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Are Janie's Pound Cakes Worth the Dough?

I just noticed a display of these today while I was fighting the crowds at the downtown Whole Foods. Apparently, the baker is based in Tyler (http://www.janiescakes.com/cakes.htm ). It's easy enough for me to just bake a pound cake, so I balked at the fact that these cost at least $24.99 each. They'd need to be pretty darn amazing—not just competent or moist or pretty good—before I'd purchase one at those prices. Are they?

I'd love to hear from 'hounds who can objectively comment on their experiences with this product.

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  1. I can only comment based on the samples that were out at Whole Foods about a week ago. People were digging in and they had just refilled the samples, so I know they were fresh. The display caught my eye because those boxes do look very smart when they are all stacked together on one table. The samples they were offering were of the lemon pound cake. I tasted a piece, and then chose another piece just to make sure of my reaction, which was, "Oh, it's a pound cake." Pleasant, moist where the icing had soaked in, nice flavor, but really nothing out of the ordinary. My true reaction was that I was very happy that they offered samples because I now knew that I would never be tempted to pay $25 for a pound cake.

    6 Replies
    1. re: angusb

      Thanks for sharing your experience, angusb. I have to admit that I suspected the pound cake might be underwhelming, since mediocre baked goods are often sold in the most lovely-looking boxes. Still, it's good to hear from someone who had actually tried the cake in question!

      1. re: MPH

        Hey MPH, try the Tuxedo cake. It's chocolate on chocolate with white designer lines.

        In the downtown Whole Foods, look in the far back left corner of the store in the refridgerated dessert section. There are other mini-dessert cakes packaged nearby. The "Tuxedo Cake" words are not easy to notice in the packaging. It's not a Whole Foods private label - it's ....

        The Tuxedo Cake fits my requirements for a delicious chocolate cake - lots of pure moist chocolatey flavor, without any Orange-this or Mint-that to distract. The packaging is perfect - a small ~4-5" round, 2 layer mini-cake. Take one fourth of that, micro for 10 seconds, and you have 3 bites of bliss.

        1. re: MPH

          The brand is Moss Bridge Tuxedo cake.

          (Today WF didn't have the mini - only the small size.)

          1. re: sweet100s

            I finally tried the Moss Bridge tuxedo cake, sweet100s. This might not be the cake for anyone seeking intense, bittersweet, dark-chocolate flavor, but I enjoyed it as a kind of fancy variation on a Hostess "Ding Dong," which these small, round, chocolate cakes, with their cream-cheese centers, kind of resemble. In this case, though, they're coated with a hardened white frosting (instead of Hostess's "chocolate" one) that's topped with a "v" design in chocolate glaze that's meant to look like the front of a tuxedo. When I tasted this dessert, the frosting and cake were too sweet for my tastes; however, the cake itself was fairly moist yet coarse-textured. I liked the fact that the cream-cheese filling was tangy, like the kind used in good NY-style cheesecakes, but it was also too sweet for me. As sweet100s reported, there are no competing flavors to distract one from the chocolate and cream cheese. Still, to me, the tuxedo cake was more like a strangely compelling snack than a dessert that demands to be taken seriously and savored. I can only dream that one day I'll find just such a sublime cake in town. But I might buy a Moss Bridge tuxedo cake again—especially if the cashier and I could re-determine our own super-low price, as we did this time in the absence of a price tag or any other cakes to serve as a point of comparison. ;-)

            1. re: MPH

              :-) !!

              A Hostess Ding Dong variation!!! NOT !! MPH, I am just scandalized at such a depiction of my beloved treat that sends me into a chocolate frosted state of euphoria.

              Your bionic taste buds just need too much stimulation. No doubt from hangin' out at all those tacquerias !!

              :-)
              SWEET-100s

              1. re: sweet100s

                I did say a *fancy* Ding Dong. =D And I consumed all the tuxedo cake. Furthermore, you couldn’t have kept me from consuming a huge stash of Hostess products back when I was growing up in a no-junk-food household.

                While I may very well be guilty as charged, sweet100s, I appreciate the way you keep those chow tips coming!

                Best,
                MPH

      2. Seems the lb. cakes are big hits at Jr. League shows. WF had them on sale when they first stocked them.

        This particular lb. cake weighed about 5 lbs. Each cake has loads of 'toppings' stuffed into the middle. Most lb. cakes just have a glaze of some sort. $25 seems like an average price for a cake of that size with high end ingredients.

        I bought a 6" round from Sweetish Hill at Halloween and it was $25.

        Cakes baked at home always seem better to me.

        2 Replies
        1. re: chispa_c

          The samples I tasted at Whole Foods seemed to be iced, but looking at that website, it's clear that she fills the middle of every cake with some type of filling. I guess there was no easy way for them to sample the lemon pound cake with lemon curd, so they just threw out the curd and chopped up the cake to sample--it was in a big pile. It did seem moist, so I guess I got some that had been touching the lemon curd.

          1. re: MPH

            I tried a sample of the cake today and thought it was really delicious! Very moist and the lemon tasted very fresh.
            Everything in life is a sacrifice of time or money. So I guess if you wanted to take the time to bake one urself, making homemade lemon curd...
            I would pay $25 if I had a special occasion.

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