It was hilarious timing, really. I thought I was being all novel when I decided to review the two premiere birthday cake flavored protein bars on the market when I pitted the MusclePharm Combat Crunch Birthday Cake against the OhYeah! ONE Birthday Cake in a battle to see which bar was more worthy of your birthday cake muscles. Pretty much as soon as I hit “Publish” on that review, Chef Robert Irvine dropkicks a birthday cake right into my face when GNC announced the new Chef Robert Irvine’s FIT Crunch Birthday Cake protein bar.
Here’s your shameless plug for the day. I encourage you to read that last Review Battle before continuing because I will refer back to it in this one:
I dug both of those bars, but the OhYeah! ONE Birthday Cake bar is going to be tough to beat. OhYeah! ONE Birthday Cake tasted like straight vanilla frosting and looked like a unicorn barfed sprinkles all over it. It was made with confectioner’s glaze, and I can’t be sure if that is purely for aesthetics or if it contributed to that magnificent cake flavor. All I know is that I want confectioner’s glaze on everything. Combat Crunch Birthday Cake was a damn fine protein bar as well, but it contained some citrusy undertones that pushed it further away from real birthday cake. Today we’ll see how Chef Robert Irvine’s FIT Crunch Birthday Cake bar stacks up against them. So who exactly is Chef Robert Irvine? Who gives a shit.
Though it is a larger protein bar, Chef Robert Irvine’s FIT Crunch Birthday Cake is one nutritionally dense son of a bitch. For most people that aren’t human garbage dumpsters like me, this is more in the meal replacement territory than a straight whey protein complement. Here are the calories and macros, aka the food points that we only track when we are actually doing well: Cals (380) Fat (16g), Carbs (27g), Protein (30g). FIT Crunch Birthday Cake also contains 6g of sugar – more than most bars. This leaves me optimistic it will taste really special, but I usually look for leaner profiles from my protein bars. I prefer bars that are about 1g of protein for every 10 calories like the ratio you commonly see in Quest Bars. Here’s your second shameless plug: I once reviewed 19 Quest Bars because I’m a maniac. Consider reading if you might be one yourself.
Chef Robert Irvine’s FIT Crunch Birthday Cake is a baked whey protein bar with a “soft cookie center.” Boy, this fitness thing would be a breeze if everything was just cake and cookies! The bars contain a 94% Whey Protein Isolate as the first ingredient, and it includes some Soy Protein Isolate not far behind. Outside of vanilla, nothing on the ingredient list screams “birthday cake” but that’s not uncommon. That signature flavor is going to be derived from mysterious “natural flavors.” No confectioner’s glaze 🙁 . A couple other housekeeping notes before we dig in: 1) These bars contain sucralose and 2) These bars contain almonds & peanuts. Avoid if you’re anti-artificial sweeteners or if nut allergies consume your entire life.
My first bite… tasty! But hmmm… where have I had this before? Combat Crunch. The flavor profile of Chef Robert Irvine’s FIT Crunch Birthday is right in line with MusclePharm Combat Crunch Birthday Cake. I had previously described the Combat Crunch version as having somewhat of a lemony, acidic element to it. Robert Irvine’s FIT Crunch Birthday Cake has an even more pronounced version of this. This citrus flavor couples with the vanilla to produce something that does taste good, and the creamy mouthfeel works for a “frosted cake” flavor. But if this is birthday cake, it’s a lemon birthday cake. If you chose lemon for your birthday cake, shame on you and I’m not coming to your party.
The textures are something else in Robert Irvine’s FIT Crunch Birthday Cake. I prefer them over Combat Crunch Birthday Cake, but it ain’t exactly cake-like, either. Between the baked cookie center and the “protein crisps,” it would only be cake if you were eating the outer edges of a stale birthday cake. I’m not going to complain about this texture because it works well for a layered protein bar (I have to keep reminding myself that these aren’t supposed to be cakes). This bar is massive and fills you up well; I see that as a benefit. But honestly – it misses the birthday cake bar after the Oh Yeah! ONE Birthday Cake set it sky high. I view it the same way I did the Pumpkin Pie Quest Bar… I liked the taste, but it wasn’t totally the advertised flavor. For that, it’s my least favorite of the three birthday cake bars.
How Much You Suck If Lemon Is Your Favorite Cake Rating: 8 out of 10
How Much Chef Robert Irvine Is Totally Going to Kick My Ass Rating: 8.5 out of 10
Overall Rating: 7 out of 10
Current Birthday Cake Protein Bar Power Rankings:
- OhYeah! ONE Birthday Cake: (9.5)
- MusclePharm Combat Crunch Birthday Cake: (7.5)
- Chef Robert Irvine’s FIT Crunch Birthday Cake: (7.0)