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My hope is to inspire you to be fearless in the kitchen, to try new things, to take the time to make things the homemade way and most importantly, to have fun doing it!

Cupcake Basics: Cupcake Transportation

Hey, it’s another cupcake basics post finally!  Did you think I had forgotten?  (Maybe I had, a little.  I’ve been distracted.)  One of the most frequent cupcake-related questions I receive is regarding how I transport all the cupcakes that I bring into work, etc.  It’s a great question with several answers.  I use one of a few different methods depending on my particular needs in each situation.  When transporting cupcakes for an order or event, I generally use a disposable cardboard bakery box (you can find them at Michael’s, Joann’s, online, etc.)  However, if you just put your cupcakes in the box and put the box in the car, you’re going to end up with a mess when you arrive at your destination.

A little trick I like to use is to melt a handful of chocolate chips in a plastic baggie.  I cut off the tip, put a little dot of chocolate where I want each cupcake in the box, and use the chocolate to basically glue them down.  (Sometimes I use colored candy melts if I want the spot to be inconspicuous in relation to the color of the wrapper.)  Easy peasy!

Keep in mind that these boxes are often a bit flimsy on their own so you may want to consider reinforcing the bottom with an additional piece of cardboard.  I do find that if the cupcakes are held down with the chocolate method seen above, I usually don’t have any trouble with the box flopping around.

I used to employ the box method seen above for bringing cupcakes into work but I was feeling really guilty about the waste from all those boxes.  I used to have a cupcake carrier from Crate & Barrel that was half broken and not of great quality, so I didn’t love that either.  For a while I would just put them on a baking sheet and cover loosely with plastic wrap – not pretty, but it did the job.  Then, I found this cupcake carrier – it is the BEST EVER!  (And Cook’s Illustrated agrees, so you know it has to be true.)

This Progressive cupcake carrier is awesome for several reasons:

  • It’s inexpensive – always a plus.
  • It has little wells to keep cupcakes in place.
  • The cupcake inserts can be removed and it can hold a nice size layer cake.
  • It collapses down for easier storage.
  • Most important to me, it has plenty of room for a properly frosted and garnished cupcake.  No more spending time to make frosting pretty and the smashing it when you put the lid on your carrier.

When it’s totally collapsed it’s a bit funny looking and it has been dubbed “the spaceship” in our house.  I’m always asking Ben to, “Get the spaceship down,” and he knows exactly what I mean.  Ha!

Oh, one last benefit – when it’s closed, it keeps your sweet treats safe from sneaky toddler hands :)

Full Disclosure: I have no affiliation with Progressive and they don’t even know I’m writing about them.  Just giving my personal opinion about a product I love.

  • Mary

    I have the same carrier & I agree- totally love it!

  • http://www.blognewblack.com/ Blog is the New Black

    Thanks for the tips, Annie! :)

  • Angel

    I love my “spaceship” too, but my handle just broke. Luckily there were no cupcakes were harmed.

  • Anonymous

    In case you purchase another, a tip I heard while I was at the King Arthur store is to always open it by actually pushing on the plastic from the inside rather than by pulling on the handle. Makes sense to me, but I definitely wouldn’t have thought of it until they said that!

  • Beth Ashmore

    I have the same carrier and also love it. It’s so sturdy and I really like that it’s flexible for carrying cakes and pies too

  • Molly

    I have the same carrier and loove it. I got mine a Home Goods for a STEAL!!!

  • LadySin

    Unless one of the snaps opens and you don’t realize it until you have a dozen cupcakes on your feet halfway up someone’s driveway. :( I still love the carrier, though, that tragedy was my own carelessness.

  • http://kerrycooks.wordpress.com/ Kerry

    Great post Annie! Love the idea of sticking the cupcakes down. I want to get a cupcake carrier but not just yet. You can get good ones though in the UK at places like Lakeland.

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

    Thanks for the tips!

