23 Whole Foods Baked Goods, Ranked

Those who frequent Whole Foods have likely traversed through the store's bakery section, which is impressively expansive and covers just about every pastry base. Whether you're looking for a simple loaf of sourdough, a cupcake, a cookie, a tart, or a slice of cake, Whole Foods' bakery has it all. 

Of course, with so many options comes great responsibility, and the last thing you want to do is walk out of Whole Foods with a subpar baked good — and yes, it is possible to make a bad decision. We wouldn't go as far as to say that Whole Foods has any outright bad baked goods, but some are much, much better than others, and more importantly, are more worth the money. It would be a nearly impossible task to sample every single thing in Whole Foods' bakery, but we've compiled a list that will lead you in the right direction — so dive headfirst into the bakery department and snag yourself a sweet treat during your next grocery run.

23. Frangipane tart

The frangipane tart certainly had us fooled, as we were immediately drawn in by its simple but elegant appearance. This pastry looks like something straight out of a French bakery — refined and beautiful, though no doubt delectable with every bite. Well, the appearance part is certainly true, but flavor-wise, this tart left quite a bit to be desired. 

If you're unfamiliar with frangipane, it's something of a custard-like baking staple that features ground almonds. It's often paired alongside fruit, and this tart is no different, featuring a tiny little dollop of apple filling in the middle. The biggest issue is that the filling is almost nonexistent, so even if you ate the entirety of it in one bite, you'd still be searching for that warm, sweet apple flavor. And, unfortunately, the frangipane tart on its own just doesn't stand up against the competition. 

22. Mini chocolate on vanilla cupcake

Whole Foods offers a remarkable amount of cupcakes, both in full-sized and mini form. The mini cupcakes are ideal for grabbing a variety of sweet treats without breaking the bank, though if there's one flavor that you might want to skip, it's the chocolate on vanilla. This mini cupcake features a white, vanilla cake base with a simple chocolate buttercream, adorned with crunchy little black and white candy bits. 

What could go wrong with such a classic little cupcake? It's not that there's anything inherently wrong with this chocolate-on-vanilla confection, and in fact, we enjoy any pastry that allows us to enjoy both flavors in one go. This cupcake is just far too bland to rank higher — the chocolate frosting really isn't all that chocolatey, which makes us feel like the cupcake didn't deliver on its one and only job.

21. Chocolate macaron

Macarons (which are different than macaroons) are somewhat of a divisive cookie, with some people swearing by the classic French confections, and others finding them less than impressive. Whole Foods' macarons fit somewhere in a middle ground of this discussion — they're tasty little cookies, for what it's worth, but they definitely aren't worth enjoying over most of the cupcakes or tarts (and, if you opt for a mini version, they're about the same price as a single macaron).

The chocolate macaron is a great sampling option as it allows the cookie to shine without any crazy, overpowering flavor, but it's still more exciting than, say, vanilla. This cookie has a nice chocolate flavor and has that soft-yet-crispy and overall very chewy texture. Perfect for a quick pick-me-up, the chocolate macaron will brighten your day without spiking your blood sugar too much.

20. Mini blackberry vanilla cupcake

The mini blackberry vanilla cupcake would be more accurate if it was called a mini vanilla cupcake with a single blackberry on top because aside from that lone berry garnish, there is no fruity flavor to be found. This cupcake isn't bad, but when the addition of blackberry is promised and barely delivered, it's no surprise that it's disappointing overall.

Strategically placed purple sprinkles and even a purple streak of frosting implies that there is more to this cupcake than just vanilla, but alas, these adornments are nothing more than pretty features. There's no denying that this is one of the more beautiful cupcakes that Whole Foods has to offer, but the flavor expectations are a bit misleading.

19. Fruit tart

Once you've tried one fruit tart, you've pretty much tried them all. Whole Foods' fruit tart is most definitely not bad, but it's nothing special either. This is the type of dessert that people who want something sweet-but-not-too-sweet might seek out; it's a pastry, but it's not entering anywhere close to cupcake territory.

