Review: New Captain Cook’s Cupcakes

Let’s start out with a personality quiz today…

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Clearly, we’re talking about cupcakes here! We’ve got two completely different snacks to consider from Captain Cook’s Snack Company at Disney’s Polynesian Resort, and you may have just chosen which one will be your first choice the next time you’re in Disney World! Those adjectives perfectly describe the snacks I’m about to review…

Both cupcakes — Chocolate Macadamia and Lemon Ginger — sell for $3.99 or a Disney Dining Plan snack credit. Perfectly fitting with the South Seas ambiance (of COURSE the South Seas have cupcakes!!!), these new flavors capture the essence of the tropics!

Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cupcake

OK, forgive the photo backgrounds — I had this cupcake balanced on my suitcase as I was checking out of the hotel! Still, I think the lighting is pretty fun… . Anyway, this thing tastes as good as it looks, I promise.

Artfully arranged macadamia nut slices hint at the fabulousness inside! I mean really, doesn’t that look like a mini mosaic?

Chocolate Cupcake Undressed

And you can see the piles of chocolate on top. Sometimes that dark chocolate frosting can be gummy or plastic-y, but in this case, it was just plain luxe. Creamy – not at all grainy — and melt-in-your-mouth.

Back of Chocolate Cupcake

Now, as it should be in a Disney cupcake, nestled inside is a center of fudge-y ganache. Serious chocolate overload, but truly an outstanding concoction.

Chocolate Cupcake Cross-Section

The cake itself is moist and flavorful — not crumbly at all. If you’re gonna eat a cupcake on a suitcase in transit, this is exactly the kind you need; it holds itself together!

And here’s the extra special (though admittedly a little weird) part: macadamia nuts aren’t just garnish! You’ll find more at the bottom of the cake itself when you break it open. You have to wonder — did they fall to the bottom of the cake batter? Did they put them at the bottom of the cupcake tin on purpose? No idea.

Bottom of Chocolate Cupcake

Weirdness and travel stress aside, I loved this cupcake! This is definitely a return-and-eat-it-when-I’m-not-in-a-rush kind of snack!

Lemon Ginger Cupcake

But if citrus zing is more your thing (ha!), check out the other star of this Poly Resort show — the Lemon Ginger Cupcake.

Lemon Ginger Cupcake Undressed

I know, it looks a little boring at first glance; but trust me — it’s NOT at all boring! Just wait…just wait…! :-)

This baby comes all dressed up with a perfectly golden brown cap of meringue in place of the usual buttercream. Do we like this? Well, not really. I understand that we’re thinking outside the box here, but as a buttercream and frosting fan, I always want some substance on my cupcake.

That said, it was a very good choice for this particular item, as it allows you to really taste the light, delicate ginger flavor in the cupcake. Note that this is most certainly not a “gingerbread” cupcake — it’s a much lighter taste than that.

But it’s what’s inside that will have me coming back for this cupcake — me, who has a whole Pinterest board devoted to Lemon Curd.

Lemon Filling

Good golly — look at that lemon filling! And, let me warn you, that’s not any of that overly-sweetened “donut-esque” lemon filling, no sir. That’s super-tangy lemon in there. Perhaps a bit runny, but super lemon-y all the same. With that kind of flavor, I may not need buttercream after all!


These were two completely different, yet absolutely delicious cupcakes. I loved that both had Polynesian flavors tied in, but they serve two utterly different snack purposes: serious chocolate and rich sweetness versus light and airy, tangy and summery.

Kudos to the Poly on these two! I hope they stick around for a while… . Now, don’t forget to tell us what you voted for at the top and if it corresponded to the cupcake you’d choose if you were at Captain Cook’s!

Have you tried the Chocolate Macadamia or Lemon Ginger cupcakes at Captain Cook’s? If not, which one would YOU try first?


  1. venessa says

    Not fair at all as we won’t be back in Disney until AUG!! *drools* I can not wait to try these and the new Peanut Butter cupcake at Main Street Bakery! I hope these change my mind about the overly sweet Disney cupcakes.

  2. Val says

    Cupcakes and dole whips …. I may never leave the Polynesian! Already imaging the lemon ginger cupcake with a dole whip on the side. Hurry up October : )

  3. A Newton says

    Big YAY for more fruit flavored cupcakes! Chocolate is great, but variety is better.

    Big BOO for replacing the buttercream with merengue :(.

  4. Nikki says

    Yummmmyyy…..I voted spontaneous, bright, and effervescent and am currently drooling over the Lemon Ginger Cupcake! October can’t come fast enough…..

  5. Summer says

    I’ll be there in 3 short (hopefully!) weeks…the lemon ginger definitely looks like it’s worth a quick stop at the Poly!

  6. Kat says

    The Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cupcake looks phenomenal! Definitely looks worth the trip to Captain Cook’s.

  7. Kathy says

    I like the idea of meringue instead of butter cream! I am one of the folks that thinks many of the butter cream frostings on WDW cupcakes are sickeningly sweet, so this might be just right for me (and I adore lemon curd)! Thanks for posting. I’ll try one next month!

  8. says

    Oh wow the lemon ginger looks amazing!!! Now there’s another reason besides Dole Whips to make a trip to Captain Cooks!! YUM

  9. Carolyn says

    I had a hard time choosing between the two poll options, but I’d also have a hard time choosing between the two cupcakes! I wonder if I can get them to go after my lunch at Kona to take back to Art of Animation with me?

  10. mickey2minnie1 says

    The lemon ginger with meringue looks so different and delicious. I cannot wait to try it. I hope they stick around, but it is not until June 2013 that I will get back.

  11. JoAnn says

    The chocolate macadamia nut cupcake would be my choice hands down. When I was in Hawaii I bought a six pack of chocolate covered macadamia nuts. Yeah, I love them.

  12. shannon says

    Ooooh!! My mouth literally started watering when I scrolled down to that lemon ginger cupcake pic. I’m not a buttercream icing fan (I know!) so it looks deeelish!!

  13. Rhona says

    Oh, my mouth watered when I saw that lemon ginger cupcake. As someone said above, guess I will have to make a stop after breakfast at the Kona for that cupcake. I’ll bring it back to the French Quarter with me for a snack later in the day. So nice to have that to look forward to later in the day.

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