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The Best Grocery Store Cakes According to a Professional Baker

Taste of Home logo Taste of Home 1 day ago Molly Allen
Best Grocery Store Cakes Labelled Ft 01 © TMB Studio Best Grocery Store Cakes Labelled Ft 01

You can't have a party without cake! If you're hosting a celebration, whether it's for a birthday or something else, you'll need a cake to cut. But that doesn't mean you need to bake the cake yourself. (Although these homemade birthday cakes are pretty darned good.)

Your grocery store bakery offers plenty of options, from premade choices in the bakery case to custom orders. And while most grocery store cakes do arrive at the store frozen and are only assembled and frosted on-site, they are not all created equal. Some have better flavor and texture, while others are simply too sweet.

To help you find the best grocery store cake, we put slices from six stores to the test:

  • Costco
  • Kroger
  • Safeway
  • Walmart
  • Winco
  • Whole Foods

Read on to see how they ranked! And if you're surprised that cakes aren't baked in-store, don't miss our full list of grocery store secrets.

array of grocery store cakes on a pink background © Molly Allen for Taste of Home array of grocery store cakes on a pink background

How We Tested the Grocery Store Cakes

To find the best grocery store cakes, we chose to keep things simple. Testing a vanilla cake with vanilla frosting served as the baseline. Most grocery stores keep round, vanilla celebration cakes in stock, whether displayed in a bakery case or on a table. If they don't have any on hand, they're quick and convenient to order for pickup.

We called ahead at each store to either order or confirm there would be a cake available, and then we picked up all of the cakes on the same day. They were fresh for the most accurate taste test results.

Each cake was judged based on cake to frosting ratio, cake flavor, cake texture, frosting flavor and frosting texture.

cake from walmart with a slice from it next to the whole cake on pink background © Molly Allen for Taste of Home cake from walmart with a slice from it next to the whole cake on pink background

Walmart

Walmart offers a great bang for your buck when it comes to cake. To make it even better, Walmart has an online system to design and order your cake and pay ahead of time. But the level of convenience doesn't match the way this treat tastes. The cake layers are tall and fluffy, paired with frosting that has a luscious, light consistency. But once you take that first bite, you're met with excessively sweet frosting and a cake flavor that has a very strange aftertaste.

Bottom line: If you're looking for a great deal, and you don't mind super sweet frosting, this will do the trick.

How to order: Design your dream cake on Walmart’s website—then pick up at your local store bakery. Premade cakes can be added to your pickup or delivery order.

slice of cake from kroger on a plate on pink background © Molly Allen for Taste of Home slice of cake from kroger on a plate on pink background

Kroger

We love Kroger for its quality food and great prices. But we don't necessarily love this chain for its cake. Slicing into a cake from Kroger, we were met with lopsided, uneven layers. The cake was nice and light, but it had very little flavor. And while both of those qualities aren't dealbreakers, the frosting sealed the deal. The texture was lovely, but the flavor was a bit off, making it hard to enjoy any bite.


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Bottom line: If the frosting is your favorite part of a cake, skip this option. Or, try it with chocolate frosting instead.

How to order: Contact your local Kroger store to place a custom order. Or, choose from a variety of premade cakes in the bakery case.

cake from whole foods with a slice cut from it on pink background © Molly Allen for Taste of Home cake from whole foods with a slice cut from it on pink background

Whole Foods

We'll be honest, we had the highest hopes for a cake from Whole Foods. After all, it was the most expensive of the bunch. Unfortunately, those high hopes weren't met with an outstanding cake. The cake had nice, even layers and a great ratio of cake to frosting thanks to expert assembly. The cake itself was quite dense, but had good flavor. The frosting was silky, smooth and truly melts in your mouth.

The issue? The frosting tasted like we had taken a bite out of a stick of butter. There's a bit too much butter in the Whole Foods buttercream, for sure.

Bottom line: This is a beautifully decorated, well-assembled cake. The flavor and texture are great. But if you don't love the taste of butter, consider a custom frosting option, such as Whole Foods' chantilly frosting.

How to order: Submit your custom cake request online, then pick up at your local Whole Foods store. Some treats are available for pickup and delivery via Amazon Prime, too.

slice of cake from a winco grocery store cake on pink background © Molly Allen for Taste of Home slice of cake from a winco grocery store cake on pink background

Winco

This cake was the most unexpected of the bunch, especially because they come into the store frozen, already fully frosted and assembled. The cake itself had a bit of an odd yellow tint to it, but that was easy to get past. It was shockingly light and fluffy and paired with a fantastic frosting. The frosting wasn't too sweet, making it an incredibly well-balanced cake for a great deal.

Bottom line: If you need a cake in a pinch, a premade option from the Winco bakery is a great choice. Learn how to dress up a grocery store cake for a party.

How to order: We grabbed the cake for this taste test right off the shelf! You can also design and order a custom cake online or in your local store.

costco cake with a slice cut from it on pink background © Molly Allen for Taste of Home costco cake with a slice cut from it on pink background

Costco

There's no making a list of the best grocery store cakes without including Costco, and that's for good reason! Costco cakes have a cult following, even without half-sheet cakes available at stores. Costco sells 10-inch round cakes with a cake to frosting ratio that's nicely balanced. The addition of Costco's signature cheesecake mousse filling takes this option to a whole new level of delicious. The cake itself has a nice texture, and the frosting is just the slightest bit too sweet for my liking, but that's easy to get past.

Bottom line: If you have a Costco membership, choose this option every time. The cake flavor and texture are great, and you might even have leftovers to enjoy the next day.

How to order: Visit your local warehouse and grab a cake directly from the bakery. Or call ahead to place a custom order.

slice of cake from a safeway grocery store on pink background © Molly Allen for Taste of Home slice of cake from a safeway grocery store on pink background

Safeway

Like most other grocery stores, Safeway brings its cakes in frozen and decorates them on-site. Yet somehow, Safeway cakes have a light, fluffy cake texture that is unmatched. The cake offers thick, beautiful layers with great flavor. And of course, it's paired with luscious, well-balanced frosting for a cake that's not too sweet and not too bland with every bite.

Bottom line: Safeway dishes up a well-balanced, flavorful cake that won't break the bank.

How to order: Choose from a wide array of premade options—available for pickup or delivery. Or design your own cake.

safeway grocery store cake with a slice from it sitting next to the cake on pink background © Molly Allen for Taste of Home safeway grocery store cake with a slice from it sitting next to the cake on pink background

The Verdict

If grocery store cakes have a bad rap, it's due to the sweetness level. Many grocery store cakes pack on the sugar, but as we learned, not all of them do! Safeway took the crown for a variety of reasons. Each bite of cake was light and fluffy and tasted entirely fresh. The frosting was balanced and wonderfully silky smooth. And the best part? Safeway is a major brand, so it should be easy to track down in many states and find a cake for your party.

The post The Best Grocery Store Cakes According to a Professional Baker appeared first on Taste of Home.

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