Transporting a cake might be stressful, but with these techniques, you’ll be able to securely transport cakes of various sizes even if you just have a tiny automobile.
We’ll go through the dos and don’ts of traveling with cakes so you can get there without ruining it.
And, certainly, a cake, even a huge bespoke cake, can be transported in a vehicle. A van or an SUV are not usually required.
I used to have a home bakery and would often travel with cakes in my van, even wedding cakes. Therefore, from large to little cakes, you only need the appropriate recommendations to bring them to their target.
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It is always nerve-racking to transport cakes. It’s terrifying to think you’ve worked so hard on a cake just to have it shattered when you arrive.
I’ve attempted to gather all of my greatest ideas and methods here to assist relieve some of the tension.
- First, make a plan:
- Must-Know general tips for transporting cakes:
- Use a box or a cake carrier depending on the size of the cake:
- Transport cakes on a flat surface:
- Chill it to firm it up:
- Give yourself plenty of time:
- Drive carefully:
- Maybe invest in some signage:
- Use something to cushion the cake:
- Use something to keep it from sliding around:
- Don’t transport a cake on a cake stand:
- If it’s a tiered cake, use supports:
- Bring an emergency kit:
- How to transport a wedding cake or a tiered cake:
- Figure out how much room you’ve got in your vehicle:
- You may need to transport it in sections:
- Don’t transport a cake on a cake stand:
- Make your own box if the cake is large:
- Don’t transport a stacked or tiered cake on a car seat:
- Don’t transport a stacked or tiered cake in someone’s lap:
- Use something to cushion the cake & to keep it from sliding:
- Use a fancy cake transport box:
- How to transport a cake in a car:
- How to transport a cake in a car trunk (the boot):
- How to transport a cake without a box:
- How to transport a cake long distance:
- How to transport a cake in hot weather:
- Other posts you might like:
First, make a plan:
If it’s a tiny cake, it’s not too difficult to transport. Just ensure that you are in a cool car and that the cake is on a flat surface, such as a floorboard (not a seat because those lean).
There is more to it whether you are traveling with a bespoke cake, a wedding cake, or a tiered cake.
You should thoroughly research your destination. Are there a lot of potholes? Turns that are difficult? Steep slopes? You must be prepared for and keep all of these things in mind.
If you’ll have all of those items, or at least a few of them, you could reconsider traveling with a stacked cake and instead carry it in separate tiers and stack it at the location.
The greatest thing you can do is look ahead and make a plan.
Before we get into the specifics, let’s start with some basic advice.
Must-Know general tips for transporting cakes:
Here is a collection of broad, fundamental suggestions that will come in handy each time you need to carry a cake. We’ll go into particular forms of cake transport further down.
Use a box or a cake carrier depending on the size of the cake:
It is preferable to have something to shield the cake from debris. We’ll go over it later if you don’t have a box or can’t locate one large enough.
If the box is not the same size as the cake foundation, the cake will move about in it.
10 inch white cake boxes
Transport cakes on a flat surface:
Custom cakes should not be transported on a vehicle seat or on someone’s lap, particularly if they are tiered (well get into more specifics regarding tiered cakes later on). You should transfer it on a level surface, such as a clean floorboard.
Even if your rear seats fold flat, you may be tempted to place your cakes on them. It is not something you want to do. They most likely do not lie flat. Even if they do, there will very certainly be a gap between the folded-down seats and the backs of the front seats. The cake has the potential to slip and tilt.
The same is true for the front seat. The seats aren’t level, and if you have to slam on the brakes, your dashboard will be coated with cake and buttercream.
If you place the cake on the floors, you have a higher chance of getting a flat surface. Push your front seat back all the way. Set the cake on some nonslip shelf liner (the rubber kind with a grid design) on the floor.
If you believe it will be too tall, just transport the layers separately and assemble the cake at the site. The remaining levels may be placed on the flooring at the rear. We’ll discuss about carrying stacked cakes a bit more later in this piece.
Chill it to firm it up:
This is particularly true if the cake contains buttercream. If the cake includes cream cheese icing or fruit in or on it, it should also be kept refrigerated.
You may also pre-chill your vehicle. Turn on the air conditioning and wait for it to cool before adding the cake.
Give yourself plenty of time:
Leave early enough to drive slowly, particularly if you’re transporting a complex or tiered dessert. You don’t want to have to run about, adding to your stress.
