After you have put the final detail on your cake and you are feeling very happy with how your baking project turned out, the next step is to successfully move it without disrupting and decorations. This can be even more challenging than making the cake itself!
Luckily, there are a few tricks you can follow to help you transport a cake long distances without disturbing any of your decorations. Follow these tips and your cake will be as perfect at the end of your trip as it was at the beginning!
1 – Avoid Soft Fillings, When Possible
When you start to put your cake together, layering frostings and fillings in between layers of cake, think about if your filling choices will transport well.
Buttercream layers work fantastically as the stiff buttercream will hold your cake together. However, a soft, loose filling like pastry cream may not be the best idea.
As you transport your cake, the pastry cream may move around, causing the layers of your cake to slip around. In addition, pastry cream and other cream based fillings do need to be refrigerated.
If you are transporting your cake more than 4 hours, you may want to consider using a different filling, one that does not require refrigeration.
Sometimes, the filling choices are not yours to make. If you are making a cake for someone else, they may insist on that tasty yet slippery pastry cream.
If this is the case, be sure to put a border of buttercream around the edge of each layer, loading the center with the soft filling. A buttercream boarder will hold the cake layers up and also keep the soft filling from sliding around too much.
Think of it as a fence to hold in your filling! This step will make your cake much more sturdy and easier to transport.
2 – Think About Your Decorations
When you are decorating the cake, think about how well the decorations will hold up while you travel. Sturdy gumpaste flowers may transport quite well while a design of piped whipped cream flowers may wilt and melt when being transported.
Choose a decorating method that is conducive to travel. You can also think about what decorations would be best to add after you have arrived at your destination.
If you have fragile fondant figures or other delicate decorations, consider adding them to the cake once it has been placed in its final display spot. Not only will it make traveling less stressful, but it will ensure that your cake looks perfect before being served.
3 – Stacking a Cake for Transport
If you are planning to transport a two tiered (or higher) cake, you will want to be sure to construct the cake well to ensure it arrives at the destination safely.
Using cake supports (link to amazon) is essential to building any stacked cake. Cake supports are placed inside a cake, pressed into the bottom layer after it has been assembled.
The cake supports should be the same height as the cake so that they are level with the top of the cake once they are pressed in.
When you place the second cake on top of the first, the top cake will sit on the supports rather than sit on the cake itself. This means the bottom cake will not have any weight on top of it.
If you were to skip the cake supports, the top cake may slowly sink into the bottom as the weight of the top cake is too much for the bottom to hold. When the cake supports hold all the weight, the cake will be easier to transport and the integrity of the stacked cake will remain.
Invest in good supports in order to move any stacked or tiered cakes!
4 – Connect the Cakes
Connecting the tiers of the cake will also make transportation much easier. If you have a cake that is two or more tiers, consider connecting each tier in some way so that the cake acts as one unit, rather than separate cakes.
A simple wooden dowel can be stuck into the top of the cake and gently pressed down through all of the tiers. There are also many different cake systems on the market that you can use, all of which help connect tiered cakes, making them easier to transport.
When your stacked cake is linked together, the tiers will not slide in transport and be much easier to move. No one wants tiers to slide around when you are moving a cake long distances!
5 – Get a Good Box
If you are transporting a smaller cake over long distances, get a sturdy box to put the cake in. The board or plate that the cake is on should be touching the sides of the box so that it does not slide around inside as you travel.
For example, if the cake is placed on a ten inch cake board (view on amazon), the box should also be ten inches in diameter. This will prevent your cake from moving around and keep it pristine even over a long distance ride.
6 – Get a Non Slip Mat
When you place a cake in the back of a car, weather in a box or just stacked on a cake board, you want to make sure it doesn’t move around as you drive. The easiest way to do this is to place the cake or box on top of a non-slip mat.
The best option is a silicone baking mat like this that is a little larger than your cake. Put the mat down first and then place the cake on top of it. The non-slip mat will prevent the cake from sliding around as you drive and ensure that your cake arrives safely!
If you do not have a silicone baking mat, use a silicone pot holder, a rubber can opener, a yoga mat or even a rubber cabinet liner. Anything that would help grip the cake (rubber, silicone, plastic etc) will work!
7 – Invest in a Carrier
If you plan on transporting cakes often, you may want to look into a specially designed cake carrier. There are many cake carrying systems that may work wonderfully for you and will help protect your cake while in transit. You can even get a carrier that is made to transport tall tiered cakes!
Some traveling cake carriers can be pricey but, if you are delivering and moving cakes frequently, they are worth the investment. Successfully transporting a cake has two main steps.
First, you should think about transportation as you make the cake, considering the filling and decorations and making sure you build the cake is a secure manner.
The second step to traveling with a cake is to make sure you pack it well. Use the correct sized box, put a non-slip mat down and do whatever else you can to prevent the cake from moving as you travel.
Follow these two general guidelines and you are sure to have a triumphant cake delivery!
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.