  • Leslie

    I just got one for Christmas! Can’t wait to bake up some cupcakes and put it to good use!

  • Nichole_newcomb

    I have this too an absolutely love it!

  • http://www.simplysweetjustice.com/ Simply Sweet Justice

    I originally had this “double decker bus” cupcake carrier, but the spaceship (love the name!) is way better! Thanks for the tip about opening it, too. :-)

  • Michelle

    I agree….I also own the carrier and it is hands down the best design out there for both transporting the cupcakes and storing the carrier because it folds flat. I was planning to buy a second, but I think I might try your cake box method instead for transporting larger amounts.

  • http://justbakedbyme.wordpress.com/ Kim @ Just Baked

    My husband is a high school teacher and I send most of what I bake to school with him for his students. If it’s out of the house I don’t eat it :D But, I don’t make a lot of cupcakes because they are so hard to transport. I’ll have to check out this carrier because I really do love making cupcakes. Oh, and I love how the frosting looks on these cupcakes! What frosting recipe did you use? Thanks!

  • Anonymous

    You can bet I just added that carrier to my wishlist!! Thanks!

  • Anonymous

    I believe half were cream cheese (the white frosting) and half were vanilla swiss meringue buttercream (the purple).

  • Beth

    Glad to have a recommendation on a cupcake carrier! I usually use the cookie sheet method and spend the entire drive praying that nothing slides off into the backseat!

  • Emilie @ Emilie’s Enjoyables

    haha I have that exact same thing and people at work constantly refer to it as the “space bubble”! It’s great though, I love it.

  • http://www.tablefortwoblog.com/ Julie @ Table for Two

    Such pretty frosting on your cupcakes :) I love this tip and I really like the spaceship! I must get myself one. Thanks, Annie!

  • http://sweetnaturedtreats.blogspot.com/ AngiesSweetTreats

    Thanks for the tip! I’ve been looking for a new cake/cupcake/pie carrier for ages, since the one I have is a little on the small size. This one looks perfect.

  • Anonymous

    What a great post! I love the idea with the baker’s box for when I don’t want to have to carry a case back home. I own the Martha Stewart Cupcake Carrier from Macy’s and I love it. You can use it to transport cookies too!

  • Kate O

    That carrier looks like a great investment. Thank you for sharing your tips! Always appreciated :)

  • http://www.bebjebenthe.blogspot.com/ Benthe

    Another thing on my wishlist! I do the same as you, on the baking sheet. But it doesn’t work. Or I put them in the cupcake pan but then it was hard to remove them. This is amazing!

  • http://www.bebjebenthe.blogspot.com/ Benthe

    I would love a teacher who brought us treats :)

  • Alice

    I have the spaceship, too! I bought it specifically for layer cakes since I already had a rectangular cupcake carrier I liked a lot. Now I have tons of options :)

  • http://www-the-baker-chick.com/ Audra

    Great post Annie! I think I need to get myself a “spaceship” sometime soon. Another suggestion for you or anyone that would like it: I buy these plastic cupcake containers from NY Cake and Baking Co. (http://www.nycake.com/cupcakebox-1.aspx) They can be disposable, but I’ve reused mine many times as well. The cupcakes are super snug and secure in there, it doesn’t mess up my pretty frosting, and they’re cheap. Just another idea :)

  • CambriaW

    Thanks for the tips! I love a good cake transporter :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1265700002 Jessica Parij

    I just got that carrier as a Christmas gift, glad to know it works so well!

  • Becky

    Thank you so much for this post! The “spaceship” has quickly made it to my list of “must-haves”. It looks incredibly helpful, as I always struggle with getting cupcakes to an event without messing up the frosting. I’ve never commented but finally have to tell you how much I love your blog! In fact, this weekend I am hosting a party with foods almost entirely from your site! I’ve tested them first and am super excited because they are so yummy & look pretty too! Thank you for all your ideas & hope you can continue your awesome work here!

