What Are the Different Types of Cupcake Boxes?

B. Turner

Cupcakes are the perfect single-serving alternative to traditional cakes and pies. Due to their delicate nature, cupcakes are typically stored and transported in specially-designed boxes that help to prevent damage. Buyers can choose from many types of cupcake boxes when transporting these cakes, including basic and highly decorative units. Both plastic and cardboard boxes are available, depending on how much protection is needed, and each of these materials can be made to carry anywhere from one to a dozen cupcakes or more.

A frosted cupcake.
A frosted cupcake.

Plastic cupcakes boxes made from materials like polyethylene serve as one of the most traditional options for transporting cupcakes. These units typically feature a clamshell design, with a lid that snaps firmly in place and stays put. Plastic boxes can be pre-molded to hold a certain number of cupcakes, or they may feature a smooth interior that can hold any number of units in a single compartment. These boxes are particularly popular with wholesalers and bakers who sell pre-packaged cupcakes. Plastic cupcake boxes offer superior durability and moisture resistance, and can be found in single-serving sizes or larger.

Paper boxes may be used to package cupcakes.
Paper boxes may be used to package cupcakes.

Cardboard cupcake boxes typically offer a more decorative appearance than plastic ones, making the package an integral part of the experience. Some feature a solid exterior, while others incorporate a plastic lid so buyers can see exactly what they are getting without opening the box. Bakeshops often incorporate special inserts into these boxes to keep the cupcakes separated and upright during shipping. Some are sized to hold a single cupcake, while others hold a dozen or more.

In specialty bakeshops, customers who buy just a single cupcake may be given a special gift or display box. These cupcake boxes may be made from decorative cardboard or clear plastic, and can be adorned with ribbon or other items. Single serving gift boxes make it easy for buyers to treat the cupcake as a luxurious experience, or to take a cupcake to a friend as a special treat. These boxes are also used at parties and other events to supply cupcakes to guests as a party favor.

While the standard cupcake box has a square or rectangular shape with a flat lid, others are more specialized. Some single serving containers are round with a snap-on lid made from clear plastic. Cardboard boxes of any size may feature a more decorative lid design, where different sections fold together and interlock to form a gable lid, or even a design that resembles a ribbon. Some high-end cupcake boxes even feature a built-in handle, which is created by folding the lid using a special technique.

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