trader joe's vanilla cake mix recipes

Trader Joe’s is an extremely popular cake mix manufacturer in the United States. Boxed cake mixes can be very convenient, but they are very simple and more suitable for personal consumption than when you have friends and family members over.

Think again, this post will change your view of simple cake mixes as the recipes in this post show you how to take your cake to the next level. You don’t have to be an incredible baker to rustle up a scrumptious cake that is fit for an event. I hope you find the tips, tricks, and recipes in this post useful!

Why Use a Cake Mix?

The first benefit of using ready-made cake mixes is that it saves you a lot of preparation time. Busy people or people who don’t have a lot of patience for making a cake from scratch count on high-quality cake mix boxes to help them with their baking.

Another great reason for using boxed cake mixes is that all of the ingredients are pre-measured. Measuring cake ingredients can be confusing but more importantly, it has to be spot-on in order for the cake to work out well. When cooking meals you can afford to add rough estimates and sprinkles of this and that, but when it comes to making cakes the measurements have to be more specific.

Why Use Trader Joe’s

Trader Joe’s cake mixes only use natural ingredients. They contain raw sugar and buttermilk, and they don’t contain bleached flours or anything of the sort.

All you need to do is add the butter or oil, eggs, and water, and mix thoroughly. If you are new to baking, making cakes with Trader Joe’s cake mixes can be an encouraging way to gain your confidence in baking.


Who said that ready-made cake mixes have to be boring? Once you get the hang of baking using cake mix boxes, you will be able to crank your baking up to the next level and start to think of interesting extras and changes that you can make to the cake. Here are some of my favorites:

Strawberries and Cream

Who loves fresh strawberries and cream on their cake? If you aren’t a fan of fresh strawberries and cream, you can swap it out for the jam of your choice.


  • 1 box Trader Joe's cake mix
  • 2 large egg
  • 1 stick melted butter
  • 1 cup cold milk
  • 5 oz. cream cheese
  • 5 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
  • a few drops of vanilla extract
  • fresh strawberries ( or fruit of your choice)
  • jam


  • Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees and grease your baking tray with butter. I recommend using a long, shallow baking tray for baking this cake.
  • Pour the cold milk, whisked eggs, and melted butter into a bowl.
  • Slowly add the cake mix and mix together until the mixture turns into a smooth batter.
  • Pour the mixture into the greased tray and bake until the cake is ready. Use a toothpick to see if the cake has cooked all the way through. This may take you 20 minutes, or it could take 30 minutes; it all depends on the tray you use and your oven.
  • Let the cake cool completely.
  • Mix the butter and cream cheese in a mixing bowl and mix until smooth and well incorporated. Add vanilla extract and powdered sugar, and continue to mix until smooth.
  • Spread the jam and cream cheese mix on the cake, then cut the cake in half and stack the two halves on top of one another.
  • Top the cake with the fresh fruit of your choice.
Course: Dessert
Keyword: cream, strawberries

Cake Mini’s

This is the easiest recipe on the list, but it certainly looks the most interesting and fancy once the cake minis are ready. This amuse-bouche mini cake bites recipe is fun and can be made differently every time.


  • Molding tray of your choice or small cake molds


  • Trader Joe's cake mix
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • powdered sugar


  • Whisk eggs and melt some butter.
  • Once the butter has cooled down, add it to the Trader Joe’s cake mix and whisk in the beaten eggs.
  • Spoon equal amounts of cake batter into the molds. A box of cake mix will give you about three or four trays worth of cake mix.
  • Put the tray in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Do not put more than one tray in the oven at a time.
  • Remove the tray once the cake has browned at the edges.
  • Leave to cool completely.
  • Lightly dust with icing sugar.
Course: Dessert
Keyword: cake

Coffee Cake

Vanilla and coffee go hand in hand, so why not transform this simple vanilla cake mix into a coffee cake? Here is how you can do this:


  • 2 eggs
  • 1 pack Trader Joe's cake mix
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 cups cold milk
  • 2 espresso shots (you can use coffee concentrate instead if you like)


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Melt the unsalted butter and beat two eggs.
  • Pour in the milk and espresso or coffee extract, and mix together.
  • Slowly incorporate the Trader Joe’s cake mix and mid until smooth and creamy.
  • Line a baking tray with butter or oil, and pour in the cake mix.
  • Bake until golden brown and serve once the cake has cooled.
Course: Dessert
Keyword: cake, coffee

Final Thoughts

As you can see, Trader Joe’s cake mixes are incredibly versatile and taste great when they are kept simple or vamped up and altered. Don’t shy away from using Trader Joe’s cake mix and own it!

You May Also Like: Bisquick Shortcake Recipe


Here are some answers to the most frequently asked questions regarding cake mixes.

Q: What can I add to cake mixes?
A: You can add coffee, chocolate, water, milk, eggs, unsweetened apple sauce, and sour cream into cake mixes without changing the consistency or chemistry of the cake.

Q: How long can I leave the cake mix out before baking?
A: If you want to pre-mix your cake batter and leave it for when you are ready to bake, then you can do so for no longer than a few hours. Make sure that the cake batter is placed in the refrigerator and covered well with cling film.

Q: How can I make my cake moist?
A: One of the biggest problems with boxed cake mixes is that they can be dry and crumbly. Adding a dollop of sour cream or a touch of oil will keep the cake moist. Be careful not to overbake the cake as this is the biggest culprit for making dry and hard-to-swallow cakes.

Q: What can I add to vanilla-flavored cake mixes?
A: Strawberries, cream, coffee, cinnamon, jam, and vanilla beans are the perfect partners for vanilla-flavored cakes. You can also simply enhance the basic vanilla flavors by sprinkling caster sugar over the cake too.

Q: What can I use in cake mix instead of eggs?
A: If you need to cut eggs from a cake recipe for any reason, using ¼ cups unsweetened applesauce is the perfect substitute. Applesauce has binding abilities and adds moisture to cake and the results are similar to what you would get if you were to add eggs.

Q: Why is my cake wet in the middle?
A: If your cake is still wet in the middle after it has cooled down, then it means that you haven’t baked it for long enough, and the ingredients are still raw in the middle. To avoid this from happening, stick a toothpick into the cake and see if it comes out wet or dry before removing it from the oven. Only remove the cake from the oven if the toothpick comes out dry.

Q: Can I eat a cake that is slightly undercooked?
A: It is never a good idea to eat undercooked cake, especially if the cake contains eggs. Consuming raw eggs can be very bad for your stomach and lead to vomiting. If you have used apple sauce in the cake instead of eggs, then you can have a taste of the undercooked cake; however, this is still not recommended.

Q: How long should I bake cakes that have been made using a ready-made cake mix?
A: Cake mix usually takes about 30 minutes to bake. This will vary slightly depending on your oven and how quickly it heats up. If your oven is very strong, I suggest baking the cake on a slightly lower heat than what is stated in the recipe to avoid burning the mixture.

Which of the Trader Joe’s recipes will you be trying first? Feel free to change the recipe and make it your own, and don’t forget to share any tips and tricks with our readers and us in the comments section! We would love to learn from your experiences.


Peter's path through the culinary world has taken a number of unexpected turns. After starting out as a waiter at the age of 16, he was inspired to go to culinary school and learn the tricks of the trade. As he delved deeper, however, his career took a sudden turn when a family friend needed someone to help manage his business. Peter now scratches his culinary itch on the internet by blogging, sharing recipes, and socializing with food enthusiasts worldwide.

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