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Are Costco Cakes Worth It?

Heard about Costco cakes but wondering if they’re worth getting? We weigh up the pros and cons to see if they’re worth your money.

birthday-cake

When it comes to inexpensive grocery shopping, Costco is a wonderland; their prices are almost always more competitive than the likes of Walmart or BJ’s, for example. The same can be said for one of their specialty services that while you may not often require it, it’s good to know that it’s there.

Costco cakes are well-made and taste great, but more importantly, the price tags are one of the cheapest you can find. This includes comparisons between the Costco bakery and pricier independent bakeries, as well as chain stores like those we mentioned above.

Below, we’ve put together a brief list of justifications and drawbacks that should help you to decide for yourself as to whether Costco cakes are worth buying.

The Good

First, here is a list of the advantages to buying your celebratory cakes through Costco’s bakery.

1. They’re inexpensive

A Costco half sheet cake will typically cost you less than $20, which is an average of around $5 less than the next best option. Independent bakeries will skyrocket upwards of this price tag and can easily hit three-digits for the same product. You’re also unlikely to beat this price tag if you attempt to bake your own at home.

2. They go a long way

The size of cake that you ultimately purchase will go some way to determining how true this fact is, but typically you can feed a large number of party guests for less than half a dollar per head. The Costco half-sheet cakes are designed to feed 48 guests, keeping your party costs vastly reduced.

birthday cake celebration

3. They weigh more than a newborn baby

Not only do you get enough cake for your money to feed up to 48 guests, but the general value for money of Costco cakes is extremely good, too. When weighed, a half sheet cake comes in at around 9.5 lbs., which is more than most newborn babies. Nearly a fifth of this weight is supposedly the cake’s inner mousse filling layer, according to the Costco cake order form.

4. They can be bought as part of your grocery shopping

Even if you turned up to Costco for the grocery shopping with no intention of purchasing a cake from their bakery, you can still take home one of their creations without any forward planning. The Costco bakery keeps a range of ready-made cakes on hand that can be picked up on the spot; this includes sheet and half=sheet cakes, plus some customized with personal or holiday messages.

5. They can be customized in a wide range of styles

Though you might suffer a little more if you try to get a very niche design placed onto your sheet cake, the Costco order form does have a wide array of designs to choose from, with around 30 styles available. These designs include classics like balloons and flowers, as well as pirate ships, sports equipment and animals. What’s more, with a stock selection of designs to choose from, you know you’re getting the cake made by a bakery that has experience producing those cake designs time and time again.

The Not-So-Good

Whilst there are many good reasons to buy a Costco birthday cake or Costco cupcakes, there are also a few negatives to be aware of.

1. They only offer two flavors

When you order a cake from Costco, you have just two options available to you. You can choose to order a ‘white cake,’ which is essentially a vanilla-flavored cake, or you can order a chocolate cake design. The ‘white cake’ is filled with vanilla cheesecake mousse weighing in at around 2 pounds, and is iced with buttercream, whereas the chocolate cake is created in the same way but with the chocolate flavoring instead. This is one area in which Walmart does a little better, as they offer a range of around 5 different flavors.

birthday-candles

2. They have reduced the available options

As above, there are currently only two types of cake flavoring available; however, this was not always the case at Costco. In the past, you could order a carrot cake version from the Costco bakery; this cake followed the same template design, but used apricot mousse, with a cream cheese icing. Unfortunately, the carrot cake was discontinued for reasons unknown. What’s more, Costco’s Australian arm still offers more flavor options, including a raspberry mousse.

3. They require time to prepare greater customization

If your kid’s birthday cake must meet a very specific list of demands, and you can’t simply rely on picking up one of the pre-made cakes we’ve mentioned above, then you’re going to have to allow Costco a couple of days to create your custom message. This is typically the case when you need a very specific image or name printed onto the icing.

The Bottom Line

So, in answer to the question of whether Costco cakes are worth it, that really depends on what your criteria are.

If you’re looking for something inexpensive that will feed a large number of guests, or you’re in a rush and happy to settle for a stock design, then absolutely; Costco cakes are very much worth it.

That said, if money isn’t really an issue and you want something specially designed and unique, or a variety of flavors, then you might want to consider an independent bakery. On the whole, for most celebrations, a Costco cake will be more than sufficient.

Costco cakes are the best value for money, but they are definitely not show-stoppers.


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