WEDDING

How to Transport a Wedding Cake to the Venue

how to transport a wedding cake

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A wedding is incomplete without the wedding cake and transporting it successfully to the venue is paramount to ensure your day goes smoothly. Transporting a wedding cake can be tricky, depending on its size and structure, especially if it’s a long distance, but there are a few ways you can get it safely to its destination.

Luckily, there are a few tips and tricks that will help you to transport your cake safely to your wedding venue in one piece. Let’s take a look!

If You’re Baking the Cake Yourself

baking cakes

1. Consider the Design

If you’re baking your own wedding cake like some brides prefer to do, you should always think about the delivery before you begin. Think about its design, the structure, fillings, toppings, boxing, and the distance to the venue. Tiered cakes can be assembled at the venue itself, but you do have to think about the number of tiers.

2. Pros and Cons of a Pre-Assembled Cake

Thinking about the design is one aspect of it but figuring out if you should travel once the cake is assembled is an entirely different league. It’s important to weigh the pros and cons before you plan to transport a pre-assembled cake to the venue.  

Pros of Pre-Assembled Cakes:

  • Drastically reduces the set-up time at the venue.
  • You won’t have to worry about forgetting supplies.
  • If there are any complications, you can always set it up and adjust it without any stress or issues.

Cons of Pre-Assembled Cakes:

  • It can be difficult to lift multiple tiers at once and it can also be very heavy. You may need two or more people for this.  
  • If the cake isn’t tiered right and not secured using dowels, there is a high chance of it falling apart or slipping.  

Cakes with Fewer Tiers (2-3)

few tiered cake

A smaller cake with fewer tiers is easier to travel with pre-assembled since you can use dowels and cake boards to support and stabilize it.

Despite the cake being smaller or fluffier, when layers are stacked, it becomes heavy. Therefore, you’d need to use dowels to reduce the weight on the bottom tiers to ensure the cake doesn’t “sink”.

Cakes with More Tiers (4-6)

large tiered cake

Wedding cakes that are larger are best transported in sections and finally set up at the venue. Bigger cakes usually have layers that consist of rice crispies and frosting used to sculpt. Some bakers include layers of Styrofoam or rice crispies in order to make the cake look more extravagant and to ensure that it doesn’t sink in due to the weight of all those tiers!

Deciding if you should travel with a pre-assembled cake is entirely up to you, and the manpower you have. We advise travelling with a pre-assembled cake if it has fewer tiers and isn’t too heavy. However, if your cake is bigger and has more tiers, you can always transport each tier separately and set it up at the venue, just make sure you get there on time!

3. Frostings, Fillings, and Flavours

frosting for wedding cake

Once you’ve figured out the design of your cake and how you plan on transporting it to its destination, you can move on to deciding the filling and frosting. Considering weather conditions and the time duration of your journey is important when deciding what type of frosting to use.

The main types of frostings used are American buttercream and Swiss meringue buttercream frostings. Swiss meringue buttercream has more stability and is stiffer since it’s made with egg whites. Dark chocolate ganache frosting is more resistant to heat and can withstand higher temperatures. To avoid melting and slipping, sticking to fondant is the best since fondant is quite hard and cannot melt.

At the following temperatures, frosting becomes soft and unsuitable for transporting:

  • Swiss meringue buttercream- 25°C/77°F
  • Dark chocolate ganache- 29°C/85°F

4. Cake Boards and Dowels

wedding cake boards

Durable Square Cake board by Pouches and More Canada. See it here.

Using a sturdy base to balance the bottom tier will assure better stability for your cake. The cake board you use shouldn’t bend with the weight of the cake and using a cake board with little feet at the bottom will make it easier for you to lift it up when you reach your destination.

Sometimes, bakers make the mistake of sticking dowels in without cake boards in between. It is essential that between each tier, a cake board is utilized with dowels to secure the cake and prevent it from falling over. The dowels and cake boards act like tables and take on the weight of the cake to stop it from sinking in or falling over.

Dowels need to be utilized in accordance with the size of the cake and the number of tiers. If you buy dowels from a cake supplier, the number of tiers supported by those dowels will be stated on the packaging.

Dowels

cake dowels

Modern Cake Dowels by Caljava. See it here.

It’s important for you to be fully aware of what types of dowels you’re using. Making your wedding cake can be a herculean task but following the right guidelines will assure a successful wedding and a splendid cake. A splendid cake calls for the right number of dowels and the right type.

There are two types of dowels you can use:

Bamboo Dowels

bamboo dowels

Bamboo Dowel Rods for Cakes by PME. See it here.

You will need a small handsaw to cut the dowels according to the size of the cake. A bonus is that these are eco-friendly, so you don’t have to feel bad about using them.

Plastic Dowels

plastic cake dowels

Plastic Cake Dowels for Tiered Cakes by Fatpig. See them here.

These are usually the size of boba straws and are a lot easier to handle and cut. The majority of bakers use plastic dowels because of how convenient they are.

Once you’ve figured out what type of dowel to go with, you will have to place cake boards on each tier after inserting the dowels, so that it makes a table-like structure. These cake tiers need to be pasted with edible glue such as royal icing. Royal icing acts as an adhesive between layers to prevent the tiers from slipping off the boards.

