Trader Joe’s packs in a lot of new products during the holiday season, but while they discontinue many seasonal items in the beginning of the year, they don’t stop releasing new treats for fans of the grocery store chain to try. One newer item to the lineup is Trader Joe’s Cinnamon Sugar Muffin & Baking Mix. This versatile mix is packed with crowd-pleasing cinnamon and includes the dry mix, a packet of cinnamon sugar to boost the spice content of your creations, and two recipes. The recipes are for muffins and for coffee cake. In the muffin recipe, the cinnamon-sugar packet is used as a topping, while it is transformed into a streusel for the coffee cake by adding butter and a little of the baking mix to it.
Right out of the gate (or out of the box!), I knew that I was going to try the coffee cake first. I’m a big fan of coffee cake and it is much less common to see a mix that allows you to make a good one. The coffee cake recipe transforms the cinnamon sugar packet by combining it with a bit of the dry mix and some butter to make a streusel. As I read through the recipes, however, I noticed what appeared to be an error on the box. The coffee cake batter instructions did not include any butter, unlike the muffin recipe (which is otherwise identical). Since the streusel called for a small amount of butter, I reduced the amount of butter called for in the muffin instructions (essentially dividing that butter quantity between streusel and batter) and added it to the cake mix.
My Cinnamon Sugar Coffee Cake recipe changes: Add 4 tbsp melted butter to baking mix, along with 3/4 cup water and 1 large egg. Proceed with the rest of the recipe as written.
The results were excellent. The cake was tender and soft, with an almost melt-in-your-mouth texture. The streusel baked up to be sweet and crisp, with a pleasantly spicy dose of cinnamon to it. It was well-balanced and had a nice buttery flavor behind all the cinnamon. I don’t think that anyone would guess that this tasty cake came from a mix, as it both looks and tastes homemade.
After the coffee cake recipe, I gave the muffins a try and found them to have an equally nice consistency, though I liked streusel topping so much on the coffee cake that I would make it and put it on top of the muffins next time, too. Overall, this is an excellent and versatile mix that is easy to use and loaded with flavor. I would definitely pick it up again and would even consider putting my own twist on the base by adding in blueberries, chocolate chips, chopped nuts or other mix-ins that work well with cinnamon.