Well, this is self-evident, but take it gently and drive slowly through bends, bumps, and anything else. Plan your route ahead of time. You may even check out the roads if they aren’t too far away.
Please be cautious and keep at least three car widths behind other vehicles in case they slam on their brakes.
Maybe invest in some signage:
If you do this for a living, consider purchasing a cake on board magnet or sticker for your automobile. At the very least, it will explain to other drivers why you are driving slowly or taking turns cautiously.
Vehicle Magnet with a Cake on Board
Vehicle Sticker with a Cake on Board
Use something to cushion the cake:
Put something beneath the cake to absorb some of the road’s shock and bumpiness. Behind the cake box, you may place a yoga mat or a towel.
The Yoga Mat
Use something to keep it from sliding around:
Use a nonstick shelf surface below the cake. The simplest method is to use a shelf liner. It has a rubbery, rough feel and is normally available for a low price at the dollar shop.
Just cut a square and place it underneath the cake box to prevent the cake from sliding around.
Shelf liner with anti-slip properties
Don’t transport a cake on a cake stand:
This is a terrible concept. I realize it’s convenient to have the cake ready to go, but design it on a cake base and bring the stand separately.
When you get at your location, place the cake on the cake stand. Traveling with the cake already on the stand is a recipe for disaster.
If it’s a tiered cake, use supports:
If you’re transporting a stacked cake, be sure to include supports in the cake as you bake it. If you don’t, the cake will crumble and tumble over.
If you want to learn how to stack cakes correctly using supports, check out this post: Cake Stacking Techniques
Bring an emergency kit:
This is always necessary. Include a bag with supplies that will come in handy if your cake is smashed or you need to restore some buttercream.
If you’re traveling the cake in portions, you’ll also want to include the equipment you’ll need to stack it.
Let us now dive into additional specifics.
How to transport a wedding cake or a tiered cake:
Figure out how much room you’ve got in your vehicle:
Whether you have an SUV or even a hatchback, you should have plenty of space. Yet, with a little automobile, you must improvise, which is what we are going to do.
Just know that if you drive a little vehicle, it is very possible. I’ve done it several times.
You may need to transport it in sections:
If you just have a tiny car, you may need to transport a tiered cake unstacked and then stack it at the location.
You may safely carry the different layers by boxing them up and transporting them on a flat surface (such as the clean flooring).
You may also carry the two bottom layers already stacked, but the additional tiers must be separated and stacked at the location.
Don’t transport a cake on a cake stand:
We discussed this before, but the cake must be placed on a cake board before being placed on the cake stand when you get at your location.
A cake stand is just not sturdy enough to support a moving automobile. Even if it has a broad base, the cake may move about and fall off. It’s best to avoid the danger altogether.
Make your own box if the cake is large:
If the cake is taller than the standard cake boxes, you may need to construct your own box. I’ve had to do this many times since it’s really difficult to locate cake boxes large enough, particularly for tiered cakes.
Taller boxes may be found at Lowes, Walmart, and other stores. Just tape the box’s ends and cut a line along the longest, tallest side so the box opens from the side to slide your cake inside.
Don’t transport a stacked or tiered cake on a car seat:
Vehicle seats are just not level. They slant, and although you may be able to move a single-tiered cake on them, it won’t work with a stacked or tiered cake.
Don’t transport a stacked or tiered cake in someone’s lap:
You don’t want someone merely holding a tiered cake. A lap is not level, and our bodies move a lot as we drive, and we don’t always have control over what or when we move in reaction to things.
This is simply a horrible idea in general.
Use something to cushion the cake & to keep it from sliding:
We mentioned it in the basic recommendations, but adding a yoga mat, a fluffy towel, or anything to cushion the cake is a terrific idea.
To protect the cake box from sliding around, place a nonstick shelf liner below it.
Use a fancy cake transport box:
If you own a cake company and do it for a living, you may be interested in the beautiful cake transport boxes that are now available. They’re designed expressly for carrying stacked cakes, and some feature a central rod that passes through the center to protect them from tipping over.
To utilize them, you’d need an SUV, van, or at the very least a hatchback since they’re just too large to fit inside a vehicle.
Here’s a link to the Cake Safe, a tiered cake travel box: Cake Security
How to transport a cake in a car:
Figure out how much room you actually have:
Secondly, you must be realistic about how much space you have in your vehicle and how tall the cake will be.
Consider the possibility of more passengers, the weather if the chairs fold down, and so on.
