Stephanie Nelson | 

12 Publix Bakery Secrets You Need to Know (Like How to Get Free Smash Cake)

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We're sharing our favorite Publix Bakery secrets that cover everything from the freebie you shouldn't pass up on every visit to their custom cake menu options (hint: their selection is way more extensive than what you'll find at the Costco Bakery or even the Walmart Bakery).

And finding a deal at the Publix Bakery isn't unheard of — we frequently see Publix coupons and deals that'll get you free cookies, desserts, or up to $2 off your item.

Once you're familiar with these bakery tips, we can show you how to coupon at Publix. Download the Krazy Coupon Lady app so you never miss a deal!

1. Kids always get a free cookie (worth $0.44) at the Publix Bakery.

someone holding up a cookie by some Publix carts

Yep, you can reward (or bribe) your child with a free chocolate chip cookie every time you go to Publix. This comes out to about a $0.44 value.

2. Publix bakes their own cookies and bread on-site.

a cake being made at the Publix bakery

Publix bakes their own cookies and sells them fresh by the baker's dozen (or two dozen). The dough is shipped into the store frozen, but Publix bakery associates do the baking and decorating on-site. Bakers arrive at 4 a.m. to start heating up the ovens.

They also bake their bread on-site. This bread is what you get when you order a Publix sub sandwich in the deli.

3. Their sheet cakes aren't the best value — you'll pay less at Costco or Walmart.

someone cutting a piece out of a costco sheet cake

Publix sheet cakes start at $45.99 for a decorated half-sheet cake or $25.99 for a quarter-sheet cake. And each time you add customization beyond the basic cake order (which is vanilla or chocolate cake with buttercream frosting plus the frosting filling), you'll pay a bit more.

Compare this price to Walmart, where a half-sheet cake is $42.96 (42% cheaper than Publix), and everything is included in that price. (Unless you want cake filling of any kind. Then it's an extra $5.20.) Walmart's quarter sheet cakes are $24.96, which is only $1.03 cheaper than Publix.

But Costco beats them all, coming in at just $24.99 for a half-sheet cake — 46% cheaper than Publix's.

4. But the Publix Bakery has a much better sheet cake selection than Walmart or Costco.

Person opening fridge to look at cakes inside

Walmart only offers four cake flavors: white, chocolate, yellow, and marble. And you can choose between two filling options (strawberry or Bavarian cream) and two icings (buttercream or whipped).

Costco's selection is even more limited, only offering chocolate or vanilla cake, mousse filling, and mousse icing.

Publix, however, offers a combination of all of these. You'll pay extra for the fancy options, but if you want a flavor Costco and Walmart don't sell, this is the way to go. Check it out:

Publix cake flavors:

  • Vanilla Chocolate

  • Marble

  • Vanilla-Chocolate Combo

  • Superfetti

  • Carrot (add $6)

  • Red Velvet (add $6)

Publix icing flavors:

  • Buttercream

  • Fudge (add $6)

  • Cream Cheese (add $6)

  • Vanilla Whipped (add $6)

  • Chocolate Whipped (add $6)

Publix cake filling flavors:

  • Match Selected Icing

  • Mascarpone Cream Cheese (add $10)

  • Strawberry Custard (add $10)

  • Raspberry Lemon (add $10)

  • Banana Custard (add $10)

  • Strawberries (add $10)

  • Cannoli Cream (add $10)

  • Dulce de Leche (add $10)

  • Lemon (add $10)

  • Raspberry (add $10)

  • Vanilla Custard (add $10)

5. Say goodbye to Hurricane Cakes. As of August 2023, Publix no longer makes them.

Publix responded to backlash about their hurricane-themed cakes by discontinuing the cakes that had frosting messaging saying "Go Away" or "Leave Florida Alone." They were seen as making light of a natural disaster when hurricanes touched down in Florida.

The response has been polarizing, with some shoppers feeling like it wasn't that big of a deal, and others feeling grateful for Publix's decision. Either way, no more Hurricane Cakes at Publix, so don't bother asking!

6. You'll need to order Publix cakes 24 hours in advance.


This lead time is pretty great actually when you compare it to Costco, who needs a few days' advance notice for a custom cake.

