How To Send Frosted Cupcakes in the Mail

July 19, 2013
mail cupcakes

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No, you’re not crazy. Wanting to send frosted cupcakes in the mail is a worthy endeavor. And some cupcake places actually do it regularly!

I was recently the lucky recipient of a dozen Georgetown cupcakes via mail (thank you, Cassie!) and thought I might satisfy your curiosity on how Georgetown Cupcake accomplishes such a feat. Well, more than that, I want to help teach you how you can send cupcakes in the mail. I think it’s such a great gift idea because 1) it’s homemade, and 2) it’s a nice surprise because it’s not the first thing you expect to receive in the mail. Plus, all of the care taken in packaging it shows some extra love.

mail cupcakesSo here are the supplies needed to send a frosted cupcake (or cupcakes) in the mail. You will see occasional linking that will lead you to some purchasing options. And do know that some of your supply purchasing options are definitely more feasible if you plan on doing this more often, or if you know of other ways you will use these supplies:

mail cupcakesWHAT TO DO.

  1. Cut the lids off of your plastic cupcake containers and discard recycle them. You are using one of the bottom parts to be your “lid” because it’s better for each cupcake—frosting and all—to have its own spot. Know what I mean?
  2. Place your cupcakes into a container.  Bonus points for chilling the cupcakes in the freezer first.
  3. Place a candy stick through each cupcake, making sure each stick’s end will touch the bottom and top of the finished container. Trim the sticks to be shorter if needed. (This keeps your cupcakes from bouncing up and down during the shipping process.)
  4. Set the other container bottom on top and tape your makeshift container together with strong tape.
  5. Put the cupcake container into a box so that it fits snugly. You may need to add extra packing material to make sure the container doesn’t slide around in the box.
  6. Set your ice packs on top of this box. Tape them to the box for added measure, if you like.
  7. Put the box and ice packs in a thermal bag or wrap them in bubble insulation.
  8. Set this in the mailing box, adding extra packing materials for padding if needed.
  9. Label and decorate your box and send it with overnight shipping. This could get pricey, and you should expect to spend at least $20 to $30. (For reference, a flat rate 1-day USPS box is $45.) The costs depends on how much you send and what your materials weigh, of course.

mail cupcakesThis is what my cupcakes from Georgetown Cupcake looked like when I got them in the mail. Note: My case was unique in that the cupcakes didn’t reach me the next day like they were supposed to. These ended up traveling for about three days…not sure why. Anyhow, they probably would have been just about perfect had they come at the scheduled time!

Told ya it needs to be overnight shipping.

Oh, and the cupcakes were delicious.

mail cupcakesThis is what the box looked like when I first opened it. As you can see, the insulated bag is wrapped around the entire cupcake container/box/ice pack contraption. Pretty nifty, eh?

I hope I didn’t accidentally write “insulted” instead of “insulated” anywhere.

Good luck, and happy cupcake giving.

Love, Maurine

PS. Have you ever tried baking “mini cakes” in jars? It’s another option that might make sending your baked goods a little easier. Find how in my blog post about it.

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  • Reply CongiFamily January 26, 2014 at 11:40 pm

    This is great. Thank you! My brother in college will appreciate your help!

  • Reply Maurine Dashney January 26, 2014 at 11:42 pm

    Oh, yay—I'm glad to be of help! Another option I should've mentioned—bake the cake batter in little jars like this and use the candy sticks in the jars (:

  • Reply Lisa Weathers January 30, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    Thanks so much for this information. I used it to send cupcakes from Oklahoma to Michigan and it was a success…Thank you soooooooooo much 🙂

  • Reply Maurine Dashney January 30, 2014 at 5:47 pm

    Ooo I love success stories! You're quite welcome, and well done 🙂

  • Reply Abbie February 7, 2014 at 11:14 pm

    Thank you so much! Could you tell me where to get that first box. It's pictured in the top row of pics and it's white. I know I need that size/type, but I have no idea how to get it. Also, just wondering how much the overnight shipping was? Thank you!

