The Stupid Car Tray with tall cake carrier with Bundt cake

Transporting Baked Goods Damage-Free with the (Not So) Stupid Car Tray

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Have you ever spent hours making a cake for a special occasion only to have it get damaged while being transported in the car? If you put it in the trunk, you risk it sliding around. Or the icing melts off of it since the air conditioning is not as strong back there. If you put it on one of the seats, it sits on a slant, causing it to slide into the side of the container. So frustrating! However, I recently found that the Stupid Car Tray is a lifesaver (or icing saver) for anyone who transports baked goods.

Almost every car seat is sloped downwards from front to back. You could try to level out your cake carrier by rolling up a dishtowel and putting it on the lower side of the seat. But the towel will settle under the weight of the carrier. Your cake will again be sloping dangerously towards disaster.

Other times I have put the cake carrier on the floor of the front seat, only to have it slide around when the car turns a corner. I have lost more than one buttercream rosette that way. 

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Oh, Those Facebook Ads Draw Me In

But then one day on my Facebook feed appeared an ad for the Stupid Car Tray. I almost scrolled past it because of its name. But then I saw the photo of a cake carrier neatly belted onto the tray like its own little baby cake car seat. I was intrigued so I clicked to learn more.

The website shows how this simple plastic tray with legs on one end essentially levels out the passenger seat. You can wrap the velcro strap around whatever container you put on it, holding it securely onto the tray. 

The tray also is shown as the perfect way to transport a pizza so that the cheese does not slide off on the ride home. Or, a cardboard beverage tray can be strapped onto it, so you can securely drive those four expensive muy grande mochaccino concoctions without having to drive with one hand while making sure the cups don’t tip as you turn out of the parking lot. 

I still did not click the order button yet. Would the narrow non-skid strip along the top really prevent the container from sliding around? I figured I could live with my usual method of rolling out some non-skid shelf liner in my trunk and putting the cake carriers onto that. 

light gray Silicone shelf liner rolled out on floor of SUV trunk with metal charger dish with glass plate on top, square plastic storage container, and round plastic cake carrier
I used the shelf liner method to transport a cake and lemon-lime cookies.

So, What About That Name?

It turns out the product got its name from someone who tested out a prototype. After using it for a couple of days, she said, “Well, it’s stupidly obvious and I love it.” The designers clearly have gone all-in on using this description in the entire product line and accessories. But, hey, it caught my attention, so that is saying something for the marketing!

Accessories Sealed the Deal

The Stupid Car Tray ad continued to pop up in my Facebook feed at least once a week for a couple of months. One of them touted some new accessories that made me click on the ad again. Now, they also sold a silicone grip mat that covers the entire solid flat surface of the tray. Hmm, that would solve my one concern about sliding. 

When I saw they were having a buy one get one free sale, I decided to buy two. Since my SUV’s interior is ivory with black carpets, I bought one in Desert Night, which is tan with black silicone trim, and one in Midnight Mayhem, which is all black. (There are 16 different color combinations available, from neutrals to brights.) 

Classic Stupid Car Tray in Desert Night on ivory passenger seat with velcro strap open
Classic Stupid Car Tray in Desert Night

I also ordered the Stupid Grip Mat in black, thinking that I could interchange it with both of the trays. Finally, I ordered one Stupid Seat Anchor. This device makes it quicker to remove the tray while also keeping it closer to the back of the seat.

100% silicone, non-slip mat. Great for keeping things in place.

100% silicone, non-slip mat. Great for keeping things in place.

https://stupidcartray.com/?ref=uf2t22zzpb

The trays arrived a few days later. It turns out they had glued the Stupid Grip Mat to the black tray, so it cannot be moved to the other tray. I had not realized that it would be permanently attached. I was a little disappointed at the time. But I got over it when I saw how well even the skinny silicone strip on the basic tray works.

I put the Desert Night tray on the front passenger seat since it would “blend in” more with the upholstery. The Midnight Mayhem one would be for the back seat for when I had multiple carriers to transport. Usually, I do not have passengers in my car. But I still wanted the ability to quickly remove the tray from the front seat. So I used the anchor on the front seat tray. 