The crust on this fruit tart is nice and buttery, whereas the filling is a bit lackluster. Sure, it's pretty hard to reinvent the wheel when it comes to pastry cream, but there's something about Whole Foods' rendition that just doesn't quite hit the mark. The redeeming factor, of course, comes in the form of the fresh fruit garnish, which saves this dessert from ranking much lower on this list.

18. Multigrain loaf

While pastries and sweets might dominate the Whole Foods bakery section, there's also a decent selection of bread loaves, ranging from white bread all the way down to multigrain. From an aesthetic standpoint, this multigrain loaf is an absolute winner, and it looks as rustic as something that grandma might whip up in her tiny little cottage kitchen. The seeds add a nice, textural touch, and overall, if you're a fan of multigrain bread, then you won't be disappointed with this one.

The only real downfall is that this isn't the most versatile bread in the world. While you could whip up a sandwich with this multigrain bread, you might find any sandwich inclusions overpowered by its seediness. So, it's best to reserve this loaf for use as a side dish with soups or stews.

17. Salted caramel tart

Some chocolate desserts run the risk of being overly bitter, and as much as we hate to say it, that's the case with Whole Foods' salted caramel tart. We're not sure why this tart is as bitter as it is, seeing as a more milk chocolate approach would pair well with the caramel flavors just fine. But alas, the bakery department took a dark chocolate approach, and while we think the flavor is just too bitter, there's got to be some dark chocolate enthusiast out there who enjoys this tart.

Chocolate aside, the caramel flavor in this tart shines through nicely. It's not enough to really make this tart a winner in our opinion, but we can appreciate the (mostly successful) attempt at getting the salted caramel flavor right.

16. Tres leches cake square

If there's one dessert on this list that would win the award for most decadent, it would no doubt be the tres leches cake square. This tiny little serving of cake packs a big punch, with every bite tasting rich, spongy, and incredibly sweet.

As the name suggests, tres leches cake is soaked in three types of milk — evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and heavy cream. The result is an undeniably delicious cake, but we'd argue that Whole Foods' version is perhaps a tad too sweet. Fans of the moist cake will surely enjoy this option, but overall, it left us feeling a bit dizzy from the sheer amount of sweetness. 

15. Mini peanut butter cupcake

The most peanut buttery aspect of this cupcake is the halved peanut butter cup on top, and no, that's not a good thing. We were hoping for some sort of peanut butter flavor in the cupcake itself, but alas, this cupcake only features such flavor in the garnishes, which doesn't mean that the cupcake tastes bad, it just feels like a bit of a cop-out.

Any lack of peanut butter influence aside, this cupcake is definitely more exciting than your average chocolate confection. It's not lacking in garnishes, from the crispy chocolate balls to the drizzle to the peanut butter cup on top. Fans of peanut butter will enjoy this cupcake, but don't be expecting it to knock your socks off by any means.

14. New York cheesecake slice

Fans of cheesecake will no doubt enjoy Whole Foods' New York-style cheesecake slice, because after all, what's not to love? It's a tried and true dessert, boasting rich and creamy flavors and, well not much else. But we mean that with love — not all desserts have to boast various flavors or textures, and while this NY cheesecake slice is incredibly simple, we'd say that it's simplicity at its finest. 

A benefit to this cheesecake is that, unlike other desserts that would probably be better warm or at room temperature, it's best to enjoy this slice nice and chilled. Each bite is cool, creamy, and a little bit tangy, and while some folks might seek a little more flavor diversity in their desserts, cheesecake purists will find no issue with this classic option.

13. Mini cookies and cream cupcake

Cookies and cream-flavored desserts are perfect for those who love chocolate but are looking for something a bit more exciting. Based on the classic flavor of Oreos, this cookies and cream cupcake is chocolatey, creamy, and stays true to the cookie flavor profile.

Like most (if not all) of Whole Foods' cupcakes, the cookies and cream one is a sugar overload. If that's what you want from a dessert, then this cupcake is the option for you. And, if you can't resist a good Oreo, even better yet. Between the chocolate cupcake, rich buttercream, cookie crumble garnish, and even some sprinkles (because why not?) this cupcake is an absolute flavor explosion in the best way possible.

