10 shipping-friendly recipes to send as gifts
A collection of my most shipping-friendly recipes, with options that need to be shipped more quickly, and others that can survive a longer shipment time. You can send loaves of homemade bread, fancy nuts, cookies, cakes, chocolates, and more!
Over time I’ve become more and more inclined to send food as gifts. It always feels so personal and special because the person receiving the gift knows you put time into it.
I’ve mailed out a few food gifts in recent weeks because of some birthdays and have been meaning to put together a post like this for ages, so I thought it was time to sit down and share my collection of go-to recipes for shipping food gifts.
#1. Asiago Black Pepper Bread – I can say with 100% certainty that this is the recipe I’ll be shipping out to friends and family for Christmas this year. I posted this recipe recently and it has become my absolute favorite bread recipe on my site. The flavors are heavenly, it’s crusty on the outside, and fluffy on the inside. So far when I’ve given this to local friends, it has gotten nothing but raves and smiles!
How to ship bread: My family ordered bread from Zingerman’s for years, so I like to model my shipments after them. They ship the loaves frozen and pack it with dry ice. Finding dry ice takes some effort, but it preserves the bread so nicely. If you want to skip the dry ice, time your bread baking so that after the bread bakes and cools, you can pack and ship the same day and mail it overnight. For both options of shipping, first wrap the bread in a paper bag, then in a plastic bag, to prevent drying out.
Shipping speed for bread: Needs a quick shipment.
#2. White Chocolate Peanut Butter – Peanut butter is a favorite food for so many, but relatively common place. You can make it feel special by adding some fun flavors to it, like white chocolate, maple syrup, or even some spices like cinnamon and a touch of cayenne. You can also switch up the nuts to make cashew butter, almond butter, and more.
How to ship homemade peanut butter: Pack the prepared peanut butter in well-sealed jars, then place into a padded box. As long as you’re only including shelf-stable ingredients in the peanut butter, it will keep for a few weeks, and doesn’t need a cold pack inside the box.
Shipping speed for peanut butter: You can pick the economy option.
#3. Homemade Sea Salt Caramels – You can buy soft caramels at the store, but they never taste as good as the homemade stuff, made with real butter and cream. Caramels are a great “slower ship” item because they will keep for several weeks at room temperature
How to ship homemade caramels: Wrap each caramel piece individually in wax paper, then place into an airtight container, like a plastic tub, for shipping. You don’t need to pack a cooler with it as long as it’s not shipping in the blazing heat of summer. Homemade soft caramels will keep at room temperature for a few weeks.
Shipping speed for caramels: You can pick the economy option.
#4. Homemade Chocolate Bark – Chocolate bark has always been one of those foods that I don’t think gets enough love. Sure, it just looks like chocolate with a bunch of ingredients on top (and I guess it is), but I always enjoy eating it. You can also make caramelized white chocolate as a gift, that your recipient can break into pieces and bake into cookies or other baked goods.
How to ship chocolate bark: Break the chocolate bark into pieces and layer in wax paper inside a sealable plastic tub, then ship in a cardboard box. If you’re not shipping in the summertime, you don’t need any coolers for the package, and you can pick a slower shipping option. In the summer when melting is an issue, you will need to pack with dry ice, and ship quickly. Chocolate bark keeps for at least a month at room temperature.
Shipping speed for chocolate bark: In the summertime, you need a quick shipment. In cooler times of year, you can pick the economy option.
#5. Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix – Just add hot milk or hot water to the mix for instant hot cocoa, without the preservatives and additives! This makes for a great gift during the holidays.
How to ship homemade cocoa mix: Pack into sealable jars, then pad them well inside a cardboard box. Since all the ingredients are shelf stable, there is no need to cool anything, and the mix will last for several months at room temperature.
Shipping speed for cocoa mix: You can pick the economy option.
#6. Fancy Nuts, like Rosemary Olive Oil Marcona Almonds, Quick Stovetop Candied Pecans, or Fancy Roasted Cocktail Nuts. Nuts are a great gift for shipping because they keep so well, and they usually don’t get roughed up during shipping! Something about fancy nuts always feels very holiday and special occasion to me.
How to ship homemade nut mixes: Pack into jars or desired airtight containers, and ship in a cardboard box. No need to pack coolers with the packages, and the nuts will keep for at least a month at room temperature. As with all nuts, your recipient will have to watch for rancidity if the nuts aren’t consumed within a few weeks.
Shipping speed for nut mixes: You can pick the economy option.
#7. Cookies of all kinds, like Florentine Cookie Bars, Chocolate Chunk Cookies, Orange Cranberry Biscotti, etc. I’m not sure I even need to say much about shipping cookies, since this is quite possibly the thing that people ship the most for food gifts. Some cookies ship better than others, but as a recipe group, they usually ship very nicely.
How to ship homemade cookies: For optimal freshness, wrap the cookies tightly in plastic wrap. You don’t have to do them individually, but try to stack them in groups of 3-4 so there’s not much air around them. Then place in an airtight tin or plastic tub, and ship in a padded box. You don’t need to overnight cookies, but you shouldn’t pick the slowest option either, since cookies really go downhill after a few days. Try to pick a shipping option that’s somewhere in the middle.
Shipping speed for homemade cookies: Somewhere between overnight and economy. Pick a shipping option that’s not longer than a couple days.
#8. Cake truffles, like Malted Chocolate Cake Truffles or Carrot Cake Truffles. Cake truffles are basically like cake pops without the stick, and I have to credit Christina Tosi from Milk Bar for giving me my love for these. They are a staple in her product line and are something you can order online from her store too. It’s cake that’s crumbled up and bound with a buttercream filling, and then enrobed in some sort of chocolate shell with crumbs or chocolate on the outside. They’re quite a treat!
How to ship cake truffles: Layer the cake truffles in an airtight plastic tub with wax paper in between them, to create a little padding. Place in a cardbox box for shipping, and ship with dry ice. Because they have refrigerated items like cream cheese and butter, they are on the more perishable side of the spectrum.
Shipping speed for cake truffles: Needs a quick shipment.
#9. Cream Cheese Pound Cake – A big pound cake baked in a bundt pan, you can ship the entire thing whole for a very large gift. The cake freezes well, so if the recipient doesn’t want to serve (eat) all the cake at once, some of it can be frozen for later. It also has a very dense crumb, so it won’t fall apart during shipping.
How to ship pound cake: Try to find a box or container that’s close in dimension to the whole cake. To preserve the look and also keep the cake moister, do not slice the cake. Wrap the cake in wax paper before placing into the box or container, and use extra wax paper to try to pad the empty spaces. Place in a padded cardboard box for shipping. Leave the confectioner’s sugar glaze off the cake, and the cake will survive a few days of shipment just fine.
Shipping speed for pound cake: Somewhere between overnight and economy. Pick a shipping option that’s not longer than a couple days.
#10. Homemade Peanut Brittle – Talk about one of the best food gifts to ship! Peanut brittle is a treat that most people love (I do!!) and it ships beautifully, and keeps well.
How to ship peanut brittle: Break the brittle into pieces and layer in wax paper inside a tin or sealable plastic container. The airtight part is important, since humidity can ruin brittle. Pack in a padded cardboard box, and ship. Peanut brittle will keep at room temperature for several weeks.
Shipping speed for peanut brittle: You can pick the economy option.
What do you like to ship to loved ones?
And that’s a wrap! Are there any food gifts that you like to send to loved ones? Share in the comments below.