  • Snow L. Winters-Sasser

    That thing is great! I have two now!

  • http://keepitsweetblog.com/ Lauren at Keep It Sweet

    This is so helpful! I almost never bring cupcakes anywhere because they are so difficult to take without ruining them. I’ll definitely be investing in that cupcake carrier!

  • Danielle Norman

    I bought one of those after seeing it on America’s Test Kitchen! I love, love, LOVE it!

  • http://dreamingladolcevita.blogspot.com/ Stephanie @ La Dolce Vita

    It is my favorite too. I use it for tall cakes without the inserts for the cupcakes in as well. Great find!

  • Jane

    That’s really neat, Annie! I would also love to know what dye you used to get that deep periwinkle blue colour in that frosting. Gorgeous!

    Jane
    Ontario

  • Shannon

    I LOVE mine! I saw it a year or so ago on KAF’s website. I emailed the link to my Mom and told her that it would make a great birthday present for me!:) I’m subtle that way.

  • Jenni

    Annie I LOVE your blog. I really like your tips about cupcakes. I need some major tips on how to frost them so pretty, what tips to use etc. Do you have an instructions for this in any of your old posts?

  • Anonymous

    That will be a future cupcake basics topic, although I do list the tip I use in each individual post.

  • Deborah G

    I have that same cupcake carrier too! Love it! Great for taking cupcakes to school for the kids. It says it holds 24 but I can tell you I have put more than that in it-they fit into the spaces in between cupcakes.

  • Haley

    Annie I have been a long time fan of your blog and it is definitely a go-to site when needing a trusted recipe!! Thank you so much for the delicious recipes! Your blog is especially the first site I try for desserts and I really appreciate your ‘cupcake basics’ posts. I made your cupcake basics chocolate cupcakes just the other day and they were great. Looking forward to more cupcake pointers- thank you!!

  • http://penniesonaplatter.com/ Nikki

    A few years ago I bought a cupcake carrier that I found on clearance at BBB. I thought I was so lucky finding it so cheap, then realized the tall frosted cupcakes would smush and then it broke anyways during our move to California. I never replaced it, but after seeing this amazing contraption I’ve added it to my wishlist! Thanks, Annie!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1442937042 Barbara Thomas de Vries

    My boys bought me the *CUTEST* cupcake carrier for Christmas! It’s shaped like a cupcake and carries 2 dozen cupcakes!! I haven’t used it (yet), but I love that they saw it and thought of me. :)

  • Cupcake Wench

    I have a few of these and my husband and I call them spaceships too! Been using these carriers for almost 2 years and they’re still going strong…no breakages, nothing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lbronk Laura Bronkhorst

    My sister bought that carrier for my for my birthday last year, and I fell in love with it immediately. It’s obviously awesome for cupcakes, but it’s equally awesome for cakes, too. It look ridiculous, but I wouldn’t ever trade it for another one!

  • Gail

    :D I have that same carrier. My step-mom got it for me for Christmas two years ago – best present ever haha. It’s definately a great carrier!!

  • http://atthepatisserie.wordpress.com/ Ann P.

    Definitely on my wishlist! You convinced me! Also, I love Andrew’s hand peeking out of the corner. Such a sweet boy you have!

  • Kenya Varnado

    I own this one, too! I found mine at Bed Bath & Beyond!

  • Sydney Jones

    Prefect timing!! I have a bunch of mini cupcakes for a bridal show and I was wondering the best way to transport them and then low and behold, you have it covered!! Thanks so very much Annie :)

  • Karen Prinz

    I have this one too and LOVE it. It does look a little spaceship-esque, but it’s THE perfect carrier!

  • http://itsthecookiemonster.wordpress.com/ Connie the cookie monster

    ive been looking forever for one of these! like you, i was bring my cupcakes around in a metal tray wrapped in saran wrap LOL. i also considered wiltons cake caddy for a while but that one only holds 12 cupcakes total. so glad you posted this, thanks annie!

