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A taste test of the new Patti LaBelle #PattiCake, released at Walmart Monday

The #PattiCake is crowd pleaser at a nice price point, according to Times staff.


The #PattiCake is crowd pleaser at a nice price point, according to Times staff.



Happy #PattiCake Day, America!

Two months after shutting down the internet and the dessert table with #PattiPie, a sweet potato pie made exclusively for Walmart, R&B diva Patti LaBelle is back with her second offering. 

The 30-ounce Patti's Good Life Vanilla Pound Cake retails for $6.98 and local stores were already low on stock early Monday afternoon. Described as a "buttery vanilla pound cake topped with a poured vanilla icing," the #PattiCake "looks like a refrigerator magnet of a picture of a pound cake," says Tampa Bay Times food critic Laura Reiley. 

#PattiPies got their own video tributes and memes and were out of stock at Wal-Mart long before Thanksgiving. In fact, the retailer said it would need millions of pounds of sweet potatoes just to meet demand for the limited edition dessert. 

Today's #PattiCake is the second of three announced products due in stores with a Caramel Cake debuting on Jan. 18.

One Walmart in St. Petersburg is already out of vanilla #PattiCake and we predict many more shortages as the week goes on. 

The culinary adventurers at the Tampa Bay Times features team braved Walmart lines to grab one of the two cakes left on the display and tell you what we thought of #PattiCake. Aside from our food critic, we're not all experts in food. But we are all experts in eating cake.

Laura Reiley, Times food critic: "Overall, quite a nice offering from Ms. LaBelle. She may have been voted off of Dancing With The Stars, but I think she's gonna kill it at Walmart. So, I thought it was moist without being WET, if you know what I mean. Like the lemon pound cake on offer at Starbucks often seem like someone spilled something on it and then blotted ineffectually before selling it to you. Vanilla on vanilla is a little one note. I look forward to checking out the caramel cake that I guess debuts on Jan. 18. (On the other hand, with Lady Marmalade as inspiration, why not a marmalade-topped version--maybe orange or tangerine as a counterpoint to the vanilla cake?)"

Sharon Wynne, Times events editor: "So much for my sugar detox. Considering that Patti LaBelle pushes everything she sings over the top, I shouldn't have been surprised that this very VERY sweet pound cake is two pounds. The vanilla flavor is yummy while the icing is way thicker and sweeter than I expected." 

Jay Cridlin, Times pop music/culture critic: "The cake is plenty moist and not too sweet, though I wouldn't have minded an extra splash of vanilla in the batter. The icing was a little sticky and sweet on its own, but taken with the cake, it works."

Stephanie Hayes, Times arts & entertainment editor: "It's buttery as hell, I say. But halfway through, I start to get sweetness fatigue. Coffee helps cut it."

John Timpe, Times enterprise editor: "It's moist -- which is a must for top-flight pound cake -- but the flavor is missing that pleasant vanilla aftertaste. This one comes off as generic tasting."

Robbyn Mitchell, Times events team: "The icing is a lot but the cake slices really smoothly with just a plastic knife. The #PattiCake tastes better than your regular grocery store brands, and the price is good for those who are looking for crowd pleaser for parties." 

Steve Persall, Times movie critic: "It danced across my tongue like a Tchaikovsky ballet. If it's all like that, then it's pretty good." 

Colette Bancroft, Times book editor: "It was a little too sweet for my taste but it had a really nice texture, like that pound cake density that's really nice." 

Alexandra Zayas, Times investigative reporter: "I thought it was moist, not too sweet, and very delicious." 

Thanks, Miss Patti, for our afternoon sugar rush.

[Last modified: Monday, January 4, 2016 5:19pm]


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