Kitchn Love Letters

The $8 Costco Treat That Tastes (Almost) Better than Homemade

updated May 11, 2022
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Credit: Trong Nguyen

Every month, I expect the thrill of shopping at Costco to wane, and every month I’m pleasantly proved wrong. On this last trip, I spotted a display in the bakery section that completely upended my normal route through the warehouse. There they were: a half-dozen chocolate mini cakes in their clamshell packages. They looked so rich and decadent, I couldn’t not try one. After just one bite (I did wait until I got home), I knew I couldn’t keep this find to myself.

Credit: Patty Catalano

Mini All-American Cakes with Fudge Icing, $7.99 for six

Only in Costco would these cakes be considered mini! They are larger than a good-sized cupcake, but smaller than a layer cake. My immediate thought was that these would be the perfect finishing touch for an at-home Valentine’s Day celebration. The chocolate cake is moist and decadent, and the entire thing is capped with a rich ganache icing and chocolate curls. Take a moment to arrange these on a simple (but elegant!) platter, and they could absolutely pass for something you’d buy at a boutique bakery. Or, you know, make at home.

Even if you aren’t celebrating Valentine’s Day, these cakes deserve a place in your cart. I’m hopeful that the latest COVID-19 surge will subside enough for small, safe gatherings. If you’re gathering, you can obviously serve them as they are. Or you can chop these cakes into bite-sized bits and add them to a trifle bowl with whipped cream, pudding, and cookies.

If the school allows it, delivering a sweet treat to your kids’ teachers may be exactly what they need to get through the toughest part of another trying school year. Do you know a neighbor or a friend who could use a pick-me-up? (The answer is yes, we all could use one!) Place a cake or two into a gift box or a container and leave it on their doorstep with a note of encouragement. Trust me: These little cakes are unexpectedly delightful.

What are you buying in bulk from Costco this month? Share your favorite finds in the comments.