Big box warehouse stores like Costco, the fifth-largest retailer in the world (outside of China), make people’s lives easier by allowing them to buy in bulk. The chain also makes people’s lives a little sweeter with its expansive bakery department, a must during any visit.
You can maximize your experience at the Costco bakery with a few simple tips and tricks, though. So, here are 15 things you need to know before buying from the Costco bakery!
15 Things To Know Before Buying From The Costco Bakery In 2023
1. Costco Bakery Prices Can’t Be Beat
Unlike some bakeries, Costco isn’t out here selling little dainty pies and cakes. Instead, this is the bakery you go to when you’re preparing to host 40 or more guests.
Usually, getting enough dessert for 40 people would be an eye-popping expense on its own, but not at Costco.
For example, if you’re hosting Thanksgiving, Costco’s famous pumpkin pie is almost a foot in diameter and only costs about $6!
Additionally, Costco’s half sheet cakes serve about 48 people and only cost $20, making them perfect for a graduation, birthday, or anniversary party.
Further, Costco offers two loaves of specialty bread for only $7! As you can see, the bakery prices can’t be beaten at Costco.
Also, you can count on all the baked goods at Costco to run along the same lines price-wise. That is, way cheaper than any regular grocery store and less even than other discount stores.
2. There’s Something For Everyone At The Costco Bakery
Some discount bakeries appear cheaper because the ovens churn out the same ten items. Costco’s bakery, however, has become a byword for variety.
With that, it’s impressive that the same store that sells a massive pumpkin pie for $6 also sells tiramisu (more on that further down), specialty loaves of bread, muffins, cookies, and cakes.
In addition, you can find the following bakery items at Costco:
- And much more!
3. With The Costco Bakery, You Can Feed A Crowd
As previously mentioned, Costco’s portion sizes for its bakery items are insane, allowing you to feed the entire family.
For example, the pies are a foot in diameter, muffins are over three inches across, the sheet cakes feed almost 50 people, and loaves of bread are sold in pairs.
Yes, Costco’s bakery channels Texas in that way because everything there is bigger.
4. Sheet Cakes Are Customizable At Costco Bakery
To order a sheet cake at Costco, you must order it ahead of time.
With that, the cakes are so customizable at Costco, and the bakery associates need time to complete the designs to perfection.
Moreover, the Costco bakery has a bunch of designs to choose from, but you can also request a personalized message and illustration.
5. There’s No Online Ordering At The Costco Bakery
Before you head to the Costco website to place an order at the bakery, you should know there’s no online ordering available.
Instead, you must place all bakery orders in the warehouse.
At most Costco locations, the bakery is in the back of the store. So, you can head straight there and either turn in a custom cake slip or speak to an associate.
Some people might see this as a mark against Costco, but others think the trade-off is worth it. For example, there’s no online ordering, but you’re paying half the price as in a grocery store.
6. You Can Order More Than Just Cakes At Your Costco Bakery
Costco bakery sheet cakes get the most attention when it comes to placing orders. But, you can also order cupcakes and even cupcakes designed to form shapes and look like a cake.
Also, say you have a big morning meeting or brunch coming up, you can order pastries from Costco’s bakery.
If you have any questions, Costco’s associates are always happy to help either in person or over the phone.
7. Almost Everything From The Costco Bakery Freezes Well
The one thing about buying baked goods in bulk is the pressure to eat it all before it goes stale. Luckily, Costco’s bakery is chock full of treats that freeze really well.
It’s unsurprising since most baked goods freeze well in general. But in this case, it’s nice to know you don’t have to eat two enormous muffins each day, so they don’t go stale.
Moreover, pies and cakes should thaw naturally on the counter, whereas you can pop items like Costco’s infamous muffins in the microwave.
8. Grab The Tiramisu At The Costco Bakery If You See It
According to Costco bakery pros, if you see the tiramisu for sale in the bakery, you should grab it right away!
Although the dessert is huge (remember, everything freezes well!), the delicious, decadent Italian dessert is a can’t-miss item.
According to Babbletop, it’s almost two-and-a-half pounds of sugary but not too sugary, chocolatey, espresso, and mascarpone goodness.
Plus, have you ever tried to make one on your own? The process is complex. So, it’s better and easier to simply pick up a tiramisu from Costco.
9. Even The Bread At The Costco Bakery Is Sold In Bulk
If you need one, and only one loaf of bread, skip the Costco bakery because its loaves are sold in pairs, as it’s a bulk warehouse.
If you’re there and need bread, consider freezing the other loaf or using it in cooking, like for bread pudding or stuffing.
10. Turn Your Home Into A Costco Bakery
Costco is all about saving you time and money, but if you have a little extra time, you can save even more money at the bakery.
With that, you can request un-baked bakery items, which you can often get for as much as half the price, and then take them home to bake yourself.
As you can imagine, this is ideal if you’re buying ahead for a party or simply have the freezer space and like to stock up.
11. Try The Freezer Aisle As Well As The Costco Bakery
We know Costco bakery items freeze well because it sells the same things in the freezer section.
For example, some of them are sold unbaked and frozen, like the cookies in dough discs. On the other hand, others are baked and then frozen, so all you have to do is thaw.
Either way, Costco charges even less for these frozen goods than in its already-cheap bakery.
12. The Generous Return Policy Applies At The Costco Bakery
Like most big box stores, Costco has a generous return policy, and it even applies to its baked goods.
So, if you bite into a cookie and it doesn’t taste right, bring the whole batch back (with your receipt), and you can get a refund.
Additionally, it applies to anything from Costco’s bakery, including cakes, muffins, danishes, all of it, even if it’s partially eaten.
13. Grab Free Sweets For The Kiddos From The Costco Bakery
Most kids detest grocery shopping, but Costco’s bakery will sweeten the deal for them.
With that, just swing by the Costco bakery and ask a bakery associate for a free cookie.
However, you do have to ask an associate (though they might offer), and your child will likely receive a sugar or chocolate chip cookie.
14. Costco Bakery Goods Are A Perfect Blank Slate
Not only can you take Costco sheet cakes home and make them your own, but many of Costco’s baked goods are also the perfect vehicle for your creativity.
For example, you can jazz up Costco’s cookies or cupcakes with frosting designs, arrange a tiramisu beautifully on a platter, or shape the unbaked cookie dough to your liking.
The only limits, as they say, are your imagination!
15. Get Your Costco Bakery Treats Delivered
Recently, Costco started offering delivery. So, while you can’t have your custom order delivered, you can order whatever is ready to go from its bakery and have it brought to your front door.
Therefore, if going inside Costco triggers the urge to purchase things you don’t need, you can complete your Costco bakery purchase without ever leaving home.
However, not every location is eligible for delivery, so check the Costco website before planning a bakery delivery.
To find out more, you can also see our posts on whether or not Costco makes wedding cakes, things to know before buying Kirkland coffee, and Costco sheet cakes.
Costco’s bakery is a wonderland of sugary delights, with a selection to rival any bakery.
While the items are larger and sold in bigger quantities than in grocery stores, many of Costco’s inexpensive baked goods freeze and thaw beautifully.