The anchor is easy to install. Just push the red bar into the crevice between the seat and the back of the seat. Unlatch the buckle. Thread the fabric of the other part of the buckle through the rear slot of the tray. Then click the two parts of the buckle closed. The strap can then be tightened so that there is little to no “play” in the strap.

Keeps crumbs, condensation, and grease off of seats. All while creating a level surface for when driving deliveries or take-out.

Keeps crumbs, condensation, and grease off of seats. All while creating a level surface for when driving deliveries or take-out.

https://stupidcartray.com/?ref=uf2t22zzpb

Driving Donuts

My maiden voyage with the Stupid Car Tray was transporting baked donuts on the 4th of July. Since I had glazed them, I did not stack them. I laid them flat in two rectangular cake carriers. After strapping each carrier onto the car trays in the front and back seats, I saw just how tight the velcro straps were. I was concerned that they might have been stretched too tightly and might snap open mid-ride. Therefore, I kept an eye on them.

Donuts in Rectangular cake carrier on Desert Stupid Car Tray with velcro strap on ivory car seat
The Stupid Car Tray perfectly leveled out the front passenger seat.

After the half-hour ride across pothole-riddled roads, cloverleaf entrance and exit ramps, and steep hills, I can attest that neither cake carrier moved even the slightest bit! On this same ride to previous barbeques at this house, I have had icing literally fall off an entire side of a cake, and cakes that banged around from one side of the carrier to the other as I turned corners as carefully as I could. But with the Stupid Car Tray, it was as if the donuts had their own shock absorber system.

Fragile Smash Cake Disaster Averted

A couple of weeks later, I had to transport a giant cupcake smash cake and dozens of regular-sized cupcakes to my great nephew’s first birthday party. I had made the cakes the day before and had them stored in the airtight cake carriers on my dining room table overnight. Lo and behold, right before it was time to load them in the car, a huge slab of icing fell off the edge of the domed top of the giant cupcake. My heart sank, as there was no time to fix it then.

Thankfully, I had saved the extra icing in the refrigerator “just in case.” So I brought that along with a piping bag and tip. I held my breath as I strapped the 11.2-inch tall cake carrier into the passenger seat next to me. I really thought that more of the icing was going to fall off during the 45-minute ride. Being that I did not have enough spare icing to redo the entire top of the cake, I was trying to figure out what I could do if it continued to fall apart in the car.

Tall cake carrier on Stupid Car Tray in Desert Night color on ivory car seat
The velcro strap is long enough to fit around tall cake carriers.

The cupcake carrier with the Carrot Ginger cupcakes that rode on the Stupid Car Tray in the backseat also emerged unscathed. The valet at the catering hall looked at me as if I was losing it when I said I need to unstrap my cakes from their car seats. But once he saw what I meant, he told me how his aunt brings cakes to all of his family parties. So he was going to tell her about these trays!

When I opened the cover of the smash cake, I was amazed to see that there was no further damage done. All of the rest of the icing has held on. So I got to work with my piping bag to redo the portion that had fallen off before the car ride. (It turns out that the weight of the icing caused the edge of the giant cupcake’s dome to sag and ripped off the edge of the cake, so I filled in the gap with more icing to camouflage it.) Whew, problem solved!

Giant cupcake smash cake with Peter Rabbit figurine on top, light blue icing, white buttercream cupcake liner, green grass and royal icing carrots on gold cake platter
The back edge of the blue icing had to be “doctored” up when the edge of the wider dome part of the cake fell off before I even put the cake in my car. No further damage happened on the ride to the venue.

Not Just for Cakes

When I drive by myself, I toss my purse on the passenger seat. There have been times when I have had to stop short. This sent my purse and its contents flying onto the floor. I lost a lipstick that way, only to find it wedged under the seat months later. 

Since installing the Stupid Car Tray, I have not had any issues with my purse sliding around. The thin silicone strip has been enough to prevent it from sliding. The Stupid Car Tray website shows how you can strap your purse in using the velcro strap, but I haven’t felt the need to do that. 

