8 Things You Need to Know Before You Buy a Costco Cake

When a big birthday or another special occasion is approaching and you need someone to bake you a cake as fast as they can, Costco is the place to go. The fan-favorite bakery at the fan-favorite warehouse store is known for its seasonal sweets, like gooey Soft S'mores Cookies and the controversial Strawberries and Cream Bar Cake, but it also makes sheet cakes year-round that make the perfect birthday cake (or a great treat for another sweet celebration).

As you would expect, Costco's half-sheet cakes are massive enough to feed an entire block of people, with prices low enough to make you do a double-take. The half-sheet cakes have been the subject of Internet rants, rumors and raves over the years, with one Redditor recently declaring them "Beyond delicious — Rich, decadent, perfect." Or, more (in)appropriately, "So [expective] delicious."

Intrigued? Before heading to your local warehouse to order, you'll want to keep a few things in mind (how much does a Costco cake cost, how and when to order, what's on the menu, etc.). We did the research and pulled together everything you need to know about Costco cakes in one handy spot.

Related: 9 Popular Costco Liquors, Ranked From the Bottom(s) Up



All of Your Costco Cake Questions Answered

1. How Much Does a Costco Cake Cost?

As you might imagine, the warehouse makes half-sheet cakes and sells them at a bargain. The cakes are $24.99 in-store, which is up from their $19.99 pre-pandemic price.

But if you add other store-bought cakes into the equation, you'll see that a Costco cake is a pretty good bargain. As a Redditor pointed out, "My regular grocery store charges $40 for a sheet cake that’s inferior to Costco's." It's also still cheaper than Walmart (around $28), BJ's (about $29.99) and Wegman's, where a half-sheet cake can cost a whopping $46.

2. How Far in Advance Do I Need to Order a Costco Cake?

Customized Costco cakes aren't a last-minute situation. Rules can vary by location, but generally speaking, if you want a custom Costco cake, like adding a name or message for a special birthday cake, you need to order it at least 48 hours in advance.

3. Can I Order a Costco Cake Online?

You have to order a custom Costco cake in person, and the experience feels straight out of the 1980s. Or, as one person opined earlier this year when X was still Twitter, "the 1800s." User Lucy Huber, tweeted, "You write what you want on a piece of paper and put it in a box. Then nobody follows up, and you just show up and hope they made it? I tried to call to confirm, and they were like “if you put it in the box, it will be there."

Snark aside, that's the exact process. There's an order form, a box—and a leap of faith. Many users assured Huber, "Girl, that cake will BE THERE. Have some faith," replied someone.

Related: The 50 Best Things to Buy at Costco

4. How Big is a Costco Cake?

Invite everyone you know. Costco half-sheet cakes, which measure 12 by 16 inches, are so massive they can feed 48 people. Don't have that many friends? More leftovers for you. Also, enjoy this piece-of-cake math: You pay less than $2 per slice. And make sure you've stretched before picking up one of these babies. Costco cakes weigh about 9.5 pounds.

5. What Kind of Designs Can I Get on a Costco Cake?

Balloons for birthday cakes, the guest of honor's name, rainbows and teddy bears are among the fun ways to bring a wow factor to a Costco cake. Customers can choose from about 30 different cake designs. But keep in mind that if you don't choose from one of the Costco design options, you'll get a blank cake, as one TikToker found out the hard way.

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If you're the DIY type, you can pick up a plain cake from the Costco bakery and get crafty. One of the perks of picking up a pre-made half-sheet cake (besides being able to get it the day of) is that the cake serves as a blank canvas. Let Costco do the baking and frosting, then you add your own sweet message to the birthday cake, plus personalized cake toppers and any other decorations.

6. Are Sheet Cakes My Only Costco Cake Option?

Sheet cakes have a cult following, but the Costco bakery has many other sweet options. The Tuxedo Cake has been compared to "heaven." The bakery also has 10-inch round cakes that are perfect for smaller soirees. David’s Cookies Mile High Peanut Butter Cake is about 7 pounds of all the right stuff, like chocolate cake, fudge brownie pieces and peanut butter mousse. Honestly, it's hard to go wrong.

7. What Are My Flavor Options?

In the U.S., Costco cakes can be chocolate or vanilla. The chocolate sheet cake includes chocolate mousse filling and chocolate buttercream icing. The vanilla is similar but, well, vanilla: A vanilla sheet cake filled with vanilla cheesecake mousse and white buttercream icing.

Carrot cakes used to be an option in U.S. Costcos, but no longer. If you're outside America you might have wider options. Australia Costcos let customers choose a raspberry filling, trendy sweet fill the bakery of South Korean Costcos and the Costco bakery in France you might be tempted to pick up some celebratory profiteroles instead of cake.

8. This Thing is Massive. Can I Freeze It?

Leftovers are likely unless your party was a big one, but some Redditors report that freezing a Costco cake makes it even moister. To freeze it, one Redditor shared their go-to method: "The way we do it is to slice it, then you take a folded piece of parchment paper, put it around the knife and slide it into the cut you made. Keep doing it for all your slices, then freeze the cake. It makes it easier to remove a single piece and thaw it later."

Related: Costco's 'Ultimate' Food Court Hack Has Shoppers Completely Divided

Bonus: Costco Cake Urban Legend

When we were deep-diving into the sweet world of Costco cake we ran across a funny urban legend. In 2015, a now-deleted story surfaced in The Inquisitr that a Costco baker decorated a cake with a three-legged dinosaur whose legs reportedly looked like "666," and a mom complained. Turns out, the mom's boyfriend wrote the article, and it was totally untrue. The Costco location in the story never heard a peep about demonic dinosaurs.

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