosted doughnuts.

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Entenmann's Rich Frosted Donuts. Lucien Formichella for Insider

First Impression: I like chocolate as much as the next guy, but I don't trust Entenmann's to temper it correctly. The shine is concerning.

For some reason, I think these are going to taste like banana.

If shiny was a taste, it would be this.

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The chocolate doughnuts were my least favorite of the products I tried. Lucien Formichella for Insider

Review: I hate the way this chocolate slid down my throat — like the coating somehow transferred from the doughnut to my esophagus. It just tasted shiny.

If chocolate came in the mail, this is what it would be like. I don't even know what that means, but it's exactly how I felt.

Verdict: I liked the actual doughnut part more, but it was overpowered by the chocolate. Eating the combination together felt like watching one old man yell over another old man.

Even sizing up this chocolate fudge cake made my teeth hurt.

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Entenmann's Chocolate Fudge Iced Cake. Lucien Formichella for Insider

First Impression: I feel like I'm going to get a cavity from this, but I can't tell if that's a good or bad thing yet.

I'm usually not the biggest fan of chocolate on chocolate combinations, but I do love seeing people double down on a good thing.

I wanted no part of this, even though the flavors were balanced.

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The frosting looked much better than it tasted. Lucien Formichella for Insider

Review: This dessert had a nice balance in terms of its textures, but I felt a little queasy looking at it.

The cake was moist and relatively light — which should've worked nicely with the rich chocolate frosting — but the topping didn't taste like fudge at all.

Verdict: It really felt like I was missing out on something that could've been great. 

The Little Bites "party" muffins are perfectly bite-sized.

party cakes
Little Bites Party Cake Muffins. Lucien Formichella for Insider

First Impression: These really are little bites. I'm intrigued and assume that the "party" aspect just means sprinkles, but reading the back of the box wasn't super helpful for figuring that out.

When I opened the package, a very sweet odor hit me — like when you're walking past a dry cleaners (yes, I could have said bakery, but notice how I chose not to).

Although not as cloying as I thought they'd be, they were still too sweet.

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The sprinkles didn't add much, other than a burst of more sugar. Lucien Formichella for Insider

Review: Sprinkles aren't usually my first add-in choice, but they allowed the muffin to shine on its own.

It tasted super cakey, which I guess is what they were going for. But, the sweetness level was a bit alarming.

Verdict: I'd have these again under the right circumstances.

Chocolate makes everything better, so I'm assuming I'm going to like the chocolate-chip muffins.

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Little Bites Chocolate Chip Muffins. Lucien Formichella for Insider

First Impression: Chocolate-chip muffins seem foolproof. I love the shine these have, like a honey glaze, and they smell very chocolaty right out of the bag.

These were better than the birthday cake ones, but that doesn't say a ton.

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Chocolate chips were a better addition to the mini muffins. Lucien Formichella for Insider

Review: I took a minute to marvel at how perfectly bite-sized these were. I believe the chocolate was semi-sweet, which paired well with the muffin base, and I give Entenmann's a lot of credit for keeping this thing moist and pleasant to eat.

The only problem was I literally felt myself bite into some sugar and got the sudden urge for a vegetable. 

Verdict: These are higher than the cake muffins because chocolate always outranks sprinkles for me.

I've never had a bad blueberry muffin, and don't think these will be the first.

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Little Bites Blueberry Muffins. Lucien Formichella for Insider

First Impression: Of all the muffins, I'm most excited about these. My grandfather ate a ginormous blueberry muffin for breakfast every morning into his late 80s, so these made me think of him. 

I'm a sucker for blueberries and think if done correctly, they can really enhance the muffin. 

Although these were the best mini muffins, I know Entenmann's has better stuff coming

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Blueberry was the best muffin, but it still didn't blow my mind. Lucien Formichella for Insider

Review: These were delicious — still very sweet, but the blueberries really worked well with the muffin base. I actually had to stop myself from eating them all.

In fairness, I'm a blueberry guy, so some people may prefer the chocolate muffins by the same principle, but I'm confident that nobody sane would rank the sprinkles highest. 

Verdict: These muffins were pleasant to consume, but I knew this snack didn't stand a chance against some of the other products in Entenmann's wheelhouse.

Entenmann's says it put a free mini brownie-chocolate-chip cake in every box, but it feels like a trick.

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Entenmann's Minis Brownie Chocolate Chip Cakes. Lucien Formichella for Insider

First Impression: I'm going to get on my soapbox for a second. The box claims to have a bonus cake, which is a ploy. These could've just been marketed as a box of nine cakes — but instead, the brand's trying to make me believe I'm getting a special bonus.

Anyway, these look delicious.

These were decent brownies, but the chocolate-chip part was barely there.

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There could have been more flavor. Lucien Formichella for Insider

Review: I love a good blondie/brownie, though the best ones are always warm and slathered in ice cream.

