My mother loves to bake and as a direct result, so do I. She used to work at a bakery that shipped baked goods all over the United States and occasionally to other countries if the customer was willing to pay the large shipping fee. Shipping times and consideration of the time of year are very important when sending baked goods to others. Above all, you want the item to arrive fresh and hopefully undamaged.
During certain times of the year, you can ship frosted layer cakes in the mail. This is always a good way to send a little bit of love from home.
Several criteria must be met first, however.
First, you must have cold weather! Second, you must have a box that is close to the size of the cake you would like to send. Third, you must have a recipient that loves cake. The third is not technically a requirement, but you wouldn't want to waste your effort on the unfortunate soul who can't appreciate a good piece of cake or any other baked good for that matter.
This method is good for layer cakes that are frosted. The baked and frosted cake must be frozen first. Once frozen, insert in the box and surround with bubble wrap all the way to the edge of the box. This works best if you cut the bubble wrap in strips to "build" the packing around the cake. The small bubbles work the best. You will also want to put a couple of layers of the bubble wrap on top of the cake for added protection. If you want to take additional precaution or if the weather is not cooperating, you could put some dry ice in the space in between the box and bubble wrap.
Put a note in the top of the box for the recipient to put the cake in the refrigerator as soon as it arrives. Let them know not to try to remove the bubble wrap until the cake is completely cooled. The wrap should just peel right off. Of course, you may have to touch up the frosting but who doesn't love to lick a spoon of frosting now and then?
Prepare the box as you would for shipping any item, being sure to secure with packing tape on the top and bottom of the box. Make sure you mark it fragile and send it either overnight or two-day air. Hopefully, the shipping company will be gentle with your package, but once it leaves your hands all you can do is pray to the cake gods that it arrives safely.
Pound cakes are a little sturdier and don't have to be refrigerated, however, they need to be packed securely as well. Use the same method as above, but you don't need to spend extra for the shipping. They can go regular ground since they get better after they sit a few days. You do, however, want it to arrive within four days.
Cookies are a tricky thing. Depending on what kind of cookie or the size, you must take special care when shipping those as well. My mom thinks cookies should be individually wrapped and then layered with bubble wrap in between to prevent breakage. Individually wrapping them also helps to keep them fresh!
Bar cookies and brownies are a whole different animal to ship. They must first be secured in a plastic container to keep them from drying out. Pack as many as you can in the plastic container without smashing them. Then go through the same jig you did with the other items. Make sure surrounded and secured with bubble wrap. Shipping time on these should be overnight or two days as well to ensure the best tasting final product.
One of the reasons I chose this topic is for all the moms and dads who may be wondering what the best method to get homemade baked goods to your loved one away at college. Nothing says love like cake and money! I can only imagine what my roommates will do when we begin getting my care packages from my mom. I'm sure that will help alleviate some of the homesickness your child may be feeling, especially if it is their first time away from home.
If you follow the directions, your baked with love gifts will arrive safe and sound.