Secrets Of The Aldi Bakery Aisle You'll Wish You Knew Sooner

There is something very alluring about shopping at Aldi. The rent-a-cart system and responsibility of self-bagging your groceries befuddle newbies, but once you're fully initiated into the Aldi cult, quarters and reusable shopping bags become a permanent fixture of the backseat so you're never ill-equipped for a grocery trip. It's no surprise at all that Aldi is popular both in the United States and beyond. The products are usually cheaper (and sometimes eccentric), the aisles are nice and roomy to prevent awkward cart standoffs, and there's an overall chipper attitude among the employees.

Many Aldi shopping hacks are already plenty well-known: Scope out empty boxes throughout the store for easy grocery stacking; always make a pass through the aisle of shame for unexpected treasures; buy a custom-made quarter keychain so your cart rent is always paid; and of course, check out the weekly finds for the best deals and new products. 

But there's one area of this German grocer where you might not be so savvy just yet: the Bake Shop. There are important details you should know about the best Aldi baked goods, such as the best day of the week to buy from the bakery and how to make the most of this aisle's range of products. Here are a few secrets about the Bake Shop to keep in mind for your next Aldi run. 

Sara Lee, Entemann's, and Aldi bread may come from the same source

What do Thomas' Breads English muffins, Entemann's snack cakes, and Sara Lee sandwich bread have in common? Their producer is Bimbo Bakeries USA, aka the largest producer of baked bread goods, like sandwich bread, English muffins, and bagels, in the United States. This bakery leads the statistics in the production of sliced bread, English muffins, and hot dog buns. According to Bimbo, you most likely have one of its products sitting on your kitchen shelf right now; the company states that an estimated 80% of American households consume Bimbo products on a regular basis. 

While it's never been fully confirmed, some rumors suggest the massive commercial bakery is behind Aldi's private-label baked goods brand, L'oven Fresh. This is especially likely since Aldi acknowledged Bimbo as its supplier in a 2015 recall notice. This probable truth isn't necessarily bad — L'oven Fresh bread is wildly popular — but it's an interesting tidbit to keep in mind for consumers who like to know more about the backend production of their groceries. 

Some Aldi locations have in-house bakeries

For most American Aldi stores, baked goods are sourced from regional bakeries across the country. However, a lucky few locations are part of the growing subset of Aldi stores that have a source of freshly-baked bread aromas within their own four walls. If your local Aldi has a sign proclaiming "Oven Fresh Bake Shop" over a glass-doored wall of fresh bread, donuts, scones, pretzels, and other baked delicacies, you're in luck — it boasts an in-house bakery. 

These bakeries cropped up in certain Aldi locations across Maryland and the Midwest as a test by the grocer to gauge shopper interest regarding the availability of freshly-made baked goods. Unfortunately, this self-serve wall of carby goodness isn't a ubiquitous Aldi feature just yet, but perhaps you're fortunate enough to be within reasonable commuting distance to one of the locations on the unofficial Aldi in-house bakery list compiled by fans on Reddit. Unfortunately, the only current locations as of 2023 are in Virginia, Maryland, Wisconsin, and Illinois ... but perhaps Aldi will pick up on our obsession with fresh-baked Bavarian pretzels and crusty French bread soon enough and continue its expansion. 

Bakery items are half-off shortly before expiration

The prices on most Aldi baked goods are already great, but if you want to shave even more off of your grocery bill, you'll want to start paying attention to the expiration dates of your local shop's stock. The grocery store is known to discount its baked goods by 50% in the days before expiration. The exact cutoff day is unclear, as some sources state that this happens five days before expiration while others suggest it's only two. Nevertheless, with a couple of well-timed trips you should be able to figure out which system your nearest Aldi abides by. 

In any case, if you spy a baked good you'd like to get but don't want to pay full price, check its expiry date and plan to return closer to then. Keep in mind that you run the risk of items being bought up by the time you're back. You could also nicely ask an Aldi employee if a baked good that expires within the next few days could be prematurely discounted. Aldi flags the half-off soon-to-be-expired bakery items with a sticker, so be on the lookout for those.

Most of Aldi's bakery items can't be found anywhere else

At most grocery stores, shoppers have the power. Don't like the price of a product at one store? You can probably find better rates at another. One of your longtime favorites is out of stock? Looks like the store across town has a whole shelf full. Unfortunately, the same can't be said of Aldi since it stocks a large proportion of items from its own line. 

