Just in time for the cake-eating festival that will be my birthday on Sunday, one of the most prolific new protein bar companies are back at it with Fit Joy’s Birthday Cake Batter. This doesn’t appear to be a seasonal release and should be readily available wherever their bars are sold all throughout 2017. The pink wrapper and solid macros scream nothing but pure fun and I’m hoping for a much better effort than the last cake flavored protein attempt I had by BPI, which sucked.
This is the first bar that I’ve had with the specific flavor of cake batter as opposed to cake or cupcake, and with that specificity in mind I think Fit Joy have really succeeded. The aroma coming out of the wrapper smells almost exactly like a jar of funfetti vanilla frosting, and fortunately the flavor isn’t too far behind. Much less sweet than a spoonful of artificial frosting, the bar has a wonderful vanilla presence and eggy bounce that remind me of yellow cake (the best). The coating and protein base look similar with multicolored specs that play off each other well, combining for one batter-filled bite. It’s a much truer birthday cake than the bars by Combat Crunch and Fit Crunch, both of which have a strange lemon dominance to their flavor.
The texture is a soft chewy that gradually transforms into the smooth consistency of cake batter as you break it down in your mouth. There are no crunchy sprinkles or crisps inside or on top of the bar so the experience is one dimensional but not in a bad way. The outer yogurt layer mimics frosting, giving two different sensations that lead to an ultimately really enjoyable experience. It is also a completely new flavor profile for Fit Joy and executed more convincingly than 75% of the companies that try to tackle it.
As someone who grew up loving boxed yellow cake for my birthday and licking both the beaters and bowl clean when my mom was done whipping it up, this bar really speaks to my inner bday boy. This is one of the strongest flavors Fit Joy have released, ranking among Chocolate Peanut Butter and Gingerbread Cookie as a top pick in their lineup.
Quick Nutrition: 230 cal – 8g fat – 190mg sodium – 22g carbs – 10g fiber – 3g sugar – 20g protein.
Ho ho ho! Not content with leaving the biggest holiday of the year with only one cheat clean savior, Fit Joy have taken a stab at the mid-2000’s favorite chocolate fad with Winter Peppermint Bark.
Immediately and unmistakably this bar screams Christmas. The aroma of white chocolate and peppermint twirl and whirl their way out of the wrapper like ballerinas in the Nutcracker while red mint flavored crisps line the top like lights on a tree. Unfortunately, after taking your first delicious bite you’re left wondering whether you just kissed the sugar plum fairy or took a secret swig off of some 100 proof peppermint schnapps – this thing is MINTY.
Much like Fit Joy‘s initial Mint Chocolate Crisp bar, the peppermint in the bark version is still too strong. Peppermint extract (“natural flavor”) is such a sharp flavor that it can be easily overdone, and this bar suffers in that regard. What works here, though, is that the yogurt dipped vanilla-y presence of the rest of the bar helps hold back some of the mint rush and is much more balanced than the brands first minty attempt. Whereas Mint Chocolate Crisp hit with the force of a York peppermint patty, this bar simply tastes like a peppermint bark where the chef got a little buzzed and heavy handed with the mint.
Had Fit Joy rolled back about 20% of the mint flavor they would have had a second seasonal home run on their hands. Still gotta give them credit for tackling a white chocolate/vanilla/etc twist on peppermint and not just being content with a single limited release.
This summer Fit Joy burst onto the protein scene, pecs-a-boomin, and have been relentless in their attempt to dominant the market ever since. I’m not sure who their connect is but based on their prominent displays and promotions at GNC, The Vitamin Shoppe, and others, they really truly have the plug. After launching with six flavors, Fit Joy followed up with a limited seasonal Homemade Pumpkin Pie bar (which was okay), and are now trying to tempt Kris Kringle with additional holiday offerings. The first of these winter collection bars is Iced Gingerbread Cookie.
Visually the bar is the same as all other non-cookie dough and mint Fit Joy‘s – a whey protein rectangle dipped in yogurt and topped with a garnish. The topping on this bar looks like little pieces of gingerbread cookies with the mellow aroma of cinnamon. The overall smell of the bar isn’t much different from the pumpkin pie or cinnamon bun with a sweet and subdued spice.
Biting in, a slightly crunchy texture from little crispy balls hidden inside the protein base gives way to a yogurt-driven sweetness that turns into a wonderful sharp ginger flavor. The ginger tastes authentic and finishes with the perfect spicy tingle that leaves you wanting more. The sweetness is on par with other Fit Joy flavors – definitely a dominant role but not overpowering or fake tasting in any way. The cinnamon crisps on top of the bar do a good job of emulating some of the snap you would get from a ginger cookie while also adding more cinnamon flavor.
What makes this bar successful is that “Organic Ginger” appears in the ingredient list ahead of Stevia, and the experience as a whole feels more like eating a gingerbread cookie and less like a stick of fake sugar, which can’t be said for all protein bars. Other companies should take notice and try and use more real ingredients when emulating flavors – especially spices. Fit Joy’s mission statement is to use no artificial preservatives or sweeteners and the resulting experience is clean and refreshing.
Overall this bar is more impressive than their Homemade Pumpkin Pie and ranks among the best of their initial launch line, in the same class as Chocolate Peanut Butter, French Vanilla Almond, and Chocolate Iced Brownie. Great to see a protein bar company tackle a slightly different flavor than what’s on the market and have lots of success.
Quick Nutrition: 220 cals – 10mg Cholesterol – 190mg Sodium – 24g Carbs – 10g Fiber – 5g Sugar – 20g Protein