The first bite was mostly frosting, as is often the case with cupcakes, and it was pretty good. Nice and strong raspberry flavor, but a bit grainy. I take it this might be due to the lack of dairy products, as milk gives buttercream-style frosting such as this a nice smooth consistency. I wonder what they used instead? Outside of the initial grittiness, the frosting didn't leave any gross faux-butter film on the roof of your mouth, and seemed nicely whipped and fresh. My husband was a big fan, and thought it tasted like brown sugar and raspberries--he also loved the graininess.
The chocolate sponge was a bit dry, and it wasn't particularly chocolatey--it kind of tasted smokey. I wondered if maybe it was carob instead of chocolate. It certainly wasn't bad, and I think I'm particularly hard to please when it comes to cake. I think it has to do with the 'sponge' distinction. In the USA, all cakes unless otherwise noted tend to be moist, dense, and flavorful. Whereas here in the UK there seems to be a lot more airy, 'spongey' textured cakes that have a delicate flavor. I tend to think of them as being more like angel food cakes, than a dense sheet cake like you'd get at a big fat American birthday.
So far, the cake is a bit dry and bland and the frosting is grainy. Not exactly mind blowing, but then again, I'm grading it based on my experiences with glutenous, egg-and-butter loaded confectionery--not based on what a vegan and dairy-free cake is like, so it is a bit unfair.
The mint fondant in the center however, was extremely good. Really bumped the cake up in my esteem. It didn't seem chocolatey at all, it just seemed like a solid chunk of fresh, herbal mint sweetness. Combined with the raspberry frosting it was delicious!
If I was a vegan, or a dairy-free...associate, I'd be really glad to have something as nice as this. I think if you were just gluten free, however, you could find better cakes and brownies.
I think I would try another variety of these cakes, I really appreciate that they are taking risks with flavor combinations (see here), and the non-chocolatey sponge wouldn't be an issue at all in a vanilla cupcake!
In the end, kudos goes to the Cat & the Cream for making interesting cupcakes that are pretty good for egg-and-dairy freaks such as myself, and potentially amazing for vegans and such.