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I Tried 7 Trader Joe's Frozen Cakes & the Best Was Chocolaty Bliss

Don't overlook the sweets in the grocer's freezer case—they're easy to serve and delicious.
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Trader Joe's has attracted a cult following for a reasonand it's not solely for its low prices. The popular specialty grocer prides itself on its self-proclaimed "rigorous tasting panel process," an essential step that ensures the store carries only the highest quality products. Both the grocery store's year-round and seasonal items garner obsessive fans and have spawned numerous influencer accounts and blogs dedicated solely to the products available on Trader Joe's shelves.

Many of the chain's mouthwatering options are found in the freezer section—from its beloved cauliflower gnocchi to its coveted gyoza potstickers. But not everything in the freezer aisle is savory. Indeed, many delectable sweets are available in frozen form, including cakes. But before you head to the store with a credit card, let's dive into which ones are worth your hard-earned cash.

Here are seven different cake flavors from TJ's freezers, each ranked in descending order from my least favorite to the best overall.

A Dozen Sweet Bites Caramel & Chocolate Cake

trader joe's a dozen sweet bites caramel chocolate
Amanda Mactas, Eat This, Not That!
Per serving: 70 calories, 4.5 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 15 mg sodium, 7 g carbs (5 g sugar), <1 g protein

This box comes filled with 12 individually sized cake bites in three different flavors, which I will review separately in this list. Sold for $5.99, these Dozen Sweet Bites make for a solid purchase for those not sure what they're in the mood for or a household with differing tastes. All you need to do to enjoy these is pop them out of the freezer and let them thaw before serving.

The look: Maybe it's not the ideal packaging for this type of cake, but many of the mini bites were smushed or somewhat damaged in transition. Regardless, the texture of the big caramel layer likely didn't hold up well to the movement from store to home. This little cake looked more like a jiggling flan than a cake, and the coloring didn't do much to add to its appeal.

The taste: Caramel and chocolate are typically a match made in heaven. Here, it's not quite the dream I'd hoped for. The strong caramel flavor (which tastes more like caramel flavoring than the real deal) completely overpowers any chocolate in this cake bite, leaving me searching for that rich cocoa flavor. Instead, you get a coconuty aftertaste with this cake, which makes me wonder, Is this cake falsely advertised? There's a pleasant crunchy texture lined in the cake, but the caramel layer is reminiscent of flan, making the whole combo a bit unappealing. I'd skip this one in favor of its other boxed companions.

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A Dozen Sweet Bites Raspberry "Macaron Aux Framboises" Cake

trader joe's a dozen sweet bites raspberry
Amanda Mactas, Eat This, Not That!
Per serving: 60 calories, 3.5 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 10 mg sodium, 7 g carbs (5 g sugar), 1 g protein

This little raspberry macaron cake comes from the same Sweet Bites box, but offers slightly better results.

The look: Cute with distinct colored layers, and the visual makes it look light and appealing. I wouldn't be surprised to find this in a glass case at a legit bakery.

The taste: Light and airy. But while it would make a great addition to a high tea, it lacked flavor, especially compared to other Trader Joe's options. The raspberry layer could have benefitted from a squeeze of citrus to accentuate the flavor. Additionally, I wish there was a crunchy crumble on top to give this cake more complexity. There's nothing off-putting about this cake, but it definitely wouldn't be my first pick of the bunch.

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Chocolate Lava Cake

trader joe's chocolate lava cakes
Amanda Mactas, Eat This, Not That!
Per serving: 370 calories, 22 g fat (13 g saturated fat), 370 mg sodium, 42 g carbs (3 g fiber, 26 g sugar), 6 g protein

Two restaurant-quality chocolate lava cakes for just $3.79 is an astonishing bargain. This is the only cake on this list that you need to bake, but it doesn't take long—a quick 15 minutes. Next time, I'd pop one of these in the air fryer for crispy edges.

The look: These look perfectly shaped when you take them out of the freezer and put them on a baking sheet. However, transferring from said baking sheet onto a plate for consumption can prove messy due to the gooey filling.

The taste: After hearing much fanfare about these beloved cakes, I was disappointed with the flavor. The chocolate itself isn't too bitter, but it's missing some salt in the mix, making it one note. I was pleasantly surprised by the molten filling. I love to sink my fork in and get some oozing chocolate from the middle, and this version is delivered. This cake could be elevated by pairing it with some ice cream or even a drizzle of caramel.

