I have a tremendous sweet tooth so when Outrageous Baking out of Colorado reached out to me to sample some of their products it took about a second to reply with yes. There has been a proliferation of gluten-free sweets over the past few years – a far cry from my original celiac diagnosis days when I was happy if I could find a gluten-free cupcake, which usually tasted awful but what can you do? Nowadays we celiacs are spoiled for choice but this explosion of products also means that there are far more mediocre products on the market and quite frankly many just seem to be more of the same with little variety or originality. Enter Outrageous Baking.
The first thing I do when a company reaches out is to do a bit of research on their products and when I took a look at Outrageous Baking there was something about their product line that caught my attention – the unique flavors available. Their products are really breads in name and shape only as they are sweet little cakes that come in: Pumpkin Spice, Orange Cranberry, Cinnamon Coffee Cake (this one gets the cake moniker), Lemon Poppy Seed, Chocolate Zucchini, and Cherry Chocolate Chip. They were also so kind to send along a package of their All Purpose Baking Flour Mix. All of their products are not only gluten-free but also dairy-free as well.
This review has been a long-time coming as I had to actually eat my way through the entire portfolio – so I had to pace myself a bit. This actually turned out to be a good thing because it allowed me to test out how well these items froze when I soon realized that there was no conceivable way for me to eat them all before they would pass their prime. I can tell you that these froze and thawed perfectly maintaining their texture and consistency.
First up was the Cinnamon Coffee Cake – which in addition to the loaf I also received three pre-cut slices. Now in full disclosure I love coffee cake. I was one of those people that pre-diagnosis would pick the crumb topping off the top actually eating around the cake. There was just something about a well-made coffee cake that was so comforting. After my diagnosis I can safely say that I have maybe had one gluten-free version that was just okay. Outrageous Baking is by far the best gluten-free coffee cake I have come across. It is wonderfully moist with just the right amount of sweetness but each slice you cut is interlaced with a ribbon of sugary cinnamon that actually makes the entire cake taste like the crumbled topping I had previous loved. These cakes did not stand a chance and were not around for very long.
The Pumpkin Spice was the perfect balance of earthy pumpkin flavor with a subtle sweetness that was elevated by notes of spiciness that did not overpower. Again, this was perfectly moist and really had a nice consistency – soft but did not crumble. Next up was the Lemon Poppy flavor. This was another home-run for me. From the moment you opened the package your olfactory sense immediately kicks-in as the wonderfully fragrant lemon oil wafts from the package. You would think that it would be overpowering but once again the flavors are perfectly balance and the zesty citrus plays perfectly against the vanilla base.
Keeping the tasting moving let’s move-on to the Cranberry Orange bread. This was quite the surprise as the orange flavor was fresh – stemming from the use of orange oil and juice in the mix. The cranberries which were plentiful throughout the loaf added a sweet tartness to really help round out the flavor of this cake proving orange and cranberry work so very well together.
The Cherry Chocolate Chip was next in line and this one was a personal favorite. Think chocolate covered cherry flavor in this one. Again the use of natural cherry flavor and juice made this wonderfully fragrant and flavorful. The vibrant cherry flavor was matched perfectly with the rich chocolate chips which were plentiful. This was definitely a unique flavor combination that truly must be tried to be fully appreciated.
The final flavor that I tried was the Chocolate Zucchini. Okay, so maybe it was not purely by chance but somehow the thought of chocolate and zucchini did not seem immediately all that appealing to me. I know, I know, zucchini bread is a thing but I was always of the mindset that vegetables and dessert should never meet. That being said, being the intrepid reviewer, I eventually dug-in and have to say I was pleasantly surprised. The flavor of the zucchini was not overpowering, in fact it was pretty undetectable, but rather the flavor profile focused on the earthy chocolate notes that also had a hint of coffee flavor.
I am the first to admit that I am not, by any stretch of the imagination, a baker. While I love to cook, baking is just not my thing. Of course, this meant that I would have to figure out what to make with the flour mix but eventually landed on pancakes. The mix was extremely easy to work with and made fluffy and airy pancakes that were really quite good and super easy to whip-up.