Best Store-Bought Desserts
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Best Store-Bought Desserts From Costco, Trader Joe's, and Aldi

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Best Store-Bought Desserts
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Desserts To Go

Whether you're entertaining guests or having a quiet night at home with your family, there are many reasons to purchase dessert instead of making it. You'll save lots of time and effort, of course, and sometimes what you buy at stores is just as good as homemade and actually cheaper than if you had made it yourself. Here are some of the best desserts you can buy from Trader Joe's, Costco, and Aldi based on customer reviews, blogger recommendations, and expert picks.

Prices and availability are subject to change. 

Mini Sheet Cake
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Mini Sheet Cake

Where: Trader Joe's, $4.49
According to Bon Appetit, someone loved the chantilly cream vanilla cake version of the mini sheet cake so much that they tracked down the baker and had them make their wedding cake. The dark chocolate ganache version is great too, but very rich.

Pumpkin Pie
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Pumpkin Pie

Where: Costco, $5.99

Hordes of Costco pumpkin pie fans anticipate its release each September. The pie is a foot in diameter but only $5.99, making it a real steal that can feed even the biggest Thanksgiving dinner parties — a plus when you're busy cooking the rest of the feast. The filling is "sweet and smooth and a little fluffy," while the crust somehow stays flaky under all that weight.

Related: 55 Best Thanksgiving Buys at Costco

Apple Walnut Cake
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Apple Walnut Cake

Where: Aldi, $6.99
Almond cake is filled with apple pieces and topped with candied walnuts in this versatile cake from Aldi. You can simply thaw it and serve it cold or room temperature, or you can eat it hot after some time in the oven or microwave. It'd be great with vanilla ice cream on top.

Chocolate Brooklyn Babka
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Chocolate Brooklyn Babka

Where: Trader Joe's, $4.99

While it's possible to make a chocolate treat from scratch, this decadent babka tastes like you did but without the hassle. This swirled, bread-and-dark chocolate combo is so over-the-top that it's tailor made for dessert, not breakfast. The swirls are endless, and like the sign says, a warmed slice is amazing as a sundae with ice cream and fudge sauce.

Danish Butter Cookies
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Danish Butter Cookies

Where: Aldi, $3.29

Everyone seemingly has bright blue tin of butter cookies during the holidays, and Aldi also has its own version that's quite good. You'll find all the familiar cookie shapes like sugared pretzels in little paper cups. They're great to keep around for when unexpected guests drop by.

Related: 25 Best Thanksgiving Buys at Aldi

Chocolate Cake Filled With Chocolate Mousse
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Chocolate Cake Filled With Chocolate Mousse

Where: Costco, $12.99

If you're craving chocolate but the tuxedo cake is a little too much for you, there's another option. This chocolate cake is filled with chocolate mousse and then coated in chocolate frosting. It's marked into 16 equal portions for easy cutting, too.

Joe-Joe's
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Joe-Joe's

Where: Trader Joe's, $2.99
These Oreo-like sandwich cookies are such a beloved Trader Joe's item that there's multiple online rankings of which flavors are best. The seasonal candy cane version is usually tops, but it's hard to beat the classic chocolate and vanilla combo year round.

Chocolate Lava Cakes
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Chocolate Lava Cakes

Where: Trader Joe's, $2.99
Chocolate lava cakes are usually reserved for restaurants, but the Trader Joe's version has often been called "restaurant-worthy." You heat the unassuming cakes, and the middles becomes a molten fudge center. It's decadent, and you can adorn it with additional goodies—berries, ice cream, caramel—if you like.

Tuxedo Chocolate Mousse Cake
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Tuxedo Chocolate Mousse Cake

Where: Costco, $15.99
One of the fancier desserts at Costco, the tuxedo chocolate mousse cake shows off its beautiful layers and serves 12 or more people. Some people describe it as "chocolate mousse heaven," and praise the fact that it isn't too sweet.

Deep Dish Chocolate Chip Cookie
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Mousse Cups
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Mousse Cups

Where: Aldi, $2.99
These dessert cups are filled with mousse, cake, and sauces, and come in two fall seasonal flavors: pumpkin and salted caramel.

Sweet Bites
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Sweet Bites

Where: Trader Joe's, $5.99
You probably won't fool anyone that you made these yourself, but the frozen sweet bites are good enough that it doesn't matter. There are three different flavors in every box, including coffee, raspberry, and caramel, and all are layered and look beautiful on a platter.

Pizzelle Cookies
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Pizzelle Cookies

Where: Aldi, $2.99
Pizzelles are traditional Italian waffle cookies that can only be made with a special iron. Most people buy them instead of making them, and they come in vanilla, anise, and chocolate flavors.

Sheet Cake
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Sheet Cake

Where: Costco, $18.99 and up
Costco's sheet cakes are well known for being inexpensive, attractive, and tasty. There will always be some decorated and ready-to-go in the store, but you can also fill out a form and special order one with the flavors and decorations you want. When it's time to pick up a cake, just head to the special order coolers.

Mango & Cream Bars
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Mango & Cream Bars

Where: Trader Joe's, $3.49
These frozen bars are what it would be like if a creamsicle ran headlong into a fresh mango. They're not far removed from summertime treats most remember from childhood, but it seems like they'd be great when you just need a little summer in the middle of winter, too. They also come in raspberry.

Tiramisu Bar Cake
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Tiramisu Bar Cake

Where: Costco, $15.99
I don't know if you've ever had to decide between cake and tiramisu, but you'll never have to again with this dessert. The tiramisu cake combines chocolate, coffee, and cream into a bar cake that's angelic, rich, and "as long as an average human's arm." Not quite, but close.

