Flour Power: Shipping Cupcakes

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Writing about cupcakes and cupcake bakeries for over eight years, I have gotten this question more than once: What's the best way to ship cupcakes? Here's the question from a baker who posted on our Facebook page.
I was wondering if anyone could give me any advice on Shipping cupcakes, specifically how I should pack them to ensure that they don't become an ugly mess during shipping. I'm just setting up an online store for my bakery and am looking for suggestions on shipping.
The short answer is that shipping cupcakes is expensive. One reason it is expensive due to the cost of the packing material and preservation materials. Some bakeries send cupcakes in boxes with dry ice. Also each cupcake may have stays on top of each to keep the frosting intact. Another expense is the actual shipping cost. I just moved and shipped boxes via USPS parcel post and was in shock at how much a 20 lb box cost. Now to ship perishable food, you must ship via UPS or FedEx which can cost a pretty penny.  The third reason shipping cupcakes is the time it takes to prepare orders for shipping which is more labor intensive. Lastly, handling customer service is another expense. Since there is no guarantee than the cupcakes will arrive perfectly, there is a chance you may to have spend time addressing the customer concerns and/or provide special instructions in the packing materials especially cupcakes are shipped frozen.

Anyway, shipping cupcakes is a big undertaking. For the bakeries who have done it successful, please chime in with your best practices.


Unknown said…
My UPS told me one thing that stopped me RIGHT in my tracks for shipping: His truck gets upwards of 200 degrees inside during the summer months (I'm in VEGAS). SO, forget it....even with dry ice, it's just too much of a gamble.
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