There’s no question about it, cupcakes are made to be carried around. Unlike cakes, which are perfectly happy sitting on a countertop waiting to be eaten by whoever appears, cupcakes really want to be shared with the one person they’ve been made for. They need to be safely delivered to those people, and that can be a problem. In bags, they get crushed, and in boxes, they fall sideways, which is just unacceptable, since cupcakes are all about their looks. That is why we have cupcake carriers.
How to choose your cupcake carrier: How many cupcakes do you usually transport from your kitchen to other places? What style do you prefer: cute, elegant, practical? Is storage space an issue in your kitchen? Look at as many as you can to decide. All of the carriers in this list have different advantages, from size to presentation.
Here are the best cupcake carriers for you to bring joy to people.
Nordic Ware Cupcake Carrier
Can be placed in the freezer
Secure snap-up locking handles
This classic cupcake carrier from Nordic Ware has it all! It’s good-looking, sturdy, and adaptable for a dozen cupcakes, a 9 x 13-inch cake, loaves of bread, or even charcuterie.
Measuring 16.2 x 11 x 4.75 inches and only weighing 1.8 pounds, this carrier is made of BPA- and melamine-free plastic in a vintage light blue or bright red color. The scalloped edging of the base is mirrored in each 2.4-inch cupcake holder, which allows it to also be used as a serving tray. Snap-up locking handles and a clear domed lid round out the rest of the well-designed details. The carrier is also safe for the freezer, and the plastic resists odors.
Price at time of publish: $29
Material: Plastic | Dimensions: 16.2 x 11 x 4.75 inches | Capacity: 12 cupcakes
Top Shelf Elements Cupcake Carrier
Top tier fits snugly into bottom
Domed lid snaps into place
Can't go overboard decorating
With cupcakes, it truly is the more, the merrier. You often need more than a dozen to please everyone, and most cupcake recipes make more anyway. Instead of trying to balance two or more single trays, invest in this two-tiered carrier.
This 6-inch-high carrier holds two dozen cuppies in its spacious 2.5-inch wells. The top tier fits snugly atop the bottom with four wide feet at the corners, and the domed lid keeps everything in place once snapped onto the bottom. Don't worry if frosting gets everywhere, as this is dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning. One downside is that you'll need to keep the frosting height to a minimum. This one isn't as tall as some other carriers, and it could squish frosting if it's too high.
Price at time of publish: $30
Material: Plastic | Dimensions: 15 x 11 x 6 inches | Capacity: 24 cupcakes
Squish Collapsible Dessert Carrier
Easy to store
Comfortable nylon strap
Tricky to remove cupcakes
The advantage of this carrier is that it can be flattened down to 15 x 4 inches for space-saving storage! This round cupcake carrier is part of the line of collapsible kitchen products from Squish.
The collapsible dessert carrier can hold up to 24 cupcakes on two levels of round trays, which also fit two 10-inch round cakes or one 12-inch round cake. The removable trays have recesses to cut down on mess and can be used as serving platters. It comes with nylon straps to help with carrying, and when not in use, it can be folded down to half its size. Made of BPA-free plastic, it’s dishwasher-safe for easy cleanup.
Price at time of publish: $30
Material: Plastic, nylon | Dimensions: 15 x 15 inches | Capacity: 24 cupcakes
Nordic Ware Dessert Stand With Lid, 10-inch diameter, Sea Glass base
Ease of display
Can handle very decorated cupcakes
Not the most secure
Many cupcake carriers are utilitarian and not meant for beautifully exhibiting your cupcakes. This option from Nordic Ware is intended to do both: It looks good while transporting the cupcakes and displaying them on arrival.
The gorgeous two-tier cupcake carrier is constructed of a clear plastic cover with a pretty sea glass blue base. It holds up to 12 regular-size cupcakes or a dozen cookies, and with about 4.5 inches above the tiers, you can go wild with decorations. While it lacks an easy-to-use handle, its sturdy base makes it a snap to carry, and the small handle at the top is ideal for removing the lid and setting up the cupcakes.
Price at time of publish: $29
Material: Plastic | Dimensions: 10 x 10 x 10 inches | Capacity: 12 cupcakes
Stack'nGo MINI Cupcake Containers
Sturdy, anti-crush technology
Not reusable long-term
Sometimes you're tasked with bringing mini cupcakes, yet mini cupcake carriers are hard to find. Stack'nGo sells a pack of 12 containers that carry 24 cupcakes each and stack easily, so you can bring up to 288 mini cupcakes to a function or store the unused containers for another time.
The 3-inch-high trays can hold 1.5-inch-wide cupcakes, and they are stackable for easier transport. The disposable plastic carriers are surprisingly sturdy, so you could probably get a couple of uses out of them if necessary. The tops are large enough to fit a good amount of frosting, which really is what cupcakes are all about, right?