For example, don't assume you can find L'oven Fresh's delicious Hawaiian bagels elsewhere if you don't like the prices — that product, like 90% of the items in the store's bakery, is exclusive to the German grocer, according to the Aldi website. Unfortunately, this also means that if you fall in love with an item from the Aldi bakery and the store stops carrying it, you may never see it again. There are a few Bake Shop fan favorites in this list that we hope never see that fate.

Baked goods are freshest on Wednesday mornings

Our personal experience with Aldi bakery items has always been positive, but nothing will ruin your morning like finding out the bagel you've been looking forward to is stale. Do you want the bagels, breads, and muffins from Aldi's Bake Shop to be pillowy-soft and oven-fresh every time you bite into them? If so, you'll want to flock to the grocery store on Wednesday mornings. This is the best time to buy bread at Aldi because it's when the store restocks fresh items in the bakery, produce, and seasonal sections. Plus, you can simultaneously take stock of what will soon expire and be discounted. 

Aldi's new weekly ad also drops on Wednesdays, so you will likely be able to find some steals across the board in the bakery, produce, meat, and pantry sections. If you are able to, make a point to rise early and be one of the (polite) doorbusters at your local Aldi to ensure you can take advantage of the sales before stock runs out. 

You can easily recreate the popular 7UP cake with an official recipe

If this is the first you're hearing about a 7UP cake, we know what you're probably thinking: Why? It may come as a surprise that Aldi Bake Shop's 7UP cake isn't some hip, trendy spin on a lemon pound cake. Still, tradition trumps novelty here, as the practice of putting soda in cake recipes originated in the South since at least the 1950s. Bubbly beverages replace leavening agents and can create totally new cake flavors — creamsicle cake made with Fanta soda, anyone? Popular pops like Coca-Cola, 7UP, and root beer are among the most widely-known sodas to be included in baking. 

Aldi's 7UP cake is moist, dense, and tastes just like a cold can of its namesake. You can always make a trip to the Bake Shop to get your fix, but if you've ever wanted to try your hand at making this cake in your own kitchen, there's an official recipe for 7UP cake from the soda brand itself. Lemon extract and 7UP work together to create the sweet, citrusy treat. 

The brioche and French toast bagels are to die for

You just can't leave the Aldi bakery aisle without snatching up a bag of scrumptious brioche or French toast bagels. These unique bagels make a strong case for being the best Aldi bakery finds you can get your hands on, but if you don't believe us, you could always refer to the 2022 Product of the Year Awards. Both varieties won in the breakfast category, and other baked products by Aldi like its French baguette have also received praise.

If you've never had the brioche bagels, you are missing out. Dense and buttery, they are the perfect vessel for a thick layer of your favorite flavor of cream cheese. The maple French toast bagels have a sweet taste that is an excellent contrast to the salty savory combination of bacon and eggs in a bagel breakfast sandwich. Don't pass up these two consumer favorites next time you are in the Bake Shop aisle.

L'oven Fresh's Hawaiian sweet rolls are as good as (or maybe better) than King's Hawaiian

Who doesn't love King's Hawaiian sweet rolls? These soft and buttery-sweet rolls make excellent buns for sliders or sides for dinners like a roast chicken or pot roast. They're even good enough to shamelessly sneak right out of the bag and enjoy solo. What you might not know is that a more affordable but equally delicious alternative is right under your nose at Aldi — the L'oven Fresh Hawaiian sweet rolls. 

Fans rated these rolls as "better than the name brand" in the Aldi Fan Favorites survey in 2020 (per PR Newswire), so you might just find them yummy enough to replace King's Hawaiian on your bread shelf altogether. Plus, the price discrepancy cannot be overstated; King's Hawaiian sweet rolls cost around $5 per pack of 12 at Target, while L'oven Fresh Hawaiian sweet rolls are around $3 at Aldi. There's no wonder these buns are a beloved copycat!

Aldi has a gluten-free bakery line

Gluten-sensitive and intolerant shoppers won't feel left out in the Aldi Bake Shop aisle. The grocery store carries an entire line of products dedicated to gluten-free eating, including breaded chicken, rice crisps, pasta, bread, and baked goods. There are several varieties of bread, wraps, tortillas, and bagels available in the liveGfree product family, although stock will vary individually by store. 

