are, of course, more special-order decorating choices.) Special-order forms, design
samples and a drop-off box are located at
each bakery’s sheet cake kiosk.
Sheet cake choices are white or chocolate cake, white or chocolate filling, icing
and a large selection of handcrafted
designs. You can also order sheet cakes
pre-scored into 48 equal portions.
More eye-popping, kid-oriented decorations in a kaleidoscope of colors were
recently added. I particularly like the lovable dinosaur. The most popular choices are roses, balloons,
rainbow and smiling sun.
Costco pastry chef and assistant general merchandise manager of Costco bakeries Jean-Yves
Mocquet says of the decorations, “It’s an art to decorate a cake with the right proportion, placement and
depth. This is our signature, and I have no doubt we
are the best.”
Hand-decorating experts such as
Alice Roundy (left) can create individual designs and detailed decorations,
such as school colors (below).
Costco Retailer A Retailer B
Halfsheet Decorated Decorated Decorated
Price $17.99 $24.99 $17.58
Unit weight lb.
9. 5 8 6.625
Unit weight oz. 152 128 106
Per lb. $1.89 $3.12 $2.65
Per oz. $0.12 $0.20 $0.17
Filled Filled No filling
Price comparisons made on 2/28/11 in Issaquah and Renton, Washington.
As for the three Kirkland Signature cakes
crafted as 10-inch rounds, Costco bakery buyer
Melanie Silva uses descriptive phrases such as
“dreamy cream cheese,” “traditional baking spices”
and “profound chocolate.”
The traditional red velvet cake is indeed dreamy,
with its dramatic bright-red-tinted cake (three parts
white and one part chocolate batter) set against
sharply contrasting vanilla cheesecake mousse fill-
ing and cream cheese icing.
A flavorful feast unto itself, the carrot walnut
cake is made with carrots, raisins and spices, apricot
preserve–cream cheese filling, heady cream cheese
icing and carrot-cake crumbs.
And the 7-pound All-American chocolate cake
(the best covert late-night snack ever created) is loaded
with rich chocolate fudge icing sandwiched between
four layers of chocolate cake, topped with fudge icing
and an added flourish of chocolate shavings.
thought to be harmful to the heart, with studies showing trans fats raise “bad” (low-density lipoprotein)
cholesterol and lower “good” (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol.
Sue shares, “Exchanging hydrogenated oil for
more natural nonhydrogenated oil blends was a
monumental task. All recipes were redeveloped
from scratch. There was no rest until we got it right.”
Ingredient labels are being updated as they
complete the transition. Meanwhile, you can have
nutritional questions answered by calling Costco
Membership Services at 1-800-774-2678.
While I’m a stickler for leaving heirloom recipes
as is, there’s one change I heartily welcome. Costco
has removed hydrogenated oils from all Kirkland
Signature bakery baked goods, including cakes.
Part of the trans fats group, hydrogenated oils are
Seasonal cake additions
Costco bakeries in the U.S. and elsewhere
employ 1,965 bakers and 1,186 cake decorators
working a total of 1,062 ovens. Wanting to expand
selections but needing more ovens, the department
recently partnered with select non-Costco bakeries
for a limited collection of high-end Kirkland
Sue quickly points out, “Rest assured, the hand-
crafted baking standards members expect and
Kirkland Signature demands are required of these
cakes too. The recipes are ours and the cakes are
fresh, with final inspections and finishings handled
in our bakeries.”
Look for strawberry peanut butter mousse cake,
chocolate tuxedo mousse cake with chunks of brown-
ies, and caramel mousse cake (European-style sponge
cake topped with caramel-flavored mousse and filled
with Bavarian cream—available this summer).
I shop around for a wedding cake to serve 144
guests. A nearby national grocery charges $24.99
per filled wedding-themed sheet cake, but the cake
is not nearly as tall as Costco’s, is shipped frozen and
serves only 30 people, so you would need five cakes
totaling $124.95 (that’s about 83 cents per serving).
Three fresh Kirkland Signature wedding-themed
sheet cakes with filling ($17.99 each), the number
required for 144 servings, total a mere $53.79, or 37
cents per slice.
Remember, Kirkland Signature cakes are perishable. They can be refrigerated up to five days, or
frozen and then thawed in a refrigerator 24 hours
Sturdily packaged, easily portable, ready-to-serve, stress-free Kirkland Signature cakes offer
exceptional taste and value. I’d say the celebrating is
already on the rise. C
I ASKED COSTCO’S bakery pros
what members might not know
about Kirkland Signature cakes,
• Each bakery confirms the
graduation dates and school colors of nearby high schools and
colleges, and is ready for last-minute requests.
• Members can bring in
a color swatch and the bakery
will try to match it in icing
•Samples of icings and
fillings are offered.
• Seasonal designs are available year-round. (Anyone for a
• Free personalization is
possible on round cakes, as long
as there is room.
• On the 2011 graduation
cakes, the graduation cap
design will be made of Belgian
• You can request only
part of a decoration or modify
designs (such as switching five
balloons to three for a child’s
• Candy confetti can be
added for no additional charge.
•It’s fine to add other
Kirkland Signature bakery
items to your special-order
• Don’t need cake but wish
to special-order five or more of
any Kirkland Signature bakery
items? Write your request on the
bottom of a special-order sheet
cake form and personally discuss it with a baker.—PV
MAY 2011 ;e Costco Connection 93