12. Tiramisu square

It's hard to mess up tiramisu, as it is a no-bake dessert and there's really no way to reimagine the recipe. We can happily report that Whole Foods' tiramisu is perfectly delicious and features all of those flavors that you'd hope for, from the mascarpone layers to the espresso-soaked ladyfingers.

There really isn't anything bad to say about this tiramisu. Is it a bit boring? Perhaps, and especially so if you aren't a huge fan of the dessert to begin with. But if you happen to be a tiramisu fanatic, do yourself a favor and get to your nearest Whole Foods as soon as possible.

11. Carrot cake square

Carrot cake lovers will not be disappointed by Whole Foods' version, which strikes that perfect balance between spiced cake and tangy cream cheese frosting. And, while some carrot cakes can come loaded with chunks of walnuts or even raisins, this cake is nice and soft, with only the occasional chunk of carrot — a pro, in our opinion, though fans of walnuts may think differently. 

This cake is moist, rich, and comforting, featuring just the right amount of cinnamon goodness without being overly spiced. Is it better than a homemade version? No, not by a long shot, but if you're in a pinch and you're really craving some carrot cake, you can't go wrong with getting yourself a slice from Whole Foods.

10. Cannoli

It's not too common to find a dessert that features cheese at its base, and it's even rarer to find one that does it so well. But, alas, the classic cannoli has proven that ricotta cheese does have a place in the pastry world (well, as long as you add sugar to it), and when you stuff it into a fried shell, the result is something incredibly delicious.

Luckily for cannoli fans, Whole Foods gets it right, and this sweet treat is absolutely worth grabbing on your next grocery run. The biggest downside to this cannoli is the fact that it's refrigerated, which makes the fried pastry shell lose some of its crispy goodness. All of Whole Foods' desserts are refrigerated, however, so we really can't fault the cannoli itself for that minor flaw.

9. Mini strawberry cupcake

Like so many other cupcakes on this list, this strawberry cupcake is leaving a little bit of oomph to be desired. The cupcake itself is not strawberry flavored, so the only fruity flavor comes through in the frosting and thanks to the sliced strawberry on top. And, to make matters worse, the strawberry frosting doesn't taste that strongly of the fruit — it's more like an impression of strawberry, which is ideal for those who like the fruit only slightly, but a bit of a letdown for the rest of us.

The good news about this cupcake is that it is surprisingly refreshing given the fact that it's a sugar-loaded confection. The strawberry flavor, though it's not very strong, does add a certain brightness to this cupcake that other ones seem to be missing.

8. Yuzu tart

Yuzu fruit is a common component of Japanese cuisine and, thanks to its citrusy flavor profile, it's becoming quite popular across the globe. It's quite common to find yuzu in desserts, as is the case with this yuzu tart. Somewhat similar to a lemon tart, a yuzu tart is a little bit sweet and quite sour, with a little bit of relief thanks to the cream and strawberry garnish.

Those who really enjoy yuzu will want to give this tart a try, as it does have a distinct flavor that sets it apart from your typical lemon tart. Somewhat reminiscent of grapefruit, this yuzu tart provides the perfect balance between sourness, sweetness, and citrusy goodness.

7. Chocolate-topped vanilla cream eclair

In a world that's constantly forcing us to choose between chocolate and vanilla, it's nice to stumble upon a dessert that allows us to enjoy both flavors simultaneously. This chocolate-topped vanilla cream eclair is such a dessert, featuring a pastry stuffed with vanilla cream and topped off with a chocolate shell. It's the best of both worlds, really, and fans of not-too-sweet pastries will no doubt fall in love with this eclair.

Another perk to this chocolate=topped confection is that the vanilla cream and chocolate glaze have very distinct textures; the cream is soft and fluffy, whereas the chocolate is like a shell, hardened on top of the pastry while still being soft enough to easily bite into. You really can't go wrong with this eclair, though fans of very sweet desserts may want to steer clear as the filling is more creamy than anything else, and the chocolate leans more towards bitter than sweet.

