Costco Is In The Midst Of Another Viral Cake Fail

It's been less than a month since Costco went viral for a cake fail that interpreted a customer's cake order too literally, and the wholesale store is already back in the spotlight for round two. The latest Costco cake fail once again involves the customizable white sheet cakes the chain is widely known for, but this time, the cake-decorating catastrophe appears to be related to licensing issues.

In a now viral video posted to TikTok and tagged #Costcofail, user @katelanterman, aka Katelynn Ross, explains to over 979,000 viewers what happened when she placed a cake order for her son's second birthday. When arriving at the store to pick the order up, Katelynn was given a blank cake, instead of the custom Sesame Street-themed design she requested. "The best I can assume was because it's a Sesame Street themed birthday party. But I know they can't do licensed things" she speculates, having only requested a simple street sign and colored border as a solution. Following the cake fail, Katelynn was offered $5 off, as well as some frosting to take home so she could recreate the design she wanted herself, ahead of her son Teddy's big day.

Why couldn't Costco decorate the cake?


#Costcofail Without explanation, Costco didnt decorate my son’s birthday cake so I had to do it at 9pm the night before his party. #nailedit BUT SERIOUSLY, you thought leaving it blank was a good idea??? Do the best you can offer and thats my problem after, but them leaving it blank was a horribly petty plan. I normally LOVE Costco, we still spent bought all of our party food there tonight because that was my plan and I didnt need the added stress of changing plans over this. I’ll still shop there, but i will NEVER order a custom cake again #cakefail And i hate my writing on it but at least its something

♬ original sound – Katelynn Ross

Although Katelynn suspects the cake couldn't be completed due to licensing issues, people in the video's comments section speculated it was for other reasons — including a major misunderstanding of the level of customization the chain actually offers. "I work at Costco, the reason why is because they don't do custom cakes," one user explained. "You must pick from already approved designs." Other Costco employees past and present corroborated this. "I decorated cakes for Costco's in Brooklyn back 1984-88, Costco's HAS NEVER OFFERED or MADE CUSTOM CAKES," another wrote. 

As Costco cakes can only be ordered in-store or over the phone, there isn't too much information available online about the exact ordering process. However, according to Ailse of Shame, the process of ordering a Costco cake involves filling in a special order form, where you can pick from nine pre-set designs, including roses, candles, balloons, a bear, graduation and baby shower-themes, and more.

Still, for Katelynn, this doesn't explain why Costco decorators couldn't have provided an alternate design, instead of leaving the cake blank. "What confuses me the most is why they wouldn't do the bare minimum of at least 'Happy Birthday Teddy' and the border colors,'" she complained to TikTok. Perhaps Costco should change the way they advertise their cakes to avoid this mishap happening again in future — or they risk their loyal fan base dessert-ing them for Walmart's custom cakes instead.