Cake batter was a surprising dark horse.
Dessert Hummus Taste Test
Credit: Sarah Crowder

Since its inception, sweet hummus, or “dessert hummus,” has been divisive. Available in flavors like brownie batter and creamy vanilla bean, it’s been hailed as a healthy alternative snack that can be used for everything from dip to frosting, with the added bonus of protein and fiber. (Plus some sugar, of course.) Others aren’t sold on the concept of sweet chickpea spread; some feel it shouldn't be called hummus at all, and that it's cultural appropriation. After all, the only common thread most dessert hummus has with traditional hummus is blended chickpeas, resulting in a very different product.

Regardless of your stance on dessert hummus, there’s no denying that it’s growing. Delighted By, which says it’s known for inventing the “original dessert-hummus” on its website, won a $600,000 investment from Mark Cuban on Shark Tank in 2017—since then, more and more tubs have been cropping up in grocery store aisles. Trader Joe’s released a chocolate hummus in August 2019, and only last month, popular hummus brand Sabra launched a dark chocolate version of its own. We decided it was time we gave it a try ourselves.

After calling in samples and making a trip to the grocery store, we ended up with sweet hummus from five brands—Sabra, Tribe, Delighted By, Cedar’s, and Trader Joe’s. All had their own version of chocolate hummus, while only two, Tribe and Delighted By, had non-chocolate flavors, such as sea salt caramel, cake batter, snickerdoodle cookie, and creamy vanilla bean. With a bag of pretzels in tow and slight trepidation, we laid them all out and dutifully tasted each one. First, we worked through all the chocolate flavors, noting which ones were our favorites, before moving on to the general dessert category. Some were a pleasant surprise—others, we probably wouldn’t dip into again. Here are the ones that stood out.

Chocolate Dessert Hummus

WINNER: Sabra Dark Chocolate Dessert Dip & Spread

Sabra’s pairing suggestions: pretzels and fruit

Sabra’s chocolate hummus—which notably, is referred to as a dessert dip—was unquestionably our favorite and got near-unanimous votes. It had the strongest chocolate flavor (in a good way) of all the other brands, and the consistency was pleasantly smooth and creamy. One editor even felt it had a mousse-like texture.

“Wow! This actually tastes like chocolate chips,” I wrote in my own notes.

RUNNER-UP: Trader Joe’s Chocolate Hummus

TJ’ s pairing suggestions: sliced apples, strawberries, graham crackers, banana chips, honey wheat pretzel sticks

Trader Joe’s was a close second to Sabra’s chocolate hummus. The texture was similar to icing, and there was a chocolaty, but not too sweet taste—probably due to the tahini and sea salt mixed in.

“My favorite in flavor and consistency, more like a fudge,” associate digital editor Megan Soll said.

Non-Chocolate Dessert Hummus

WINNER: Tribe Cake Batter Hummus

Tribe’s pairing suggestion: vanilla wafers

I’ll be the first to admit that when I was looking through all different hummus containers, this one made me nervous. I’ve never been a big fan of cake batter, and by proxy, cake to begin with; there were other flavors present that seemed to make more sense with chickpeas, like the pea no-nut butter. However, as we each dunked in our pretzels, it became clear that cake batter hummus was a chaotic good, not a chaotic evil. The taste brings back memories of childhood treats without being overwhelmingly sweet—like Trader Joe's hummus, Tribe also includes tahini in most of its dessert hummus flavors.

“Nostalgia of eating confetti frosting straight from the container,” digital photo editor Sarah Crowder wrote.

RUNNER-UP: Tribe Sea Salt Caramel Hummus

Tribe’s pairing suggestion: apples 

While cake batter was definitely our top pick among the non-chocolate hummus, finding a runner-up proved to be more difficult, as everyone had different opinions. One liked Delighted By’s mint chocolate fudge, and another preferred Tribe’s pea no-nut butter. In the end, Tribe’s sea salt caramel just edged out the others by one vote. The savory-sweet flavor of salted caramel was a decent match to thew chickpeas, although there was a strange undercurrent we couldn’t really identify. Oddly enough, the end result kind of tasted like cookie butter—so if that's your jam, this might be a snack worth trying out.