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sheet cakes from Pavilions or Costco...are they any good?

hello-

i have an upcoming event with about 35 people attending. gulp. i invited a bunch of people without thinking that they'll all show up but so far everyone is expected to make it. thinking i was going to have 15 people i thought i'd get a few cupcakes but turns out they're kind of expensive! $30 for a dozen. yikes.

so that means we're sort of on a budget and now with all these people i'm thinking a sheet cake from costco or pavilions. i'm scared b/c i usually don't like supermarket cakes. i more of a Susina/Huckleberry/ Tartine in SF type of person but b/c of our budget i think i have to get one from one of the two places.

are they any good? i'm thinking of getting a simple vanilla with cream cheese frosting.

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  1. I'd choose Costco over Pavilions any day. They do cupcakes too but they are the jumbo ones.

    2 Replies
    1. re: boogiebaby

      2nd. Costco cakes are actually decent - and you can't beat the price

      1. re: boogiebaby

        Cupcakes have been discontinued at some locations

      2. alternatively, you may want to try Phoenix Bakery in Chinatown, if it fits your budget, and try their strawberry cake.

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        Phoenix Bakery
        969 N Broadway, Los Angeles, CA

        11 Replies
        1. re: bad nono

          i would normally go to porto's or phoenix and would have no issues but it's all about logistics and time. i need to prep my toddler in the morning then drive to noah's to get bagels and then go and pick up the cake. the party begins at 10am. i chose pavilions and costco b/c they're both in the vicinity. no freeway driving. i would pick up the cake the night before but fridge space is limited and i will already have gluten free vegan cupcakes (which i'm making at home) taking up the fridge space. arrgh. feeling stressed already and the party is 3 wks away!

          1. re: trolley

            Why would you question serving a Costco sheet cake?
            You should question the bagels from Noah's. Noah's bagels are delivered to their stores frozen and rejuvenated.

            You might as well get the bagels at Costco and save a trip.

            1. re: monku

              look monku, i grew up in westchester, ny and in the city. you don't have to tell me about the bagels at noah's. i personally think they're blasphemy but i also hate the artificial flavors and textures of a supermarket cake. noah's does catering. which means when i walk in the door, they'll have split bagels with tubs of cream cheese and a jug of peets from next door waiting for me. i'm hosting about 35 people, half of them happen to be 2 -5 yrs old and i'm not going to have a knife lying around so people can slice their bagels.

              i'm just trying to make it easy as possible. heck, i'd rather have H&H bagels flown in and blue bottle coffee but that's for another day.

              1. re: trolley

                look trolley, I grew up in Great Neck and would never think of of even serving someone a Noah's bagel.

                You didn't mention half are 2-5 year olds....they would be fine with a Costco sheet cake.

              2. re: monku

                what time does costco open? could trolley even get to costco and return in time for the start of the party?

              3. re: trolley

                Given the circumstances of the party, I personally think the cake is part of the fun, as opposed to the center of the party. We have two children (eight and 11), so we've been to our share of parties. Our experience particularly with toddlers/young ones has been that for the most part, kids will do one of two things with the cake - any cake. They will either sit down and eat most of it, or they will poke at it, maybe eat a little frosting, then leave it where it sits and go back to playing. The usual progression at kids parties is such that they will be eating more than their share during the party and/or play like crazy. By the time the cake is brought out, they're usually pretty full of food, drink and most are getting tired or restless. Yeah, there will be adults who will eat the cake, but oftentimes they are so preoccupied with their kids and other parents, that the cake is more of a symbol to cap off the party.

                Try not to get stressed out with this issue. I know there are Costco supporters, but if Costco's hours don't work for you, and it's a choice between one or the other, then you should defer to Pavilions. One thing to also consider is this. I don't know if you have talked with the bakery dept at Costco, but you might want to ask if you can pick up the cake before they open. There must be a service entrance (loading dock, side door, employee entrance, etc.) But again, if not, then just make it easy on yourself. Making the gluten-free vegan cupcakes shows plenty that you care. And most parents will totally understand the juggling act that you are doing - they've been there as well. Have a good time...

                1. re: bulavinaka

                  When it comes to cake for kids (especially toddlers), they don't know the difference or care.

                  I've been to weddings where the cake costs $10/slice, it was good but didn't knock my socks off.

                  1. re: bulavinaka

                    thank you for the voice of reason. the gluten free vegan cupcakes are for my husband, one child and some vegan parents. feeling gulity that i'm only serving bagels and cake and nothing in between so i thought i'd throw those in there for fun.

                    1. re: trolley

                      You'll be fine. Unless you're hosting a bunch of people that will scrutinize every bit of food and drink on the table, just enjoy and take lots of pix. I honestly don't even remember the first few cakes we got our older son - either does he.

                      1. re: bulavinaka

                        Kids only remember the decorations. Lots of memories of cakes with rocket ships. Today, I am seeing "Ariel" and "Hello Kitty". Ralph's really does a superb job with cheezy decorations. Kids love Ralph's cakes.

                        1. re: maudies5

                          >>Kids only remember the decorations.<< So true, maudies5. The first thing the birthday kid goes for after blowing out the candle(s) are the toys/figures. You could set those decorations in frosted cardboard, and they'd never know.

              4. Definitely Costco. I just used them for a large gathering, had two different kinds of sheet cake (chocolate and carrot) and they both were very good. Many different choices for frosting and decorations and the price is very reasonable, somewhere in the $18 - $20 range. Well worth it, in my opinion, and they accommodate your pick-up time so the cakes are very fresh. People remarked on how tasty they were.

                1. Love, love, love Costco bakery. BUT... except for the actual cake design, your choices are limited to either an all white cake, or all chocolate (at least that's how it was 2 days ago at the Los Feliz branch). If that works for you, then it's a ridiculously great and tasty value at $16.99 for a cake that feeds 48. The only (minor) downside was that the honoree's name on the cake looked a little squished - as if it was done as an afterthought - something I hadn't noticed on a Costco cake before. Maybe it was a one time glitch.

                  We're also long-time Porto's customers, and while this is not meant as a total knock, I started to think that they did better with their smaller, more exotic cakes vs. their more generic sheet cakes. If convenience is an issue, I don't think you can go wrong with Porto's, which probably offers more options than Costco.

                  FWIW - don't know about Pavilion's, but we've had great luck with the bakeries at their Von's siblings, which we think is the best among the local chains. Their cakes (and bagels) are great, even if not quite the value of Costco.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Briggs

                    Sometimes we forget to order the cake, thats when the squished look comes into play.
                    Costco makes get cakes. Just order it the day before and your ready to go.

                  2. Hansen's is pretty good, and not too expensive.

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                    Hansen's Cakes
                    1072 S Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90019