  • Reply Maurine Dashney February 8, 2014 at 12:17 am

    Oh, goodness, I'm sorry for taking so long! Hmm, so I really just found a picture of a white box that looked to be about the right size on Google. I can't find a link to the product, but I'm thinking that your best bet for that first box would be to use a bakery box from Michaels—that's easier than ordering boxes online, I imagine. And as for the overnight shipping, it should be between $10 and $20. Georgetown Cupcake tells their customers to expect to pay $20, and that's for delivering one dozen cupcakes:

    Hope that helps!

  • Reply Beth Vasquez February 12, 2014 at 10:32 pm

    Oh my gosh, you are such a life saver!! I am preparing to send some cupcakes to a friend and could not, for the life of me, figure out how to get them there without them getting completely ruined. Thank you!!

  • Reply Maurine Dashney February 12, 2014 at 10:33 pm

    I'm so happy to be of help! Good luck 😉

  • Reply S. Harrison May 31, 2015 at 3:55 pm

    Thank you so much for this tutorial! I am, however, having trouble finding suitable ice packs. Do you mind sharing the brand name and/or place of purchase? Thank you

  • Reply Maurine Dashney May 31, 2015 at 4:27 pm

    Hi there! I actually saved ice packs from a package I myself received, but basically you'll want to look for cheap, reusable ice packs at a local grocery or convenience store. I think you'd have better luck at these types of stores because they tend to offer basic needs like that but will offer the cheapest of options (if that makes sense…) As a plus, these store's seasonal sections should have them because people need them for coolers during the summer. I know Coleman makes ice packs as well…so be sure to check the camping section at Walmart! I found these available at my store, for example, and they're listed under camping:

    I hope that was helpful and not too vague! Best of luck 🙂

  • Reply Rebecca Alfaro December 1, 2015 at 6:04 am

    love this!!! can I use dried ice???

  • Reply Maurine Dashney December 1, 2015 at 6:06 am

    Ah, good question! I've never worked with it, and I know you have to be pretty careful with it…I've seen Haagen Dazs use it to ship ice cream to bloggers though 🙂

  • Reply Delores Diakite February 6, 2016 at 11:50 pm

    Excellent ideas. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply Unknown April 4, 2016 at 9:27 pm

    Do you have to present the entire packaging to the post office, or do they accept it taped up and ready to go? I know there are special rules for perishables, so I'm not sure if they actually physically inspect the packaging.

  • Reply Maurine Dashney April 4, 2016 at 9:27 pm

    Hmm, you should be able to bring it ready to go!

  • Reply Terrianna Singletary July 15, 2017 at 5:57 pm

    How did the cupcakes handle the shipping process,I'm trying to start up a business and am a little worried that the presentation would get messed up.

  • Reply Ashlee August 20, 2017 at 10:53 pm

    Is it really necessary to put the cupcake container in another box within the shipping box? Or is it simply for aesthetic reasons Georgetown did this? Can i just put the cupcake container with ice pack, wrap in insulated layer, and put bubble wrap around to provide cushion within the mailer?

  • Reply irah August 27, 2017 at 1:30 am

    is it an ordinary cupcake or they put something so it will not spoil easily??

  • Reply alma j underwood March 18, 2018 at 11:52 am

    Im starting my own cupcake , cookie shop thanks for info on shipping my goodies!

    • Reply maurinedashney March 21, 2018 at 12:37 pm

      That’s so great! You’re welcome 🙂

  • Reply Kindra Meier May 7, 2018 at 9:10 am

    When sending jar cakes are they safe to send without overnight shipping?

    • Reply maurinedashney May 16, 2018 at 9:19 pm

      Hmm…I’ve personally never done it! I will say, when these Georgetown Cupcake cupcakes were shipped to me, they came a day late and were ooookay. I’d be afraid to risk it though!

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