I truly wish I was making this up (and I can provide photographic evidence if you think I’m bluffing), but due to a culmination of terrible circumstances and poor judgment on my part, I recently purchased 140 rice cakes. In theory, I should be able to eat them all before they expire, but there are other factors to take into account: the “blah” flavor of rice cakes, the way I look hunched over the kitchen sink because I don’t want to use a plate for a single rice cake but I also don’t want to get crumbs everywhere, and, lastly, how fast I’ll likely get sick of eating a rice cake or two every day, whether as a snack or for dessert. I’m really scrambling to eat these before they turn into styrofoam, so here’s what I’ll be pairing with them so I can step away from the sink and actually enjoy myself.
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- Earth Balance Crunchy Peanut + Flaxseed Spread
The Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup officially became my favorite candy after Butterfinger changed its recipe a few years ago. Chocolate and peanut butter are a perfect combo, so you know I’m pairing peanut butter with chocolate rice cakes. This peanut butter is “simultaneously super creamy and filled with big, evenly distributed chunks of peanut,” according to Sporked managing editor Gwynedd Stuart. And Quaker chocolate rice cakes are especially good because they have little chocolate morsels nestled into their nooks and crannies. Personally, I’m a fan of both crunchy and smooth peanut butter, but considering the crunchy nature of this combo, chunky peanut butter is the call here.
Related: The Best Peanut Butter
- Trader Joe’s Unexpected Cheddar Spread
Popcorn is already a low-calorie snack, so why anyone thought it was necessary to make popcorn-flavored rice cakes is beyond me, but I still bought into the gimmick all the same. To turn these into something I genuinely want to eat, I’m busting out Trader Joe’s Unexpected Cheddar Spread. I mean, just listen to editor-in-chief Justine Sterling‘s review of this stuff: “Upon first bite, you get that rich, cheesy cheddar flavor. Then, it takes a turn, offering up the tangy, almost sweet flavors of parmesan. Then it finishes with a buttery unctuousness.” If there’s one thing rice cakes do not have, it is unctuousness. This spread fixes that problem.
- Smucker’s Sweet Orange Marmalade
Marmalade and brie are a great match, so who says Smucker’s Sweet Orange Marmalade wouldn’t be great on white cheddar rice cakes? If that’s too far out there, this sweet, citrusy spread works great on plain cakes, too. As Sporked senior writer Jordan Myrick pointed out in their ranking of the best orange marmalades, there’s a lot of rind in this, which makes it like spreadable candied oranges. This fahncy combo is exactly what I need to help me forget about my days spent eating rice cakes over the sink.
Related: The Best Orange Marmalade
- Clover Sonoma Sweetened Whipped Topping
Clover Sonoma Sweetened Whipped Topping helps me take a diet culture-era dessert and turn it into an actual dessert. Move over, sink. I’m pulling out a bowl so I can pile on the whipped cream until it’s overflowing. The sweet, creamy, fluffy whipped cream pairs perfectly with sweet cakes (we recommend Quaker Caramel, Quaker Chocolate, and Lundberg Cinnamon Toast rice cakes). I guess I can be thankful I listened to some random Hollywood actor who said they had two rice cakes for dessert every night, if only because it led me to this promised land in a bowl.
Related: The Best Canned Whipped Cream
- Kite Hill Everything Cream Cheese
I mean, come on, what else would I put on the everything-seasoned rice cakes? Although this is technically a cream cheese alternative that’s made with almond milk, this creamy creation majorly elevates the flavor of everything rice cakes. If it could wear boots, my kitchen sink would be shaking in ’em. So many delicious crumbs! If you’re dairy free, this is the move. Not dairy free? This is still the move. Jordan described this spread as “so creamy and flavorful,” adding that it “comes off as more than just a cream cheese.” If you ever find yourself with 140 rice cakes to polish off in a couple months’ time, add this to your shopping cart.