If you want to send a loved one an edible pick-me-up, nothing says “I love you” like a homemade cake.
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If you want to send a loved one an edible pick-me-up, nothing says "I love you" like a homemade cake.

You may not get home this year for Grandma's birthday celebration, but that doesn't mean you can't contribute to the party. Whether mailing across a few miles or across the ocean, these easy shipping methods make sending a touch of home easy as pie. Plus, your baked goods will arrive just like it left your kitchen– delicious!

How to Prepare a Cake for Mailing

Depending on the size and shape of your cake, you will take a different approach when preparing for shipping. Here are some rules of thumb for the most popular types of cake:

Layer cakes: Freeze your layer cake prior to shipping. Be careful shipping cakes with frosting –soft frostings or too much frosting may not travel well, and you want to avoid the cake smushing in transit. Stiffer icing is preferable where possible. For best practices, wrap a protective cake collar around the cake to protect the sides, then wrap the cake carefully in plastic. Place small sticks (such as toothpicks) in several places on the top and sides of the cake, putting a little distance between the wrap and the icing.

Bundt and pound cakes: Freeze and then carefully place plastic wrap around these cakes prior to shipping. The sturdy shape and texture of Bundt and pound cakes make them easier to wrap in plastic without peeling off the outer layer of the cake when the wrap is removed. Securely wrap in plastic wrap, then again in aluminum foil.

Cheesecakes: Follow the guidelines above and be careful to protect the sides of the cake for shipping. You may also want to consider freezing individual slices and placing them in separate freezer bags for extra protection.

Cupcakes: Space out the cupcakes inside a special cupcake box, using the cupcake inserts provided. Pro Tip: consider applying a light dab of baking glue to the bottom of each cupcake to secure it within the container. You can also place sticks through the middle of each cupcake, so that each stick reaches the top of the box when closed, preventing the cupcakes from smashing against the lid of the box.

How to Mail Your Cake

Your local post office or delivery service location will have all the appropriate packaging supplies you need. After wrapping your cake, put it in a cake box and then place it in either an appropriately sized Styrofoam mailer or bubble-wrap lined mailing box. Fill up any empty spaces inside the container with packing material, such as bubble wrap, newspaper, or kitchen towels. The cake needs to be secure so it can't move around during transit. 

Seal the box with high-quality shipping tape. Tape the seams and smooth down the tape. Mark the outside of your box with the words "fragile" and "perishable," and draw arrows indicating the top of the box. Normally your courier will ask if your package contains perishable goods and place a sticker on it if it does.

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Make sure your shipping label is securely fastened to the outside of the box and arrange for shipment. Keep in mind what you are shipping and where it is going– items that should remain cold should probably be shipped overnight.