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How to Make an Insulated Cake Delivery Box Tutorial

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Ah, cake delivery. Arguably the single most stressful event of the cake-making process. Add a hot summers day into the mix and you've got one potential hot mess on your hands, and I'm not just talking about ME (the other hot mess).

So how was this insulated cake box born? Well, out of the FEAR of a cake tragedy, of course! My AC had gone out in my car and I had no other choice but to come up with a solution for delivering my cakes later that weekend. I had remembered seeing something a while back from Minette Rushing (Custom Cake Savannah Georgia) where her husband had put together a make-shift cooler for her cakes. He used insulation that you would get at the hardware store! I couldn't find her original post and I couldn't quite remember what they did, so I went to the hardware store, bought some insulation, and came up with this! After an hour drive not only did it get my cake to the event, it was STILL cold to the touch! And now this box is my cake delivery best friend forever.

And how do you confirm that you came up with something great? You and another cake friend have the exact same idea unbeknownst to each other. My fabulous dear friend Nathalie Sorensen (Lucy Cake Design and HotHands Modeling Chocolate) came up with almost the exact same idea! She had actually Periscoped it earlier in the year (which somehow I missed!) and then I put out an almost identical Facebook live tutorial months later. Small world right?! Cakers are constantly coming up against the same problems, and Nathalie and I happened to follow the same path to a solution!

Anywho, here is a how-to make an insulated cake delivery box for all your cake needs! This easy and inexpensive DIY is the perfect solution for a hot summer day or a long trip in the car. So what will you need?

  • A Box - My box was 18 x 18 x 24 and can fit up to a 5 tier cake inside! You can choose a smaller box if you wish or even make multiple cooler boxes! I happen to have a Home Depot box on hand, however, I suggest you buy a box with no logos or writing on it (unless you're spiffy and get your own logo on it, owww I like where your heads at!). Check your local shipping stores, moving stores, and/or amazon for logo-free boxes!
  • Foam Insulation Panels (Insulating Sheathing) - (you can also substitute 1/2" foam core, but it is a little more $$) Found my insulation at my local hardware store, runs about $2.50 for a 2' x 4' sheet! Do NOT use fiberglass insulation rolls.
  • A Wood baseboard the same size as the base of your box.
  • Box Cutter - New blade is a must, you want nice clean cuts!
  • Packing tape
  • Cutting mat
  • T-Square or similar yardstick 
  • Velcro (optional) - I use Velcro to attach my insulation to the box walls because I re-use my boxes over and over, however you can just use loops of packing tape.
  • Non-slip mat - I like the ones made to go under rugs, but the shelf liners work great too!)
  • Re-usable ice packs or Dry Ice - (these are both optional, best for long drives or really hot days, but not always needed)

Here is a Facebook LIVE on how to make your very own insulated cake box! It's pretty easy peasy! I've also added some photos below for a helpful breakdown and some additional tips!

Tape your box together on the bottom. Cut your door down one side and then horizontally, approx 1.5"-2" above the base.

Box with cut door

When cutting your panels of foam, measure in the order illustrated in the photo below. Measure the inside top, cut your panel, and place it inside. With that top panel in place, measure your back wall and cut your foam. You need to make sure you put each corresponding panels of foam in as you go and then measure, that way your panels have room for the 1/2" width of the other panel. Keep repeating these steps in order so that you have the right size panels, and they fit together nice and tight like a puzzle.

I use Velcro to keep the panels attached to the walls so they stay in place (and don't fall on the cake, ekk terrifying!). I also re-use this box over and over again for my cake deliveries, so this makes it easy to break it down later and store flat! You can, of course, use tape loops if you'd like, but Velcro is a great re-usable solution. I also use one piece of Velcro on the back of the door to keep it open while I'm loading my cakes in and out!

Box with one side cut to create a door
Foam panel with ruler and exacto knife

In the end, it should look something like this!

cake delivery box insulated with foam panels
cake delivery box insulated with foam panels and wood board

To keep your cake from sliding about, there are a few ways you can go about it! Non-slip (or non-skid) mats work great to keep smaller cakes in place while delivering!

cake inside insulated box with a non-slip mat underneath

If I have a larger cake or just want to feel more secure, then I will cut a little slot from some leftover foam to fit nice and tight between my cake baseboard and the walls of my box.

Foam squares next to wood board to help it keep from moving

This next awesome tip comes from my friend Shannon Bond (Shannon Bond Cake Design)! She and her hubby are straight-up smarty pants... brain waves working on overload kind-o people! She found these great ice packs that are not only reusable, they stay frozen for HOURS and they aren't liquid, so you don't have to worry about liquid puncturing and ruining your cake (like regular ole ice bags).

ice pack

Alternatively, you can also use dry ice, as it will never turn into liquid (it evaporates as a gas)! Caution, dry ice can burn your skin, so always use gloves and tongs when handling it!

So there it is! Hope this can be a new-found essential tool for all your stressful cake deliveries!

 Published: 09/11/2016

Last modified on July 30th, 2022

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Avalon Yarnes is multi-award winning cake artist and educator. Her work has been featured on tv shows, in magazines, books and more. She has been named one of the top 10 Cake Artists in America by Cake Masters Magazine and Dessert Professional Magazine. She's always cooking up something innovative that she can share with her students. Learn with Avalon here inside Avalon Cakes Online School of Sugar Art, where her (and her friends) teach you how to make incredible art with of cakes, cookies and more!

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7 comments on “How to Make an Insulated Cake Delivery Box Tutorial”

  1. Hi , great idea! My only question is if I did use ice packs, where would you put those so they wouldn’t touch the cake?

  2. When you say “tape the ice packs on the sides of the box”, do you mean inside or outside of the box? I just so afraid that they will be untaped and crash to the cake if being placed inside.

    1. Hey there! Yes, I find putting them in a zip lock and then taping it a whole lot to the walls inside the box, toward the bottom (just to help with gravity haha)

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