Unsplash | Brooke Lark

Bakery Sells 'Cake Scraps In A Sad Box' And Fights Food Waste In The Process

I love baking. From the careful chemistry of ingredients, to making up new flavor combinations, to going overboard on decorations. It's like an edible craft that feeds both my love of structure and my creative side — and feeds my belly.

Because of this hobby, I also know how the scraps can add up as you trim cake tiers, over-estimate filling amounts, and mix up extra buttercream "just in case".

In a home kitchen, the scraps are manageable.

Angry Little Baker

In fact, I usually consider them the baker's reward for all the work that can go into a big, fancy cake. Often, I just pile them in a bowl with the leftover frosting and eat it all. Occasionally, there's enough leftover to make a trifle or even bread pudding.

But in a commercial bakery, those scraps add up.

The amount of general food waste in Canada is astronomical.

Flickr | s-aparson

Over 63% of food that is thrown away could have been eaten or used. The average household throws away 140 kg (310 lbs) every year, which equals to around $1100 worth of food. For the country as a whole, that's 2.2 million of food tons and $17 billion lost!

Bakeries specifically make up a decent portion of that.


Bakeries and baked goods make up 9% of the total food waste in Canada, with milk and eggs being two of the most wasted food items out there.

Cake pops are one way bakeries have found to avoid throwing perfectly good scraps in the trash.

Unsplash | D. L. Samuels

By crumbling up the cake and mixing it with some of that leftover frosting, you can get two products from one round of baking.

But even then, you need enough scraps of a specific flavor to make enough for the extra work to be worth it.

Beyond that, most suggestions to prevent bakery food waste aren't always feasible for smaller businesses.

Flickr | MyPrintingBoxes

Outside of always properly measuring and storing ingredients, one of the only surefire ways to reduce bakery food waste is 'extended shelf-life packaging', which isn't' exactly affordable.

So, what's a bakery to do?

Milk & Cookies Bakeshop in Edmonton, Canada has found a funny new way to save the scraps from the landfill.

Facebook | Milk & Cookies Bakeshop

They call it "Cake Scraps In A Sad Box" and it's pretty much what it sounds like.

Each box contains a random assortment of leftover scraps, fillings, and frostings. It's a perfect treat for someone with a sweet tooth and no birthday parties in their calendar.

Sometimes, you just want cake and don't care to spend extra on appearance.

Oftentimes, bakeries will send their food scraps to farms to it can be turned into animal feed.


Not only is this not always an option, but with their new method, they get to create a whole new treat for their customers to enjoy!

As for the name, they explained that it started as an inside joke among the staff.

Facebook | Milk & Cookies Bakeshop

They explain that one time a baker was having a rough day. She grabbed herself some cake scraps and sat inside one of the big boxes waiting to be broken down for recycling.

Since then, whenever someone is feeling blue, they say they need cake scraps in a sad box.

I'm sure we can all relate to the idea of just wanting a sweet treat to drown our sorrows in.

I may have eaten an entire pint of ice cream yesterday because I was grumpy about how much my jaw hurt after the dentist fixed a broken tooth...

Besides stress-eating, the boxes are a nice dessert for after a casual family dinner.

You know, if you're willing to share. (I'm not...)

Besides cutting down on the amount of food waste generated by the bakery, $1 from every box sold will be donated to a local mental health organization. Which is pretty awesome!

With Milk & Cookies setting such a good example, hopefully more bakeries will follow in their footsteps to reducing food waste!

Flickr | Jay the Expat

And with any luck, we'll get some more delicious treats out of it too!

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