The gluten-free bagels offered by Aldi are a favorite liveGfree bakery item for shoppers, according to a survey conducted by Mashed in September 2022, followed by the wraps and then the bread. LiveGfree products earn overwhelmingly positive marks in reviews across the web, with Aldi Reviewer dubbing the bread moderately flavorful and "perfectly serviceable" for sandwiches. Fooducate commends the whole grain LiveGfree bread for being high in fiber and rates the product a B, meaning that it's better than average. Aldi's gluten-free bagels won second place in The Guided Buyer's lineup of the best celiac-friendly bagels, falling short only to Canyon Bakehouse's gluten-free everything bagels. 

The bakery is awesome for fall seasonal finds

Autumn is the season of crunchy leaves, haunted houses, and the absolute best Aldi Bake Shop finds. If you're like us, you enjoy spending chilly afternoons in the kitchen whipping up yummy baked goods. But if you ever want a break from your own oven, you don't have to go to expensive cafes for delicious fresh fall pastries — Aldi has you covered. 

Our favorite seasonal scores are without a doubt the Bake Shop apple cider donuts and pumpkin sliced loaf cake. The donuts are crispy on the outside with a cloudy-soft middle, and the spice from the cinnamon sugar is a great contrast to the sweet apple donut. Moist and rich, the pumpkin loaf is a decadent companion to a hot cup of coffee on a brisk morning. And it wouldn't be autumn without one of Aldi Bake Shop's pies. These ready-made pies have flaky, buttery crusts and taste like they're fresh from the oven once you warm them up. Seasonal flavors typically include pumpkin, pecan, traditional apple, and caramel apple. 

Aldi has keto friendly bread that shoppers love

Keto dieters have rejoiced over the keto-friendly bread offered by Aldi's private bakery label, L'oven Fresh, ever since it launched in 2019. Bread and the keto diet don't normally go hand-in-hand; carbs, after all, are vilified in this nutritional regimen. But Aldi labels this bread as containing zero net carbs and added sugar, and it's even vegan (unfortunately, it isn't gluten-free though). The bread's low price — around $5 depending on your location — makes it especially appealing when similar types of bread on the market can easily run over $7. 

A review from No Bun Please says that the keto-friendly bread from Aldi is soft, lightly textured, and overall closely mimics the texture of regular bread. It may taste a bit bland, the review notes, but that probably won't make much of a difference if you're using the bread for sandwiches and with spreads. One caveat though, is that due to its popularity, Aldi's keto-friendly bread may be difficult to find at your local shop. Super fans have been known to stock up and freeze loaves to avoid disappointment.

You can transform the cinnamon rolls into bakery-fresh delights

Arguably the best way to start the morning is with a warm, gooey cinnamon roll. You could make them yourself — if you don't mind kneading dough, rolling it out, and letting it rise — or you could let the lovely Aldi bakers do the hard part. Bake Shop cinnamon rolls are delightful as is, with a generous cinnamon filling and soft pastry. But if you would like some advice on taking the buns to the next level, listen to the fans from the r/Aldi community on Reddit. 

One user recommends bringing some flair and sophistication to the breakfast pastries by adding nuts (walnuts would be scrumptious), apples, more cinnamon sugar, and freshly-grated nutmeg. "They turn out great every time!" they rave. To really tie it all together, transfer the rolls to a glass baking dish, then heat them in the oven until fragrant. If the bottoms of the cinnamon rolls seem a bit dry, you can also pour a very shallow layer of heavy cream into the base of the dish before adding the cinnamon rolls. The dough will soak up the moisture and spring back to life. 

The chocolate chip brioche bread makes a fabulous French toast

If you are looking for an indulgent and luxurious breakfast idea, head to the Aldi Bake Shop and pick up a loaf of the Specially Selected sliced brioche loaf with chocolate chips. This delightful baked bread makes the absolute best French toast, and Aldi fans on Reddit can't get enough of it. A big platter of French toast made with chocolate chip brioche tastes like warm chocolate chip cookies, as one Redditor describes. Meanwhile, another adds that you can truly transform the dish by following Alton Brown's French toast recipe. You won't want to pass up Aldi's 100% real maple syrup either, which is usually priced very competitively compared with options from other stores, as well as a pile of thick-cut bacon to round out the meal. 

If you're not up for it, you don't have to go through the work of preparing French toast to really enjoy this bread. On another Aldi brunch post, a fan comments that the chocolate chip brioche is divine warmed up and served with sliced strawberries and whipped cream. You could also toast a slice, then add some butter and cinnamon sugar. Feeling particularly bold? One commenter even suggests using the bread for a grilled cheese with sharp white cheddar. It might be unusual but it's undeniably delicious.