The 6 Best Rice Cakes for a Low-Cal Snack Time

Rice cakes get a bad rap. Do they resemble styrofoam in look and texture? Well, yeah. But they’re also low-fat, low-cal vessels for flavorings (what with all their nooks) and excellent vessels for toppings—kind of like gigantic crackers.

We gathered a bunch of popular brands of rice cakes in all different flavor profiles to find the tastiest and freshest rice cakes out there. Is this a Quaker-heavy list? Yes. Several of the store brands we tried seemed almost stale and other brands lacked flavor and crunch. That white-haired dude in the jaunty hat may be known for oats, but he’s killing the rice cake game too. Hell yeah, Quaker King. Here are the six best rice cakes we tried.

(Side note: Does anyone else who was alive in the 1980s remember teriyaki-flavored rice cakes being sold at the grocery store? If you do, drop a line in the comment section so I know I’m not insane! Those things ruled—if they existed at all.)

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best rice cakes

Best of the Best

Quaker Everything Rice Cakes

Everything seasoning has made its way from the bagel realm to the snack world in a big way. And you think you know what to expect from Everything snacks, right? A sprinkle of poppy and sesame seeds, sizable chunks of dehydrated garlic, big crystals of kosher salt. Well, you’re in for a surprise with these tasty guys. Instead of a coarse Everything topping, these cakes are positively coated in a tan flavoring powder that has all the elements of Everything seasoning, but ground up real good so it really infiltrates all the crannies in the cake. It’s super garlicky, savory, and delicious. I actually said “holy moly” when I took a bite of one of these—high praise for a rice cake!

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Target

Rating:

9.5/10

Sporks

best rice cakes

Best Desserty

Quaker Caramel Rice Cakes

I’m generally a savory snack guy, so sweet rice cakes are a pretty new genre for me. If you’ve been similarly trepidatious about branching out and treating a rice cake like dessert, seriously, give these a shot. The cooked sugar flavor of the caramel goes quite nicely with the roasty flavor of puffed rice. The packaging showed these topped with cream cheese, peaches, and honey, which seems neat, but I’m going with vanilla ice cream and diced apples.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Instacart

Rating:

9/10

Sporks

best rice cakes

Best with Peanut Butter

Quaker Chocolate Rice Cakes

Okay, pardon me if this blurb turns into a cry for help, but ever since I did Weight Watchers about a year ago, one of my absolute favorite stoned snacks has been a Quaker Chocolate Rice Cake topped with a fat swirl of fat-free whipped cream from the can. All of a sudden, there’s no fat-free whipped cream at the grocery store. I’ve been checking for months! Is this just a Southern California thing? If you have evidence of the existence fat-free canned whipped cream (or teriyaki rice cakes), please let me know in the comments! Anyway, in the absence of my favorite topping, these sweet, cocoa-forward Quaker rice cakes are excellent with peanut butter and banana slices. If chocolate rice cakes still sound lame to you take into account that they actually have little chocolatey chips nestled in their nooks—I swear they’re more fun than they sound.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Walmart

Rating:

9/10

Sporks

best rice cakes

Best Cheesy

Quaker White Cheddar Rice Cakes

I’m fascinated by some brands’ flavor decisions. For instance, Quaker makes smaller rice cake crisps in orange cheddar, but their full-size cakes only come in white cheddar. Maybe a big, orange disc was too off-putting for the target audience? White cheddar does seem classier, right? Regardless, these are super salty, cheesy, and delicious. If you sprinkled the flavoring packet that comes with a box of white cheddar mac and cheese on a plain rice cake, it would taste a lot like this. If you’re in the mood for cheese puffs but you want to cut cals, these will really help scratch an itch.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Target

Rating:

8.5/10

Sporks

best rice cakes

Best Buttery

Quaker Butter Popcorn Rice Cakes

Rice cakes are kind of popcorn-y as it is, so the butter flavor here works quite nicely, perhaps unsurprisingly. These are great for someone looking for a cake that’s less seasoned than Everything or white cheddar, but has something going on besides straight salt. These have a much less dense coating of flavoring powder and are much less salty than other varieties. We tried several salted and lightly salted cakes and they’re just. so. boring. These are a great alternative.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Instacart

Rating:

8.5/10

Sporks

best rice cakes

Best Spiced

Lundberg Cinnamon Toast Organic Rice Cakes

Hey look! A non-Quaker product made the list. If you really want to load up a rice cake with toppings, Lundberg makes much sturdier, crunchier cakes than Quaker. And there’s a nice thick layer of cinnamon-sugar coating on one side, which gives them even more crunch. If you like warm, desserty spices, grab these the next time you’re at the store.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Ralphs

Rating:

8/10

Sporks

Other products we tried: O Organics Slightly Salted Rice Cakes, Quaker Lightly Salted Rice Cakes, Suzie’s Thin Puffed Cakes, Quaker Salt-Free Rice Cakes, Lundberg Lightly Salted Organic Rice Cakes, O Organics Unsalted Rice Cakes

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About the Author

Gwynedd Stuart

Gwynedd Stuart, Sporked’s managing editor, is an L.A.-based writer and editor who spends way, way too much time at the grocery store. She’s never met an Old El Paso taco or mozzarella stick she didn’t like.

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