18 Popular Trader Joe's Chocolate Treats, Ranked

Some of us go to Trader Joe's in search of ingredients for dinner, whereas others of us have a different goal in mind — a chocolatey one, to be more precise. While Trader Joe's may be famous for its vast array of frozen appetizers and inexpensive produce, true fans know that dozens of chocolate treats line the aisles of the grocery store, tempting shoppers daily. The only problem? Not all TJ's chocolate goods are created equally, so it'd be a real shame to opt for a treat that ends up being disappointing.

Chocolate lovers can breathe a sigh of relief because this non-exhaustive yet still-thorough list will guide you toward chocolate gold and help you steer clear of a sticky chocolate mess. I selected the chocolate treats on this list based on popularity, convenience, and variety. For example, some of these treats are absolute Trader Joe's staples — ahem, Sublime Ice Cream Sandwiches — but are they worth the buy? Others are more inexpensive options, like the dark chocolate peanut butter cups; but do they stand up to the taste test? Allow my seasoned, chocolate-geared taste buds to guide you towards some of the best chocolate goodies that Trader Joe's has to offer and away from those that just aren't worth the time.

18. Dark Chocolate-Covered Honey Grahams with Sea Salt

There's an appeal to Trader Joe's dark chocolate-covered honey grahams, as they seem like a perfectly snackable little treat that doesn't bridge too far into overtly sweet territory. Sadly, however, nothing is redeeming about these monstrosities, and I'd go as far as to say this might be one of TJ's all-time worst products. The dark chocolate is so bitter that it almost doesn't taste like chocolate, the graham crackers don't provide any real flavor or desirable texture, and the sea salt serves as an insult to injury more than a cherry on top.

Dark chocolate lovers may be tempted to reach for a bag of these shelf-stable treats, but I'd strongly advise otherwise. These honey grahams are too bitter, too salty, and not at all sweet — not exactly a winning combination when it comes to a chocolate treat.

17. Sea Salt Brownie Bites

I had high hopes about Trader Joe's sea salt brownie bites — after all, it's a brownie, so it has to be delicious, right? Unfortunately, a brownie does need to do a bit more than merely exist to taste good, and TJ's version proves that some brownies are (tragically) worth skipping. The texture of these little baked goods is all off, as they're a little bit hard, a little bit crumbly, and not all that flavorful.

These are certainly not the dense, fudgy brownies anyone would reasonably hope to bite into, and much like the honey grahams, the salt on top is not providing any favors here. While the brownies are a slightly better option than the dark chocolate honey grahams, as there is some sweetness to be found, I still cannot in good conscience recommend these very highly.

16. Dark Chocolate-Covered Pretzels

The singular pro of Trader Joe's dark chocolate-covered pretzels is that they come in a convenient, single-serve, inexpensive packet, great for a quick pick-me-up without committing to an oversized bag. The cons? Well, even a handful of tiny dark chocolate-covered pretzels still might be a few too many.

In all fairness, a chocolate pretzel can only be so complex, so I can't say that Trader Joe's version doesn't live up to (very low) expectations. Once again, the dark chocolate is just a touch too bitter, and without any other source of sweetness, this chocolate treat just comes up way too short. The crunch of the pretzels is nice, however, and if you're a big fan of dark chocolate, then these pretzels just might work for you (but again, keep those expectations nice and low).

15. Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Trader Joe's has several products that clearly rival name-brand counterparts, and in this case, dark chocolate peanut butter cups draw an obvious comparison to Reese's peanut butter cups. While TJ's version of peanut butter cups is far from atrocious, there's definitely no competition to Reese's, or many of the other chocolate treats on this list, for that matter.

The biggest issue with these peanut butter cups is the peanut butter itself. It doesn't have a whole lot of flavor, so the bite as a whole doesn't provide that irresistible chocolate-peanut butter flavor combination. The dark chocolate is also quite bitter, and if the peanut butter was a touch sweeter or nuttier, that probably wouldn't be such an issue. These little cups are just okay, but the good news is that you can buy a small bag of them to get your chocolate fix without breaking the bank.