Another cool perk is that you have the option to pick up your Publix cake at curbside. While Instacart powers Publix grocery pickup and delivery for most grocery items, you won't pay any extra fees for curbside pickup of bakery items.

TIP: Did you know that Publix will give you a refund if you're not satisfied with your cake? It's true — their generous return policy even includes food.

7. Buy cakes by the slice if you want to for $3 and up.

a person looking at cake slices in the Publix Bakery

If you've got a hankering for just a piece of cake, and not the whole thing, you can buy cake by the slice at Publix. But you'll pay about 62% more than you would if you got the whole cake.

Cakes by the slice start at $3 each, compared to paying about $1.15 per slice if you buy an entire half-sheet cake and cut it yourself.

8. Publix ice cream cakes are 5% cheaper than Baskin Robbins.

someone choosing an ice cream cake from the freezer at the Publix bakery

For your next ice cream cake, consider skipping Baskin Robbins and hit up Publix instead.

An 8-inch round ice cream cake at Publix costs $29.99 (it's just $9 more than a regular 8-inch round cake at Publix). Compare that to the price at Baskin-Robbins, where a 9-inch round ice cream cake is $39.99. But since their cakes are different sizes, here's the cost breakdown based on the price per square inch:

  • Publix 8-inch ice cream cake: $0.60 per square inch

  • Baskin-Robbins 9-inch ice cream cake: $0.63 per square inch

Related: We found even more cheap custom cakes for your budget.

9. Get a free smash cake for your one-year-old's birthday.

A baby eating a small smash cake

If you're buying a quarter-sheet or 8-inch round cake for your child's first birthday and you request that it says, "Happy 1st Birthday, [child's name]," Publix will throw in a free smash cake.

With the smash cake, the bakery will decorate a 7-inch single-layer cake in the same design and flavors as the cake you ordered for the party.

10. Order your wedding cake at Publix and get a free tasting!

Publix wedding cakes start at $60, and they offer free wedding cake tastings, too. You'll need an appointment, but during your tasting, you can sample some of their most popular flavors of icing and fillings.

Call ahead to make an appointment, or make sure to go into the store before noon to speak to someone, since the cake decorators work during the morning shift.

Publix free cake tasting options:

  • Vanilla cake with buttercream icing

  • Chocolate cake with chocolate fudge icing

  • Carrot cake with nuts and wedding cream cheese icing

  • Red velvet cake with wedding cream cheese icing


  • Cookies and cream mousse

  • Fresh strawberry

  • Raspberry

  • Vanilla custard

TIP: You can get free cake delivery to your wedding venue — up to 30 miles from the Publix where you place your order.

11. Check all the current Publix bakery deals in the app.

someone holding a phone displaying the Publix app next to a Publix reusable bag

There are two spots in the Publix app to check for bakery deals. First, check out the "BOGOs" icon to find deals on bakery items you may already be planning to buy. Also, remember, most Publix bakery items freeze well, so don't be afraid to buy something when it's on a BOGO deal and freeze the other one for a later birthday!

Just filter the BOGO section by "Bakery" to see all the deals for that week. Some recent deals I've seen are: BOGO Bakery Pumpkin Loaf Cake, BOGO Chocolate Chip Cookies, and more.

Next, tap "Bakery" along the top of the home page and you'll see all kinds of cake and cookie sales and deals. For example, I've found Monster Cheesecake Slices for $9.29 ($2 off), Bakery Italian Five Grain Bread for $3.49 ($1 off), or Cannoli for $2.99 ($0.80 off).

12. Don't miss out on any of the Publix cult-following bakery items!


Some Publix baked goods are so well loved, that you just shouldn't live your life without trying them. Here's a short list of Publix fan favorites:

  • 19-ounce Carrot Bar Cake (seasonal)

  • Key Lime Pie (serves 8 – 9), $9.99

  • 16-ounce Italian Pizza Dough, $3.39

  • Brioche Hamburger Buns 4-count, $3.69

  • Decorated Cookie Cake (serves 8 – 10), $22.99 and up

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