Skip This Ingredient For A Unique Twist On Trader Joe's Vanilla Cake

Over the years, Trader Joe's has inspired recipe hacks, devotional fans, and seasonal trademarks. The now iconic grocery store chain also has an exceptional track record for producing decadent desserts. From its colorful array of French macarons to its cookie butter ice cream, Trader Joe's is known for adding an artisanal touch to seemingly boring, everyday products. Nothing is more exciting than taking one of this used-to-be convenience store's prepackaged items and elevating it by adding your own twist.

One of Trader Joe's most beloved desserts is its Vanilla Cake and Baking Mix, which makes a soft, moist sheet cake with flecks of vanilla bean dispersed throughout. Trader Joe's cake mix can be used as a cake base for just about anything: tres leches cake, bundt cake, cupcakes, and roll cake. Besides using it as a foundation for different cakes, there is another way to transform this simple cake mix into a whole new dessert.

Skip the milk

Sure, people elevate cake mix by adding or swapping the ingredients all the time. However, not many people think to skip an ingredient entirely. 

The package originally calls for an addition of eggs, milk, and melted butter. Trader Joe's employee Cynthia shares with Inside Trader Joe's — grocery chain's own podcast — to simply follow the directions on the package but leave out the milk. Because Cynthia doesn't account for the loss in liquid volume, the result is a denser, moist cake that resembles a brownie in texture. The new creation becomes something almost like a Blondie, but Cynthia suggests using it as a base for a quick and easy strawberry shortcake.

Cynthia's not the only baker "hacking" this Trader Joe's cake mix though. By skipping the milk and adjusting the number of eggs and butter, you add can create all sorts of desserts. Food Is a Four Letter Word suggests using the mix for Gooey Butter Cake by skipping the milk, and using the same amount of eggs and butter. Or you can try making madeleines by cutting the milk alond with half of Trader Joe's Vanilla Cake mix. It's a simple way to make these lovely scallop-shaped French cookies, which can be quite the challenge to make at home.

Who knew subtracting an ingredient could add so many possibilities to this simple baking mix? Next time, try leaving out the milk in your Trader Joe's Vanilla Cake Mix for a gooey butter bar. You might even prefer it to the classic vanilla cake!