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7 Tips for Sending Baked Treats in the Mail

Three images displaying products from the article below including a MEBRUDY box, Ziploc baggies holding holiday treats and Duck bubble wrap.
MEBRUDY/Ziploc/Duck

If you won’t be seeing your family or friends in person this Thanksgiving, spoil them with delicious baked goodies! If you’ve never mailed baked goods before, no problem! We have plenty of tips that will help you breeze through the process.

Homemade cookies and brownies make wonderful gifts, but what is the safest way to get those goodies from point A to point B? We have seven tips that will help you avoid delivering a box of crumbs.

The Best Treats to Ship

Parchment paper laid over a cutting board with perfecly cut chocolate chip blondies ready to be packaged up and shipped off to family and friends.
Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock.com

There are some foods you should avoid when it comes to shipping treats in the mail, but there are also some sweets that ship quite well. First, let’s talk about those that tend to survive longer travel times.

Cookies that have a denser, sturdier texture tend to hold up better than softer types. Bite-sized goodies on the thicker side also do better than delicate, thinner cookies, which tend to break and crumble.

These treats generally hold up well during travel:

Now that you know which types of treats package and ship well, it’s also good to know which you should probably avoid and why.

Skip Delicate, Crumbly, Frosted Goodies

A cutting board topped with chocolate cupcakes with frosting and nuts.
Elena Veselova/Shutterstock.com

While we can do a lot to secure goodies during shipping, you have to keep in mind that you won’t be the person handling the package.

Before considering which treats to pack, ask yourself these questions:

  • Will my treats survive if the box is thrown around or if it falls?
  • What would happen to these treats if the package is placed upside down?
  • Do these treats have a short shelf life?

Avoid anything filled with dairy that must be refrigerated, like cheesecake, cream pie, or anything made with a cream cheese frosting.

While there are methods for shipping foods that must be refrigerated, delayed shipments are all too common these days, and the busy holiday season is even more chaotic. To ensure that your treats are sent on time and safe to consume, we say go with foods with a longer shelf life.

Goodies with crumbly streusel toppings or sweet and sticky caramel drizzles don’t travel as well either. You should also avoid anything that could break, melt, or leak during transit.

Here are a few examples of foods you should avoid shipping:

  • Treats that need refrigeration
  • Anything with a short shelf life
  • Soft or delicate treats, like macaroons
  • Goodies with frostings
  • Foods with soft fillings
  • Carmel-drizzled goodies
  • Sprinkle-covered treats

Knowing what not to send in the mail is only one part of the equation. Understanding how to bake, freeze, and ship safely is another important piece to consider.

Bake, Freeze, and Ship for Fresh Delivery

A Polar Tech insulated cooler and box kit.
Polar Tech

One of the best ways to ensure the freshest delivery possible is baking your cookies in the morning, freezing them after they’ve cooled, and then sending them that afternoon.

To avoid condensation and too much moisture, you must let them cool thoroughly first. You can even invest in an insulated cooler and shipping box kit if you’d like to keep your cookies cold with an ice pack or dry ice.

Freezing them first means the cookies or bars will stay firm longer, and it also keeps them fresher in transit. Leaking packages violate USPS rules, so always double-wrap or double-bag to avoid odors and leaky substances.

Polar Tech Insulated Foam Cooler and Box

For shipping cold cookies and other treats.

Store and Seal Properly

A holiday inspired Ziploc baggie filled with chocolate bark and a few other tasty treats being packaged just in time for Christmas.
Ziploc

Bars, blondies, and brownies tend to hold themselves well and should be individually wrapped. We then recommend adding the individually wrapped goodies to a ziplock bag.

If you’re worried about cookies breaking, you can put them on a paper plate or cake board, and then use cling wrap to secure them. Placing your cookies on a sturdy surface should help them hold their shape while they’re in transit.

Anything made with ginger, lemon, or other strong flavors should be individually wrapped and placed in separate bags to avoid flavor mixing. You can also store your treats in the freezer until you’re ready to package and send them off.

Ziploc Variety Pack

Perfect for packing strong-flavored baked goodies.

Fill in the Empty Spaces

Two images of the Duck brand bubble wrap being used to store various items in boxes.
Duck

If loads of empty space surround your goodies, they’ll have room to move around, which will result in a big bag of crumbs. Avoid broken bars and blasted brownies by filling those empty box spaces with something like packing peanuts.

Tissue paper and crumpled newspaper should get the job done, too, but for extra caution, you’ll also appreciate having bubble wrap on hand. It acts as a cushiony barrier around each bag or plate, while the surrounding layer adds extra protection to your pretty pastries. It’s worth the extra work!

Duck Original Bubble Wrap

Perfect for extra-safe shipping.

Ship Well In Advance

Two images displaying the MEBRUDY 9 x 6 x 4 cardboard box.
MEBRUDY

Shipping in advance is especially vital around the holidays, and especially this year. Between limited transportation and widespread employment challenges, shipping in advance is your best bet to overcome the expected delays.

Remember that receiving homemade goodies any time of year is sure to put a smile on anyone’s face. It doesn’t have to be the day before Thanksgiving or Christmas—a package filled with tasty treats will be appreciated any day of the year.

MEBRUDY Corrugated Cardboard Boxes

The perfect way to send at least a dozen treats to friends and family.

Let Your Recipient Know a Package Is on the Way

A woman opening a package, and removing the bubble wrap and very happy to be recieving a box of delicious homemade goodies.
fizkes/Shutterstock.com

Before you send a box of delightful desserts, make sure your recipient knows they’re coming, and give them the expected delivery date, as well. That way, they can plan to be home when they arrive, so not another day goes by.

After all, those little treats are meant to be enjoyed shortly after they’ve been baked.


We hope these tips will help you ease through the holiday stress of packaging treats for your friends and family, but don’t forget to make some for yourself, too!

Emilee Unterkoefler Emilee Unterkoefler
Emilee Unterkoefler is a freelance food writer, hiking enthusiast, and mama with over ten years of experience working in the food industry. Read Full Bio »

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