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9 Tips to Safely Transport a Cake Long Distances

9 Tips to Safely Transport a Cake Long Distances

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Your love and dedication show in every detail of your cake. You feel happy and proud of how your baking project turned out, but your job isn’t over yet. 

The next step is to successfully move the cake without disrupting any decorations to the party. To some, this process can be even more challenging than making the cake itself!

Luckily, I’ve got a few tricks you can follow to help you safely transport a cake long distances without messing up its look. 

Ready to learn all about them? Let’s begin!

How to Transport a Cake For a Long Distance

The effort and time that goes into perfecting a cake are some of the main reasons you need to learn how to safely transport it.

It’s not just about a tipped-over decoration or some smudged frosting; it’s about all that time in the kitchen and the smiles you want to see on your loved ones’ faces!

So, how can you do it? Here are some tricks I tried myself:

1 – Avoid Soft Fillings

Planning for transporting your cake starts from the minute you gather the ingredients. So, when you start to layer frosting and fillings, think if these ingredients will survive the trip. 

I remember once when I used a pastry cream filling, and I have to say that it wasn’t the smartest choice. Don’t get me wrong, it was delicious but didn’t hold up its shape after a lengthy journey. 

Cake Layers

As the cake was moved, the pastry cream made the layers slide onto one another instead of staying in place. 

Moreover, it’s best refrigerated before it’s served, so it’s not the best choice if your cake will travel for more than four hours. 

This is why I recommend using buttercream instead. It’s rich, tasty, and will set beautifully, holding your cake layers together. 

Of course, this only works if you have the flexibility to choose the ingredients. When you’re preparing a special order, some clients might insist on that tasty yet slippery pastry cream.

Don’t worry because this doesn’t mean your cake will be an out-of-control mess. 

Just use a border of buttercream around the edge of each layer, loading the center with the soft filling. Buttercream will hold the cake layers up and keep the soft filling from sliding 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

Decorating A Cake

When decorating the cake, think about the sturdiness of the decorations. In other words, ask yourself: Will the decorations hold against all the bumps in the road?

Sturdy gum paste flowers may transport quite well, while a design of piped whipped cream flowers will most likely melt when transported. 

So, unless you want to end up with a wilted and slightly depressing flower, I would avoid whipped cream. 

You should also think about what decorations would be best to add after you have arrived at your destination.

For example, I’d save any fragile fondant figures or other delicate decorations to be added to the cake once it has reached its final display spot. 

Not only will it make traveling less stressful, but it’ll ensure that your cake looks perfect before being served.

3 – Stack the Cake for Transport

Three-Tiered Cake

If you are planning to transport a two-tiered (or higher) cake, you want to construct the cake well to ensure it arrives at its destination safely.

Cake supports, like this one from Amazon, are essential for building any stacked cake. These supports are placed inside a cake and pressed into the bottom layer after it has been assembled.

The 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 the cake itself. This means the bottom cake will not have any weight on top of it.

What if you skip the cake supports? Well, the top cake may slowly sink into the bottom as the weight becomes too much for the bottom to hold. 

And we don’t want that, do we?

When the cake supporters hold the weight, the cake will maintain its structure, becoming easier to transport. 

4 – Connect Your Cakes

Long Toothpicks

Connecting the tiers of the cake will also make transportation less troublesome. If you have a multi-tiered cake, consider connecting the tiers so the cake acts as one unit, rather than several separate cakes.

A simple wooden dowel can be stuck into the top cake and gently pressed down through all the tiers. There are also many different cake systems on the market, helping bakers connect tiered cakes and making those tasty creations easier to transport.

When your stacked cake is linked together, the tiers will be much easier to move as they won’t slide—even with whipped cream in the middle!

5 – Get a Strong Box

A good old box is the perfect solution for transporting a smaller cake over a long distance. Just get a sturdy box to put the cake in, and you’ll be good to go! 

Remember that the board or plate that the cake sits on should be touching the sides of the box, or it will slide around as you travel.

For example, if you place the cake on a ten-inch cake board like this one from 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 – Chill Your Cake

Before traveling, always let your cake chill for a few hours. Keeping the cake in the fridge will help the layers and decorations set. 

With or without decorations, chilling helps set baked goods and keeps everything in shape. Moreover, it’ll prevent the layers from sliding and ruining the look of your cake. 

I recommend chilling the cake for at least two hours, but preferably overnight if you can. 

No longer, though. Remember that you can’t bake a cake too much in advance because you still want it to taste fresh and look amazing. 

7 – Get a Non-Slip Mat

Silicone Baking Mat

If you’ll need to drive to transport the cake, whether in a box or just stacked on a cake board, you want to ensure it doesn’t move around as you drive. 

The easiest way to do this is to place the cake or box on a non-slip mat. One of the best options is a silicone baking mat like this one, guaranteeing it’s a little larger than your cake. 

Put the mat first and then place the cake on top. This mat will prevent the cake from moving around as you drive. 

Don’t have a silicone baking mat? No problem. 

A silicone pot holder, rubber can opener, yoga mat, or rubber cabinet liner will work. As a matter of fact, anything that would help hold the cake in place, like rubber, silicone, or plastic, won’t disappoint you. 

8. Invest in a Carrier

To tell you the truth, I didn’t consider investing in a cake carrier until I really started to take baking more seriously. 

Do I regret this? Just a little bit. 

I can think of all the times I ended up with messed-up decorated cakes that needed an emergency facelift right before serving. 

This is why I strongly recommend buying a professionally designed cake carrier, especially if you plan on transporting cakes often. 

There are multiple cake-carrying systems to help protect your cake while in transit. You can even get a carrier made to transport multi-tiered cakes!

Some traveling cake carriers can be pricey, but if you’re delivering and moving cakes frequently, they’re worth the investment. 

9. Be Ready For Repairs

I hate to break the bad news, but even with all these tips, your cake might still get messed up. 

Mistakes happen, and while these tips can help protect your precious cake, they’re not 100% guaranteed. 

I always pack everything I would need to repair an unexpected cake accident. Spatulas, piping bags, extra frosting, fondant flowers, and everything else you’d think you’d need should be on that emergency list. 

Trust me; this is one of the most vital tips to transporting a cake for a long distance, as you can fix it or give it a touch up whenever you like.

Final Thoughts

Successfully transporting a cake has two main steps.

First, you should think about transportation and how it’ll affect your ingredients. Start by considering the suitable filling and decorations, and ensure you securely build the cake.

The second step is to pack the cake well. From using an appropriately sized box to using toothpicks to secure tiers, a silicone mat, or a carrier, there are several options to consider. 

Just follow these two general guidelines, and a triumphant cake delivery is guaranteed!

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Monday 4th of July 2022

Do I need to pack dry ice around it to keep it cool? We will be in the car for about 7 hours.

Sarah B.

Thursday 14th of July 2022

Hi Valerie!

You could use dry ice if you'd like, but ice packs and ice would work as well, as long as you put it in bags to prevent everything from getting wet. You'd also want to keep an eye on the ice to make sure you don't need to stop and get more while on the drive. Good luck!