We have entered November, which means anything holiday-related is now fair game for brands to unleash. Without missing a beat, Dunkin’ has debuted its holiday menu nationwide, per a press release sent to The Takeout.
Some returning favorites grace the menu, including the Toasted White Chocolate Signature Latte, which contains espresso blended with whole milk and “notes” of white chocolate, topped with whipped cream, caramel drizzle, and cinnamon sugar, available hot or iced. (Could this re-release have anything to do with the fact that Starbucks is bringing back its own Toasted White Chocolate Mocha this year?)
Another staple of the holiday menu, Dunkin’s Peppermint Mocha Signature Latte combines espresso and peppermint mocha flavor with whole milk. The drink is topped with whipped cream, mocha drizzle, and cocoa powder, and is available hot or iced.
As tasty and reliable as these past favorites might be, that’s not what you came here for, and it’s not what I walked over to Dunkin’ to pick up. No, today is about the new stuff. I’m talking about Cookie Butter Cold Brew, the Cookie Butter Donut, and a Pancake Wake-Up Wrap.
Per the email sent to The Takeout, this new wrap consists of egg, melted American cheese, and a choice of sausage or bacon (I chose sausage), wrapped in a pancake with hints of maple flavor and served with a side of syrup for dipping.
As I eat this fluffy little folded breakfast, I’m reminded of a McDonald’s McGriddle sandwich, which has a similar flavor and concept in a slightly different form. Whereas the McGriddle has injections of syrup in its thick griddle cake “buns,” this Wake-Up Wrap offers the syrup on the side so you can customize each bite to your preference. Although I dipped the wrap in the syrup a few times, I really didn’t need it; this sandwich can do without.
The fluffy pancake was maybe slightly underdone, but combined with the melted cheddar cheese and the sausage, it made for a perfectly portioned savory and sweet breakfast combo. My main critique is my own personal error: Although I devoured the whole thing, I do regret going with the sausage. Perhaps a few slices of crispy bacon would have balanced out the underdone pancake. Everything else about the wrap is a very soft chew, so if you’re looking for a bit of textural variety, don’t make the same mistake I did.
This drink was difficult to judge, as it hardly brought anything new to the table. Dunkin’s new Cookie Butter Cold Brew is described as being blended with notes of sweet brown sugar and baked cookie flavors and topped with creamy Cookie Butter Cold Foam. The drink is also described as being filled with “warm holiday spices, including cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and a hint of caramelized, baked cookie, and finished with cookie butter crumbles.”
My question is: Where is all of that happening, exactly? The cookie crumbles appeared to be missing from my drink, but I wasn’t mad about it. I mixed the cold foam into the drink, where it didn’t appear to do much. Since the cookie butter flavoring is so mild, it mostly tastes like an average cold coffee, maybe even a little bit on the bitter side, as cold brew can often be. The drink is altogether fine, but I wouldn’t pay holiday prices for something that tastes like a regular cold brew. If I want to taste holiday flavors, I’ll go with the returning hot lattes.
The new doughnut at Dunkin’ is a yeast doughnut filled with cookie buttercream filling, topped with maple flavored icing and sprinkled with cookie pieces.
The type of cookie pieces which top the doughnut are not specified, but they taste more like a snickerdoodle than a Speculoos. Unfortunately, as has been the issue with some doughnut toppings we’ve encountered in the past, the cookie pieces seemed a bit stale, not firm or crunchy enough to serve their purpose as a textural element. The yeast doughnut itself is to the usual standard of Dunkin’ in the mornings: a fresh, soft bite.
The cookie butter filling does not create the overtly sweet moment I thought it would, in the same way that the cookie butter it was nothing special as a cold brew flavor. As someone who dislikes filled doughnuts, I actually consider this a win, solely because of its subtlety. The filling oozes out of the center and tastes like a Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop-Tart, but with lower levels of cinnamon. I would have skipped the icing on top of the doughnut, which is just a bit too much in combination with the filling, but it’s not bad.
Of all the new items on Dunkin’s holiday menu, the Pancake Wake-Up Wrap carried the entire team. Unfortunately, on a theming level, a pancake in and of itself doesn’t scream holiday cheer. If the goal of Dunkin’s holiday menu is to spread the holiday spirit, you’ll want to rely on the returning items and grab a Pancake Wake-Up wrap just to satisfy your hunger.