The brownie itself was a little chocolaty and a little sweet — but not enough of either to make a significant impact — and they were crisp (not crunchy).

The issue was the flavorless, essentially nonexistent chocolate-chip part.

Verdict: I'd have been thrilled if this was my first brownie ever. Sadly, Pandora's Box is already open, and I know too much.

It was a decent treat, but one that left me wanting more.

I want to throw these mini apple treats in the oven for a minute and serve them with some ice cream.

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Entenmann's Minis Apple Snack Pies. Lucien Formichella for Insider

First Impression: My real first impression is that I'd like to throw these in the toaster oven for a few minutes, but I'm not doing that with anything else on this list, so I'll save it for later in the evening.

I think apple-based pastries are one of the most delicious things around, and I'm quite excited to try these. It kind of looks sad sitting on the plate, but it's the inside that counts, right?

The glaze is super light, but I'm not coming for that. Even cold, it's exceptionally soft, and I'm thinking Entenmann's knows what it's doing.

Although not as good cold, you can't go wrong with apple pie.

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I was surprised by how much this tasted like an actual pie. Lucien Formichella for Insider

Review: I took umbrage with a lack of apple flavor — and these also could've used some cinnamon. The flavor almost went straight past my tongue without landing on the taste buds.

The crust, though not flaky, did taste like pie, which was a plus. I bit into it and almost immediately felt it break in my hand.

Verdict: These would be 10 times better if they were warm, but this is about as good as could be without coming out of a small oven.

Though there are three different kinds, I'll grade the doughnut variety pack as one item.

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Entenmann's Soft'ees Variety Pack Donuts. Lucien Formichella for Insider

First Impression: I approached this like a college professor grading a group project. The weakest link can (unfairly) bring down the score for the whole team. Each doughnut will be ranked individually but assigned the same group grade. 

Cinnamon:

I'm really excited about this one. That chemical cinnamon scent washes over me like bug spray. I love it. Can't wait. 

Powdered:

Another classic here. I'm not one of those people who believes powdered sugar makes everything better, but I've never said no to it.

It has less of an aroma than the cinnamon, but it looks delicious.

Plain:

For sure the least auspicious of the three — though it was dusted a bit by virtue of being next to the powdered ones. With that said, I do like a plain doughnut every so often.

Cinnamon is the best, hands down, and I wouldn't seek out the others again.

variety pack
The plain and powdered-sugar doughnuts paled in comparison to the cinnamon. Lucien Formichella for Insider

Review:

Cinnamon:

This was delicious and an excellent overall doughnut. The fine dust of cinnamon caked my lips and fingers, and its spicy sweetness blended perfectly with the base's cakiness.

This one is the kid who sits up at the front of the class and makes notes in a binder with organized tabs.

Powdered:

This was good, but not first-out-of-the-box good. The powdered sugar had a pleasing texture but lacked the full-bodied flavor of the cinnamon. It didn't add as much.

It's like the student who sits behind the kid with the big binder to cheat. It had the appearance of greatness but wasn't authentic.

Plain:

This was a fine doughnut, but not a memorable one. It didn't really have anything to enhance (or mask) the fact that it was a bit hard around the edges and monotone in the middle.

It's like the dude that sits in the back of the class and goes unnoticed.

Verdict: These doughnuts were organized in the correct order in the pack, so I need to give it points for "presentation," as the real food critics say.

You could've given me all cinnamon, though, and I wouldn't have missed the others.

I'd stake a lot of money on the glazed doughnut holes being delicious.

doughnut holes
Entenmann's Pop'ems Glazed Donut Holes. Lucien Formichella for Insider

First Impression: I've always been against doughnut holes. Why not eat real doughnuts? Or better yet, why even have a hole?

But the truth of the matter is they're delicious.

They were delightful and had the perfect amount of glaze.

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The glaze really enhanced the doughnut holes. Lucien Formichella for Insider

Review: I'm all for the single-bite mentality, and I loved that they had more glaze per square inch than regular doughnuts. I daresay I enjoyed the glaze even more than the doughnut itself. 

Most of these products were harmed by not being warm, but here the lack of warmth was masked by sugar, totally negating it.

Verdict:  It had the same kind of cakey experience as the regular doughnut but with an even more delicious outside.

I'm a little nervous that the glaze is going to overpower the crumbs on these doughnuts.

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Entenmann's Crumb Topped Donuts. Lucien Formichella for Insider

First Impression: These look delicious, but something makes me dubious. I think it's the glaze, which I could see clashing with the sweet crumbs on top.

With that said, who doesn't love a good doughnut?

These were incredible, even though they were a bit too sweet.

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There were probably too many toppings on this doughnut. Lucien Formichella for Insider

Review: This is the kind of doughnut I'd have with a glass of hot apple cider. I thought I could taste cinnamon, even though it wasn't listed as an ingredient.

