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4 Secrets About Walmart's Bakery Department

No, they're probably not baking your custom sheet cake fresh.

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There are few stores as massive and well-known as Walmart, largely because you can buy just about anything at the big-box retailer—including baked goods. Walmart's in-house bakery isn't very different from most bakeries; it sells assorted bread, sheet cakes, cupcakes, cookies, and more. But it does have some quirks that wouldn't apply to other grocery stores or smaller bakeries. From unique items you'd be hard-pressed to find elsewhere to hidden ways to score cheap baked goods, here are four secrets about Walmart's bakery department.

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4 Secrets About Walmart's Bakery Department

1. Many (if not all) of their baked goods aren't made fresh.

Close up of muffins in a Walmart bakery department
Mahmoud Suhail

Some former Walmart employees say that rather than baking items in the store, Walmart ships its baked goods in frozen.

TikTok user and former Walmart bakery employee @kazmarie13 says the store's custom cakes are always frozen. "The reason you have to give so much notice before getting a cake that's like custom decorated is not because that's how long it takes them to bake the cake, it's because that's how long it takes the frozen sheet cake to thaw out. Nothing is actually baked in the bakery; it's warmed up from frozen."

Likewise, a former online grocery pickup employee shared a video of the bakery stock room at a Walmart where all the baked goods had come in frozen. This included cookies, pastries, bread, and, of course, cakes.

2. You can find bread for $1.

Bread display at a Walmart bakery
Eric Glenn / Shutterstock

One benefit of the previously frozen bread, however, is that it's affordable.

"The labor is minimal," says Reddit user u/Say_Hennething. "The dough comes frozen, [then] thaws and rises. Then [it] goes into an oven that cooks maybe 60 [plus] loaves at a time."

Though some bread prices have risen to $1.47, Reddit user u/GeekyGrannyTexas recently posted a picture of a loaf of sliced French bread and a loaf of sliced Italian bread, both priced at $1.

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3. You may be able to find other discounted bakery items.

Walmart's bakery section

In addition to bread, in many stores, you may get a deal on "old" bakery items.

"Some shoppers have anecdotally reported day-old, or older, items being 40 percent off or so," says Julie Ramhold, a consumer analyst with "But it'll likely depend on your store as well as the selection offered there. For example, if your store has a hard time keeping apple pies in stock, then you likely won't ever see that item discounted."

Ramhold also notes that you have a better chance of snagging these deals early in the morning. Later in the day, they're more likely to be sold out (and not as fresh).

4. They sell some unique items.

freshly baked, homemade, chocolate cupcakes in paper cake cases on a circular, black, metal wire cooling rack. The cup cakes have been decorated with swirls of chocolate piped icing and chocolate pieces.
iStock / mtreasure

Due to how large Walmart's bakeries are, the department can sell some uncommon items in addition to more traditional fare.

Ramhold says that one of the more unique items is a cupcake pull-apart cake, a sheet cake-sized tray of cupcakes that looks like an actual cake. "These can be a huge time-saver and convenience for parties when you don't have to worry about slicing up cake. They're especially ideal for kids' parties since you can just pick up a cupcake and give it to them."

The store also sells desserts created by singer Patti LaBelle, including a sweet potato pie that's gone viral, peach or apple cobbler, and banana pudding. "She partnered with the retailer in 2015, and it's still the easiest way to get your hands on these ready-to-eat Southern goodies," notes Ramhold.

Erin Yarnall
Erin Yarnall is a freelance reporter from the Chicago area. Read more
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