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Box question... cardboard vs. plastic clamshell

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Hi!  I had a bit of an issue over the weekend with putting my iced cupcakes in a plastic clamshell container.  I thought I left them open long enough for the icing to crust and then closed the container, but maybe not.  The icing got kind of "uncrusted" and soft by the next day.  It was odd.  Does the icing need air overnight?  Has anyone had this issue?  What did you do to avoid it.  Would using cardboard boxes be better, or will they dry the cupcakes out?

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 15

Subbing to this as I am curious as well. I use cardboard boxes because I like the look but if they will dry out my cupcakes....

post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 

Anyone?  Can you share why you would use cake boxes over plastic clamshell boxes, or vice versa?  thanks!

post #4 of 15
I use clamshell containers bc they are airtight. My cupcakes last several days this way, as opposed to just one or two days. However, I do know what you mean about the icing. It does soften a bit sometimes, but in my mind, it is a small price to pay for cupcakes that last so long. You can leave them open for a while until the frosting crusts. I used to do that but now I am making so many cupcakes a week I just close the box and they seem to do fine.
post #5 of 15

I use plastic clamshells and one thing I've noticed is that they can retain heat, and any excess warmth can cause condensation to form inside the plastic container which can moisten and un-crust frosting. This is due to the fact that clamshells are air-tight and can't stay acclimated to the temperature of the room as easily as boxes which have more ventilation. So, if a clamshell full of cupcakes is in a room where a sunbeam from the window can hit it, or where warmth from the oven or stove can seep into it, or even if you don't have your AC on in the car during transport, etc, the change in temp can cause little condensation droplets to form inside (like on the outside of a cup of water or can of pop). These little droplets can moisten and un-crust icing.

 

I combat this by making sure my cupcake-filled clamshells are kept out of the sun in a shady area or cabinet, and if I have to keep them around for a day or two I keep them in the basement where it's slightly cooler.

post #6 of 15

I am in the midst of opening a retail shop and I have obsessed over packaging. I never understood clam shells because they look cheap, grocery store like but I never thought of the moisture issue with paper boxes. Should I have both? Custom paper box as gift box or am I asking for a mess? 

 

I have always loved Cupcake Central in Australia's packaging and was going to go find a supplier for a similar product, now I'm not sure! Maybe just tell people to wrap the box if they won't be eaten on the day?

post #7 of 15
I agree boxes look much nicer than clamshells, but I was able to find clamshells cheaper than boxes, especially for sizes other than 1 dozen. They do have some positives over boxes. I like that you can see the cupcakes through clamshells, it means when I sell some at my farmers market, someone walks away with a see-through container with a delicious looking treat inside for other customers to see. Also, I make a large colorful label with my logo, info, and ingredients (required by law) and stick it on the middle of the lid, which makes it look a lot nicer and less like take-out leftovers (LOL).
post #8 of 15
Clamshells look cheap - like grocery store crap.

We have white boxes with windows and logo stickers, and tie them up with pink ribbon. Of course they cost more than clamshells, but they look so much more professional.

Raise your prices to cover the cost.
post #9 of 15

I really do like clam shells for the reason that they show the product off so easily. But then there's the cost of bags to put the clam shell in that adds to it. Boxes you can usually just tie one on top of the other with matching color twine.  Both have its ups and downs just chose which one you prefer its your business. :)

24 years old, Mom to no one and damn proud of it lol. 
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24 years old, Mom to no one and damn proud of it lol. 
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post #10 of 15
I'd rather not raise my prices to charge my customers more just for a pretty box that will end up in the trash anyway. If the product is good, I don't think customers particularly care if it's in a clamshell or a pretty box with ribbons.
post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by WiseBaker View Post

I'd rather not raise my prices to charge my customers more just for a pretty box that will end up in the trash anyway. If the product is good, I don't think customers particularly care if it's in a clamshell or a pretty box with ribbons.

If you have a business where you deliver and set up all your cakes it may not be a big deal, but packaging can make a huge difference when you are presenting a boxed order to your customer, and when the customer presents the box at their event. It's even more important if you have a display at a farmer's market or a retail shop.
post #12 of 15

I use clamshell containers not only for their cost but because they are airtight.  My product can last for a week and still taste fresh when in these containers.  In fact, I get compliments on my packaging!  I use nicer, sturdy clamshell containers with a sticker on top.  People like that you can see through them to see the cupcakes.  No one has ever told me they look cheap or like grocery store crap because they're focused on the pretty cupcakes inside.  Having my product last for days is much better than a box that will cause the cupcakes to dry out in a day.

post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by sewlo View Post

I use clamshell containers not only for their cost but because they are airtight.  My product can last for a week and still taste fresh when in these containers. 

Another option would be using airtight reusable plastic containers for storage until the product is ready to be boxed. Wrapping the box in plastic wrap should also work.
post #14 of 15
I wrap the bakery boxed cupcakes in trash bags until right before delivery.
post #15 of 15
Looking into clamshells though for a particularly large order.
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