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I Tried 11 Trader Joe's Frozen Desserts & the Winner Was Delightfully Decadent

TJ's offers a range of sweet treats, but which ones are the best?
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Stepping foot into the Trader Joe's frozen food aisle unlocks a world of easy meals, creative appetizers, and tried-and-true freezer staples. It's also home to a relatively small but mighty selection of frozen desserts. These include an assortment of ice cream treats, ready-to-heat cakes, tarts, pies, and more.

As someone with a major sweet tooth, I decided to see which frozen desserts at Trader Joe's reign supreme. So, I swung by my local TJ's and rounded up a variety of options, ensuring I had a balance of ice cream products and other sweets. Since Eat This, Not That! previously conducted a taste test on "scoopable" ice creams, I only included ice cream novelties, such as sandwiches and cones.

As I tasted each item, I paid close attention to flavor and texture. Here are my thoughts on 11 Trader Joe's frozen desserts, which I ranked in descending order from my least favorite item to the most craveable confection.

Pretzel Bread Pudding

trader joe's pretzel bread pudding
Brianna Ruback / Eat This, Not That!
Per serving (1 pudding cup): 330 calories, 16 g fat (10 g saturated fat), 610 mg sodium, 40 g carbs (<1 g fiber, 23 g sugar), 5 g protein

Full disclosure: I'm not a caramel fan. But I've read so many positive reviews about this item that I felt compelled to try it. Each box includes two miniature cups of bread pudding featuring a salted caramel sauce. I purchased this box for $4.49 and popped one of the treats into the microwave for 50 seconds.

The look: The pudding slid out of its cup easily, unveiling a mound of various shades of brown. The sticky salted caramel sauce glistened in the light, oozing into the cracks and craters of the dessert.

The taste: Cloyingly sweet. I usually don't enjoy caramel desserts for this reason, but I had hoped the saltiness from the pretzels would counteract the sweetness. Unfortunately, it didn't. Additionally, the texture was quite mushy—nothing unusual for bread pudding. However, some sort of crunchiness from the pretzel pieces would have been a welcome addition. So, I suppose I'm in the minority when I say I didn't want to take a second bite.

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Figo! Half Dipped Chocolate & Vanilla Sandwich Bars

trader joe's frozen figo bar
Brianna Ruback / Eat This, Not That!
Per serving (2 sandwich bars): 350 calories, 17 g fat (11 g saturated fat), 95 mg sodium, 45 g carbs (1 g fiber, 32 g sugar), 3 g protein

"Figo" translates to "cool" in Italian, which is how I'd describe the appearance of these frozen treats. Each one consists of a vanilla-flavored "frozen dessert" (essentially, if not technically, ice cream) sandwiched between two chocolate wafers on the bottom. The top half is coated in a chocolate shell. I purchased a six-count box for $4.49.

The look: This item has repeatedly caught my eye while grocery shopping. The word "Figo!" is clearly embossed into the chocolate wafer, which is lighter in color than the chocolate coating.

The taste: As a chocolate lover, I was disappointed with this one. The chocolate wafer had an off-putting grittiness that was almost sandy, while the flavor was quite bland. Meanwhile, the frozen vanilla filling was overly sweet, reminding me of vanilla frosting on a birthday cake.

Vanilla Mochi

trader joe's vanilla mochi
Brianna Ruback / Eat This, Not That!
Per serving (1 piece): 80 calories, 3 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 10 mg sodium, 13 g carbs (0 g fiber, 9 g sugar), <1 g protein

Trader Joe's sells multiple flavors of mochi, the popular Japanese dessert that consists of ice cream covered in rice dough. TJ's customers can score these bite-sized items in flavors like chocolate, strawberry, and green tea. I snagged a six-count box of the vanilla flavor for $4.99.

The look: Plain and simple. Each mochi was about the size of an egg, showcasing a bright white color with a faint dusting of what I presume was rice flour. The inside was filled with an even more vivid shade of white.

The taste: The vanilla ice cream was delightfully sweet, but the rice dough detracted from the overall dessert. While I know this is supposed to be chewy, the dough was a bit too gummy in texture and presented a strong starchy aftertaste. Although this wasn't a top choice, I'm interested in trying other flavors, specifically the green tea, which my store unfortunately didn't have in stock.