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A Dozen Sweet Bites Chocolate & Coffee "Opéra" Cake

trader joe's a dozen sweet bites coffee opera
Amanda Mactas, Eat This, Not That!
Per serving: 80 calories, 4.5 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 10 mg sodium, 9 g carbs (<1 g fiber, 6 g sugar), 1 g protein

The third and final offering from the Sweet Bites box, flavored with chocolate and coffee, is also the best of the trio.

The look: Picture perfect when removed from its packaging. You can see every layer of this decadent opera cake, making you want to dig right in.

The taste: This baby holds its own against all but the best of bakery opera cakes. There are delicious layers of flavor packed into each bite, particularly the ganache layer, which has a melt-in-your-mouth chocolate consistency. Traditionally, opera cake is made using an almond sponge cake, which is basted in espresso. Here, the sponge was bouncy and light, but it didn't give off any almond flavor. However, a pronounced dose of coffee was imbued in the cake, which made this dessert sing.

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New York Deli Style Cheesecake

trader joe's new york deli style cheesecake
Amanda Mactas, Eat This, Not That!
Per serving: 400 calories, 25 g fat (15 g saturated fat), 250 mg sodium, 40 g carbs (<1 g fiber, 29 g sugar), 6 g protein

This cake ranks as the most expensive on the list, coming in at $7.99. But if you ask me, that's a reasonable price for a whole cheesecake. Plus, it's easy to serve. Move the cake from the freezer to the fridge to defrost, and it's ready to eat.

The look: This one might have benefitted from a different container as it came out a little uneven-looking. It looks rather plain when you take it out, but once you slice into it, you can see the separation of crust from cake.

The taste: I'm not a huge cheesecake lover, but this one from Trader Joe's could turn me into a fan. There is a subtle cheesecake flavor, but it's not overpowering, making it suitable  for even those who don't care for the dessert's usual tang and sourness. It was a really enjoyable bite, at once flavorful and soft. The graham cracker crust hit the mark and was thick enough to provide flavor. While it's great on its own, I'd love to try this with some whipped cream and fruit to dial into the angel food cake-like quality of this cake.

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Lemon Bars

trader joe's lemon bars
Amanda Mactas, Eat This, Not That!
Per serving: 180 calories, 7 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 60 mg sodium, 27 g carbs (20 g sugar), 2 g protein

Many customers sing the praises of Trader Joe's Lemon Bars. At $4.99 for a 12-bar box, it's an easy purchase for dessert or an afternoon snack. Plus, these bite-sized morsels will impress any guests. These lemon bars need to thaw to serve.

The look: These aren't much to look at, but don't let the basic looks fool you. A sprinkling of confectioner sugar covers the top of this lemon bar, while the bottom is composed of a thin layer of shortbread. It's hard to tell from looking at it whether the ratios will make for a balanced bite.

The taste: These bright and zesty bites are packed with bold lemon flavor that will keep you coming back for more. The shortbread base perfectly contrasts the softer, gooier lemon layer and strikes the right notes of buttery crunch. Any lemon lover won't be able to get enough of these addictive bites, but there's a tangy punch of citrus that might be overwhelming to some.

If you aren't hankering for chocolate, reach for a couple of Trader Joe's Lemon Bars. Oh, but if chocolate is the aim, then there is one Trader Joe's frozen find that will truly hit the spot.

Chocolate Cheesecake Bites

trader joe's chocolate cheesecake bites
Amanda Mactas, Eat This, Not That!
Per serving: 850 calories, 49 g fat (22 g saturated fat), 610 mg sodium, 95 g carbs (5 g fiber, 62 g sugar), 13 g protein

As someone who is not a big fan of cheesecake, these bite-sized treats are not the first items I would grab in the freezer aisle, but I'm glad I did. At just $4.99 a box, there's no harm in giving these a whirl, even if you're on the fence. Like most items on this list, they must be thawed from frozen before consumption.

The look: These look like rich, chocolatey indulgences in bite-sized form. I was grateful for these cakes' small size because they look so decadent. I liked that there were cookie crumbles on top and a layer of crumble on the bottom, but I wish there were more.

The taste: These don't taste like cheesecake, but that's not a problem. Picture taking a big bite of brownie batter, and that's the flavor you get in these cheesecake bites. These mini cakes are delicious and chocolaty without being too overwhelming or decadent. Plus, the cookie crumble adds a great textural contrast and flavor to the rest of the cake. It's no wonder Trader Joe's marks a serving size as the entire box—these chocolate cheesecake bites are habit-forming!

Amanda Mactas
Amanda Mactas is a freelance writer and editor based in New York City, covering food, travel, and lifestyle content. Read more about Amanda