14. Twisted Cookie Sticks Dipped in Belgian Dark Chocolate

The full name of Trader Joe's dark chocolate-dipped cookie sticks sure is a mouthful, but would you want to have a mouthful of them? The answer to that question is a solid maybe, because there's no doubt that these cookie sticks will be a delightful treat for the right person. To most people, however, there's not a whole lot of appeal in these cookie sticks simply because they're a bit boring, but they are at least palatable, which is not something that some lower-ranked contenders have going for them.

I appreciate the subtle snappy crunch that these cookie sticks have to offer, and the buttery cookies themselves contrast nicely with the dark chocolate. Another perk to these cookie sticks is that they'd make a great accompaniment with a cup of coffee, though they don't get a higher ranking because a truly good chocolate treat should be able to stand on its own.

13. Oat Chocolate Bars

Amongst the plethora of chocolate-coated this and chocolate-drizzled that, sometimes it's nice to just enjoy a classic, no-frills chocolate bar. If you're the type of person who agrees with such a sentiment, then perhaps you already know that Trader Joe's offers a decent amount of straight-up chocolate bars, many of the options coming in three-packs. These oat chocolate bars that both vegans and dairy consumers can appreciate are a prime example.

I enjoyed the smooth and mild flavor of these chocolate bars and was pleasantly surprised at how creamy they are, considering that they're completely dairy-free (and soy-free and gluten-free, in case you were wondering). Though this oat chocolate bar does lean more towards a dark chocolate flavor profile, it's not nearly as bitter as some of the grocery store's other offerings, which is a good thing. It's nothing crazy or particularly special, but it's a solid chocolate bar, and sometimes that's all you need.

12. Gone Bananas!

Frozen chocolate-coated bananas are certainly nothing new, though Trader Joe's version does take the liberty of offering the bananas in slices as opposed to whole ones. Great for snacking, Gone Bananas! are simple and tasty, and they manage to strike a good balance between bitter-sweet flavor profiles.

There's really nothing bad to say about Gone Bananas!, but when it comes to a chocolatey treat, there is perhaps a bit more to be desired. The bananas are cool and sweet while the dark chocolate coating is slightly crisp and, well, chocolatey. I enjoyed snacking on these little banana slices, but I don't know if I'd be so inclined as to seek these out again (or if I wouldn't just seek out whole chocolate-covered bananas instead). Nevertheless, these frozen bananas are worth a try if you particularly enjoy dark chocolate.

11. Chocolatey Coated Chocolate Chip Cookie Dunkers

Trader Joe's chocolatey-coated chocolate chip cookie dunkers aren't just suggesting that you enjoy them alongside a glass of milk, they're insinuating that there's no other way to do it. And, it's true, these dunkers pair exceptionally well with a cold glass of milk, with their long, oblong shape cleverly designed for optimal dipping and dunking. The cookies themselves are also quite hard, so it's nice to have a snacking companion to help soften them up a bit.

Even if you don't have a dunking partner for these dunkers, they're still a worthwhile chocolate treat. Similar to (if not better than) Chips Ahoy!, these cookies have an edge thanks to the layer of chocolate that coats their undersides. They're sweet, they're chocolatey, and they're crunchy. They're good cookies, but ultimately, they are just that — cookies, and far from the most exciting thing on this list.

10. Chocolate Brooklyn Babka

Depending on where you live, babka might not be readily available when you pop into a bakery or go to the grocery store. I appreciate that Trader Joe's offers the classic Jewish baked good, aptly laden with plenty of chocolate and even some chocolate chips on top to boot. Equally as tasty for breakfast as it is for dessert, this babka is a good option for those who enjoy pastries but want them to fall somewhere in the bread-like territory. Babka checks all of those boxes, and though Trader Joe's version isn't nearly as good as one you might get at a local bakery, it still has plenty of chocolate-layered appeal.

