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Shipping a Fondant-Covered Cake

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hello. I was trying to ship a fondant cake this week. I sent it priority mail (2nd day delivery), as a breakable item, and put huge signs "This side up" on the sides. The box arrived in perfectly nice condition (I sent it to my parents and then visited them the day they received it in the mail), the top of the cake was also perfect, but the shell-piping at the bottom was damaged. Apparently the cake had started to slide on the cake board and then damaged the edges on the box.


I had put quite a bunch of royal icing on the cake board to secure it, but it seems that the cake was quite moist and most of the icing sugar dissolved and made it stick less to the board. Also, when the cake arrived, it was actually securely attached to the cake board (just on the wrong spot). (I was able to put it up all the way to a 90 degree angle until it finally started to slowly fall off.) So I'm thinking that I might have packed the cake for shipping to early and I should have waited longer for the icing to solidify? I was attaching the cake to the board at around 2pm, then decorated the cake with fondant, then let it stand around and packed the cake up at around 9pm.


So, any advise on how to more securely attach the cake to the cake board? Because I think everything else with the shipping process worked out to perfectly, it's really just the attaching to the cake board securely enough that was making trouble. Anybody else ever tried shipping a fondant-covered cake?


Any help will be greatly appreciated :-)

post #2 of 13

Honestly, I am surprised that was the only problem with it. I guess mail carriers there are better because even shipping cookies to my husband, they ended up a crumbled mess by the time they got there. I'm interested to see if anyone else has ever done this. 

post #3 of 13

I have shipped a cake in a flat rate box in June from Texas to Pennsylvania last year. It was also a fondant cake but I put it on a foam core board and ran a dowel through it before I covered it even though it was a layer cake .

"'Tis an ill cook who cannot lick his own fingers."


"'Tis an ill cook who cannot lick his own fingers."

post #4 of 13

Hi, just wanted to know how did you package the cake for shipping? People ask me all the time if I can ship fondant covered cakes to them but I haven't responded back simply because I don't know how to as yet. Can anyone give me some tip/ideas, do's/don'ts?

post #5 of 13

do you have any pics that show how you packed it up for shipping?

post #6 of 13

I'm too scared/nervous/lack faith in shippers to even attempt it. I've had a few requests but always refuse because I see my cake, delivered upside down.  Glad it worked out for you - I definitely wouldn't have considered postal mail - I was thinking more UPS or FedEx.  I would love to see pictures or read a description of how it was packed.

post #7 of 13

I have successfully mailed four fondant covered cakes since September through the USPS using priority mail.  What I did was find a cake box that was the closest in size to the finished cake (they were different sizes) and then filled all the empty space in the box with stale miniature marshmallows.  Then packed that box tightly inside of a corrugated box.  I didn't want the inside box shifting around while in transit.


The three days that the September cake spent in transit were high 80 degree days with humidity.  I was really worried about the marshmallows sticking to the cake because it was painted with gel colors, but it arrived in the same condition it left in and the marshmallows didn't melt together or stick to the cake.


I have never stamped the box fragile, even shipping cookies.  In the past I lived in an area that had major hub for one of the big carriers and knew a few people who worked there.  After listening to them, I will never mark a box fragile unless I am willing to pay for the extra insurance.  Let's just say that marking a box fragile can put a big unwanted target on the package for some very unwanted handling, or at least it could at that particular hub many years ago.


I like the idea of doweling the cake to the foam board for extra security against slipping.  I didn't think of that for any of the cakes I did, but I think I will do that for any cakes I mail in the future.

post #8 of 13

How creative to think of marshmallows!

post #9 of 13

Thank you, but I should probably give credit to my husband since it was actually his idea.

post #10 of 13

Having read threads about this for years, I think it's very hit or miss...........with more misses than hits. 


Now that so much of the process is automated with belts and bins, there's no way to "insure" [unless you pay tons of $$$ for hand carried, white glove service or custom packaging a la "Williams Sonoma"] that the cake will make it intact. 


If the cake is for family and they understand that it may not survive the journey, I might try it.  For a paying way.  The USPS always asks if the box contains anything breakable or that can spoil. I'm pretty certain that they would NOT make good on a claim for a cake.

post #11 of 13

I really like the marshmallow idea.  I'm willing to try that, with family/friends.  I too have heard marking a package fragile is a bulls-eye for destruction.

post #12 of 13

Our USPS office doesn't always ask if the package contains flammable, breakable, or something than can spoil, even though they should.  When they ask, I always tell them it is cake or cookies and they leave it up to me to decide if I want it marked fragile.  If one wants to be reimbursed for damage during transit, one must definitely be honest with the carrier when purchasing the extra insurance.  If you don't purchase insurance, the most you could possibly get back from the USPS for damage to a package is the mailing cost and then it doesn't matter what is in the package as long as that is not what caused the damage to the package.  I am not a business, so I am not worried about being reimbursed if a cake or cookies get damaged during shipping.  For those who want to do it as a business, I would definitely let my customer know that regardless of the precautions taken, the cake could still be damaged (possibly even made inedible) during shipping.

post #13 of 13

i am taking a cake to a wedding in May. I was thinking of shrink wrapping the cake to the board before putting it in the box and filling in around the sides. 

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