Homemade gifts can be wonderful to receive. This includes baked goods such as cakes or cookies. When your recipient doesn’t live next door, though, it can become more complicated. You can ship baked goods using the postal system or a private postal carrier. Learn how to mail baked goods safely and in a timely way so they can be enjoyed while they are still fresh.
Choose your baked goods wisely. If shipping cookies, you may wish to make them into bars instead of individual cookies. They’re less likely to break this way and may be more likely to stay moist. If it’s going to take a long time to get there, choose a recipe that won’t mold as quickly, like a Rum Cake. You also want to think about temperatures where the parcel has to travel through, so do not choose a baked good that will easily melt like Chocolate Truffles–especially if they’re headed into a warm area for any amount of time.
Make sure your baked goods are completely cooled before you package them. You don’t want chocolate chips to melt all over and create a mess. That could render the gift pointless.
Seal your baked goods in an air-tight bag. This ensures they stay fresh and are as moist as possible when received. Prior to putting them in a bag, you may want to place them back to back and wrapped securely in plastic wrap. You can put a piece of wax paper in between the cookies to prevent them from sticking together.
Place in a hard-sided container, such as a cookie tin. This can keep the baked good from getting dented or broken when it is shipped.
Stuff open spaces around the bag and the tin with packing materials, such as crumpled-up paper or foam peanuts.
Once the lid is closed there should be no movement inside of the tin. If anything is moving, repackage it. The less room that anything has to move means the less likely it is to dent or break.
Use wide packing tape to seal the tin…the same kind you would use for the exterior of the package. It creates a sturdy seal, better than regular masking tape.
Place tin and ample amount of packing materials in a cardboard box. As before, there should be no movement felt when shaken. (FedEx recommends including a card with the shipper and/or recipient’s contact information inside the box.)
Seal the box carefully with tape. Mark it on different sides with the word “perishable” so the carrier understands it is a food item.
Mail the parcel, checking with carriers about delivery schedules. You may want to overnight the package or ship it on the same day as you bake. On the other hand, it may be fine if it takes a few days to arrive. Check with these carriers for delivery schedules and fees:
United States Postal Service
Another tip for mailing baked goods: Let the recipient know a package is on the way so they can accept it and get to the package quickly.