6. Challah loaf

If you've never enjoyed a slice of fresh-baked challah with some butter and jam, then you're missing out on one of life's simplest but tastiest joys. While Whole Foods' challah isn't exactly as fresh-baked as something that might come from a smaller-scale bakery or, say, your own oven, it's nonetheless a delicious loaf that shouldn't be overlooked. Similar to brioche, this soft, fluffy, and subtly sweet bread works well in both sweet and savory scenarios.

One of the absolute best uses for challah is to make French toast, and we can assure you that Whole Foods' version doesn't disappoint. There are plenty of other ways to enjoy this bread — serve it alongside a stew or enjoy a slice with butter for optimal results. 

5. Lemon cream tart

If you've ever enjoyed a lemon bar then you'll love this lemon cream tart, which is arguably even better than the classic American treat. This tart has a soft, buttery crust and a sweet, sour filling that will make you pucker up but in the most delicious way possible. And, of course, the cream aspect of this dish comes into play thanks to the dollop of lemon cream on top, which is more citrusy than sour and really balances out the tart flavor of the lemon filling.

While we tend to enjoy desserts that provide some relief from overt sweetness, we would argue that the one fault of this lemon tart is that it could be a touch sweeter. One doesn't go into eating a lemon dessert without expecting some sourness, but just a bit more sweetness would strike the perfect balance.

4. Chocolate raspberry tart

There's something so perfect about pairing raspberry and chocolate together. The tartness of the fruit works so well with the bitterness of chocolate; add a bit of sugar and you've got a truly winning combo. This chocolate raspberry tart showcases both flavors really well, with chocolate dominating but a layer of raspberry jam providing just enough of a kick to make itself known. 

If anything, we could use a little bit more raspberry in this dessert. But that's really our only complaint — if you're a fan of the fruit and a fan of chocolate, then you'll be a fan of this tart, which offers a little more flavor variety than your typical chocolate dessert.

3. Sourdough loaf

It may have been all the rage to make homemade sourdough a few years back, but nowadays, it's much more convenient to pick up a loaf from a bakery. And, if you're so inclined to do so, Whole Foods' bakery is a good option, as its sourdough has the makings of an ideal loaf: crusty on the outside, soft on the inside, rustic, and delicious.

Sourdough is a versatile bread, so this one is a good go-to for those who want something a little fancier than the pre-sliced stuff. Ideal for sandwiches, toasting, and pairing alongside a saucy bowl of pasta, this sourdough is great for those who want bread that feels homemade without actually being, well, homemade.

2. Key lime pie slice

Not too often do we stumble upon a dessert that features a flavor profile other than sweet, and realistically, that's probably a good thing. Luckily, key lime pie is one of those desserts that gets another flavor profile — sour — right, and Whole Foods' version is no different. This slice of pie is a little bit sour, a little bit sweet, a little bit creamy, and a whole lot delicious.

From the graham cracker crust to the tangy filling, there's little not to love about this pie. Really, if you like key lime pie, you're going to enjoy Whole Foods' version. The only potential downfall is that this pie is pretty sour — perhaps more than one might expect, but to us, that sourness works incredibly well along with the other sweet elements.

1. Chocolate lava cake

When we think of the ideal chocolate dessert, we want it to be as rich and decadent as possible. And, we can happily say that Whole Foods' chocolate lava cake delivers on that end. Not only is the chocolate cake rich and delicious enough on its own, but there's a chocolate filling on the inside (the lava, if you will) that really takes this confection to a whole new level.

Because the lava cake is refrigerated, you won't get that gooey lava explosion when you bite into it. You could either accept that fact and enjoy the cake cold anyway, or you could take the extra step and heat the lava cake up just enough to melt the chocolate inside and give you that decadent lava cake experience. Either way, this lava cake delivers on every front. It's nearly oozing with chocolatey goodness, and unless you really don't like chocolate, then this is the absolute best confection that Whole Foods has to offer.