Donuts. There is a food item that has such powerful food memories attached to them. Done right they can instantly make you smile. In fact, donuts instantly make me think of certain pop culture icons: Homer Simpson and Fred the Baker from the Dunkin Donuts commercials instantly come to mind. It's those cultural icons to which we have to thank for phrases like "Mmmmm....Donuts" and "Time to make the donuts."
Now, when I brought these home, I was instantly shocked looking at my receipt. These are marked seasonal.
However, I don't think I've ever been so glad to know that we are getting the shelf space back for something that is yummy.
The bar was high on this one and this product disappoints.
I rarely say donuts are disappointing. My husband and I often joke that certain foods even when they are bad they're still kinda good. Pizza comes to mind. Usually, donuts do too.
The directions were simple and straightforward. Into the toaster oven, they went. The timing was just fine.
But once I got to the part where I ate these, that is where the disappointment started.
While they were heated through, the dough was bland and tasteless and the raspberry filling was pretty basic. Nothing special was noted.
But what I'm struggling with on this one, and it is kinda unforgivable is the taste of the raw dough. If you look at the last picture you'll see it right at the top where the jelly meets the dough.
Also, the finished product bore no similarity to the picture on the box. There was no packet of sugar.
I improvised and added some melted butter and rolled it in sugar to make it look like the picture.
It added a much-needed textural contrast and covered up some of the sins of this product.
For $2.99 you can do better. My suggestion? Get some pizza dough, cut small pieces and fry it in oil at 350F for about 5 minutes until golden brown and delicious. Roll it in sugar or fill it with a jam or jelly of your choice. You'll get something less expensive and far tastier. Best of all you'll get a chance to clean out the jams or jellies that might be sitting in your refrigerator.
Would I buy this again? This is a big no. I heated up 6, I'm still debating if I even want to eat the other 6 sitting in the box. But I am 100% sure that there are other things more worthy of the calories.
The box of Trader Joe's Donut Bites:
After being rolled in butter and sugar you get something that looks a lot more like the picture on the box:
An if you are wondering what they look like on the inside:
Want to see more items I've reviewed from Trader Joe's? Click on Thoughts & Reviews of Trader Joe’s for a searchable list.
Did you try it? Let me know what you think in the comments section!
The Bottom Line
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Trader Joe's Donut Bites
Product Name: Trader Joe's Donut Bites
Product Description: A frozen seasonal donut bites.
A new frozen dessert that is limited on the mess, but also limited on taste without you adding your own touch to it. Even then that isn't enough to make up for the raw dough taste that was found in several bites.
- This item is seasonal and needs some fine tuning.
- Minimal mess
- Mine were doughy and undercooked in the middle
- They did not look anything like what was pictured on the box
- You can get a better result by making homemade zeppoles or donuts
WOW! They really messed up donuts. I think they are aiming for the Hanukkah crowd. I do agree with you that doing it homemade is easy plus you can whip up a big batch of it. $1.29 pizza dough from TJ's refrigerated case and raspberry jam filled in. You can do in the oven too with the pizza dough. Plus I noticed dried apples in the list which is odd choice.
Hey Alek! If there were any dried apples in there I didn't notice, that raw dough taste cuts through a lot flavors that may have been present. Thanks so much for stopping by!
I had already heard bad things about these frozen donuts. Such a simple dessert to screw up this much.
Hey Dag! I was shocked too. I thought the exact same thing of "how bad can they be." I got my answer. Not good. Thanks as always for stopping by!
I got the gut feeling that it will not stick around for a long time. Even it will be seasonal. I hope TJ's will find a new supplier and reformulate it. How hard to mess up jelly donuts?!
Anne with a silent E says
Super glad to read this before grabbing these! Thanks for your review and the photos - it's appreciated.