If you’re traveling a single cake, you’ll have plenty of alternatives, but if you’re hauling a stacked, tiered cake, you may need to be creative.
You may have to transport the cake unassembled in your automobile.
You must have flat surfaces:
You must transfer the cake on a level surface, which cannot be a vehicle seat (even if folded down) or a person’s lap. You’ll very certainly need to utilize the clean floorboards or a trunk (well go over how to transport it in a trunk below).
Essentially, automobile seats are not level. It is feasible to install something to level out the seat, but make sure it will not move while the vehicle is driving.
This is particularly crucial for lengthy flights, in warmer weather when the cake may melt somewhat and move more easily, and for carrying a layered cake.
Transport it in sections:
If you have a tiered cake, you may need to move it in portions. You may stack the bottom two layers and transport the additional tiers to the venue to build. That’s something I’ve done several times.
Use a shock absorber and a non-slip mat:
We’ve already discussed this, but be sure to lay down some cushioning, such as a fluffy towel or yoga mat, to absorb the impact.
Additionally, to protect the cake boxes from sliding around, place a non-slip shelf liner underneath them.
How to transport a cake in a car trunk (the boot):
First, determine how hot the weather will be:
If it’s going to be hot, you may not be able to transfer a cake in the trunk. You’d need a hatchback or a vehicle with fold-down rear seats so that the air conditioning can reach the trunk.
Determine how tall the cake will be:
If it’s a tiered cake, you may not be able to fit it all in the trunk. You may need to stack just the bottom two layers and carry the other tiers in separate boxes, adding them to the cake after you get at the location.
Use padding and non-slip materials:
To absorb some of the stress from the vehicle journey, place a non-slip shelf liner beneath the towel or yoga mat, as well as under the cake box or cake board, to protect anything from sliding about. I keep emphasizing this because it is so beneficial. Provide a nice towel and
Try to use a cake box if you can:
If the cake is huge, you do not need to use a cake-specific box. Instead, use a bigger box and open it from the side rather than the top or bottom.
Just get a box from a local shop and ensure that one of the sides is tall enough to accommodate the cake. Next tape up the ends and cut your own slit along the longest portion of the box, enabling you to slip in the cake from the side.
Make sure to drive slowly:
This is self-evident, yet it bears mentioning. Take turns cautiously, stop softly, and avoid driving on too many uneven roads.
Here’s my setup for traveling with tiered cakes in my car:
My car’s rear seats fold flat and open to reveal the trunk. Even when it’s sweltering outside, this is the only way I can carry a cake in the trunk.
I normally put down the seats first, then turn on the Air to chill off the vehicle if it’s hot. This allows the air conditioner to reach the trunk area.
To begin, ensure that the trunk is flat. My trunk has a ridged rubber stuff on the bottom, so I put a non-slip liner, a thin towel, and a flattened cardboard box over it to make it a smooth surface.
I next lay a non-slip liner on it, followed by a large fluffy towel. I don’t want the towel to slide about, so I use a non-slip liner beforehand.
This is my secret weapon: You want to reduce the amount of shock the cake could get from travelling in the trunk, but you don’t want it to bounce. You just want something to absorb part of the impact. So…a yoga mat is the secret weapon.
It’s easy, but I believe it makes a significant impact. It provides just enough cushion without adding any bounce that foam would. It also serves as an anti-slip surface. PERFECT!
So here’s the deal with my trunk: The trunk is deep, but the entrance is little. A huge crate will not fit into the trunk without being tipped back and forth.
It won’t work if your cake is stacked and shouldn’t be tilted, and honestly, those sorts of cakes are often hefty at that point, so you certainly don’t want to be tilting it.
What works for me is to stack the fluffy towel and yoga mat on top of the EMPTY huge box in the trunk. Next I take the tiered cake and have someone hold the box flaps open for me while I place the cake inside. The package is then taped shut.
In general, I’ll stack the bottom two levels and carry the other tier or tiers in individual boxes to the venue, where I’ll stack them.
Now, I can’t guarantee that this strategy will work for every single cake you bake, that no one will ever stop in front of you, or that an animal will never rush out in front of your vehicle. It may happen regardless of the vehicle in which you carry your cake.
Transporting a cake without an SUV or van is not ideal, but with a little imagination and effort, it CAN be done!
How to transport a cake without a box:
It is not necessary to have a cake-specific box. You may use another box you have lying around if it is clean.
