Though I prefer to purchase my produce at Whole Foods or my neighborhood farmer's market (or, when incredibly desperate, at the Key Foods across the street from me), Trader Joe's is a pretty great one stop shop for fruits and veggies, frozen meals, and those little brownie tubs everyone likes so much. And now, Trader Joe's is adding a new addition to its already impressive repertoire: Trader Joe's has announced it will start selling birthday party cake at its locations.
Trader Joe's revealed the big birthday cake news in a post on its website's "Dig In" blog on Friday, with it invoking the name of one of the culinary world's most celebrated celebrity chefs. "The late Chef Julia Child once noted, 'A party without a cake is really just a meeting,'" the blog post said in its opening. "Oh, how right she was." And indeed, Trader Joe's believes they've prepared the perfect party cake, one "[m]ade without the artificial junk you’ll find in most ready-made, grocery store cakes," per their post.
The 21-ounce cake, which will be sold at most stores for $6.99, is comprised of two layers of white vanilla cake, replete with vanilla buttercream frosting, rainbow confetti sprinkles ("We don’t skimp on the sprinkles," Trader Joe's promises), and space for you to write out your own message in edible icing up top. Note that Trader Joe's says the cake'll feed to eight to 10 people, though they haven't seen me eat cake, so that could be an underestimate.
It certainly sounds good, and though I like a good Funfetti cake (birthday or not) as much as the next gal, I do appreciate dessert made without all the weird chemicals you'd find in those on typical store shelves. I'm also happy Trader Joe's made their version using vanilla cake. As an adult, I tend to go for red velvets or deep chocolates, but good old-fashioned vanilla cake reminds me of when we used to celebrate birthdays at day camp with vanilla cake and bug juice. It was literally the only good thing about camp, day or overnight, and sometimes I still dream about the bug juice.
Still, the only birthday cake that'll truly captivate me is Carvel ice cream cake. Back in the days of my youth, my grandparents lived within driving distance of a Carvel, and in the summer we kept their freezer stocked with Flying Saucers and Fudgie the Whales. But the real highlight was birthdays—my grandfather's is in June and mine's in September, so we'd often celebrate at their house with a nice, cooling ice cream cake.
There aren't many Carvel outposts left in my area anymore, but their soft serve was always the creamiest, most velvety, and all-around best. The ice cream cake was no exception. It was vanilla with chocolate mixed in, and I remember it coming layered with chocolate crunchies and red icing drizzled all over. These days, birthdays are just reminders that my hangovers are getting worse with age, but back then, they were a time for presents, parties, and Carvel cake, none of which I had to pay for. Childhood was, occasionally, a better time, minus camp.
That being said, any excuse for cake is a good one, whether it be a birthday, an office happy hour, or a Tuesday afternoon on my couch, while I binge-watch Weeds. Bonus points for me if I can decorate the cake with the aforementioned tub brownies, and maybe a side helping of little frozen Greek Spanakopita, for my veggies. I may love good cake, but that doesn't mean my tastebuds aren't bizarre as all heck.