  • Laurel

    Just ordered my very own “spaceship!” Thanks, Annie. This post was very helpful. You’re an inspiration.

  • http://twitter.com/ABitchinKitchen Maggie G.

    Oh my goodness. I NEED that. I have the same issue with my cupcake carrier where things get squished. I like equal ratios of cupcake to frosting, so they’re always too tall! Thank you for sharing this!

  • Julie B

    I have the flying saucer, too! And when you take off the lid, it works as a nice display for the cupcakes, too. I love that thing!!!

  • Lairerin

    I have a question that does not directly relate to this post, but it is regarding cupcakes. One issue I cannot seem to overcome is cupcake wrappers peeling off. For instance, I am a do-aheader! I prefer to bake my cupcakes the day before whatever occasion I am making them for to save time. But unless I refirgerate them, the liners inevitably start pulling off of the cupcakes. Does anyone esle have this problem? Does anyone have suggestions? Please, and thanks!

  • Tiffany

    I have the EXACT same cupcake carrier!! I found it at Marshall’s on sale for $20. I totally agree with you when you say it’s big enough to hold very well decorated and frosted cupcakes. Plus it still looks really great as a stand on its own :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=6213612 Sherrie Mersdorf

    I asked for this same carrier for Christmas (and got it!). I used it for the first time this week to bring cupcakes into work for someone’s birthday, it’s awesome! Before I just would put cupcakes into Ziploc containers, but always needed 4 of them to bring in 2 dozen cupcakes. My life just got so much better :-)

  • HeatherO

    I have two of these and I love them! I even use them to transport smaller fondant cakes – it works perfectly!!

  • Gaby Godoy de Porras

    i wan one now!!!! it’s beatiful

  • Liz

    Food Network has a great cupcake carrier sold at Kohl’s. It is a double stacking container that has removable cupcake holders which can be flipped upside down to transport two layers of cookies or brownies per container. I purchased one for my sister for Christmas last year and was quite pleased Mom got me one for my birthday.

  • Allipali

    Couldn’t agree more on the cupcake holder…it is AMAZING!

  • Ana Fleischmann

    That sounds awesome! I have a cupcake carrier, but it only fits 12 and sometimes the frosting gets messed up! I added it to my list! Thanks for sharing!

  • Lundy Ann

    I have that same carrier. It also works well with transporting layer cakes. I just finished a series of cake decorating classes where I had to bring an iced layer cake to class. I was able to fit my iced cake in this carrier on my decorating turntable! And I love how it collapses for more compact storage!

  • Misty Alvaro

    I have one of those cupcake carriers, too! My family has since dubbed me, “Runs With Cupcakes.”

  • Anonymous

    The chocolate tip is genius! No wonder you’re a doctor!

  • http://www.brighteyedbaker.com/ brighteyedbaker

    Thanks so much for the tips! I’ve been wondering where I can get those bakery boxes and now I know. Plus, I love the idea of using a bit of chocolate or candy melt to “glue” down the cupcakes. That will definitley come in handy!

  • rama srinivas

    Annie…your posts are always beautiful and informative and tasty…i tried so many recipes from your blog and they are always a hit..Annie, can you please tell me what type of cupcake pan did you used in this post and do you fill each cupcake like 2/3 full ..because your cupcakes in this post came out so perfect without dome …

  • rini

    cupcakes look awesome..

  • Christine

    i have this exact carrier and love it!

  • Anonymous

    That’s really a separate issue varying with each cake recipe. This post is just about transportation, and the photos are simply for the sake of illustrating that. The chocolate ones seen here are included in the cupcake basics series.

  • http://www.thethreelittlepiglets.com/ Jen

    That is awesome! I love that it collapses! Mine take up so much room they drive me crazy…

  • Patti Morfeld

    So excited! My cupcake carrier just arrived from Amazon and it is wicked cool! Love the design…my boys looked at me like I was a complete nut as I pointed out how it worked, etc…then I reminded them a new cupcake carrier probably meant cupcakes in their near future so they should pretend to be a little more excited for mom! Thanks Annie-love your blog and adventures, love following your sweet family, grateful you share it all with us, know your Dad remains so very proud of his amazingly talented girl!

