The secrets Sam’s Club bakery is keeping from you

Sam’s Club shoppers love the warehouse store for their impossibly large bottles of condiments and super-sized packs of paper towels. The free samples also serve as a nice amuse-bouche on your way to the food court. Plus, you can even score some inexpensive, if not cheaply-made clothing at Sam’s Club, should you be in the market for such a thing. But we all know the number one draw of this big-box retailer sits towards the back of the store, lined with racks and racks of fragrant treats: Sam’s Club bakery.

If you think you know all there is to know about Sam’s Club bakery, think again. Yes, it was amazing when the minds behind Sam’s Club bakery introduced their hack for using a cookie cutter to create individual portions of their epic pumpkin pie. But, life isn’t all about pumpkin pie, and these secrets bring more to the table than some simple single-serving desserts. We’ve uncovered some of the best Sam’s Club treats to be had, as well as some things you should definitely be wary of, and a savings tip or two to make sure you’re living your best baked good life every day of the year.

Sam's Club Member's Mark Cupcakes take the cake

Home bakers, you can officially retire your homemade cupcake recipe; Sam’s Club apparently has it beat. The White and Chocolate Member’s Mark Cupcakes from Sam’s Club have over 140 reviews online, and 125 of those are five stars. These cupcakes come in a 30-count package, with 15 vanilla and 15 chocolate cupcakes. They’re topped with your choice of regular or whipped frosting and, what else – sprinkles. Can you even call something a cupcake if it doesn’t have sprinkles?

We’re not sure what the secret is that makes these cupcakes so good, but one commenter said they are the “best store-bought cupcakes ever.” They added, “These cupcakes seem to stay fresh forever and they taste amazing.” A long shelf-life may not actually matter, though. If the cupcakes are as good as everyone swears, they won’t last long anyway. Several reviewers commented on how moist the cupcakes were and noted that the icing was not too sweet. This Sam’s Club bakery favorite might just be the perfect thing for your family’s next celebration… or for your own personal indulgence whenever the heck you feel like it. However, if you’re in the market for a full-sized cake rather than perfect, sprinkle-topped cupcakes, beware. Things don’t always go as planned at Sam’s Club.

Sam's Club has had some major #cakefails

Not all that glitters is gold, and not everything that Sam’s Club bakes is bliss. Sometimes, their decorated cakes come out looking like someone fell asleep on the job. In a review for Sam’s Club’s Member’s Mark Double Layer Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake, one person said, “They never get it right,” adding, “These cookie cakes are so good and such a good price. We order 2 every year for each of our girls’ birthdays. However, there is a problem with EVERY cake. They spell the names wrong, get the colors wrong, looks like a 5 year old decorated it! … Then they put the writing very small, uncentered and as far at the bottom as they could go. Sam’s really needs to get it together! Everytime [sic] I tell them something is messed up they just look at me with a blank look like they could care less.” 

A Twitter user shared a similar sentiment with a photo of her cake and the caption, “Bought a going away cake for my manager on Thursday and they messed it up. I am so embarrassed.” The cake was decorated (above) with the words, “We will you Caleb” in pink icing. Clearly, Sam’s Club missed something there. These mishaps are frustrating, but it’s nothing compared to the major lapse in judgment one customer experienced.

Sam's Club bakery may have been guilty of discrimination

In July of 2020, a Sam’s Club baker allegedly skipped out on one customer’s cake decorating request altogether. Let’s just say, it was not a good look for the Club. A Sam’s Club customer named Brandon shared a photo of his blank cake on Twitter, saying, “So I paid full price for a cake, just to be told that @SamsClub refuses to put “Black Families Matter” on a cake. Y’all’s fake support is showing.”

In the post, the customer also included a photo of the bakery’s cake order form revealing that an employee had apparently crossed out the words “Black Families Matter” from the request. The customer tweeted, “…crossing out of the statement is really what sent me. That s*** was just uncalled for.” The customer followed up later, saying, “Turns out it wasn’t a store policy, it was a [rogue] employee who let her bias ruin my family function. Her manager will be reviewing cameras and updating me.”

Sam’s Club reportedly attempted to make amends by decorating the cake as originally requested, refunding the customer’s money, giving them a $100 gift card, upgrading their membership, and waiving the membership fees for the next two years. Many following this incident in the Twitterverse claimed Sam’s Club’s response was not good enough and vowed not to shop at that location again. Since Sam’s Club’s sweets sometimes tend to turn out sour, let’s take a turn to the savory side of the bakery.

Sam's Club ciabatta rolls are just like grandma's

The bread from Sam’s Club has a good reputation, and their Klosterman white bread even rings in cheaper than rival retailer, Costco’s sliced bread. But their Member’s Mark Ciabatta Rolls are on another level. The traditional Italian rolls are made fresh in the store and come out of the oven with that signature crusty exterior and soft interior, as any good homemade bread would. These sandwich-sized rolls have over 120 positive reviews online, and they had one commenter waxing nostalgic. 

The ciabatta-loving shopper said, “They remind me of the bread my Grandmother made. When you open the bag for the first time, you smell yeast…that’s what real bread smells like.” They added, “These rolls aren’t like the overly processed breads, i.e. Wonder Bread, Pepperidge Farm, Sara Lee, etc…breads that are like eating a sweet sponge. They have texture and are chewy. Great for eating with butter, toasted or as a sandwich.” Toasted, buttered ciabatta rolls sound like something everyone needs, and at less than three bucks for an eight-count bag, these rolls won’t remain a well-kept secret for long. But if we’re going to talk about buttered bread, let’s talk about the real deal — Sam’s Club’s croissants.

Sam's Club All Butter Croissants are made fresh

While you won’t find many people settling in to make homemade ciabatta bread, even fewer folks are up to the task of making croissants by hand… unless they work at Sam’s Club. According to the store’s website, the secret to Sam’s Club’s Member’s Mark All Butter Sandwich Croissants is that they’re made fresh in the store’s bakery. Each croissant is formed from yeast-leavened dough that’s been layered with butter before being rolled and folded into that classic crescent shape. The buttery croissants have almost 500 reviews on Sam’s website, and over 380 of them are five stars with comments like, “OMG! melt in your mouth. Delicious,” and “Favorite bakery product! These are awesome!” 

At 310 calories and 17 grams of fat apiece, you may want to hide these croissants from yourself, but an occasional indulgence can’t be too bad. Besides, a fan of these savory pastries declared on Facebook that they alone are worth the price of a Sam’s Club membership. One of the benefits of a membership at Sam’s is, of course, the savings. But if you’re savvy, you can decode Sam’s Club’s price tags to know when you’re getting the biggest bang for your buck.

Sam's Club price tags hold clues to savings

Part of the fun of hitting up Sam’s Club on a Saturday (apart from the promise of a 30-pack of cupcakes) is to score some deep discounts. An employee of the big-box retailer gave CBS DFW the inside scoop on how to make your dollars go even further at Sam’s Club, just by taking a closer look at the store’s price tags. Apparently, if you see a price ending in one cent, it’s time to buy, buy, buy. According to the employee, “If you see a one-cent on the end, that means we’re selling it far below the price we paid for it.”

There’s also a money-saving formula for the product number listed on the price tag. Look at the letter following the item number, and if you see a “C,” it means the item is discontinued (and likely priced super low), an “A” means the item is active, and an “N” means the product is something Sam’s Club will always have on hand. We’re not sure if Sam’s applies these savings secrets to fresh-baked goods, but just in case, make some room in your freezer to stash your discounted faves and keep an eye out the next time you’re cruising the bakery at Sam’s Club.

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