Baking cakes is something that many people are very passionate about. You might make beautiful cakes in your spare time, and this means that people will want to come to you when they need cakes for special occasions.
If you’ve been baking cakes for friends and family members for weddings, birthdays, and other important occasions, it’s likely something that you take pride in. What can you do when a friend or family member from out of town needs one, though?
It isn’t always going to be practical to drive a cake to their doorsteps, and you might need to consider shipping it. People get nervous about shipping them, though, due to the fact that a lot can go wrong during the shipping process.
What is the best way to ship a cake safely so that it will arrive at its destination as intended? Read on to find out.
Freeze the Cake
The first thing that you should do to protect the cake is freeze it before you ship it. Freezing a cake will make it more likely to survive the trip and be good by the time it gets to its destination.
No matter what type of cake you’re baking, it’s generally going to be best to freeze it before you ship it out. You should only avoid freezing if there is a very specific reason that you can’t freeze it.
If you can’t freeze it, you might not want to ship it at all. Sometimes it might be fine to ship the cake via a courier service if it isn’t being delivered too far away.
For example, if you need to deliver a cake to a location that is within a few hours of your location, a courier service might be able to do that for you while handling the cake with great care. Of course, it might be just as practical to deliver it yourself if indeed you’re that close to where you’re shipping it.
Find an Appropriate Cake Box
Next, you’re going to need to find an appropriate cake box to ship your cake in. You’ll want to find a box that fits your cake perfectly, and this means that you’ll need to choose the dimensions of the box based on what type of cake you’re shipping and its overall size.
Take the time to measure your cake and any boxes that you plan to purchase to ship the cake in. Once you’ve confirmed that the size is correct, you’ll be able to position the cake inside the box.
One good idea that many professional bakeries use is that they ship cakes in boxes that contain Styrofoam mailers. These Styrofoam mailers help the cake to fit in the box snugly and keep it from moving around inside the box.
Many of these Styrofoam mailers will be something that you’ll put the cake inside and then you’ll transfer the Styrofoam mailer to the cake box. Overall, this method works out well because it just makes things more secure overall.
It’s a good idea to use these if you can because it’ll make it that much more likely that the cake will arrive at its destination in pristine condition. Consider utilizing Styrofoam for the sides of the box if you can’t find a mailer so that you can pack the cake as tightly and safely as possible.
Use Frozen Cool Packs
Frozen cool packs are going to be another imperative part of the process when shipping a cake. Even if you did freeze the cake that you’re shipping, it’s still going to be important to keep it fresh during the shipping process.
You can buy freezer cool packs that are meant to be inserted in mailers. Simply keep these in your freezer until it is time to pack the cake into the box and ship it out.
Just grab the frozen cool packs directly from the freezer and place them right in the box with the cake. Try to position the cool packs all around the cake so it will stay cool as evenly as possible.
If all goes as planned, these frozen cool packs should keep your cake fresh during the shipping process. This is a part of shipping preparation that you won’t want to skip if you care about the condition of the cake when it arrives at its destination.
Seal the Box Properly
Sealing the cake box properly is going to be the next big step before shipping it out. You need to use really good shipping tape to seal the box so that nothing comes loose while it’s being driven to its destination.
Make sure that you are very thorough with how you seal the box. Tape all of the seams on the box and do your best to smooth the tape down so that it stays in position.
If you don’t smooth down the tape, some of it could get snagged on something and come loose. Generally, it’s going to be better to use more tape than to not use enough, and this means that you should just try to tape the box the best that you can.
When you’re confident that the box has been taped properly, it’ll be ready to ship. Now you just need to find the right business to ship your cake to where it needs to go.
Mark the Cake as Perishable and Fragile
Before you take the cake to the shipping company, it’s advisable to use a marker on the cake box. You should clearly mark that the item that is being shipped is perishable and fragile.
This makes it more likely that all of the delivery drivers will understand that the package needs to be treated with care. If you don’t take the time to do this, someone might make the mistake of placing the box underneath other boxes or some other type of error that could destroy the cake.
It doesn’t take long to mark a box as fragile and perishable, and it’s something that you’d regret not doing. Some people even have stickers that say “fragile” and “perishable” that they will stick on boxes when they’re shipping baked goods like this.
The top of the box is the best location to place any stickers that you have. Although, it could be good to place stickers on each side of the box to get the point across if you don’t mind using multiples.
Sometimes it’s best to err on the side of caution and go a bit overboard. You just want to ensure that your cake gets where it’s going without getting messed up.
Go Ship Your Cake
With all of the preparation work done, it’s going to be time to drive out to a shipping company and get your cake shipped. You’ll want to pick a company that is reputable and capable of shipping perishable food items in a timely fashion.
Many people will go with large shipping companies that are known to ship things such as cakes. This could work fine, but you will likely need to pay a fair price to get the item shipped fast.
For the most part, it’s going to be ideal to pay for overnight shipping if you’re worried about the cake melting or having issues. Most people would want it to arrive at its destination within a few days at the latest.
The faster that you want something to be shipped to its destination, the more costly it’s going to be. You should be able to get a quote from a business about how much things will cost before you even bake the cake assuming that you know what the dimensions and weight of the item will be.
For some cake deliveries, it might be better to go with a specialty courier service. There are local courier businesses in many American cities that will deliver perishable items within state lines for a fee.
This is a good option if you’re shipping a cake to a friend or relative who lives several hours away. Just weigh your options and go with the shipping company that best suits your needs.
Knowing how to ship a cake properly should help you to get good results. You should be able to ship one without having to worry too much about it arriving safely.
Having the cake arrive at its destination intact is about doing the right things when boxing it up. It’s best to freeze the cake if you can, and you’re going to need to pack the cake box with care.
Taking the time to ship a secure cake box will make a world of difference. Be sure to follow the advice above before you bring it to a shipping company to have it shipped out.
The next time that you go to ship a cake, it’s going to be way easier to get things done. You’ll already know what to do and you’ll be ready to get it out the door quite fast.
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.