Kitchn Love Letters

This $5 Trader Joe’s Bakery Find Is a Total Dupe for a Costco Favorite

published Oct 21, 2023
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Trader Joe's Retail Strip Mall Location. Trader Joe's is a chain of specialty grocery stores in the U.S. II
Credit: Jonathan Weiss/ Shutterstock

A few years ago, I stopped buying Costco muffins. Mostly because having a dozen grapefruit-sized, double-chocolate muffins in my apartment was just too much for my needs. Also, I just wasn’t enjoying them as much as I used to. So when Trader Joe’s came out with its own decadent version in a much more manageable package of four, trying them was an easy choice. I went all in. 

Since then, Trader Joe’s Gluten-Free Double-Chocolate Muffins have become my preferred breakfast for two reasons. One, if we’re being honest, muffins are just a delight. And two, even a weekday breakfast deserves to feel special. Here’s why you should add them to your jam-packed Wednesday (or any other day ending in “y”).

Credit: Christina Knueven

What’s So Great About Trader Joe’s Gluten-Free Double-Chocolate Muffins?

To me, eating chocolate is about actually tasting it, not the sugar. For reference, my preferred chocolate bar needs to be 80 percent cacao or higher. I want to experience all the richness of this ingredient.

This became my biggest issue with Costco’s double-chocolate muffins (pictured above on the right) after a while. They’re too sweet and not rich enough, while the Trader Joe’s version (shown on the left) is the opposite. While this muffin is still sweet enough to slot in as a dessert, you can actually taste the notes of vanilla and buttermilk beside the cocoa. The sweetness is more balanced because the sugar lets the chocolate be the main event. 

The other thing I love about these muffins is how much they lean into their cake-like nature. They are far more moist than their Costco counterparts, and they’re so rich that you really only need one to feel satisfied — despite their smaller size. (In contrast, the Costco muffin is chewier and much more bread-like.) You could close your eyes and almost be convinced you’re eating homemade double-chocolate cupcakes

The only thing I wish we could steal from Costco’s double-chocolate muffins is those big chocolate chunks (the Trader Joe’s muffins use standard-sized chocolate chips). 

What’s the Best Way to Enjoy Trader Joe’s Gluten-Free Double Chocolate Muffins?

If you’re like me, you’ll barely be home from the store before you grab one straight out of the package, peel the paper halfway down (that blissful tactile anticipation), and bite right in — no plate necessary. They also pair perfectly with a cup of coffee.

And if you want to turn these muffins into a dessert, they’re honestly very solid cupcake bases. Go ahead and whip up a buttercream frosting and you’ll have four ready-to-eat cupcakes. Not in the mood for cake? Another way I’ve enjoyed these muffins is by peeling off the paper, plopping one in the bottom of a bowl, and topping it with a scoop of mint chip ice cream

So it’s really up to you. These muffins can be enjoyed as a breakfast, dessert, or a late-night snack. Most likely, you’ll want them for all of the above. 

Find it in stores: Trader Joe’s Gluten-Free Double-Chocolate Muffins, $5.49 for 14 ounces 

What’s your favorite breakfast food from Trader Joe’s? Tell us below in the comments!