The only downside to this babka is that it is a bit dry, and despite having so much chocolate packed into it, sometimes the bites didn't taste all that chocolatey. It's certainly more exciting than a cookie dunker, but Trader Joe's simply has better baked goods (and chocolatey treats in general).

9. Joe-Joe's Chocolate Vanilla Creme Sandwich Cookies

It's not easy to compete with Oreos, seeing as they're such iconic cookies and probably always will be. Nevertheless, Trader Joe's version of Oreos — Joe-Joe's — does measure up in the competition, and while I wouldn't necessarily say they're better than Oreos, they are pretty dang good. With crunchy chocolate cookies on the outside and a layer of creme on the inside, Joe-Joe's proves that the sandwich cookie formula isn't broken, so there's no need to fix it or even attempt to reinvent the wheel.

Something notable about Joe-Joe's is that they're a tad bit softer than Oreos — this is something that I personally enjoy, but others might not feel the same. Joe-Joe's are a good option for those who like chocolate but don't necessarily want something oozing and seeping with the sweet stuff; these cookies are subtle but tasty, and, yes, they pair exceptionally well with a glass of milk.

8. Chocolatey Drizzled Strawberry Kettle Popcorn

Kettle corn is pretty sweet all on its own, so I did have concerns about Trader Joe's chocolatey drizzled strawberry version being far too sweet. Luckily, I was pleasantly surprised by the flavor of this kettle corn. It is indeed sweet, but the pops of freeze-dried strawberries and drizzles of chocolate only make already delicious kettle corn taste even better.

Unlike so many other chocolate products on this list, you can easily enjoy this chocolate strawberry kettle corn as a nice afternoon snack without feeling like you consumed a week's worth of sugar afterward. This popcorn is surprisingly light considering all that it has going on, and it has a nice crunch to it that I found particularly irresistible. The chocolate part of this popcorn is pretty minimal, however, which is why it doesn't rank slightly higher on the list.

7. Mini Hold the Cone! Chocolate Ice Cream Cones

Trader Joe's offers a few versions of its ever-popular Hold the Cone! Ice Cream Cones, but of course, I had to try out the chocolate flavor. What you see is what you get with these cones, though that really is a good thing. Mini, easy to enjoy without making a mess, and delightfully chocolatey from ice cream to cone, I'd argue that these little ice cream cones are the perfect little treat.

Something particularly nice about these cones is that there are three elements of chocolate going on: There's the chocolate shell, chocolate ice cream underneath, and more chocolate in that final bite of the cone. There are absolutely no frills to be found here (which is why the cones don't rank slightly higher), but for a simple afternoon treat, I can't complain.

6. Midnight Moo Chocolate Syrup

Anyone who has ever adorned an ice cream sundae knows that a good chocolate sauce is key. As it turns out, Trader Joe's Midnight Moo is one of the best chocolate sauces out there — perfectly rich, cocoa-forward, and leaning more towards a dark chocolate flavor profile, your sundae is just begging for a drizzle of this stuff.

While chocolate sauce naturally pairs well with ice cream, I also like that there's some versatility with this product. You could also use it to make chocolate milk or hot cocoa or drizzle some on top of your stack of chocolate chip pancakes. The only reason I didn't rank Midnight Moo higher is because you can't really enjoy it on its own — well, you could, but it's best as an enhancer rather than the main star of your treat.

5. Sublime Ice Cream Sandwiches

Ice cream sandwiches come in all shapes and sizes, and Trader Joe's Sublime ones take the form of vanilla ice cream sandwiches in between two chocolate chip cookies. For extra chocolatey goodness, the sandwich is rolled in mini chocolate chips, which not only adds more richness to each bite but also adds a nice crunch that many ice cream sandwiches don't have.

