5 Trader Joe’s Baking Essentials You Need to Try

Trader Joe’s has a great bakery section, complete with kringle and seasonal mousse cakes. But as delicious as their ready-made products are, sometimes you want a little more agency. Luckily, Trader Joe’s is also stocked with baking essentials—just a few aisles away from the chocolate babka that we’ll pick up, just in case. 

Trader Joe’s baking products run the gamut from truly “from scratch,” with their assortment of flours and sugars, to medium-lift mixes, to ready-to-bake options, offering something for all skill and energy levels. And, like all other Trader Joe’s products, they often disappear from the aisles only to be replaced by something even more enticing. Here are five Trader Joe’s baking essentials we spotted on a recent trip.

Vegan Buttery Spread

Popcorn. A crusty baguette. Lobster. Everything’s better with butter—even if it’s vegan butter. From baking up a tender shortbread to brushing bread rolls for that golden brown crust, butter is a one-way ticket on the express train to Flavortown, and this plant-based option offers all of the flavor and richness of butter without any of the dairy.

Celebration Cake Baking Mix

Graduations! Weddings! Not crying in line at the bank! Spring is full of celebrations, and the best way to celebrate is with cake. Trader Joe’s offers this celebration cake kit that contains not only cake mix, but also frosting mix and rainbow sprinkles, so you can craft a whole funfetti masterpiece.

Bourbon Vanilla Bean Paste

Here’s what culinary schools never tell you: The key to great bakes is taking the amount of vanilla extract stated in the recipe and quadrupling it. Luckily, the pastry powers that be gave us this vanilla bean paste. This deep, rich paste is supercharged with vanilla flavor and includes enticing flecks of vanilla bean that automatically take your desserts from “how quaint and homemade” to “dang, what French patisserie made that?”

Gluten Free Pizza Dough

There’s no wheat in this dough, but what it lacks in gluten, it makes up for in possibility! A combination of tapioca starch, rice flour, and potato starch, this is just pizza dough like the Holy Grail is just a cup. You can repurpose this dough into savories like garlic knots and pull-apart cheese bread, or sweets like cinnamon rolls and monkey bread. It comes ready to bake, so instead of fussing with all of that kneading, you can take this out to rest for 30 minutes before rolling out. Use the time to pat yourself on the back for finding this shortcut to baking success.

Super Chocolatey Chunk Cookie Dough

When the craving for sweets really hits, there isn’t time to whip up your own cookie dough. Not a problem with TJ’s pre-made cookie dough. Each pack contains twelve mixed and portioned pucks of cookie dough that’ll have you on the fast track to eleven chocolate chip cookies before you can say “of course I ate one cookie dough puck while I was waiting.”

About the Author

Hebba Gouda

Hebba Gouda is a freelance contributor to Sporked who will die on the hill that a hot dog is not a sandwich. She’s proud to spend weekends falling asleep at 9 p.m. listening to podcasts, always uses the Oxford comma, and has been described as “the only person who actually likes New Jersey.” She’d love to know how on earth she somehow always has dirty dishes, if donkeys hear better than horses, and how the heck you’re doing today? Hopefully swell - thanks for reading!

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