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Thursday, November 8, 2018

Trader Joe's Chantilly Cream Vanilla Bean Mini Sheet Cake


Icing: it's the best part of the cake, and the worst part of hockey.

If you're not sure exactly what that means, just turn to the hockey fan nearest you and ask them about it. Right now, as I compose this post, the Capitals and Penguins are playing one another. #ALLCAPS! It's a big rivalry—almost as big a rivalry as the ultimate argument about cake. There are those like my lovely wife that claim the bread part is always best. And then there are people like me. I'm usually an icing kinda guy.


Not long ago, Sonia and I sampled TJ's Party Cake. I liked it a bit more than she did in the end, but we both enjoyed the cake more than the frosting in that instance. In this case, the vanilla bean icing is the main attraction for me. It actually tastes like vanilla beans more than regular white icing in the same way vanilla bean ice cream tastes more like true vanilla than even a highly respectable French vanilla. And like vanilla bean ice cream, this icing has actual ground vanilla beans in it.

The icing isn't completely even across the top of the cake. Around the edges, it's significantly shallower than in the middle. There are a few areas that even seem to have greater quantities of frosting than cake—as in, you take a fork-full, and you're chewing two parts icing to one part cake. It didn't bother me much at all because the vanilla bean was so tasty. You bready cakey people might disagree. However, even I must admit the bread here is nothing to complain about. It stays moist and fresh-ish for quite a while after opening the product. It's not unlike the bread part of the Party Cake, but perhaps a bit denser and richer by virtue of the presence of beaucoup buttermilk.


In general, I'm not even a huge cake and cookies guy anymore, but I'm sure I've consumed hundreds of pieces of cake at parties and get-togethers over the years, and many of them, perhaps even most, have been vanilla. I generally prefer vanilla cake over chocolate, although there have been notable exceptions. I eat less cake these days for a number of reasons: health concerns, weight, not to mention I don't get invited to many parties these days, and I attend even fewer. All that to say it takes a pretty decent cake to impress me at all. 

$4.49 for the dessert isn't a bad deal. Four stars from me. Three and a half from Sonia...who didn't even finish all of her icing.

Bottom line: 7.5 out of 10.

4 comments:

  1. I see they also have a chocolate version which looks tempting too. I stared at them until I could force myself to walk away. Curious why butter, milk, cream, cream cheese don't have a need for refrigeration.

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    1. I think there’s enough sugar in the frosting it acts like a preservative- there’s basically 3 TB of sugar per serving in this.
      Ttrockwood

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  2. We thought this one was just nasty—the cake was super-oily, like a Twinkie left to sweat in the sun. The mini chocolate cake we did like, though, and it got pretty bad reviews elsewhere. I almost wonder if it’s a regional/supplier issue.

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