Price at time of publish: $30
Material: Plastic | Dimensions: 14.8 x 10.5 x 5.5 inches | Capacity: 24 cupcakes
Cuisinart Cupcake-Shaped Carrier
Deep wells make cupcakes hard to remove
Lovers of bright pink and cuteness, unite: This cupcake carrier from Cuisinart is made for you! The 13.5-inch-tall carrier holds up to 24 cupcakes over its three layers in the solid pink base, while the clear top allows you to show off your decorating skills. Both the base and top are made from BPA-free plastic and it features locking latches and a carry handle. Cleanup is easy, since this is dishwasher-safe and comes with a lifetime warranty.
Price at time of publish: $40
Material: Plastic | Dimensions: 13.5 x 10.5 x 13.5 inches | Capacity: 24 cupcakes
Decony Clear Cupcake Boxes
Height allows for lots of frosting
Large quantity when ordering
Disposable carriers come in handy if you don't make enough cupcakes to warrant a regular carrier or simply need to drop off a small batch. These clear plastic disposable cupcake carriers are also great for bakers who like to decorate.
At 4 inches in height, these disposable cupcake boxes can accommodate the tallest decorations and toppings. The container's hinged lid has two lock tabs that hold it firmly closed during travel or storage, and it easily opens for service. Each carrier has six compartments, with the set including 12 carriers, and the glossy plastic is BPA-free.
Price at time of publish: $16
Material: Plastic | Dimensions: 9 x 6.75 x 4 inches | Capacity: 6 cupcakes
Fox Run Pink Plastic Cupcake-To-Go Box
Great for gifting cupcakes
Good height for decoration
Hard to remove lid
Expensive for one carrier
Sometimes you just need to keep one cupcake safe and sound, and that’s what this individual cupcake carrier does perfectly. It has the advantage of being absolutely adorable. The clear plastic “icing piled high” lid snaps neatly onto the pink cupcake-shaped base, which is fitted with an inside compartment to hold the cupcake in place to prevent damage. After the cupcake has been enjoyed, this should be hand-washed. With a height of 4.3 inches, the entire carrier can be held in your hand.
Price at time of publish: $17
Material: Plastic | Dimensions: 4 x 3.75 x 4.3 inches | Capacity: 1 cupcake
What to Look for in Cupcake Carriers
Capacity and Versatility
When shopping for a cupcake carrier, how you will use it is the most important consideration. Think about how often you'll use it, how many cupcakes you'll typically need to transport, and whether it would be convenient to have one that can hold other baked goods. Cupcake caddies can hold anywhere from a single cupcake to three dozen. Some fit mini cupcakes, and several include a flat surface for cakes and cookies.
Cupcake carriers are almost always plastic, because the material lightweight and easy to carry. Look for BPA-free plastics and tall lids that leave plenty of room for frosting. The reusable caddies are easy to wash, and some are dishwasher-safe. While those are great when you can bring yours home, disposable ones may be a good option if you regularly drop off cupcakes as gifts, or for events. Check to make sure they're recyclable.
Where you will store the cupcake carrier when you're not using it is an important consideration, especially if you have a small kitchen or home. The multitiered and high-capacity options will take up more room. If your space is limited, collapsible versions are convenient. However, without the cupcake tiers for support, the mechanism that allows them to fold down for storage may wear out over time and slide down onto a tall cake.
How long will cupcakes stay fresh in a carrier?
It's best to avoid making cupcakes too far in advance. Although they can be frozen (preferably without frosting), cupcakes stay fresh for just a couple of days under the best conditions. Cupcake carriers are designed for travel, and they're not always the best airtight containers. Generally, keep cupcakes in a caddy no longer than overnight. Be sure to create refrigerator space for the carrier if the frosting contains custard, dairy, or eggs.
What can you use instead of cupcake liners?
Cupcake liners are convenient, because they prevent cupcakes from sticking to the pan, and they make sharing them easy and sanitary. They also make cleaning the muffin tin quick. You don't necessarily need to buy the liners, though. One great alternative is to cut 5-inch squares of parchment paper and then press these into the muffin tin. The corners will rise above the cupcake to create an elegant tulip-style design. In a pinch, foil works, too.
How do you keep cupcakes from sticking without paper?
You don't need to grease cupcake liners, but if you prefer to avoid a liner entirely, you will need to prep your muffin pan properly. Use butter or shortening to grease each cavity lightly, and then sprinkle flour on top. (Cocoa powder is an excellent alternative for chocolate cupcakes.) To distribute the flour, tip the pan to all sides while gently tapping the bottom. After baking, let your cupcakes cool for about 10 minutes before removing them. A butter knife can be helpful if you need to pry them out, but be gentle.
How We Researched
To compile this list, our team of editors and contributors spent hours researching the best cupcake carriers on the market, evaluating their key features—like sturdiness, capacity, or price—in addition to reviews from customers and other trusted sources. We then used this research to assign a star rating from one to five (five being the best; one being the worst) to certain products on the list.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Karen Resta is a writer who specializes in food culture and history, cooking, pastries, and restaurants. She's also a former pastry chef and has traveled to Budapest, Kyiv, and Paris during their Fashion Weeks as a photographer and writer, always finding the best authentic pastries along the way. She now spends a lot of her free time baking at home and recommends quality within your given budget. Having the right tools available and knowing how to use them well (it can take practice, like anything else) make all the difference, and she curated this list with that in mind.
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Bisphenol A (BPA).