I’ve been seeing these mixes float around a lot lately, and finally decided to pick them up to give them a taste for myself. I figured I would make this a Gluten-Free (GF) Skeptic review so I could share it with all my fellow GF readers! So if you too have been seeing these everywhere and are on the fence about buying them or unsure if you’ll like it, here is an in-depth review!
Now, first things first, if you had one of these mixes a few years ago and didn’t like them, you may want to try them again. These are new mixes and they have different ingredients than the old versions.
Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Pumpkin Pancake Mix
These are ah-mazing. They are lightly spiced and definitely pumpkin (which if you have had a lot of things claiming they are pumpkin, you’ll know how often ‘pumpkin’ things aren’t even close to pumpkin). The pancakes are fluffy, buttery, and everything you’d ever expect or need in a pancake. Derek said that if he went to a breakfast place, got their seasonal pumpkin pancakes, and was served these bad boys that he wouldn’t even question it (so I guess you could say they are restaurant quality 😏). We both remarked how un-gluten-free they are. There’s no weird chemical taste, a gritty or off-putting texture, or really any signs of being gluten-less.
If you’re not a believer yet, let me tell you how easy these pancakes are: really darn easy. There are just three ingredients: water, butter, and eggs. To make these pancakes, I just followed the directions verbatim. I usually sub butter for oil, but the box actually called for butter, so I didn’t have to! I also usually swap out the water for milk but didn’t want to change anything too much. Next time I make these I think I’ll try milk. The pancake batter also looks and acts like a normal batter, so there’s not a whole lot of guessing to whether or not the batter is supposed to look that way (which means if something goes a little funky, like they are a little thin, you can just add more mix and know everything will be fine). I hate trying new GF recipes and mixes for this reason because I sometimes have no clue what it’s supposed to look like and have to have a blind trust with it (which I already don’t trust GF, so that goes about how you’d expect). It would be very easy to add an additional spoonful of dry mix and then make some waffles out of this mix too. Plus, since the batter behaves so much like a gluten mix, it would be very easy to add mix-ins to it like chocolate chips or cranberries.
Overall, we were very pleased with this mix and agreed this was our new favorite pancake mix (why can’t it be around all year long? 😞). We also both liked this the best out of the two pumpkin mixes. The batter is just as easy as a normal pancake mix to make and it is a huge bonus that it behaves the same as gluten pancake batter. Definitely, recommend picking this mix up next time you’re at Trader Joe’s. Or if you’re not an avid shopper there, I strongly recommend finding the closest one and just going to purchase this mix, you won’t regret it.
Trader Joe’s Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread and Muffin Baking Mix
Now, this one doesn’t have as raging of review as the last, but it’s still pretty good. We both agreed the mix was lacking pumpkin. We even agreed it wasn’t very pumpkin spice-y either. On the scale of gingerbread spice to pumpkin pie spice, it was definitely more to the gingerbread side. However, it was still good. Since it is more gingerbread-y, it has a strong spice to it that in my opinion was a little overwhelming when one is expecting to eat pumpkin (I would call this holiday spiced bread, personally). Derek loved it, but did agree it was a little strong and not as good as the pancakes. I also thought it had a bit of a chemical taste to it towards the very end, but I think that was the medicinal flavor of clove peaking out since it was so strong.
The cake is super moist and comes out very dark compared to the batter (almost like a molasses cookie). The bread is like any typical ‘bread’ that is named after a vegetable or fruit (zucchini bread, banana bread, etc.). Since it is so moist, it can fall apart a bit, but no more than expected with this type of thing. This mix would also be great with additions like chocolate chips and cranberries.
I made this mix with butter instead of another oil (mix just said oil) and it turned out great. Again, I think in the future I would sub the water for milk, but didn’t want to mess with it too much. If you are vegan and want to try this mix, I (well actually a bunch of people on the internet) strongly suggest subbing the wet ingredients for canned pumpkin (which also might get you closer to that pumpkin bread the package promised). Also, the box states that you can make muffins too, and I’ve seen a lot of other’s turn out in muffin form just fine (but actually make them in a muffin tin and not mini-muffins or mini-cupcakes because the bread forms a thickish crust and I could see it coming out mostly crust and not great in a smaller vessel).
Overall, this is a good solid ‘spice’ mix that would be great for the fall and holiday season. I don’t suggest you tackle a person grabbing the last box right in front of you like I would with the pancake mix, but it is still very good and worth a shot if you like gingerbread cookies and spice cake.
Let me know in the comments below if you have tried these and what you thought of them. Also, let me know what I should try and review next!
For more Gluten-Free Skeptic, check out these past posts:
For great gluten-free recipes, check out my recipe page here.
As always thank you so much for stopping by, and I hope you have a lovely day!