People think that all a baker’s gotta do is bake. What they don’t know is that transporting the finished product can be just as (if not more) nerve-wracking.
This is especially true when it’s a costly cake made for a special occasion. One wrong move and you know you’ll have a long line of disappointed faces waiting for you.
After a few attempts of getting my cakes delivered via a delivery service that ended in disasters, to say the least, I have decided to permanently commit myself to delivering all my cakes.
With good preparation beforehand, a good container, and a stable choice of transportation, you can transport a cake with minimum to no issue!
I’m Angie, I’ve been baking for over 10 years and I started my own cake business from home. Since I started baking as a profession, I’ve learned so much about not just baking and decorating, but also storing and transporting cakes.
I believe that it is my responsibility as a baker to guarantee that a cake is in its best condition when it reaches my clients. In this article, I will share with you my best tips for transporting cakes so that they arrive safely and beautifully at your clients’ doors.
Time to get into it!
How to Prepare Cakes for Delivery
All good things come with good preparation and packing your cake for transportation is the first step. Here are a few things you want to consider and set in place before you start transporting your cake.
Chill The Cake
The cake can chill but not you! The first thing you want to do after you finish decorating your cake is to put it straight into the fridge/freezer.
The purpose of chilling your cake is so the buttercream/icing gets a chance to harden. Once it hardens, your piped design and the surface of your cake will be less likely to smudge and will hold in place better.
Prepare a Cake Board
If you didn’t place your cake on a cake board while decorating but need to use one to transport your cake, make sure to use a cake board that is a little bit bigger than your cake. An inch to two bigger is ideal. A cake board too big can make your cake wobble and a cake board too small can smudge your decorative designs.
If you’re using a regular cake board made of cardboard stock, I suggest you double, triple, or even quad up for some extra stability, especially if your cake is multi-tiered or just heavy. We don’t want the board to end up bending or collapsing.
Get a Box
As you would expect, packaging your cake is an extremely important part of prepping it for transportation. It keeps dust away and prevents any scratches that can otherwise happen.
Similar to a cake board, a suitable container for your cake is not too big or too small. You want the length and width to match that of your cake board to make sure it fits, and a height that is slightly taller than your cake.
Bring The Extras
Always bring a few extra ingredients to the venue where you’ll be setting up your cake. Bring some extra buttercream so you can fix up the possible cracks created during transportation.
You can also bring with you some cookie crumbs, nuts, sprinkles, and decorations that are already on your cake for a quick and easy touch-up.
Communicate with The Venue Provider
I remember once I brought some cakes over to the restaurant as instructed by a client. It was one large and heavy cake and when I arrived, I was told that there was no space for the cake and that I would have to bring it back. You can imagine how extremely frustrating that is.
The moral of the story: Before transporting your cake over to the venue, make sure to call and confirm that there’s storage space for your cake and for how long. Let them know the measurements of your cake to be extra sure.
4 Different Ways to Transport a Cake
The following are four ways you can transport a cake.
1. Cake Box
The most common and obvious way to transport a cake is to use a cake box. Cake boxes are made to package and move cakes. They are sturdy and provide good support for your cake. You should have no problem carrying a 6-8” cake box by its handle or strings.
If your cake is on the heavier side, you can still use a cake box. Just make sure that you lift your cake from the bottom and keep one hand on the bottom so that it doesn’t separate and drop.
2. Cake Carrier
If you are someone who regularly serves your cake at a friend’s house or events and you don’t mind carrying a box back, I suggest you get a cake carrier.
You can find them in different sizes and they’re a great eco-friendly alternative to the usual cardstock cake boxes. They’re also a lot sturdier.
Cake carriers are usually made with plastic. They won’t stain and get messy and they can be cleaned and reused easily. It may be difficult to find cake carriers for cakes above 9” in diameter but for smaller simple cakes, I think a cake carrier would be the best option.
3. Cake Stand
If you don’t have a carrier or a box, you can place your cake directly on the cake stand and bring the whole thing to the venue it’ll be served at.
Cake stands are decorative and many come with a glass cover. Using a cake stand means you won’t have to worry about setting things up last minute – your cake is already where it’s supposed to be.
That said, cake stands can be heavy and they tend to be awkwardly shaped. Keep that in mind if you’re transporting a heavier or larger cake!
It’s not every day that you must make a five-star bakery-level cake. If you’re baking for a friend or family and you’re just looking for a quick, easy, and inexpensive way to move your cake from one place to another, a plate is all you’ll need, well, and some toothpicks.
Find a plate that is larger in circumference than your cake. Next, you want to stick your toothpicks into your cake, around the surface to create support for the cling foil you’ll lay over it.
The toothpick will prevent the cling foil from making direct contact with your cake surface but still allow it to act as a barrier between the cake and particles in the air.
To top this off, you can place your plate of cake on top of an anti-stick mat so it’s extra secure.
Here are some commonly asked questions about packing a cake for travel that you might still be wondering about. I’ve answered them below.
How to transport a cake in a car?
To transport a cake in a car, find a flat, leveled surface on that you can place your cake. Always keep one hand (preferably both) on your cake container to make sure it doesn’t slide too much.
I prefer to place the cake on my lap, holding it with one hand holding the handle on the top and the other at the bottom for support. This allows me to lift the cake when I know a bump or an abrupt stop is coming, giving me more control over how much the cake moves.
Also, turn your AC on and try to keep the temperature in your car really low so your cake doesn’t melt away.
How to transport a cake on a bike?
You can place the cake on the rear rack if you have one. Have I tried this method? No. Do I suggest you transport a cake on a bike? Absolutely not.
But if you must, I suggest you do it the way this guy does in this video, by taping the cake box to a helmet placed between his thighs. It should secure the cake better and lower the risk of damaging the cake on bumpy roads.
How to transport a cake without it melting?
Get an insulated delivery bag and put a couple of ice packs in it. Place the ice packs in the pockets/compartments in the bag to prevent them from being tossed and damaging your cake.
How to transport a tiered cake?
The most reliable way to transport a tiered cake is to do it in parts. Have all of the tiers ready, packaged, and secured in their containers. Bring your decorations and extra buttercream for onset assembly. Assemble the cake at the location where it will be served.
Like I said, transporting a cake can be tricky. The above tips are what I’ve gathered from my experience delivering cakes in the past. I hope you’ve found them helpful!
Have you had any issues transporting cakes? What kind of tips and tricks have you learned in the process? Share with us below!About Angie