-Coffee helps one wake up and is thus a morning beverage.
-This cake is to be associated with coffee.
-Therefore, this cake can, at least part of the time, be considered a morning food.
Hence, it is filed under breakfast.
But it is also cake, and cake is very often eaten as dessert, ergo it should also be categorized as dessert, under "snacks and desserts."
And we shall spend the remainder of this blog entry discussing the categorization of the item under its third and final heading of "Not Bad."
Indeed, this is a prime example of a "Not Bad" Trader Joe's product. A week or two ago, we examined TJ's Chocolate Cake and Frosting Mixes, which are, in all respects, Pantheon Level foods. Those products surpassed expectations in every way, and in my life, they shall evermore be the standards by which all chocolate cakes and chocolate icings shall be measured.
This cake, however, can not be placed in such high esteem. It tasted pretty good...but it was sort of...uneven. The ribbon of cinnamoniness was the biggest offender. Instead of coming out like the photo on the box, which depicts a thin layer of soft, cinnamonish goodness evenly spread throughout each piece, there were large clumps of a harder, chewier cinnamon-based substance, unevenly and haphazardly dispersed about the cake. The cinnamon parts tasted overly sugary, and they left a slightly unpleasant aftertaste. The texture of the cake was fine, but any bites that contained this cinnamon ribbon were contaminated with a gritty feeling that cheapened the fluffiness of the main cake material.
Despite my complaints, this product was still among the best coffee cakes I've tried. (Although, truth be told, I haven't eaten many different coffee cakes. The nasty, pre-packaged vending machine variety doesn't count). The cake does go well with coffee, and it's certain to satisfy any sweet-tooth cravings you might encounter during your break.
If you're a huge fan of coffee cake, this is surely worth a try, but if you're just looking for a random cake mix to whip up for dessert or a special occasion, we recommend getting the chocolate cake first.
One last thought: who came up with the idea of crumb cake, anyway? Aren't our lives complicated enough without someone deliberately trying to make food that falls apart when we eat it? Not only do we have to spend time baking, preparing, and serving this stuff, but we have to wash dishes, clear the table, and on top of it all, break out the dust buster now, too. No thanks. One more reason to stick with the chocolate cake.
Sonia gives it 3 out of 5 stars. I'm definitely a bigger fan of sugary breakfast foods than she is. I give it a 3.5 out of 5. Bottom line: 6.5 out of 10.