Since it first burst onto New York City’s dessert scene in 2008, Milk Bar has been making a splash. The East Village bakery started out serving unique treats like soft-serve ice cream that tastes like the milk left at the bottom of the cereal bowl and highly Instagrammable rainbow layer cakes (famously sans side frosting). But the bakery has since expanded into cookies, pies, and more. I ordered a range of gift items for this hands-on Milk Bar review to experience these sweet treats for myself. Here, I’ll share my experience of ordering from Milk Bar from start to finish, including using the website to place an order, delivery time and method, and item quality so you can make an informed decision.
- My Experience Ordering Gifts from Milk Bar – Key Takeaways
- About Milk Bar
- My Milk Bar Experience
- The Verdict
- Milk Bar Buying Guide FAQs:
My Experience Ordering Gifts from Milk Bar – Key Takeaways
|Style & Design:||Stylish, adorable, photogenic, youthful, on-trend: The selection of sweet treats is photo-shoot ready.|
|Quality & Freshness:||Items were fresh, attractive in appearance, and very well-protected in transit.|
|Packaging:||The packaging was extremely robust; the sturdy box was lined on all sides with branded, paper-wrapped foam. Four reusable ice packs kept the baked goods cold. None of the items were damaged.|
|On-Time Delivery:||The delivery came on time though picking and choosing delivery slots was a bit hit and miss.|
|Ease of Ordering:||Ordering was easy, with just a bit of upselling.|
|Value For Money:||The treats are high-quality, on-trend, and well worth the cost. Overall, they were premium gift options but represented good value for the money.|
|Rating:||4.5 out of 5|
About Milk Bar
Who They Are and Where They’re Based
Milk Bar first opened its doors in 2008 in New York City’s East Village. Milk Bar’s founder, award-winning pastry chef Christina Tosi, created soft-serve ice cream based on that luscious milk that’s left over at the bottom of a bowl of cereal. Her quirky vision expanded into lovely layer cakes that call to mind the vanilla “funfetti” cakes of childhood.
Tosi’s unfrosted layered cakes, sweet and salty Milk Bar pie, cookies, truffles, and ice cream exploded in popularity. Soon, the pastry chef appeared on TV shows like Chef’s Table, Master Chef Junior, and morning talk shows.
The brand exploded in popularity and expanded to the western U.S. and to Canada. Today, Milk Bar operates bakeries in New York City, Los Angeles, DC, Boston, Las Vegas, Toronto, and Vancouver.
What is Milk Bar Known For?
Milk Bar is known for Tosi’s signature style: unique, on-trend, and slightly quirky desserts that taste just as amazing as they look. It’s a youthful brand that’s also upscale, emphasizing quality while still being accessible and friendly.
Most of all, Milk Bar is known for its tasty, high-quality desserts. When you see the bakery’s very recognizable, bright pink branding, you know something delicious is inside the package.
Milk Bar Regions Served and Delivery Options
Milk Bar delivers nationwide. However, they can’t ship to PO boxes, overseas military bases, or U.S. territories.
Delivery is available Monday through Sunday, though some zip codes may not be included. Milk Bar recommends selecting a delivery date from one to two days ahead of a special event. You may choose a delivery date up to 30 days in advance.
Deliveries are guaranteed to arrive fresh. Shipping costs vary by area, lead time, and amount spent. Free shipping is available for orders over $90.
Milk Bar Collections and Prices
MIlk Bar offers a range of treats. You can choose from many options for different budgets, occasions, and recipients.
When shopping on the Milk Bar website, you can narrow your search by:
- Item type, such as cake, pie, cookies, cake truffles, ice cream, cookbooks and gluten-free options
- Occasion, such as birthday, holiday, party, corporate or bulk
- Gift recipient, including family and friends, kids, co-workers and employees
- Budget, including gifts under $50 and gifts under $100
Milk Bar items are appropriate for anyone, including friends, loved ones, co-workers, or corporate giving. There’s also something for any occasion, from birthdays to holidays to just because.
Pricing starts at around $27 for a tin of cookies and $32 for a dozen cake truffles. If you want to spend a little more, $92 to $99 will get you a DIY Ice Cream Sandwich Pack or a Pie Lovers pack.
For $160, you can get a “Big Birthday Energy” pack that includes cake and branded party favors. Cakes start at around $62 for a 6-inch birthday cake and range to $140 for a 10-inch cake serving up to 30 people.
Milk Bar is committed to supporting diversity and inclusion in the workplace and supports several charitable causes, such as the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Trevor Project, Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, City Harvest, Autism Speaks, and New York City Relief.
My Milk Bar Experience
The Gift Basket I Ordered
I ordered the six-inch Birthday Cake and the Mini Peppermint Bark Snap Tin.
The iconic Milk Bar Birthday Cake is a grown-up version of the funfetti rainbow cakes from childhood. The cake consists of three layers of vanilla cake separated by frosting and filled with rainbow sprinkles. The cake comes in a trendy unfrosted style, which means there’s no frosting on the sides, leaving the layers open to view.
The Mini Peppermint Bark Snap Tin offers multi-layer cookies of caramel, pretzel, dark chocolate wafer, all coated in white chocolate and sprinkled with peppermint. Each cookie is individually wrapped and packed neatly into a pink tin bearing the Milk Bar logo.
