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Homemade for the Holidays, How to Safely Pack and Ship Your Baked Holiday Gifts

by Gourmet Food World
Homemade for the Holidays, How to Safely Pack and Ship Your Baked Holiday Gifts | Gourmet Food World

For the avid home baker or cook, homemade holiday treats or baked gifts are a great way to share all the delicious things you’re making this season with your friends and family, no matter how far away they are. Cookies, pies, fudge, and candies are always a welcome gift but getting them to their destination in perfect condition without breakage, melting, or some other catastrophe can be tricky for those who aren’t well-versed in the art of shipping food. Use our list of essential tips and tricks to ensure that all your delicious creations reach their destinations just the way they left your home.

Choose Your Gifts Wisely

Not all baked goods are created equal in terms of their shipping ability; take an organized approach to this year’s baking checklist by crossing off desserts that are temperature sensitive and avoid anything too soft or liquidy. While you may be renowned for your delicious panna cotta or your grandmother’s blueberry trifle, be sure to choose baked goods that aren’t too sloppy and can at least take a little jostling without being ruined.

Stick to heartier fare like your favorite cookies or a batch of biscotti. For chocolate lovers, try making a rich and creamy fudge, or for a salty-sweet combination, chocolate caramel turtles are always a great choice. While sweets are often the first option that jumps to mind, getting creative with your edible gifts is a fun way to try out a new recipe and give something a little different. Making your own bitters for holiday cocktails or send a homemade caramel sauce. Versatile ingredients like these will have everyone on your gift list looking for creative and fun ways to use them up!


To avoid unnecessary breakage of cookies, create a thick layer of cushion on the bottom of your box. This can be made from any number of household items like crumbled wax or parchment paper, old newspapers, or foam. Once this foundation is created, you can begin to layer your treats. We recommend individually wrapping each cookie in plastic wrap or small plastic bags. Cookies do best if separated by additional crumpled paper to prevent them from banging into one another. If sending multiple kinds of cookies in one package, separate them by texture, keeping firm and brittle cookies away from moist and tender ones. Cookie tins are ideal containers for shipping all sorts of baked goods. Keep your eye out at yard sales and flea markets for old tins that you can reuse for your own hand-made delicacies.

Pound Cakes, Brownies, and Loaves

When making softer items like brownies, quick breads, and other loaves or cakes, consider baking them in disposable pans and shipping them as is. This method avoids the step of removing cakes and loaves from your pans and prevents any sticking that might spoil the appearance of your baked goods. Once everything is fully cooled, wrap carefully in plastic and pack into boxes well-filled with crumpled paper or packing peanuts.

Candies, Mints, and Fudge

Candies and mints make great holiday gifts as you can easily personalize them to suit your season and traditions. Buttermints and hard candy can be colored blue and white for Hanukkah or green and red for traditional Christmas colors, and so forth, from St. Patrick’s Day to Easter! Pack your candies into sturdy cups or decorative boxes that could be considered a gift in themselves. Carefully fill them, leaving no empty air space that might allow your candies to get crushed or crack. Tightly wrap with plastic leaving no headspace, then surround with crumpled paper until your box is full.

Sauces, Vinegars, Jams, and Preserves

Capture the flavors of Summer by sending homemade jams, marmalades, or other preserves. Make seasonally flavored cocktail bitters or infused vodkas to ensure a fun and jolly holiday season. No matter what liquid you're shipping, be sure to choose thick and sturdy bottles and jars to prevent cracking and breaking during transit. Before packing into shipping boxes, double-check each item to ensure they are all tightly sealed. Wrap jars and bottles individually in bubble-wrap, then place each in a large sealable plastic bag. Finally, pack your items in a plastic-lined box filled with packing peanuts, crumpled newspaper, or even popped popcorn.

Consider Allergies

Salty or sweet chewy or crunchy, no matter what you decide to make for your loved ones this year, always be conscious of potential allergies. Attach a small label to your packages listing any of the likely allergens it might contain, or if you’re unsure, just include a list of all the ingredients used. This little addition is easy to make and will help all your friends and family avoid inflammatory ingredients like gluten, nuts, or dairy.

The Keys to Perfect Packaging Every Time

-When choosing a box to ship in, always opt for a sturdy, unused, corrugated box. Be sure to use packing tape and avoid Scotch, masking, or duct tape when shipping items through the mail.

-If packing multiple items into one box, start with the heaviest objects, placing them on the bottom, and placing cushioning between each. A good rule of thumb, no matter what you’re packaging, is to calculate about 2-3 inches of insulation around each item.

-Be sure to fill your box to the top to avoid all your carefully packed items shifting during transit.

-Use waterproof pens when filling out addresses and names, and always mark your homemade treats with the word 'perishable', to help your postal workers know what they’re handling.

-Choose the fastest form of expedited shipping to prevent any spoilage or harmful exposure to extended temperature shifts that may harm or ruin your delicious baked goods.

While many of us are downsizing our holiday festivities this year, remind everyone you’re thinking of them this season by sending some of your favorite DIY holiday food gifts via the postal system! Perfectly packed and properly shipped, you can be sure that all your delicious homemade treats will make it to their destination in excellent shape and will be welcomed with open arms and mouths.

This entry was posted in Gourmet Blog, Holidays and Seasonal, How To Guides and View All Posts on November 30, 2020 by Gourmet Food World

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