I have read other posts when people ask if it is possible to ship cakes, and while every case is different I wanted to share my SUCCESSFUL attempt. Sorry for the length, but I wanted to include lots of details in case it is helpful to someone else.
First of all, this cake was made specifically with shipping in mind - a good friend recently had her first baby and she is too far away to visit anytime soon, so some friends wanted to send her some yummy treats. They approached me and asked if it was possible to ship one of my cakes and I agreed. Also, I am in New York so it is cool weather not as cold as it should be at this time of year, but definitely not humid or warm. Also, the destination is about 10 degrees colder than the starting point, so I knew the cake would only get colder as it traveled!
Also as I noted in my photos, please keep in mind that the message on this cake was MISSPELLED ON PURPOSE as an inside joke and tribute to our love of the CakeWrecks blog.
The night before shipping:
1. Baked ONE 6-inch square cake (Pumpkin Spice WASC) that was 3 inches deep.
2. Made a batch of IndyDebs BC (with cheesecake flavoring); made it a bit stiffer than usual.
3. Placed cake on cardboard square cut exact to size.
4. Torted the one cake (thought stacking 2 cakes would be too unstable) and filled and crumb-coated with the BC.
5. Covered in chocolate fondant (Satin Ice) Since I knew it would travel better with fondant.
6. Cut another cardboard square to about ½ inch larger than the cake, covered with foil, and then put 2 loops of packing tape in the middle of the top side (so that the 2 pieces of cardboard would stick together). I centered and placed the cake onto this board. My reasoning for this was to have room to place a border around the bottom of the cake (in this case a fondant rope) but not much extra cake board sticking out. (so the shipping box could be as close to the size of the cake as possible.
7. Decorated with fondant decorations that were all flush/flat nothing to protrude or move during transport.
8. Wrapped the entire cake tightly in several layers of Saran Wrap.
9. Placed in freezer overnight.
The day of shipping:
1. Removed cake from freezer and wrapped in several layers of bubble wrap.
2. Placed into a small shipping box as snug as possible. In the one end of the box that had some wiggle room I place extra bubble wrap.
3. Sealed and took to the Post Office. I shipped this via USPS Priority Mail. The recipient is in the same state (although 400 miles away!) and it took 2 days to ship. I do not recall the weight, but it cost $5.60 included Delivery Confirmation.
4. My friend opened it carefully (as instructed with a note she was not fore-warned it was a cake!) and took some photos for me as requested.
Thats it! You can see it arrived fully intact without bulges or problems. The Saran Wrap made wrinkles and indents in the fondant, but I expected that and was not concerned. And more importantly, the new mom was super-excited to receive a cake and said it was delicious!
Thank you for this information. How did it taste? The condensation from the cake defrosting didn't make the cake gooey or wet?
I want to hear the funny story behind the wording on the cake.
That's awesome! Thanks for sharing!
Here's another successful shipping experiment from a CC member's blog: http://jessicakesblog.blogspot.com/2009/11/successful-experiment.html
TPACakeGirl - My friend said it was "scrumptious and delicious" and did not mention that it was soggy so I think it was OK. Next time I will try to ship without freezing, but I had thought for my first try it would help with the stability/settling during transport.
sadsmile - My non-caker friends are all huge fans of the Cake Wrecks blog, which if you do not know is full of professionally-made cakes that have somehow "missed the mark" of what was ordered or some other amusing error. My friend, the new mom, always thought this cake here was funny, even before she was expecting so that is why the cake was designed as it was:
FlourPots thanks for the link - I am familiar (and in love with) the work of jessicakes but had not yet seen her shipping post.
My mom loves my cakes (of course she does, she's my mom ) and I wanted to make her something special, maybe for mother's day. I've heard so many stories about shipping disasters that I didn't want to chance it. Reading your instructions, it's obvious that you thought carefully about the whole process and were very calculated in what you did.
Great job, and I got a chuckle out of the wording on the cake.