You may have read about our lemon cake pops here. These were made in Akron, OH and shipped to Lawrence, KS.
This was a first for La Hoot, so I googled “shipping cake pops” to get some ideas. I wasn’t able to find much information that was really detailed, outside of one site that was pretty helpful. I laid this tutorial out to help people searching for tips!
I wrapped all the pops individually, and also picked up the following supplies: a 10x10x5 cake box, a roll of bubble wrap, 2 Coleman Ice Chillers, and white tissue paper. (Note: I was shipping 35 pops and they didn’t all fit in the one cake box. So, I shipped two boxes. You may not need or fit two chillers depending on how many you are shipping. Fit both if you can so the pops stay colder, longer.)
THE ULTIMATE GOAL: Ship the pops as tightly as possible to prevent ANY movement during shipment, but not so tightly you smash the pops. This means bubble wrap and filler of some sort. Also, do all of this the night prior to shipping, and put the box(es) of pops, all ready to be packed to ship, in the freezer over night. Keep them in the freezer until you’re ready to take them to ship (again, helps keep them colder, longer, which prevents any melting in transport, not because they need refrigerated).
GOOD TO KNOW: Cake pops stay good for two weeks.
Here are the steps:
1. I took the 10x10x5 cake box and reinforced the bottom and all four sides with cardboard I cut from boxes I had. (You can just use a box you have that is sturdier to begin with rather than reinforcing, but I used a cake box since it was a customer order.)
2. I placed one chiller on the bottom and put another piece of cardboard over it.
3. I laid 3 sheets of tissue paper in longways and let the sides come up and drape out (this was a tip from a blog, so that when you’re done packing your goodies in, the tissue paper can lay over the top and it appears very nice to the customer when they get it.)
4. I tore off a 3 sheet long section of bubble wrap (my roll was perforated) and laid it in, the same as the tissue paper. Here is what it looked like at this point:
5. I set the cake pops in, alternating sides top to bottom with the pop ends against the left and right sides of the box, and then placed wrinkled up newspaper in where there was space. I suggest filler like packing peanuts or shredded paper for a more professional look. I was ok using newspaper because it was a friend.
6. I tore one piece of bubble wrap and placed it over that layer, and then did another layer of pops, alternating sides left to right, with the pop ends against the top and bottom sides of the box (pic below is of 2nd layer). I just thought they fit better when I alternated the ways they laid.
7. I fit about 26 pops in this box, 13 on each layer. Then, I placed a little more newspaper in the sparse areas, folded the bubble wrap in, and then folded the tissue paper in over that. It was very tight and looked great presentation wise. (Note: for those detail-oriented people out there like me, when I folded both sides of bubble wrap in, it was too much on top, so I cut about 6 inches off of one of the sides, held down the remaining couple inches, then folded over the sheet from the other side and tucked it in.)
This box was ready to go. I had 10 more pops, so I did a very similar packing in a smaller box, no chiller, because it didn’t fit. I placed both boxes and my extra chiller in the freezer overnight.
::The next day::
8. I found a box that both of these boxes could fit in very well, without a lot of extra space.
9. I placed both boxes in there, and then put the extra chiller against them where it fit.
10. Then, it was time to stuff away. I filled the box SUPER full of wrinkled newspaper, to ensure the boxes could not move whatsoever. I closed the box, and tried to shake it to verify it was good to go.
11. I wrapped the box in brown mailing paper, took it to UPS, and did standard ground shipping. They made it, on time, in the exact form I sent them. WIN!!
Some extra info about shipping methods:
Consider using one of the priority flat rate shipping boxes from USPS (which would also save you a cakebox/cardboard/etc.). You can pick these up for free if you don’t have any boxes already, and you can wrap it in brown paper if you don’t want to send it USPS.
I liked the UPS service, and it was about $15 to ship halfway across the country for a 10 pound box. The large flat rate USPS boxes are 12x12x5, so 35 pops could probably fit into one box. It’s currently $15.45 to ship and an extra 75 cents for tracking. The UPS service gets it there in 3 days. The Priority flat rate USPS site says it gets there in 2 days “in most cases”- so 3 at worst probably. Overall, it’s about equal, except that 2 day service for UPS increases the shipping cost to about $50.
There is a lot of commentary online about the legality of shipping perishable food. I researched this, and per the USPS website, you cannot ship perishable food when you do not choose a shipping method that allows it to be delivered prior to a chance of it spoiling (see link below). Otherwise, it is ok. At UPS they asked what I was shipping and I said chocolate, since that’s what cake pops are, and it was fine. Here is a link to the USPS restrictions as of May 2012. You can also view the index and view section 53 for a further explanation.
Hope this helps!