3 Store-Bought Cheesecakes That Are (Almost) Better Than Homemade

published Mar 10, 2024
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

Baking cheesecake at home requires more than just a lot of cream cheese. Cheesecake is a project recipe that calls for crust-making, filling-mixing, careful baking, and controlled cooling. The good news is that cheesecake is the rare dessert that freezes beautifully. While we would love to pull a perfectly preserved homemade cheesecake from our freezers whenever company arrives, we don’t always have the time. And this is where the grocery store comes to the rescue.

Shelved among the puff pastry and Popsicles are cheesecakes in a variety of styles and serving sizes. So many options! Which ones should you buy? I held a little taste test to find out.

For this test, I chose classic or New York-style cheesecakes, leaving the chocolate and cherry-drizzled ones for another time. I gathered a group of fully-vaxxed friends for a blind taste test, and we found two store-bought cheesecakes that fooled the tasters into believing they were homemade (plus one great option for people who want to like cheesecake but find it a bit too heavy).

Credit: Patty Catalano

The Cheesecake That Fooled Us All: Costco

My taste testers were convinced that I had hidden a homemade cheesecake among the store-bought samples when they tried this one. Costco’s cheesecake is luxuriously rich, perfectly smooth, and topped with a thick and tangy sour cream topping. The perfectly proportioned crust, with its brown sugar and graham flavor, remained crisp. The only drawback is the size. Clocking in at 12 inches in diameter and a serving size of 16, this cheesecake is perfect for a party. Not in the mood to share? Remember that the freezer is cheesecake’s best friend, so cut the cake into quarters or individual slices and freeze for easy serving.

Find it in stores: Costco Cheesecake, $13.99 for 4.5 pounds at Costco

Smaller Scale Perfection: Trader Joe’s

Nobody does freezer food quite like Trader Joe’s. The sweet, vanilla flavor of this baked cheesecake stood out more than the tang of cream cheese. The rich, thick filling is perched on a sweet and buttery crust that is crisp and keeps its shape even when cut. I never would guess that this cheesecake came from a store. This is a great option if the size of Costco’s cheesecake is just too large for your needs.

Find it in stores: Trader Joe’s New York Deli Style Baked Cheesecake, $6.99 for 30 ounces at Trader Joe’s

Credit: Target

Cheesecake for Non-Cheesecake Lovers: Edwards

No matter how you slice it, this cheesecake is decidedly pie-like. Edward’s desserts are found in the freezer aisle of practically any grocery store you walk into. This option is for folks not quite ready for the intense luxury of true cheesecake. Let’s call it cheesecake-light. The mousse-like filling is topped with starbursts of whipped cream in a soft cookie crust. This cheesecake won’t fool anyone into thinking it is homemade, but it is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

Buy: Edwards Frozen Original Whipped Cheesecake, $9.29 for 24 ounces at Target

What is your favorite store-bought pie? Share your picks in the comments.

This post originally ran on The Kitchn. See it there: 3 Store-Bought Cheesecakes That Are (Almost) Better Than Homemade