The Costco bakery item you need to know about

Shopping at Costco can be confusing, what with the towering shelves of bulk goods, the crowds, and getting distracted by all of those tasty samples. But if you've got a membership, there's one Costco hack you should know about — a bakery item that sounds too delicious to be true. It's a discovery we're more than happy to make right before the holidays, when we're so busy that we barely have time to bake. 

Now, usually we would look for a cake in the bakery section of Costco where the breads, muffins, pastries, and regular sheet cakes are sold. If you don't venture out from that section, though, you might be missing out on one of the best cakes — in fact, one of the best desserts — Costco has to offer, which would be a huge mistake. 

Why you should try the Costco tiramisu cake

We're talking about their tiramisu cake, which can be found in the refrigerated section, along with their tuxedo chocolate mousse cake and pumpkin spice cheesecake (via Simplemost). 

If you've ever made tiramisu at home, you know that it can take awhile. You have to track down Italian ladyfinger cookies, brew some espresso, dip the cookies in the espresso, make an egg-yolk based whipped mascarpone cream, and layer everything — and it's still not quite done after all that work, because you then need to chill it for hours before you can dig in (via Sally's Baking Addiction). Who has the time? 

Costo makes sure that you'll have more than enough tiramisu cake to satisfy your cravings. It's about 2 1/2 pounds of creamy, delicious dessert. The massive cake is only $15.99, which, if you factor in the cost of the alcohol and the fancy Italian ladyfinger cookies used in a traditional tiramisu recipe, is probably actually cheaper than buying all of the ingredients to make it yourself at home (via People). Buying one will save you a lot of time, too, so you can focus more on actually eating the dessert instead of making it and cleaning up after it. 

Even better? If you don't feel like dealing with the madness of the Costco parking lot, you can use Instacart to get the tiramisu cake delivered right to your door. Who doesn't love on-demand dessert? 

What is tiramisu?

Tiramisu is a now-classic dessert you can find at Italian restaurants all around the world, but it turns out that tiramisu as we know it didn't really spring into popularity until the 1980s (via Eater). 

Famous chef Lidia Bastianich says that she ate a version of the dessert as a child in Italy. Her grandmother would serve zabaglione, an Italian custard, topped with a splash of espresso and dried bread or cookies. It wasn't quite the same thing, but her grandma did call it tira mi su. But the dish served in restaurants today (and at Costco!) is a lot more complicated — Bastianich says she's seen more than 200 different versions of the dessert.

It's usually made by layering mascarpone or custard, sponge cake or ladyfingers soaked in espresso or liqueur, and dusting it all with a layer of cocoa powder. 

Costco's tiramisu cake is definitely of the modern variety. It features layers of cake sandwiched with a drizzle of coffee, whipped cream icing, and a mascarpone and cream cheese mousse (via Costcuisine). 

The jumbo cake is definitely more than enough to satisfy your tiramisu cravings, and you can even freeze it — slice it beforehand, and you can just grab a slice whenever your sweet tooth kicks in. 

The best giant desserts at Costco

The giant tiramisu cake isn't the only jumbo-sized dessert at Costco. The store is known for its bulk-sized foods, and the dessert category is no exception. 

They have giant Costco pumpkin pies that weigh in at 58 ounces and serve 12 people. They've been around since the '80s and are something of a holiday tradition for Costco shoppers. 

Costco also serves up a 5-pound cheesecake, a 7-pound mile-high chocolate and peanut butter cake (it has chocolate cake, fudge brownies, and peanut butter mousse), and a 7-pound chocolate cake (via Today). They also sell a 5-pound pumpkin spice cheesecake that's available on a seasonal basis (via The Kitchn).

They also have more than one tiramisu dessert, and this one's not on the giant side. If you don't think your family can finish a 15-pound tiramisu cake, Costco also offers a more modest dessert: tiramisu cups (via Costco). Each cup holds and individual 3-ounce serving of tiramisu custard made with mascarpone and dusted with cocoa, and each package comes with six cups.