You actually just need something to keep the dust off the cake while you transport it, so if it’s a larger, tiered cake, you could even create your own box out of cardboard you already have lying around. Just make sure the box has a side opening so you can put the cake in. (As shown by the images above.)
You might also wrap it in cellophane to protect it. This may only work with fondant cakes since the cellophane may adhere to the buttercream.
If everything else fails and you don’t have anything to use as a temporary box or cake cover, make sure your vehicle is spotless.
How to transport a cake long distance:
This will be determined by the length of the journey. If you need to fly with a cake, that’s a different story, and I have no expertise flying with cakes.
But, if you will be driving a long distance in a motor vehicle, it is advisable to prepare ahead of time.
Determine how long the journey will take, the best route to travel, and whether or not the cake will need to be kept refrigerated. All of these criteria will play a significant role in whether or not you will be permitted to travel with a cake.
If the cake must be cold the whole time and the destination is many hours away, you’ll need to devise a plan that includes packaging the cake and adding dry ice or ice packs.
Frankly, I wouldn’t go too far with a tiered cake since it will be continually jostled. I’d bring the levels individually and stack them on-site.
Their wedding was two hours away when my step-son married. His dessert wasn’t very tall. It was nothing more than a three-tiered cake.
I carried the top layer separately to stack after I arrived at the venue and placed the bottom two levels separately.
One reason was that I feared the cake would be too tall for my car, and the other was that I didn’t want to risk the cake being jostled and the top layer coming off.
How to transport a cake in hot weather:
Blast the AC ahead of time:
Turn on the vehicle before the journey and blast the air conditioner to chill it down before placing the cake inside.
Chill the cake:
Refrigerate the cake for at least 30 minutes before transporting it to firm it up.
Alternatives for chilling the cake:
If you’re traveling a long distance, consider placing dry ice or ice packs next to the cake to keep it cool.
Use a level surface:
Indeed, I’ll say it again. Transport the cake on a flat surface, such as a floorboard or the trunk (see above about the trunk).
Remember to place a towel on the floorboard to create a clean surface, and if possible, place the cake in a carrier or a cake box.
Transporting in a trunk in hot weather:
If you want to transport a cake in the trunk in hot weather, you’ll need to drive a hatchback or a car with back seats that fold down and open to the trunk.
Otherwise, the air conditioner would not be able to reach the trunk area, and your cake will be a melted mess when you arrive.
(Be sure to read the other suggestions on how to carry a cake in a vehicle trunk above.)
I hope this was useful and that you are able to carry your cakes without being too worried.
Other posts you might like:
- How Long Will a Cake Last in the Fridge?
- How to Store a Cake
- Questions to Ask Before Taking a Cake Order
- How to Stack a Cake
- How to Transport Desserts
Remember to Pin it for Later!
How do you transport a cake to a party?
Choose a cake box that is the same size as your cake board for a tight and secure fit. Use a non-skid pad inside the box if your box is somewhat bigger than your board to keep your cake from sliding about. Don’t forget to account for height as well.
How do you transport and store a cake?
10 Ways to Store and Move a Frosted Cake
Frost the bottom of the cake.
Chill the cake ahead of time…
Separately pack the decorations….
Have a look at the weather…
Make sure you have adequate fridge space.
Choose a box that fits snuggly.
Pack the essentials…
Put the cake on a flat surface.
More to come…
•Oct 21, 2020
What is the safest way to transport a cake in a car?
Set the cake box on a level surface. When traveling alone, this might be in the trunk or on the floor in front of the passenger seat. Check that the cake box is securely fastened without placing too much pressure on it (particularly the top and sides) so that it does not move or slide about in the vehicle.
How do you travel 6 hours with a cake?
A silicone baking surface, such as this one, that is slightly bigger than your cake is the ideal alternative. Place the mat down first, and then the cake on top. The non-slip pad will keep your cake from sliding around while you travel, ensuring that it arrives safely!
How do you transport a cake to a potluck?
Be careful to transfer your dessert, particularly cakes, on a level surface. Vehicle seats might tilt backwards or forwards and aren’t totally flat. It is more level if you place them on the floorboard or trunk of your car.
How to safely transport a wedding cake?
Use frozen packs around the edges of your cake box to keep it cold. To keep it from melting, keep it away from direct sunshine (preferably, with a sun protection). Consider employing insulated transportation on hot summer days or for transporting cake across large distances.