Pumpkin Cheesecake
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Pumpkin Cheesecake

Where: Trader Joe's, $6.99
At only $6.99 for almost 2 pounds of cheesecake, this is a hefty frozen dessert to have on hand at the holidays. Even if you crave pumpkin, the pumpkin flavor isn't overwhelming, so you know you're eating a cheesecake and not a pumpkin pie.

Liqueur Dessert Cakes
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Tiramisu Glasses
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Tiramisu Glasses

Where: Costco, $9.59
This Italian import tiramisu is made with mascarpone cheese, coffee soaked sponge cake, and even some marsala wine. A dusting of cocoa powder on top adds a little bitter chocolate flavor. They come in glass cups you can fill with other homemade desserts when you're done.

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
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Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Where: Trader Joe's, $4.29
Winning regularly in the Trader Joe's Annual Customer Choice Awards for favorite candy, the dark chocolate peanut butter cups are a great addition to dessert, but are rich enough to stand on their own. The dark chocolate tempers the sweetness, so it feels like a grown up Reese's peanut butter cup.

Mini Cream Puffs
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Mini Cream Puffs

Where: Aldi, $4.89
These frozen, mini cream puffs come in a resealable tub, so you can just grab out as many as you need and not worry about freezer burn on the rest (that makes it easy to grab one out as a snack, too). These cheap (and comparable to name brand) treats are great served with a chocolate fondue.

French Macarons
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French Macarons

Where: Trader Joe's, $4.99
Chic French macarons are trendy, but quite a feat to make yourself. The frozen versions at Trader Joe's aren't cheap but are quite good, and come in two different flavor packages: chocolate and vanilla, and an assortment with ingredients like pistachio and fig.

Cheesecake
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Cheesecake

Where: Costco, $13.99
One of the best dessert buys at Costco in terms of price per ounce, the bakery's cheesecake weighs in at a whopping 4-and-a-half pounds. It gets a swirl of frosting for decoration, but is otherwise a blank canvas. Instead of making a cheesecake yourself, keep it simple and gather a bunch of toppings like fruit sauces, fudge, and berries, and let guests make their own creation.

Sublime Ice Cream Sandwiches
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Sublime Ice Cream Sandwiches

Where: Trader Joe's, $4.49
Feel like a kid again when you eat these chocolate-chip cookie and ice-cream sandwiches rolled in chocolate chips for good measure. They're a hefty 5 ounces each and those mini chips give them a satisfying crunch.

Chocolate Fudge Lava Cakes
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Chocolate Fudge Lava Cakes

Where: Costco, $10.59
These chocolate-fudge lava cakes are made with Columbian chocolate, have a molten center, and there's a salted caramel version as well. They come in the ceramic ramekins they were baked in, so once you've finished eating them, you get a cute new set of dishes, too.

Hold the Cone
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Hold the Cone

Where: Trader Joe's, $2.99
Voted favorite dessert at Trader Joe's, these are mini chocolate-covered ice cream cones. They're great for portion control when you just want something small after a meal or as a snack. They're available with vanilla or chocolate ice cream.

Mini Desserts
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Mini Desserts

Where: Costco, $13.99
If you're looking to throw an upscale dinner party or big buffet line, check out Costco's mini desserts. They come complete in their own clear cups to let the bright colors from pistachio and raspberry shine through.

Ice Cream
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Ice Cream

Where: Trader Joe's, $2.99 to $5.99
The ice cream at Trader Joe's is super premium, which means it has a high butterfat content and little air whipped into it, making it dense and decadent. It comes in many flavors, but the French vanilla, Speculoos cookie butter, and pumpkin are all standouts.

Chocolate Cream Cake
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Chocolate Cream Cake

Where: Aldi, $6.99
This cake is for chocolate lovers only, with two layers of chocolate cake filled with chocolate cream, then topped with chocolate sauce and chocolate-covered crispy puffed rice for texture. It serves eight for less than a dollar a serving, and also comes in a strawberry variety.

Mochi
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Mochi

Where: Trader Joe's, $3.49 to $4.49
Mochi is a chewy Japanese rice cake, and these mochi are filled with various and often unique flavors of ice cream. Reviewers have not found anything wrong with the green tea version to nitpick, and proclaimed that the mochi has "just the right thickness, texture and elasticity."

Ice Cream Cups
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Ice Cream Cups

Where: Aldi, $3.49
These individual ice cream cups come in three flavors: chocolate, black forest with cherry, and tart lemon. They come in packs of two, and while the adorable little footed glasses are plastic, they're fun to reuse when you're finished.

Mango and Sticky Rice Spring Rolls
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Mango and Sticky Rice Spring Rolls

Where: Trader Joe's, $2.99
Mango and sticky-rice spring rolls take a popular Southeast Asian dessert and put it in a compact, handheld form. The rice is cooked in coconut milk, and surrounds sweet mango. By baking or pan frying these, you end up with a crispy, unique dessert.

Belgian Mini Cream Puffs
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Belgian Mini Cream Puffs

Where: Costco, $9.99
A dessert practically made for a buffet, these mini cream puffs filled with vanilla whipped cream just need to be thawed and served. They've been called one of the best desserts at Costco, and they're hard to stop eating.

Aldi Cheesecake
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Cheesecake

Where: Aldi, $5.99 and up
Aldi has a wide variety of frozen cheesecakes available, from raspberry white chocolate to seasonal sampler packages. They're all a great value since the price is generally less than $10. If you're just shopping for yourself, there's also a 2-slice pack for $1.99.

Gourmet Chocolate Chunk Cookies
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Gourmet Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Where: Costco, $7.99
While just under $8 for cookies isn't exactly cheap, you do get 24 of them in this package. The cookies are large, so you only need one, and they don't skimp on the chocolate chunks like many popular store brands. These are a must for soft and chewy cookie lovers.