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Iced Gingerbread Squares

trader joe's gingerbread bars
Brianna Ruback / Eat This, Not That!
Per serving (1 bar): 140 calories, 6 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 120 mg sodium, 22 g carbs (0 g fiber, 15 g sugar), 1 g protein

Trader Joe's rolled these out ahead of the holidays, so it's unclear how long they'll be available. Priced at $4.99, each box includes six soft baked gingerbread bars glazed with icing. As instructed on the box, I let the bars thaw for about an hour. You can also refrigerate them for three hours before serving or heat an individual bar in the microwave for 15-second intervals until defrosted.

The look: These orangey brown squares were uniform in size and layered with a bright white icing. For a decorative finish and additional texture, each one had an artful icing drizzle topped with shimmering sugar crystals.

The taste: This dessert had a strong gingerbread aroma and flavor, presenting bold notes of cinnamon and ginger. Just as the spice made its presence known, the sweetness did too. However, this was too sugary for me. That being said, I appreciated the hardness of the icing, as I prefer this to a creamy frosting.

Fruit Frenzy Bars

trader joe's frozen fruit frenzy bar
Brianna Ruback / Eat This, Not That!
Per serving (1 bar): 120 calories, 0 g fat, 10 mg sodium, 29 g carbs (1 g fiber, 28 g sugar), 0 g protein

In addition to its ice cream offerings, TJ's also has some popsicle options—like these Fruit Frenzy Bars. Each bar is made of three flavors: raspberry on top, followed by lemon, and then strawberry at the bottom. I picked up a four-count box for $2.99.

The look: Vibrant and summery. Each pop had an icy sheen covering the three different colors, which were equal in size.

The taste: Ice cream is my go-to frozen dessert, but I wouldn't say no if someone presented this bar to me. It was light, refreshing, and fruity. All three fruit flavors came through, with the raspberry being my favorite. They each had a notable tanginess to them, which led me to believe this ice pop could easily be incorporated into a summer cocktail.

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Apple Tatin Tartelettes

trader joe's apple tatin tartelettes
Brianna Ruback/ Eat This, Not That!
Per serving (1 tartelette): 220 calories, 7 g fat (4.5 g saturated fat), 40 mg sodium, 36 g carbs (3 g fiber, 27 g sugar), 2 g protein

These pastries are a frozen take on a popular French dessert. Each one features a layer of pastry dough topped with caramelized apples. Out of all the items included in this taste test, this one had the fewest ingredients. Each one is made with apples, wheat, flour, caramel, anhydrous milk fat, sugar, water, eggs, and salt. I purchased a two-count box for $4.99 and baked one in the oven. However, you can also heat these in the microwave.

The look: The dough was a bit lighter in color than I was expecting, but it still resembled the sandy color depicted on the box. The caramel-colored apples gleamed, compelling me take a bite.

The taste: The first thing I noticed about this dessert was the juiciness of the apples. They were well-balanced in flavor, presenting both sweetness and tartness. While I would have liked for the apples to have a bit more of a bite to them, the buttery crust had a crispiness that helped offset the softness of the dessert. Overall, I enjoyed this tartelette and would eat it again.

Chocolate Lava Cake

trader joe's chocolate lava cake
Brianna Ruback/ Eat This, Not That!
Per serving (1 cake): 370 calories, 22 g fat (13 g saturated fat), 370 mg sodium, 42 g carbs (3 g fiber, 26 g sugar), 6 g protein

Trader Joe's sells two-count boxes of frozen chocolate lava cakes, which customers can heat up in the oven or microwave. I popped one cake into the oven at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes before taking it out and letting it cool for a couple of minutes. I bought one box of these cakes for $3.79.

The look: The top and sides of the lava cake looked fully baked, bordering on being slightly overcooked. Once I cut this dessert, the chocolaty center dripped down the middle, but it didn't ooze to the extent I was expecting.

The taste: This cake was pleasantly sweet without being too rich. I appreciated the balance between the fudgy center and the slightly crisp exterior, though I wish I took the cake out of the oven a minute or two earlier—or simply popped it in the microwave instead. While I would have preferred a slightly moister texture, that's nothing a scoop of vanilla ice cream can't fix. Regardless of this, I did go back for a few more bites.