The only knock is these are extremely sweet. The best doughnuts that I've had can rely on the actual dough part, which allows for more detail in the sweetness.

Verdict: There were so many toppings (powdered sugar, glaze, crumb) my mouth didn't quite know which one to focus on, but I still enjoyed it. 

Everybody loves chocolate-chip cookies, so I'm not too worried about these.

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Entenmann's Chocolate Chip Cookies. Lucien Formichella for Insider

First Impression: Frankly, I don't think I've ever had a truly bad chocolate-chip cookie. That would be impressive. 

These are incredibly malleable — the sign of a good, chewy cookie — and I immediately got that release of saliva that only comes in the presence of delicious food.

These are even better than my golden-standard cookie.

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I enjoyed these chocolate-chip cookies very much. Lucien Formichella for Insider

Review: I always rank cookies with the same metric — better than Chips Ahoy, or worse than Chips Ahoy. These landed firmly in the better category.

The chocolate was excellent — they should use the same brand on the chocolate-frosted doughnuts — and the actual cookie had that delicious hint of molasses flavor to it.

Verdict: Though not Entenmann's best treat, this cookie should be given a spot in the pantheon of great cookie products.

My official ranking (from worst to best) goes Chips Ahoy, then Entenmann's, then the cookies that Mary, the sweet older lady who worked at my local library, used to make.

Butter is the only ingredient that matters in baking, so I'm ecstatic to try this loaf cake.

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Entenmann's All Butter Loaf Cake. Lucien Formichella for Insider

First Impression: Not a bad move to center your loaf around the only ingredient I think genuinely matters in baking.

This looks delicious and fluffy. I also had a great time imagining cutting into the cake and realizing that it's filled entirely with butter.

The loaf has a really lovely spongy consistency, and my fingers felt greasy removing it from the box — a wonderful start.

Spongy, buttery, this loaf was nearly perfect.

butter loaf 2
This cake nailed its simple flavor. Lucien Formichella for Insider

Review: This had a fascinating consistency, and a smooth buttery aftertaste, though I could see some (shortsighted) people getting put off by the sponginess. In a pinch, I genuinely think I could use this to clean up a spill.

I wanted to compare it to an angel-food cake, but it wasn't as sweet.

Verdict: In the end, everybody likes butter and sugar. 

I'm most excited to try these snack-sized crumb cakes.

crumb cake
Entenmann's Minis Crumb Cake. Lucien Formichella for Insider

First Impression: I expect to rank this very highly. The crumbs are Entenmann's best feature, and I love the smell of cinnamon on these things.

 I think this is the perfect thing to give people after a decent dinner party, and I'm here for it.

It didn't disappoint, though I wouldn't have minded if they'd just given me the crumb topping on its own.

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The crumb topping was the best part of this cake. Lucien Formichella for Insider

Review: I could've done without the powdered sugar to let the crumbs shine. In fact, take everything away and just give me crumbs.

This was a very light cake, and the cinnamon wasn't overpowering.

Verdict: Crumb cake is truly a classic Entenmann's item, and I think getting them individually wrapped makes it even more delightful. No real complaints.

The raspberry Danish pastry looks delicious.

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Entenmann's Raspberry Danish Twist. Lucien Formichella for Insider

First Impression: I'm getting whiffs of raspberry drifting toward my nose as I type. I really love raspberry filling in and on things, so I can't wait to try this.

It was delicious, but not quite as good as the next item on the list.

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The flavors of the pastry weren't perfectly in sync. Lucien Formichella for Insider

Review: This was very, very satisfying. It had a slightly chewy consistency, and the raspberry flavor was a sweet and syrupy affair.

Verdict: Although I did enjoy this, the flavors didn't quite mesh as well as I'd like. The berry cut the heaviness of the pastry, but it didn't quite add to it.

It was almost like finding pieces of two different puzzles smashed together.

I don't know why cheese always goes well in pastries, but it does, so I know this is going to be great.

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Entenmann's Cheese Danish Twist. Lucien Formichella for Insider

First Impression: I'm really stoked about this — maybe unnecessarily so. I've eaten many Danish pastries in my life and still couldn't tell you what they are or why cheese is always perfect in them.

It never crossed my mind that Entenmann's would handle cheese at all, but they do, and I trust them. 

I think you could serve this for breakfast at a nice Italian hotel.

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I was blown away by the cheese Danish pastry. Lucien Formichella for Insider

Review: This is delicious. The flavors stacked on top of each other perfectly, and I don't know how it could get better.

The cheese didn't taste like cheese — it tasted like a cheese Danish. If you don't know what that means, you need to try one for yourself.

Verdict: The perfect combination of frosting and crumbles added a nice kick on the back end, and the creamy filling blended perfectly with the base.

This was the ultimate form of processed baking.

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