We find ourselves all too often going to Trader Joe’s for a variety of reasons – fresh and inventive seasonal products, interesting snacks, and even a few hard-to-find international finds. With an extensive frozen dessert section and a full cookie aisle, Trader Joe’s is also a bit of a destination for some truly mouthwatering picks for the most important meal of the day: dessert. While Trader Joe’s does holiday treats so right, our guide to our top 20 favorite Trader Joe’s desserts features treats that are available year-round.
20. Sea Salt Brownie Bites
Most Trader Joe’s baked goods aren’t much to write about, but these sea salt brownie bites are a surprising exception. Chocolatey, moist, dark, and rich, these brownies are a perfect treat for a party or get-together. Throw them on a cute plate and people will think you’ve outdone yourself with a delightfully fudgy homemade brownie. Trader Joe’s means business with the “sea salt” portion of these brownies – each bite contains at least one noticeable crunchy, salty bit. We love that texture and flavor contrast, and if salty-sweet desserts are your thing, you will too.
19. Dark Chocolate Roasted Pistachio Toffee
An interesting spin on a classic, this dark chocolate roasted pistachio toffee is a satisfyingly crunchy treat. It has a perfect snappy texture and doesn’t feel like you’ll need dental work done after a few bites. Its buttery, caramelly toffee base is just the right thickness and is balanced beautifully by the slightly bitter dark chocolate and salty pistachios. This toffee would be right at home in a holiday treat box.
18. Peanuts for Chocolate Ice Cream
Peanuts for chocolate ice cream is essentially the frozen version of a Reese’s peanut butter cup for grown-ups. Its decadent dark chocolate ice cream base is filled with peanut butter Joe-Joe’s cookies and a smooth and creamy peanut butter ribbon. Yes, it’s a lot, but if you’re a chocolate + PB fan, this one’s for you.
17. Danish Kringle
One of the most fun Trader Joe’s desserts is Danish kringle. Kringle is a large light and flaky pastry with a fruit or nut filling. TJ’s sources their kringle from a local bakery in Wisconsin where they are baked fresh daily. While Trader Joe’s rotates flavors seasonally, they always have at least one variety of kringle available (almond and cheesecake are our top picks). Serve slices as-is for breakfast or add a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a delightful a-la-mode treat.
16. Vanilla Meringues
For being such a simple treat, meringues can be polarizing. We happen to love them, and the meringues at Trader Joe’s are quite tasty. With a shatteringly crisp outside and a slightly soft center, these meringues are everything a good meringue should be. The vanilla flavor is very pleasant without leaning too far into “artificial” territory. And their adorable kiss shape makes them the perfect addition to a snack or dessert board. Meringues can be found with the other cookies.
15. Chocolate Lava Cakes
Ready in a mere 45 seconds, Trader Joe’s chocolate lava cakes may be one of the fastest and most impressive store-bought desserts. The rich and decadent cake is perfectly dark and sweet with a smooth and delicious chocolate lava center that comes oozing out with a slight nudge of a spoon. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and enjoy pure chocolate bliss.
14. Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake
If you’ve been curious about Trader Joe’s frozen cheesecakes, it’s time to give them a try. Trader Joe’s has a few varieties of cheesecake available, but strawberry swirl might be our favorite. With a striking swirl of ruby red strawberry throughout, it mimics a classic New York cheesecake with strawberry sauce in all the right ways. It feels nostalgic and comforting and is absolutely delicious.
13. Sublime Ice Cream Sandwiches
An ice cream sandwich is always a good idea, and the sublime ice cream sandwiches from Trader Joe’s are no exception. Two soft, almost cookie-dough-like cookies are filled with vanilla ice cream and rolled in mini chocolate chips for a fun crunch. Definitely an elevated take on the classic chocolate ice cream sandwich.
12. Cookie Butter Sandwich Cookies
These cookies are a cookie butter lover’s dream: deliciously smooth cookie butter sandwiched between two crisp, buttery cookies. They are both simple and decadent and are best enjoyed with a glass of cold milk handy.
11. A Dozen Macarons
Macarons are sticky, sweet, chewy, and delicious. They’re also famously tough to make at home. To skip the headache of homemade and still get your fancy French cookie fix, try Trader Joe’s macarons. They’re found in the freezer section, and each package contains two of six flavors. We’re not totally sure we can tell the difference between all the subtly flavored options, but they are all tasty nonetheless.