  • http://twitter.com/memouse0305 miranda englesby

    Mine broke as well, and I just made a new handle out of kitchen twine. I wrapped it through twice and tied a nice strong knot in it. Works awesome!

  • Anonymous

    Good call!

  • Anne

    Yay! Thanks for the easy solution! My handle broke too so I’ve been awkwardly carrying the giant thing from the bottom… I’d been meaning to ghetto rig a fix, but hadn’t gotten around to it yet.

  • http://mywoodenspoon.net/ Aimee

    I also had a cupcake holder from Crate and Barrel and it broke. I haven’t replaced it but I think I may try this one. Thanks for the tip

  • Emily R

    I have that exact cupcake carrier, and I agree, it’s absolutely amazing! :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/A.to.the.J.Sizzles Alice Coombs

    LOVE this cupcake carrier! Picked the exact same one out for Christmas. Also love that it doubles to carry a tall layer cake.

  • Anonymous

    Lairerin, I have discussed this issue at length with many of my fellow foodie friends and bloggers and try as we might, no one can figure out a good reason that this happens. My own personal view based on my own experience and that of my friends is that it is due to a combination of factors, including environment/humidity, cake recipe, and type of liner. I personally think the environment and cake are most important, and unfortunately it doesn’t seem to be something you can predict. I wish I had a better answer or easy solution for you!

  • Mandy G

    I just received this carrier for Christmas and as I started reading this entry, I almost skipped to the bottom to share my fabulous find with you. I’m glad you found the same carrier already and agree. I’ve been searching for a reusable carrier for years. They either are too small or are cut out too deep, making it hard to remove cupcakes without getting icing everywhere. I really thought I was going to have to invent my own. Glad to hear others love this product as much as I do!

  • rivula

    I got this carrier as a bridal shower gift a while ago — the handle broke on the first try! I just replaced it with a ribbon. ;)

  • Grannypanties86

    I also have this carrier, I love it. I have several others and this one is the best. Many other ones, the indents are not deep enough and they still fall over. Or, they dont have indents for your finger to get them out without messing them up or they break. I only wish they made an insert for mini cuocakes

  • Melody Garrison

    I love the purple frosting.

  • Kelleb

    OK, that looks like a “MUST HAVE” to me. I am tired of the flimsy boxes!

  • Stephlbanta23

    how do you keep the cupcakes from getting soggy?

  • annieseats

    I’ve never had any trouble with that. I find moist cake to be a good thing, but have never had anything be “soggy”.

  • Irenehoutx85

    I have one of these and LOVE it!!

  • Beachblonde31

    You may love this cupcake carrier that I have been using for about a year now! It’s from organize.com and holds 36 cupcakes (the most I’ve seen any carrier hold)!

    http://www.organize.com/pink-cupcake-courier.html

    It comes in blue and white as well. It is a bit bulky, but I do get compliments all the time and having room for 36 cupcakes is so nice!

  • http://twitter.com/WinnyEllie Winny the Elephant

    I found the same carrier on Amazon but a lot of the reviews say that the handle breaks easily, have you had this problem?

  • annieseats

    I read that too. I have two of these carriers now. The oldest one has some very small cracks in the handle but it’s still working fine. I figure if/when the handle does break, I’ll do what one person recommended and just use twine or rope or something to replace it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=11706173 Shane Russell

    I’ve had this carrier for a couple of years and love it. It does have some weak points. The clips on the side always threaten to pop or snap off and I don’t trust the handle to support the weight of a fully loaded carrier, but if you carry it by the bottom and check the clips occasionally, it’s not too much trouble. Everything else about it is great. It’s my favorite baking supply.