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best inexpensive party cake

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I need to buy a cake for a surprise party on Saturday, to feed about 30 people. Just a slab type cake that can be eaten without plates and cutlery. My friend doesn't want to spend more than $50 or so, icing that's not gross and sickly sweet. I love to bake but don't really have the right size pans, nor a box to transport. I live in Leslievile, so it needs to be in the general area. I know for the budget this probably means Loblaws, Sobeys etc. but I have no idea where to start.

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  1. For the price range you are looking for I would suggest Costco's carrot cake. The density of the cake may be enough that you could serve on a napkin instead of a plate. I find that the icing on the grocery store cakes tastes like cool whip and leaves a greasy feeling in your mouth.

    1. You could try one of the chinese bakeries on Gerrard -- they are inexpensive and have a spongy texture (not too crumb-y).

      Serrano Bakery on Pape north of Danforth also does slab cakes for a reasonable price.

      1 Reply
      1. re: chyxx

        I agree Costco will be your best bet.

      2. I agree with chyxx that Chinatown, one of the bakeries there would be cheap and not too sweet.

        2 Replies
        1. re: panko

          I love the sheet cakes from Loblaws...they have always done a great jobs for the ones I get for our company baby showers etc. Pricing has been pretty good too.

          1. re: Sandybandy

            Definitely Cost Co.

            I had to purchase a slab cake for a colleague who is leaving the office, and for $19.99 (I could not believe the price) I bought a large chocolate, two layer slab cake, decorated with large flowers with happy faces on them, clouds (it was very, very cute and everyone loved it). I just picked it up as is in the bakery section fridge. It fed 24 people, with good size square pieces.

            The strange thing? I've purchased more expensive cakes from bakeries for other office events, and this is the first time that the entire cake was eaten, there was nothing left behind. Who knew?