Can You Bring Cupcakes On A Plane?


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


Bringing Cupcakes On A Plane

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

Carry-On Baggage:


Checked Luggage:




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

Carry-On Baggage:


Checked Luggage:



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



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

Carry-On or Checked Luggage:

 Yes in most cases



How Long Will Cupcakes Last In Your Luggage?

Cupcakes, 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 cupcakes through airport security in your carry-on baggage?

Yes, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will allow you to bring cupcakes through airport security in your carry-on baggage. You can bring both store-bought and homemade cupcakes through the TSA checkpoint. If the cupcakes aren’t already pre-packaged, they should be wrapped or placed in a resealable bag or container with a secure lid. There is no limit to the quantity of cupcakes you can bring in your carry-on: You can pack as many cupcakes 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 cupcakes with frosting through airport security?

Yes, the TSA typically allows cupcakes with the frosting already on them to pass through airport security. The exception is so-called “cupcakes in a jar,” which are usually not allowed.

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 cupcakes on an airplane in your checked baggage?

Yes, you can bring cupcakes in your checked baggage when boarding a flight within the United States. You can bring as many cupcakes as you’d like in your allowable checked luggage. To prevent cupcakes from getting crushed, pack them in sturdy containers with tight-fitting lids.


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

Yes, you can bring cupcakes 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 cupcakes onto the plane in your carry-on baggage and eat them during the flight, you’ll have no issues. The TSA applies the same rules for allowing cupcakes through security at U.S. airports, whether you are flying domestically or internationally.

You can also bring cupcakes into many foreign countries. But some countries may restrict or prohibit homemade cupcakes — 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 cupcakes on an international flight back into the U.S.A.?

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

Note that even though cupcakes are 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 cupcakes will usually remain safe to eat for about 1 to 2 days when stored at room temperature.

The exception is cupcakes that contain frosting or filling made with dairy products or eggs, such as buttercream, whipped cream, cream cheese or custard frostings. These cupcakes can be kept safely for about 2 hours at room temperature, after which time they need to be refrigerated. You can bring ice or a frozen gel pack to keep the cupcakes 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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