The Online Ordering Experience at Milk Bar
Ordering online at Milk Bar was a straightforward process. The website is easy to navigate, and the focused amount of items means it’s easy to search.
When I placed an item in my cart, I was taken to a popup window that showed my cart contents and a sidebar with other items that could be added to the order. An upgrade option was prominently featured. While these upsells were definitely on display, they didn’t detract from or confuse the checkout process.
I also saw a bar that let me know how far I was from receiving free shipping (which starts at $90). This was handy.
Next, I entered my delivery options. I was prompted to enter a zip code, which then activated a window showing all my delivery option dates and related shipping price. This was appreciated as I could easily determine how much shipping would cost.
I was then prompted to add any gift notes. Finally, I entered my shipping address and payment information. There was a chance to enter promo codes on this page, as well.
The process was simple and easy to navigate. Though there were some upselling attempts, they weren’t overwhelming.
Taking Delivery of my Milk Bar Gift Box
The delivery arrived right on schedule, directly to my front door.
The box was sturdy and white, with the bright pink Milk Bar logo printed prominently on the side. The other sides of the box boasted cheerful messages, including “Dessert Delivery” and “Something Awesome for Someone Awesome.”
It was a fun presentation that made me look forward to opening the package.
Unboxing My Gift Box from Milk Bar
When I picked up the box to take it inside, I was surprised at how heavy it was! Once I opened it, I realized why: Milk Bar takes its packing very seriously. Inside, the box was completely lined with thick layers of foam, all wrapped in logo-embossed paper. This made the packaging very secure. There were also four (reusable) ice packs.
The items were well packaged and didn’t appear to have moved during transit. The cake came in a clear, plastic sleeve that showed the colorful rainbow layers inside. The cookies were in a bright pink tin that showed the neatly arranged contents.
The cake was just as sweet and delicious as described online. The crumbles on top were a bit squished and didn’t exactly match the image on the website, but that’s to be expected. The cookies were tasty, with so many layers of flavor and texture packed in each one, from salty to sweet, crunchy to silky.
Milk Bar Gift Boxes – The Verdict:
My Overall Opinion of the Items I Received
Overall, I felt that my Milk Bar order was a good value. The quality of the baked goods was high. They were both delicious and attractive, and just a little bit different.
The packaging was sturdy. Obvious care had been taken to keep items fresh and secure. The cookies’ appearance was identical to the online presentation, and while the cake didn’t match exactly, it was very close.
I would order from Milk Bar again. The items I received would make a wonderful gift for anyone, from loved ones and family to friends and co-workers. They are made with care and offer that upscale touch to make a recipient feel cared for.
The PROs of Ordering from Milk Bar
All the items were fresh. I had qualms about placing an online order from a bakery, but everything arrived in pristine condition.
The cookies and cake are really appealing. They look different from the typical baked goods you see in grocery stores and are a step above.
The packaging is cute and on-trend. The bright pink, white and black branding is instantly recognizable and makes for a fun gift that’s exciting to receive.
The CONs of Ordering from Milk Bar
While the cons of ordering from Milk Bar are few, I will say that the cake didn’t look exactly like it was portrayed online. Because the cake has to be packed in a tight cylinder to keep it safe and fresh, it lacks the textured top you see online. However, I don’t think there’s really a way around this.
Overall the packaging was robust, but there’s quite a lot of it. Potentially there’s more that could be done here to reduce the amount of protective filler included.
Occasions to Order From Milk Bar
Milk Bar would be an excellent choice for almost any occasion or holiday, from birthdays to Valentine’s Day, and anytime you want someone to know you’re thinking of them. The items are upscale and lovely to look at, and delicious, making them a special treat for anyone.
For more, see Milk Bar’s latest gift collections here.
Milk Bar offers items at a range of prices, starting under $30. You’re likely to find something in your price range. If you want to spend more, it’s easy to simply add on items.
But if you want an alternative, you might consider Gourmet Gift Baskets for more traditional gourmet gift baskets. Levain Bakery is another excellent option for sweet treats (in-particular, cookie baskets), and Gift Tree offers a range of sweet and savory gift items suitable for numerous occasions throughout the year.
Milk Bar Buying Guide FAQs:
Milk Bar delivers across the United States, except for PO boxes.
How much are gift baskets at Milk Bar?
Items start under $30 and range to over $100. You can build your own order by adding items.
How much are Milk Bar delivery fees?
Delivery fees vary by lead time, delivery date, and amount spent. Enter the recipient’s gift code to get an exact figure but expect to pay anywhere from $10 to $30, though free delivery is often available when you spend a certain amount.
How long does it take to receive gift baskets from Milk Bar?
The minimum delivery time is one to two days. The bakery typically ships most gifts from Monday to Friday each week.
Does Milk Bar offer same-day delivery?
In most cases, the delivery window is one to two days out. You may be able to pick up a same-day order in some cities or collect in-store in NYC or Los Angeles.
How long do Milk Bar gift baskets last?
Most Milk Bar items are perishable. Check the packaging to find specific freshness dates.
Linsay is an American copywriter based in the Pacific Northwest with a background in academic writing and research. Linsay holds Master's degree in both Anthropology and Library and Information Sciences and has written for numerous national and international publications including USA Today, SFGATE, Hunker, and The Bump across an array of topics in the gardening, green living, and travel sectors. When she's not writing, you'll usually find Linsay reading, kayaking, sailing, snowboarding, or working in her garden.
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