During holidays and birthdays, we love giving cakes to our families. However, you might be wondering if you can ship a cake long distance, and if you can, you might ask next how to do it. So to help you with that, here’s a complete guide on how to ship a cake.
Can I Ship a Cake?
You are probably wondering, “can a perishable good like a cake be shipped?” Well, generally, yes. Almost all cakes are suitable for shipping, especially dense cakes with fondant or buttercream icing.
However, avoid shipping light varieties with cream frosting, like fresh cream cakes. These can easily crumble when shipped, spoiling quicker as you always need to refrigerate them.
How to Prepare Different Types of Cakes for Shipping
Layer cakes are easy to ship if you use a buttercream frosting and if the design is simple. However, if you tower up decorations like floral icing, chocolate balls, and the likes, you’ll likely have difficulty preparing them for shipping.
So to save yourself from hassle, try only to make the decoration as simple as possible and firmly attached to the cake. In this way, you can freeze it and wrap it with ease. And doing this doesn’t require much work, and you typically don’t need unique bags or boxes to pack the cake. Follow the easy packing tips below for your layer cake.
- Freeze the cake for a day or two. Make sure it is completely frozen.
- Wrap your frozen cake with clean plastic wrap.
- Get your shipping box and put a bubble wrap below.
- Put your wrapped cake inside the box.
- Add frozen cooling packs on each corner of the box (inside).
- Cover the top of the cake with packing paper.
- Close the box and seal it.
Preparing a cheesecake tends to differ from regular layer cakes because you may need to be gentle with it. Packing it wrong may result in the crumbling of the cake during shipment.
So to ensure this doesn’t happen, boxing it first is advisable before sealing it on a shipping box. And don’t forget to freeze it before boxing and add cooling packs in the box to keep it cool and fresh.
Shipping a cupcake is the easiest as you don’t need to wrap it with layers of plastics, compared to shipping a whole cake.
- Put the cupcakes in a carton cup.
- Add the frosting.
- Place the cups in a box for cupcakes.
- Get a lollipop stick and cut it to the same length as the height of the box.
- Insert the sticks in the middle of each cupcake to keep it from flipping.
- Secure the box and place it in a shipping box with bubble wrap.
If you are shipping a simple bundt cake without any frosting, you don’t need to secure it as much as other cakes when putting it inside a box. Just ensure there are enough cooling packs to keep the cake fresh and bubble wrap to avoid it from tumbling up and down inside the box.
Materials Needed When Shipping a Cake
If you want a secured shipment, ensure you have all the right materials/equipment needed. For shipping a cake, you need the things below:
- Ice pack
- Packing paper
- Bubble wrap
- Sturdy box
- Insulated bag (optional)
How to Properly Ship a Cake
For a step-by-step guide on how to ship a cake, make sure you follow the below content.
1. Pack the cake
Packing your cake isn’t as easy as 1,2,3. You can’t just toss your cake into a box and have it shipped. If you want your cake to arrive in its best condition, follow these steps:
Freeze the cake
Place the cake in the freezer for at least a day before the shipping day to ensure it is frozen. Freezing the cake helps it to stay fresh and secure during shipping. Its frosting stays firm, so wrapping it doesn’t cause any mess.
Wrap the cake
You need to wrap your frozen cake with clean plastic wrap and make sure you wrap it tight, but not too tight; as you’ll ruin the cake’s frosting and decoration. Wrapping it at least two times is enough to keep its freshness while maintaining its shape and not messing up with the frosting.
Place the cake inside a box
Next, you need to gently place the cake in the box and make sure you use a box that is just enough size for the cake. Finally, you should add frozen cooling packs to maintain the cake’s freshness and completely stuff the box with bubble wrap or packing paper to avoid moving.
2. Seal the package
You should securely seal the box and mark it to ensure that your cake receives the handling it deserves.
Correspondingly, before delivering the package to a courier service, be careful to name the box because it is a perishable item that is vulnerable to damage. The steps listed below will provide you with further direction, so make sure to keep them in mind as you go.
Tape the box
Get some high-quality tape, then tape the box with it to seal it. To prevent the coldness of the box from evaporating and causing the cake you melt, make sure to tape every exposed edge and corner.
Label the box
And before you go and send the box to a courier service, you should label the box first. Put Handle With Care, Perishable, and Fragile labels on the box, so the courier will know what kind of handling your parcel requires.
3. Choose a shipping service
The courier you use is crucial; thus, it is imperative you look for the best one. You are shipping perishable food, which is why you need to carefully analyze each courier and pick the one that offers safe and reasonably-priced shipment.
You need to look for renowned couriers in the United States and differentiate all of their services as well as costs.
When searching, you’ll likely come across these couriers:
- FedEx Corporation (FedEx)
- United Parcel Service (UPS)
- United States Postal Service (USPS)
These three are the biggest couriers in the US and of course, you might already know them. But still, you might not recognize all their services and pricing; you just know they ship everything from envelopes to huge boxes. So for a quick reference, below are some of the popular services these three couriers offer.
|UPS||2nd Day Air||$38|
|USPS||Priority Mail Express 1 Day||$46|
Also, keep in mind that a delivery firm may decline to transport your cake if it is not packaged properly. If you opt to transport a cake via courier, consider that your courier may refuse to be held liable for any difficulties during shipping. For such considerations, you must research the finest delivery business.
4. Choose the shipping day
Knowing the day when you want to ship your cake matters. If you are shipping on holidays like Christmas, expect a slow delivery as there are tons of shipments happening.
Since your cake can’t wait forever till it arrives at its receiver, you should try and ship it earlier. It is better to keep it refrigerated at your receiver’s house than to keep it long in your courier’s vans.
Choose an overnight delivery if you don’t want your cake to struggle for survival while being transported. When it comes to quick and accurate delivery, this option is the finest. But be prepared to pay a steep premium for this convenience.
The cost of shipping will go up if you need something delivered right away. Expect it to be expensive as you are paying for the convenience.
5. Track the shipping status
You can know the precise location of your package and the estimated time it will arrive at the destination of your choice by tracking its status. This also helps in minimizing the need for asking for updates; providing you with nothing but unparalleled convenience in addition to avoiding wasting time
How to Maintain Your Cake’s Freshness
The secret to the freshness of your cake is to bake it a day before shipping because keeping it longer in your shelf will give you an utterly dry and not-so-good cake.
You can’t also pack the cake right after baking it because that will surely give you a mess as you can’t put the frosting on it while it’s hot. And packing hot food can also result in spoilage so just make sure to give it enough time to rest and freeze it before packing.
With holidays, birthdays, and fun occasions coming up, a cake will surely make the event even more special! Take this guide on how to ship a cake with you so you can give everyone a cake regardless of the distance!