The Best New Thing I Bought at Trader Joe's in March|Recipes Spots

  • on March 29, 2023
Trader Joe's bag in cart

Trader Joe's bag in cart
Simply Recipes / Myo Quinn

What does wellness look like for you? For me, it looks like a slice of cake. That’s what I needed most this month.

I spent more time in airports and on the sidelines of my kids’ soccer, baseball, and basketball games than I did at home in March. I barely survived daylight savings—tired kids are so cranky (this illustration from Alev Neto is basically how I felt). At the end of a long day, all I wished for was a slice of cake and a cup of chamomile tea on the couch. But who has the energy to bake a cake? Enter Trader Joe’s.

I’m back for the third month to share the one new Trader Joe’s find you need to try. I pick up a bunch of new products each month, which I buy on my own accord using my own money—not sponsored by TJ’s or Simply Recipes! In case you missed it, here are my picks from January and February.

Trader Joe's cake with cake mix
Simply Recipes / Myo Quinn

The Best New TJ’s Product of March

My love for sweets is reflected in how often I bake. Once a week I bake a cake that sits on our kitchen counter. My kids have a thin slice with a tall glass of cold milk after school or we have it for dessert after dinner. Let me tell you, there’s no better way to end the day than with cake on a random weeknight just because.

Though I rarely buy boxed cake mix, as a former pastry cook, I whole-heartedly endorse Trader Joe’s new Chromatic Celebration Cake & Baking Mix. It’s a white cake with sprinkles mixed in (i.e. confetti cake). The box comes with a bag of powered sugar for the frosting and extra sprinkles for decorating. I thought, this cake will be my salvation, as I grabbed it off the shelf.

In between Zoom meetings from home, I baked it in two seven-inch round cake pans to create a double-stacked cake layered with a sweet buttercream.

TJ’s boxed cake calls for two eggs, 3/4 cup milk, and 1/2 cup oil. Though the cake was happily devoured, next time I’ll add a teaspoon of vanilla extract for a boost of flavor. I recommend lining the cake pan with parchment paper to make it easier to take the cake out. I sprayed my pans very lightly with cooking spray, and they stuck a little.

For the frosting, you’ll need to add about two sticks of butter to the powdered sugar and whisk it. It’s very very sweet, so hold back 1/4 or 1/2 cup of the sugar if you’re not into super sweet buttercream.

This isn’t a buttery, fluffy, or feathery-light homemade cake, yet it’s tender, moist, and it begs for a glass of milk. Its flavor is pure nostalgia.

One morning when my whole family woke up feeling extra grumpy, I let my 8-year-old have a slice of this cake for breakfast. Bad mom move? Perhaps. But I swear I saw him do a little shimmy before he got into the car for school. My day got instantly brighter, and clearly his did too—so it was worth it.

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