10. Mango Sorbet
Mango desserts can easily go down the road of being cloyingly sweet in a hurry. Thankfully, the mango sorbet at Trader Joe’s is decidedly mango-y and keeps the sweetness in check. Despite being dairy-free, it’s surprisingly luscious and creamy thanks to the naturally smooth texture of fresh mangos. Serve this refreshing treat with some dark chocolate for an unexpected flavor combination.
9. Rustic Apple Tarte
A truly delectable find, Trader Joe’s rustic apple tarte has a buttery crust, a cream cheese filling topped with sweet apples, and crunchy, sugary toasted almonds on top. It’s a fun take on apple pie and would be perfect for a Thanksgiving for two. Bake it directly from the freezer for a few minutes. Topping with ice cream is pretty much mandatory.
8. Cookie Butter Ice Cream
Trader Joe’s makes some amazing ice cream, and this cookie butter ice cream is no exception. The super premium vanilla base is loaded with thick, creamy cookie butter swirls. Eat it straight from the tub, or scoop some on a cone or in a bowl and top with some crushed Speculoos Cookies for extra texture.
7. Mini Hold the Cone
Trader Joe’s Hold the Cone is more than just a witty name– these chocolatey cones are quite possibly one of the most adorable handheld treats you can find at Trader Joe’s. These mini treats taste like the bottom of a Drumstick: rich chocolate-filled cones with a tiny scoop of chocolate ice cream on top, all dipped in a thin chocolate coating. Perfect for every kid and kid-at-heart.
6. Sea Salt and Turbinado Sugar Dark Chocolate Almonds
You might be wondering what is so special about a chocolate-covered almond that they made the list of Trader Joe’s best desserts. These sea salt and turbinado sugar dark chocolate almonds are crunchy, rich, and super flavorful. The sea salt and turbinado sugar add such an amazing texture and the perfect balance of sweet and salty. They’re healthy enough to be a delightful snack but decadent enough to be dessert.
5. Gone Bananas/Gone Berry Crazy
For a refreshingly light and fruity option, Trader Joe’s take on chocolate-covered strawberries and bananas are just the ticket. The chocolate coating reminds us of a dipped chocolate ice cream cone in all the best ways. Keep a box or two in the freezer for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up on a warm summer day.
4. Classic Lemon Bars
Lemon bars are a true dessert sleeper hit. No one’s favorite dessert is a lemon bar, but one taste of these Trader Joe’s lemon bars, and you’ll remember how much you love a good lemony treat. For a store-bought option, these lemon bars are pretty dang close to homemade – they’re sticky and tart and have an amazing buttery shortbread crust. The package claims to contain 12 bars, but they’re cut much smaller than your average lemon bar. Buy two boxes for good measure.
3. Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
Perhaps the best-known of all of Trader Joe’s desserts, dark chocolate peanut butter cups really do live up to all the hype. The chocolate is dark, flavorful, creamy, and not at all waxy. The peanut butter inside is silky smooth, not oddly dry and crumbly like some peanut butter cups. We love them frozen, room temperature, or pretty much any way we can get our hands on them.
2. Apple Blossoms
Trader Joe’s apple blossoms are small, unassuming frozen pastries that deliver unexpectedly amazing flavor. With a tart apple filling, a buttery pie crust base, and a delectable crumble topping, these apple blossoms are little pockets of deliciousness that really can’t be beat. Heat in the microwave, oven, or air fryer from frozen for just a few minutes for a pastry that tastes fresh-made. Each blossom is the perfect portion for one and would be great a la mode.
1. Ultra Chocolate Ice Cream
While it might seem a little surprising to see a plain chocolate ice cream take the crown for best Trader Joe’s dessert, anyone who’s had this ice cream knows where we’re coming from. Trader Joe’s ultra chocolate ice cream is anything but “plain” or “boring”. The chocolate flavor is so rich and complex that it takes a few spoonfuls for your tastebuds to register all the nuances. Even if you’re not a big chocolate fan, you will like this ice cream for its ultra-smooth texture alone. If you buy one thing from this list, let it be this ultra-chocolate ice cream.