Wednesday, May 13, 2009

How to Ship Cupcakes

My cousin Peter (really he's my mom's cousin) and his wife Karen have been crazy supportive of my cupcake venture, even to the point of offering to invest in me opening a cupcakery nearby their home in Sammamish, Washington (outside of Seattle)! While that is a little farfetched for this point in time, Karen asked me if I could make cupcakes to be shipped for their son, Noah, whose birthday is in June. So how do you ship cupcakes? No clue. I did get some help from Clara, a fellow cupcaker who writes a blog called i heart cuppycakes. So here, let me break it down for you...

DISCLAIMER: These cupcakes are by NO means one of my better looking batches!!! Looks are really irrelevant during this shipping experiment. I'm capable of so much better than this...really...truly...

I baked my oh-so-yummyful cookies and cream cupcakes, complete with a generous blob of cookies and cream buttercream on top. Then I used leftover fondant to top each cupcake. I figured that if I could cover the buttercream with fondant, maybe that would help preserve the cupcake better during transit. I put each cupcake in a party & nut cup to give it a little more stability.
Into the cupcake box they go! If they do okay being shipped overnight, then the real deal batch in June will (unfortunately) turn out a big...purple...dinosaur (yup, Noah loves Barney). I had no clue that guy still existed.

I took a tip from i heart cuppycakes by using these plastic cups. I had to trim the tops because they were too tall for the box. I put each plastic cup over each cupcake. The cupcakes still had a little room to move around since the mouth of the cup is a bit wider than the width of the cupcake, but at least they won't topple over.
Then I put the cupcake insert on top of the cups to stabilize them and keep them from shifting around in the box. I put a piece of Scotch tape over each cup to tape them to the insert. I closed up this cupcake box and put it into a cardboard box, which I stuffed with leftover (smushed) Christmas wrapping paper. And of course, the top of the cardboard has "THIS SIDE UP", "PERISHABLE", and "FRAGILE" written on it in huge, black, bold letters. Think the post office will get my drift? :)

Peter and Karen should be getting tomorrow night's dessert some time before 3 pm. Can't wait to hear if how they turn out. Hopefully they won't taste like cardboard...or Christmas paper!

Peter and Karen said the cupcakes arrived slightly smooshed but still tasty...
I guess we'll have to try something different when it comes to shipping next time! Any thoughts?


  1. I really need to ship cupcakes but they are buttercream..and what if the box tip in the mail? Im in trouble...have your cup cakes tipped in the shipping? I am over nighting UPS
    Please help I am desperate THX

  2. Christina- I am in the same boat. All my frostings are perishable and need to get the cupcakes from CA to Boston, MA. I can't find a way (other than paying for dry ice and over night shipping) for them to get there. Any thoughts?

  3. This might help!

  4. You have to freeze cupcakes before shipping and yes dry ice is usually used, along with special packaging and glasses by large companies like Godiva.

  5. This may help too...
    check out the Georgetown (DC Cupcakes on TLC) girls because they shipped 10,000 cupcakes to the soilders overseas! It seemed like they packed dry ice with theirs.

  6. Freeze them first and Ice packs..

  7. You really have a way of words. Great style of delivering the information and I could relate to it. Such a great information for me. Thanks for this. provigil

  8. I like the mason jar idea!
    I've been asked to ship, but had no idea.
    Now, I know!

  9. The key is to put a lollipop stick in each cupcake so that the stick just barely touches the top of the box, but doesn't allow the cupcake to move when the box gets inevitably turned over in shipping.

  10. I'm trying to send cupcakes from Boston to Florida? Please help

  11. you can bake the cupcakes in mason jars and frost them then freeze them and ship over night