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Chocolate Hold the Cone!

trader joe's chocolate hold the cones
Brianna Ruback / Eat This, Not That!
Per serving (3 cones): 260 calories, 12 g fat (8 g saturated fat), 60 mg sodium, 34 g carbs (2 g fiber, 19 g sugar), 4 g protein

The Hold the Cone! line at Trader Joe's includes several flavors, including chocolate, vanilla, and vanilla with chocolate chips. Throughout the year, TJ's also releases limited-time flavors, including pumpkin, peppermint, and coffee bean. I purchased a box of eight mini cones for $3.99.

The look: Each golden brown cone was embossed in the standard waffle pattern. This contrasted from the smooth chocolate shell covering the small scoop of ice cream.

The taste: Sweet and satisfying. The combination of the chocolate ice cream and the hard chocolate coating offered a pleasant richness that wasn't overpowering, while the cone was perfectly crispy. As a bonus, each cone comes filled with a small amount of chocolate at the bottom, which is arguably the best part of the entire dessert.

Sublime Ice Cream Sandwiches

trader joe's sublime ice cream sandwiches
Brianna Ruback / Eat This, Not That!
Per serving (1 sandwich): 370 calories, 19 g fat (10 g saturated fat), 150 mg sodium, 51 g carbs (<1 g fiber, 34 g sugar), 5 g protein

These ice cream sandwiches were recently crowned "#1 sweet treat" in Trader Joe's annual Customer Choice Awards, so I had to include them in this taste test. Sometimes called a "chipwich," each frozen dessert has two chocolate chip cookies sandwiching a layer of vanilla ice cream rolled in mini chocolate chips. I purchased a four-count box of these for $4.99.

The look: Mouthwatering and inviting. The cookies were golden brown, speckled in chocolate chips, while the layer of vanilla ice cream was generously studded in mini chocolate chips.

The taste: I understand why this is a Customer Choice Award winner. The combination of cookies, chocolate chips, and vanilla ice cream presents an ideal amount of sweetness. Plus, each handheld dessert offers a variety of textures: soft cookies, creamy ice cream, and crunchy chocolate chips. All in all, everything came together to create a crave-worthy dessert.

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French Macarons

trader joe's vanilla and chocolate french macarons
Brianna Ruback / Eat This, Not That!
Per serving (3 macarons): 120 calories, 6 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 10 mg sodium, 14 g carbs (0 g fiber, 13 g sugar), 2 g protein

Trader Joe's offers a couple different boxes of macarons, the French sandwich cookie made from meringue and almond flour. I opted for the grocer's chocolate and vanilla variety, which cost $5.99. Each box includes three of each flavor, which I let thaw for 30 minutes as instructed.

The look: These sweet treats looked like your standard macarons. Each one had a smooth, crispy exterior with the signature ruffled edges, sometimes called the "feet." The thickness of the filling varied across the macarons, with some having more than others.

The taste: These were downright delicious. I'm a big macaron fan and can confidently say these were better than some of the ones I've purchased from bakeries. Both flavors had a crispy shell and chewy bite. While I preferred the chocolate one, which was less sweet than the vanilla, I would gladly eat both of these again—and purchase another box.

Brownie Crisp Coffee Ice Cream Sandwiches

trader joe's brownie crisp sandwiches
Brianna Ruback / Eat This, Not That!
Per serving (1 sandwich): 140 calories, 7 g fat (4.5 g saturated fat), 40 mg sodium, 21 g carbs (1 g fiber, 16 g sugar), 3 g protein

My favorite flavor combination is chocolate and coffee, so I've purchased these ice cream sandwiches several times in the past. Each one features two brownie "crisps" sandwiching a layer of coffee ice cream, which is made with coffee syrup, Columbian coffee extract, and espresso grounds. I purchased a box of four for $4.49

The look: The ratio of ice cream to brownie is a bit uneven, with the brownies leaning on the thinner side. However, I'll never complain about a generous portion of ice cream. The brownies also had a few chocolate chips scattered throughout, while the light brown ice cream was speckled with coffee grounds.

The taste: There's a reason why I've purchased this item multiple times. It never disappoints. The coffee flavor is pronounced against the sweet, chocolaty brownie. While I wouldn't say the brownies were "crisp," since they were actually quite soft, this didn't detract from the overall dessert. These ice cream sandwiches are among my favorite Trader Joe's items and will continue to be on my shopping list. My only wish for this frozen dessert is to have more in the box. I go through them rather quickly!

Brianna Ruback
Brianna is a staff writer at Eat This, Not That! She attended Ithaca College, where she graduated with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Communication Studies. Read more about Brianna