The tray is also great for holding takeout food. I can strap a small pizza box onto it easily. I also found it useful when transporting paper bags with fries inside. Any grease that comes through the bag would touch the plastic tray instead of my fabric upholstery. You can easily clean the tray, and it won’t hold odors as the fabric seat would.

Small pizza box on Desert Stupid Car Tray on ivory passenger seat
This is a small pizza box, but there is room to spare to fit a larger box on the Stupid Car Tray.

I have also used it to strap in a beverage tray. Again, it held it securely so I never felt like the cups would spill. 

The overall size of the tray is 17.5 inches long by 12 inches wide and 4.5 inches tall on the side with the legs. I find that the height of the legs works perfectly with the slope of the seats in my Honda CR-V.

Drawbacks of the Stupid Car Tray

I originally thought the three wells along the longer edge of the tray were cupholders. However, since they are only about one inch deep, they are too shallow for that purpose. Now I see that they have to be that shallow because if they were deeper, then the tray would not lay level on the seat. Instead, I use those to hold my car keys and my cell phone. 

The two deeper wells along the back edge of the tray are too narrow to hold cups. The Stupid Car Tray website shows those being used to hold spatulas. You could also use these to hold pens if you work out of your car. 

The Stupid Anchor is definitely worth getting. I did not get one for the tray in the backseat. Instead, you need to thread the lap belt part of the seatbelt through the strap that comes with the tray. I find that this strap has more “play” to it. The tray can be moved more easily than the one attached with the Stupid Anchor.

Who is the Stupid Car Tray Useful For? 

  • If you ever transport food from your home to a party, the Stupid Car Tray definitely comes in handy. Since it is made of plastic, I would not put a blisteringly hot casserole dish directly on top of it. But if you have an insulated carrier for it, that should work fine on the tray. 
  • If you do the coffee runs for your office, this tray can save the carpeting of your car from spills. You can strap the tray down.
  • Does someone in your family work as a delivery driver for a restaurant? This is the perfect gift for them. It will not only help make sure the food arrives in good condition, but it saves the upholstery from getting damaged.
  • If you work in your car, the tray is a great writing surface.
  • During road trips, the tray is ideal for children to use on their laps if they are eating or playing games on the go. 

Special Deals

From time to time, there are deals on the Stupid Car Tray. For example, I was able to get mine during a BOGO offer. If you go to https://stupidcartray.com/?ref=uf2t22zzpb and use my coupon code TBM886 you will get a 16% discount on your order. 

The tray comes in 16 color combination options!

The tray comes in 16 color combination options!

https://stupidcartray.com/?ref=uf2t22zzpb
Tall Cake Carrier with text overlay of Transporting Cakes with a Stupid Car Tray and www.teacherbakermaker.com
Pizza box on tan car tray Learn how this not so stupid device can prevent damage during a car ride  with text overlay of Transporting food with a Stupid Car Tray and
Pin of rectangular cake carrier strapped to tray with text overlay of transporting baked goods with the  (not so) stupid car tray and  Learn how this ingenious device can protect your treats from damage in the car and www.teacherbakermaker.com
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22 Responses

  1. Great review! The product name makes me laugh. I didn’t know something like this existed! I’ve always used a water bottle in the passenger seat to keep it level but still had to worry about it sliding away at stops. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Wow this is pretty cool and the name is hilarious. I like how it’s secure in the seat and it’s not going to slide. Cool little way to transport goodies. Awesome review.

  3. at first, I got confused with the name and its actually quite funny, interesting product especially for home business bakers or when you just want to give something to a friend.

  4. Oh my gosh! There is something out there that could stop me from trying to prop up/level out casserole dishes and slow cookers with towels!? I’m sold! This is super exciting – especially this time of year when I have moved into transporting comfort food which is a bit more difficult! Amazing, thank you for sharing!

    1. Between hills, turning corners, and having to stop short when people cut me off, I have had cakes slide within their carriers and get their icing smooshed. So this tray has definitely helped prevent that now!

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Hi, I'm Maureen!

I help fellow teachers, home bakers, and crafters learn new skills so that they can build their self-confidence in their talents. 

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