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Trader Joe’s Gingerbread Cake Mix, reviewed

Trader Joe's Gingerbread Cake Mix, reviewed

Gingerbread is a classic holiday dessert, whether you are enjoying it in the form of gingerbread men or as a layer cake. Gingerbread is a molasses cake that is flavored with ginger and other spices for a rich, sweet cake that will warm you up on a cold winter day. Trader Joe’s introduced a Gingerbread Cake Mix for this holiday baking season, which provides a simple way to whip up a gingerbread on a moment’s notice.

The cake mix is made with powdered molasses – to get that rich molasses flavor without having to measure out any and add it yourself – and a blend of cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. It also includes crystallized ginger bits, for extra ginger flavor. The mix is easy to put together, requiring the addition of an egg, oil and water. The crystallized ginger is already mixed in with the dry ingredients, so there is only one packet inside the box that you need to worry about. It bakes up quickly into thin, moist bars that smell wonderful as soon as they come out of the oven. I served these cake bars as-is, but you could finish them off with a cream cheese frosting or a bit of buttercream if you want to dress the up.

The cake is tender, with a nice molasses flavor and a satisfying dose of spice. I found crystallized ginger bits in every piece, though they weren’t quite as large as the pieces that I usually purchase to mix in when I’m making gingerbread from scratch. That said, it’s an excellent inclusion that makes this cake feel homemade. If you spice your from-scratch gingerbreads with a heavy hand, this one might not be spicy enough for you, but it’s a tasty and classic-feeling gingerbread that is a solid option for holiday baking. I wouldn’t hesitate to pick up another box to keep on hand, and I would even think about baking the mix in round cake pans for an easy layer cake option.

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  • Carl
    December 2, 2017

    Sad that TJ’s discontinued their Trader Joe’s Deep, Dark Gingerbread Cake & Baking Mix – I’ve been getting this for the past few years when in season. An absolute winner!

  • Barbara
    December 15, 2017

    I just realized they remade this product. I pulled out a box and looked (in vain) for the cookie recipe it used to have on it. Why did they change this? If its not broke, don’t fix it. I’m irked now. I’m stuck with four boxes of this stuff that isn’t like the product they carried in the past.

  • Sue
    December 20, 2017

    I just baked the new version, not realizing that they had changed it until I had already bought 5 boxes and was planning to stock up a few more before TJ takes it off the shelves—I will not be stocking up on this version. The cake is so pale in color that they should change the name of the cake mix, they must have taken out quite a bit of the molasses and just replaced it with some crystalized ginger.
    Why change something that was perfect ?

  • Robin Bowyer
    January 13, 2018

    I agree that the previous mix was PERFECT!!! Too bad they replaced it-the ginger pieces are great but why not add them into the old recipe.

  • CAROL Haselmann
    February 18, 2018

    I absolutely HATE the new version. Flavorless garbage. Bring back the deep dark gingerbread we all loved! I will never buy the new version again.

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