The Fruity Costco Bakery Item That's Not Worth Stocking Up On

assorted pastries
assorted pastries - Mphillips007/Getty Images

Costco's bakery is well regarded for its large selection of bulk baked goods. But not every treat coming out of Costco's ovens is worth stocking up on in bulk. And one such items is the chain's apple strudel. Tasting Table tried and ranked 15 of Costco's bakery treats, and the brand's apple strudel placed second to last. Its beautifully braided exterior and finely textured crust failed to compensate for the pastry's poor taste. Typically, this treat is a dream for lovers of apple desserts, with a soft apple filling against a crispy, sugary crust. But it can become a nightmare if you've bought it from Costco. As our taste testers quickly found out, it's just not worth hoarding.

They couldn't get past the artificial taste of the filling. It could be that the preservatives in Costco's braided apple strudel filling cause this. For instance, calcium chloride is known to lend a bitter, metallic taste to food, which is what our taste testers may have picked up on. Whatever it is, the element stands out enough to spoil the organic apple flavor we appreciate in an apple strudel. That, along with the excessive sugariness that makes it so sweet you could actually turn sick, makes this bakery item unpleasant.

Another reason to skip Costco's baked apple strudel is that it tastes anything but fresh. This actually adds up, since Costco doesn't bake its apple strudels on-site. While we understand that freezing dough allows its baked goods to last longer and reduces wastage, the final product is ultimately compromised in this case. If they arrive frozen at Costco, chances are lower (not zero) that they'll taste fresh, and it checks out.

Read more: 23 Whole Foods Baked Goods, Ranked

Look Out For These Costco Bakery Items Instead

grocery store bakery
grocery store bakery - Shebeko/Shutterstock

The next time you visit Costco, try the cherry and cheese pastry instead. It's essentially a puff pastry with light, dreamy layers of a croissant. The filling is a cherry and cream cheese alliance that taunts your taste buds with sharp contrasts. It's sweet, tart, and subtle all in one bite. Coupled with the creamy feel of the filling against the soft crust, it placed number one on our list while completing the first bite.

Another Costco bakery find we highly recommend is its Tuxedo cake. When you encounter a restaurant-quality cake in a grocery store, you've really hit the jackpot. That says a lot about this dessert that delivers an incredible cake, mousse, and brownie-layered bite all in one. All this is sealed with a smooth ganache layer. And it's not too sweet — just rich and decadent.

Lastly, don't walk out the Costco doors without grabbing Costco's plain cheesecake. While many cheesecakes easily miss the taste and texture mark, this one hits all the right notes. It tastes and feels creamy on the palate, and is sweet enough to balance out the tangy edge of cream cheese without overwhelming your taste buds. Now that's a bakery item worth stocking up on.

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