You’ve just whipped up the perfect pound cake, and you can’t wait to share your creation with friends, family, or customers.
Now you’re wondering how to ship a pound cake without turning it into a crumbly mess during transit.
Here’s everything you need to know to guarantee your baked goods survive the trip every single time.
Pound cakes are dense. When properly packed, they’re less likely to crumble or lose shape than more delicate cakes.
So, let’s get going and gather your supplies:
- Aluminum tray with lid or cake box
- Cling wrap or aluminum foil
- Packing peanuts
- Bubble wrap
- Thick corrugated cardboard box
- Packaging tape
- Insulated bubble bag and gel packs (optional)
A frozen pound cake holds up better in transit.
Allow the pound cake to cool completely. Then, wrap the cake in at least two layers of plastic before freezing it overnight.
Using a disposable aluminum pan for baking the pound cake is also an excellent idea if you plan to mail it. Secure the lid or wrap the tray in tin foil to cover the top before popping the cake into the fridge.
Do you need to ship a frosted pound cake?
Frosted cakes get smudged during transit, ruining their presentation. So, pack the frosting separately in a Ziploc bag and freeze.
Now, you’re ready to ship your pound cake, so follow these steps:
- Bubble-wrap your cake and secure the edges with tape.
- Place the frosting and some gel packs in an insulated bubble bag. Seal the bag tightly to prevent leakage.
- Take your mailing box and apply at least three strips of packing tape horizontally across the bottom, forming an “H.” Ensure the strips overlap in the center and extend over the edges of the box.
- Flip the box over and layer the bottom with packing peanuts.
- Position your cake in the center of the box and fill all gaps with more packing peanuts.
- Close the box.
Before sealing the box, gently shake it to check if the cake doesn’t shift inside. Add more cushioning if necessary.
Then, do the following:
- Repeat the same H-taping process on the top of the box.
- Go around the sides of the box and seal all seams and flaps with tape.
- Use a marker to label the package as “perishable” and “fragile” to alert carriers to handle your package carefully.
- Affix the shipping label on the top of the box.
The shipping cost for a pound cake depends on the courier rates plus other factors, such as the dimensional weight and destination.
Cakes may not weigh much, but they take up significant space in delivery vehicles. That said, shippers charge based on the package’s dimensional weight rather than its actual weight.
In my experience, USPS has the most affordable rates for shipping baked goods.
You can get mailing boxes at the post office or order them from the USPS website—for free! Just remember to place your order at least three days before you bake and ship your pound cake.
Additionally, it’s cheaper to buy postage online. You can also arrange free package pickups if you print your own shipping labels.
The commercial flat rate for a medium box via Priority Mail is $14.75, with an estimated delivery time of 1–3 business days. The post office rate, on the other hand, is $17.10.
Using Priority Mail Express, you’ll pay for your package by weight and distance (zone), with prices starting at $28.75 at a post office. The shipping takes about 1–2 days, excluding Sundays.
The national flat rate to ship a medium box begins at $16.05 using UPS Ground.
You can get free boxes and other supplies when you sign up with UPS. However, UPS charges a collection fee for picking up your package.
Shipping your pound cake through FedEx can be pricey. It’s an impractical option if you sell baked goods.
For instance, the flat rate for a medium box starts at $28 for two-day delivery and $49 for next-day shipping.
Check out these tips to keep a pound cake as fresh as possible during shipping:
- Don’t precut your pound cake.
- Bake and ship your pound cake for same-day deliveries.
- Freeze your pound cake before shipping if using a service that requires a longer transit time.
- Instead of plastic wrap, consider using beeswax wrap, which is breathable and anti-microbial. Beeswax wraps can prevent the pound cake from being too moist and extend its shelf life during transit.
Parcels endure a rough journey through sorting machines, chutes, and bumpy rides. At first glance, it may seem like cakes don’t stand a chance.
Don’t worry; you can safely ship a pound cake with these tips:
- Pack your cake in a way that can withstand handling in various orientations.
- Consider using a plastic or metal container that fits your pound cake snugly.
- Place your shipping label on top of the box to increase the likelihood that your package gets shipped in the preferred orientation.
- Provide a 24-hour contact number for you and your recipient.
- Don’t ship on weekends or holidays when parcels can get stuck at sorting facilities.
- Opt for next-day or expedited shipping if possible.
Sharing a homemade pound cake with loved ones near and far is a heartfelt gesture.
Now that you know how to ship a pound cake, you can make sure it reaches its destination intact and as delicious as when it left your kitchen.
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.