Your next trip to Costco's bakery may be a little less sweet.
In a move that has both saddened and shocked many fans of the big-box retailer, Costco announced that it recently stopped selling its popular half-sheet cakes. Now, those in need of a plain store-bought cake they can decorate at home have the option of purchasing a 10-inch round cake.
The news first broke back in May when Costco posted a somewhat hidden statement to its Facebook page announcing the new 10-inch dessert. "Big achievements deserve a celebration! Share the love with your grad by picking up a round 10” cake at the bakery. Please note: Half-sheet cakes are currently not available to order or customize," the chain wrote, alone with a video showcasing white and chocolate versions of the cake.
The store also confirmed the news to TODAY Food Tuesday in an emailed statement: "We are currently not selling our 1/2 sheet cakes at any US locations and as of right now, we have no immediate plans to bring them back. We are focusing on our smaller 10" White & 10" Chocolate Cakes that seem to be resonating with our members."
Over the years, Costco's half-sheet cakes have become somewhat of a cult favorite among shoppers looking for an affordable way to help them celebrate life's major moments (the cakes retailed for about $18.99 and could feed over 40 people). After the store took to Facebook to announce that the cakes would no longer be available, many fans of the bakery item quickly flooded the comments section of the post and pleaded with Costco to reconsider its decision.
"PLLEEEEEEEEEASSE bring back the half sheet cakes!! Best cakes ever! Worth the price of membership on its own! Birthdays are disappointing without one!!" one customer wrote.
"Please bring back the sheet cakes, even if just for preorder. The round are not large enough for larger families. We've had 3 birthday we would have bought them for, another coming up soon as well as graduation. Our grocery store cakes are good, but not Costco good," another commented.
Many shoppers said they enjoyed being able to freeze the leftovers for later.
"We bought them for all occasions, and we would freeze some ... unthawed cake would be just as fresh! The kids would have a kick, you know the birthday is not over until the cake is gone, sometimes it would be a long birthday if some of the cake got put in the freezer! I will write corporate for sure!" one shopper explained.
When asked why the store stopped selling the sheet cakes, a Costco representative explained the decision in the comments section: "To help limit personal contact and create more space for social distancing, Costco has reduced service in some departments. At this time, we are not making sheet cakes for special order. Thank you for understanding," the rep said.
One Facebook user posted that their daughter is a cake decorator at Coscto and offered the following insight for fans who are missing the sheet cakes: "She says they are considering not bringing back the half sheet cakes, ever.This would be a big mistake! Let Corporate Costco know what you think about the half sheets!"
But another person claiming to be a Costco employee said it's just a temporary move to help stores catch up during these busy times, writing, "thank you for your interest, but we can barely keep up with the few items we have since we’re busier than ever, stand by we’ll be back at full strength soon...."
Several shoppers who said they had already tried the new round cake weren't impressed with it, with some adding they're still holding out hope that the rectangular cakes will return one day soon.
"We liked the new chocolate cake but it's not as good as old one," one Facebook user wrote.