Can You Bring Cake On A Plane?


Can you bring cake on an airplane? Are the rules different for domestic and international flights? And just how long will cake remain safe to eat when packed in your luggage? Read on for the answers.


Can You Bring Cake On A Plane?

Can You Bring Cake on Domestic Flights Within the U.S.A.?

Carry-On Baggage:


Checked Luggage:




Can You Bring Cake on International Flights Originating in the U.S.A?

Carry-On Baggage:


Checked Luggage:



*You can bring cake on board and consume it during the flight. But you might not be able to bring cake into your foreign destination (see details below).



Can You Bring Cake Into The U.S.A. on an International Flight?

Carry-On or Checked Luggage:

 Yes in most cases



How Long Will Cake Last In Your Luggage?

Cake, freshly baked:

1 to 2 days at room temperature*

 (*2 hours at room temperature if frosting or filling contains eggs or dairy products, such as whipped cream or cream cheese)


Sources: Transportation Security Administration, U.S. Customs and Border Protection,



Can you bring cake through airport security in your carry-on baggage?

Yes, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will allow you to bring cake through airport security in your carry-on baggage. You can bring a whole cake or slices of cake through the TSA checkpoint, and both store-bought and homemade cake are allowed. If the cake isn’t already pre-packaged, it should be wrapped or placed in a container with a secure lid. There is no limit to the quantity of cake you can bring in your carry-on: You can pack as much cake as you’d like and will fit into your allowable hand luggage.


Read more: Here are the foods you can bring through airport security


Can you bring cake with frosting through airport security?

Yes, the TSA typically allows cake with the frosting already on it to pass through airport security. So you could bring a decorated birthday cake, for instance, through the TSA checkpoint.

But if you want to bring along a separate container of frosting, it will have to be a small one: Frosting falls under the TSA’s “3-1-1 liquids rule”, which requires that all liquids and gels in your carry-on luggage be stored in 3.4-ounce or smaller containers, all of which must fit into one quart-sized plastic bag.


Can you bring cake on an airplane in your checked baggage?

Yes, you can bring cake in your checked baggage when boarding a flight within the United States. You can bring as much cake as you’d like in your allowable checked luggage. To prevent cake from getting crushed, pack it in tins or sturdy containers with tight-fitting lids. You can also bring a separate container of frosting in your checked baggage. And unlike the case with carry-on baggage, you can bring as much frosting as you’d like in your allowable checked luggage.


Can you bring cake on an international flight leaving the U.S.A.?

Yes, you can bring cake on an international flight departing from the U.S., either in your carry-on baggage or your checked luggage. If your intention is to bring the cake onto the plane in your carry-on baggage and eat it during the flight, you’ll have no issues. The TSA applies the same rules for allowing cake through security at U.S. airports, whether you are flying domestically or internationally.

You can also bring cake into many foreign countries. But some countries may restrict or prohibit homemade cake — Mexico, for instance, does not allow most homemade food into the country. Be sure to check your foreign destination’s rules before leaving.



Can you bring cake on an international flight back into the U.S.A.?

Yes, the United States generally allows travelers to bring cake into the U.S. when arriving on a flight from a foreign country.

Note that even though cake is typically allowed, you must declare all foods that you bring into the United States — whether they are allowable or not — to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The penalties for failing to declare your food items can be steep; bear in mind also that the CBP routinely conducts random screenings for arriving passengers.



Freshly baked cake will usually remain safe to eat for about 1 to 2 days when stored at room temperature.

The exception is cake that contains frosting or filling made with dairy products or eggs, such as buttercream, whipped cream, cream cheese or custard frostings. These cakes can be kept safely for about 2 hours at room temperature. You can bring ice or a frozen gel pack to keep the cake cooler longer. But ice or gel packs in your carry-on luggage must be completely frozen when passing through airport security — if they are even partially thawed, the TSA screeners will likely bring them from you.


Note: While the above information is based on applicable Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) guidelines at the time of publication, the final decision for whether to allow a food item through airport security or into the United States rests with the TSA and CBP officers on duty at the airport. Regulations also change frequently: For the latest information, check the US Customs and Border Protection and Transportation Security Administration websites.

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