These sublime sandwiches are quite the popular Trader Joe's frozen treat, and I am happy to report that they aren't at all overrated. These are just straight-up tasty sandwiches, and the mini chocolate chips really set these apart from other varieties. In terms of a chocolate treat, sure, these sandwiches could probably be a bit more chocolatey (swap the vanilla ice cream for chocolate and they'd be absolutely perfect), but that's the only "fault" I can find.

4. Snacky Clusters

If you aren't a fan of a salty-sweet flavor combo, then this high-ranking of Trader Joe's Snacky Clusters might be a bit of a polarizing take. These little clusters really are just that good, with rich milk chocolate coating the likes of corn chips, pretzel nuggets, and potato chips — there are hints of savory, salty, sweet, and rich flavor notes, and I really couldn't ask for more in a treat.

Something that sets these Snacky Clusters apart from other salty-sweet treats out there is the inclusion of corn chips. It may seem a bit odd, but chocolate-coated corn chips are the treat I didn't know was missing from my life. As if the flavor of these clusters wasn't enough, they also offer up an immaculate crunch that easily secures them a nearly top-three spot on this list.

3. Ultra Chocolate Ice Cream

I'm not entirely sure what the "ultra" part of Trader Joe's chocolate ice cream is, unless, of course, it stands for ultra-tasty or perhaps ultra-creamy. Whatever it stands for, there's no denying that Trader Joe's does have some of the best chocolate ice cream available. It's perfectly rich and creamy, with the chocolate shining through nicely while somehow not overpowering the creamy nature of the ice cream itself.

Sometimes ice cream can be a bit icy when you crack open the carton, but Trader Joe's chocolate ice cream is far from that. It's nice and smooth, and I'd imagine it tastes just as good on its own as it would be blended up into a milkshake or adorned with some Midnight Moo, perhaps. You really can't beat good, classic chocolate ice cream, which is exactly why this ultra-chocolate version manages to break the top three.

2. Chocolate Lava Cakes

I love a good frozen chocolate treat that doesn't involve ice cream, and Trader Joe's chocolate lava cakes check that box quite beautifully. The only downside to these lava cakes — if you could even call it that — is that you can't just tear open the package and take a bite. You do need to heat up the cakes, either in the oven or microwave, but if you go the latter route, your treat will be ready in a matter of minutes.

Simply put, these lava cakes are every bit as chocolatey, decadent, and rich as they sound. Each bite is so incredibly delicious, and the gooey chocolate center contrasts nicely with the more structured, cake-like crust. I also appreciate that, while this cake is incredibly sweet, the chocolate does have some complexity to it, so there are dark chocolate notes to be found in the mix.

1. Dark Chocolate Ganache Mini Sheet Cake

Store-bought cakes (especially shelf-stable ones) can be a bit of a gamble, so I didn't necessarily have the highest hopes for Trader Joe's dark chocolate ganache mini sheet cake. One bite of this moist, dense, ultra-decadent cake quickly melted away all of my qualms, as this is hands-down the tastiest chocolate treat that Trader Joe's has to offer — it's also just one of the best chocolate cakes that I've tasted in general.

The cake itself is not at all dry like I was expecting, and the frosting is where things really get interesting. This isn't just any old frosting, but a chocolate cream cheese one, so there are notes of tanginess amongst all of the richness. If you love chocolate, you will not be disappointed with this cake, which is why it takes the first place ranking by a landslide.


The biggest factor in ranking Trader Joe's chocolate treats was, naturally, based on how good they tasted. What one might seek in a chocolate-flavored treat can vary, but for me, I really prioritized those treats that were nice and rich.

I also considered the versatility and convenience of the treat — can you enjoy this any time of day, or is it strictly a dessert? Can you crack open the bag and start snacking, or do you need to heat something or slice it? Finally, I tried to envision different scenarios in which someone might want a chocolatey treat; while lava cakes are great as a decadent dessert, sometimes you just want a chocolate bar or an ice cream sandwich.