November 22, 2007

Vanilla Cake Mix

Favorite Trader Joe’s Item #22: Vanilla Cake Mix

vanilla cake & baking mix

So, last weekend I decided to make a coffee cake out of this mix. It was a Sunday, and I was aching to bake the second I woke up. The sun was out and I wanted something warm and nutty to go with my coffee. This cake mix is extremely versatile by the way!

I followed the directions on the box (add an egg, some milk & a melted stick of butter). Here’s an extreme closeup. Notice the vanilla beans?

hello vanilla beans

To make the topping, I combined a heaping 1/2 cup of brown sugar with a teaspoon of cinnamon. Then I added some Trader Joe’s chopped pecans to that & mixed it all up in a small bowl. I poured the cake into a greased (9×9) brownie pan. Then I topped the cake with the brown sugar/pecan mixture. I baked it in the oven for the required time- checked with a toothpick to make sure it was done. Watched out for burning bits!

I noticed that even though I spread the topping on the entire cake, the edges came up while baking and brought some of the topping towards the center. Don’t fear, the edges were still pretty darn good!

Here’s the little baby fresh outta the oven:

fresh outta the oven

Extreme closeup of my favorite crunchy/sugary combo:

my favorite thing

Witness my first piece:

taking the first bite

And yes, I did save some for my husband :

almost done!

If you make this, you will have a deliciously moist cake with a nice crunchy topping.  I’m pleased to tell you that it gets better on the second day! It’s not as moist, but it’s easier to dunk into your cup of coffee.  That’s why it’s coffee cake!

I hope that this cake fills your house with a warm cinnamon vanilla aura. I’m dreaming of a piece right now……


  • Kristin

    We don’t have a Trader Joe’s in Austin. I think I will see if Tracy W. wants to start a two-person lobby commission to open one. Come on, it’s an obvious fit!

  • tracy

    Kristin- I’ll send some good Trader Joe’s karma your way!

    thanks melisser! I’m dreaming of a slice right now 😉

  • Marc Hummel


    Thanks for all of these! I can’t wait to head over to TJs and start making some of these great ideas.

  • Tracy

    Thanks for stopping by Marc! So glad I can trigger hunger in people! I have more to share!

  • Trader Joe’s Vanilla Cupcake Mix | Love Cupcakes

    […] the box, or as a base mix for more complicated recipes. Trader Joe’s Vanilla Cake Mix on Shutterbean with recipe for Semi-Homemade Coffee Cake Yumology uses TJ’s Vanilla Cake Mix to make […]

  • Sue

    First…I can bake. Second… I’ve used this cake mix THREE times and it always sticks in the pan. Cake breaks and I have serve it in the pan. I’ve made it twice in 8×8 square and once doubled the batch to make an actual 2 layer cake (Added lavender, tasted amazing w/ cream cheese frosting). Any suggestions would be appreciated. Because I keep on trying!

  • Nathalie

    Thank you for posting this! Getting ready to pop the pan into the oven. 🙂

  • Joann

    I’ve used this cake mix for strawberry shortcake. after the cake is done I spread some warm strawberry preserves on top, then whipped cream, top with sliced fresh strawberries. Delicious!!

  • Ann

    I followed the directions exactly for the coffee cake, spread the topping over the entire surface of the batter. I have no idea what happened, but the strudel mixture is in the middle of the pan in a square of about 3″ x 3″. I am an experienced cook. My guess is that the sides rose before the middle, pitching all of the pecan mixture to the center of the pan.

    Or maybe TJ’s has changed its recipe for the mix in the past 12 years.

    Has anyone else had this happen?

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