5. Carrying Your Cake Safely

carrying a cake safely

Cakes should always be carried in sturdy cardboard boxes or plastic carriers that are snug enough to prevent the cake from moving around and getting hit on the sides of the box. Getting a box from a cake supply store that can hold 2-3 tier cakes will help you to get your cake in one piece to the venue.

Once you are at your venue, and you have transported the cake in a cardboard box, slit the sides of the box so you can slide the cake out easily and avoid any damage.

If you are an eco-conscious baker who wants a reusable alternative, CHIBU has a wide range of carriers that ensure a snug fit for your cake. There are other suppliers that offer cake carriers, you can always find the right one for you!

6. The Journey and Venue

If you’re baking the cake at home, then you will most likely transport it in the boot or in the back seat of your car. A flat, clean surface is essential to make sure your cake gets safely to the venue. Before you leave, find out as much detail as you can about the venue including where and how the cake should be dropped off (some venues allow customers to use only certain entrances), and whether it has air conditioning.  

Always check if the venue is open, the last thing you’d want is to go there to find that it’s closed, and risk getting late for your own wedding!

If you’re having a summer wedding, make sure to turn on the air conditioning in your vehicle for at least ten minutes before you place the cake in it to keep the frosting from melting. The cake box should not be exposed to direct sunlight and should be protected with a sun shield.

7. Securing the Wedding Cake

nonslip place mats

Oval Nonslip Placemats by ESLA Home. See it here.

Driving with a cake can be stressful, but a little bit of extra preparation can help you avoid any mishaps. Consider investing in non-slip mats to ensure your cake won’t slide around in your vehicle.

If you prefer to use something you already have, towels you can find around the house make a good substitute for non-slip mats. For a bigger sculpted cake, however, non-slip mats won’t be enough, so you may need to place the cake on a plywood sheet and screw the cake board in place.

8. Making Sure the Wedding Cake Fits

Before transporting your cake, it’s important to know how wide and tall your vehicle is as well as the venue entrances. This will help you figure out if you will be able to carry the cake in while avoiding any damage.

9. Always Plan for the Worst

Despite all the preparation and careful planning, there’s always the possibility that SOMETHING can go wrong. Preparing for the worst is always better than not having any supplies at the venue to fix any mishaps that may occur. Have a “cake emergency kit” on hand for this and make sure it includes the following:

  • Extra frosting- you can never have too much frosting!
  • Cake tools – For example fondant smoother, levels, offset spatula, nozzles, and any tools you think you may need in relation to the type of wedding cake you have made.
  • Gum paste decorations
  • Cake toppers
  • Fresh edible flowers, which you can utilize to cover up any imperfections

The tips given above can be used even for couples who have to deliver the cake to the venue on their own if their bakery has no delivery option. These tips will make it easier for you to transport your wedding cake safely and securely without damaging it.

10. For a Destination Wedding

a destination wedding

Most of the tips given above will work for a destination wedding as well if you’re baking the cake yourself or have placed an order with a bakery that doesn’t have a delivery option. It’s best if you opt for a bakery in the area where you plan on having your wedding, but if you ever run into a situation where you have to take the cake to the wedding destination, follow these simple tips to ensure that you get it there safe and sound.

For starters, you cannot travel to a destination with a pre-assembled cake as it would be too difficult and you’d risk damaging it. In this case, your baker will most definitely have to bring everything over to the venue and assemble the cake there.

All Prepped and Ready to Go

Making cake layers ahead and freezing them is the way to go. As long as the layers are double wrapped in plastic wrap or foil, they will stay fresh in the freezer for weeks. Placing a cake round beneath each layer ensures they freeze flat, hence making it easier to stack the cake and avoid the possibility of it sliding over.

It’s best to take the layers out about fifteen minutes before you leave so that they do not thaw out too early on the journey.

Always CARRY the Layers

Assembling the cake boxes a few days earlier and making sure they fit into your carry-on suitcase will alleviate any last-minute mishaps and slips. It’s important to note that the size of your layers won’t always be in accordance with the size of your bag. Big layers call for bigger boxes, so you may have to carry these by hand, to avoid them being tossed around with luggage and getting damaged.

Frosting- the More, the Better!

cake frosting

It’s always better to have extra frosting (at least 1 – 1.5 more batches) on hand when travelling to a destination that’s far from your home base. You’ll feel better, knowing that you have enough to fix any problems that may occur.

Dividing big batches of frosting into Tupperware containers makes it easier to carry and handle when travelling far. Freezing big batches of frosting before leaving on a flight can work to your advantage as it takes quite a while to thaw. And even if it gets thrown around it would still be intact in your suitcase!

Tools?

wedding cake

It can be quite stressful and daunting to have to think about all the tools you need and the possibility of forgetting one.

A wedding cake isn’t an ordinary cake and requires special tools that ensure the best finish and a perfect outcome. It’s best to envision the entire process, as it will help you to remember which tools you would need. Make a list of the tools and make sure to double-check it before you leave.

Once you have reached your wedding destination, the steps to assembling and transporting are very similar to how you would transport a cake in your own city.

Wrapping Up

Transporting a wedding cake can be a bit stressful and frightening, but as long as you follow the tips in this article, you’ll find that it’s not as bad as it seems. The key is to stay organized and make sure to prepare everything in advance. This will help you to avoid any unnecessary problems while transporting and also reduce your stress.

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