Dessert/ Holiday/ How-Tos

How to Ship Cookies for the Holidays

October 27, 2022

Cookie gifting is one of my favorite parts of the holiday season. Learn how to package and ship cookies perfectly to avoid breakage, plus a list of my favorite cookies that will survive shipment!

Ultimate cut-out sugar cookies that taste so good! |

Does anyone else always feel like the time between back-to-school and the holiday season just flies by? One minute I’m scurrying to pack lunches and the next, it’s time to start baking pumpkin pie, pecan pie, gingerbread bars, pumpkin cupcakes, apple pie….well, you get the idea!  

One of my favorite ways to celebrate the holidays is by gifting Christmas cookies to friends and family. And I mean LOTS of cookies; nothing says “happy holidays” like a box of beautifully assorted cookies! They really are one of my favorite types of Christmas desserts. But not all of my loved ones live nearby, so I have to rely on the postal service. Shipping cookies requires some packaging know-hows to ensure they don’t break and crumble in the mail. 

Here are all my tips and tricks for how to ship cookies like a pro!

The best cookies for shipping

In my experience, I’ve found the best cookies for shipping are sturdy and don’t have decorations, frostings, or fillings. Cookie sandwiches with filling can become soggy in transit and can possibly break or snap in half. Decorations like sprinkles or frosting typically fall off and create a mess in your cookie box, and frosting can smear as the cookies move around. However, those decorated with royal icing can ship just fine because the icing dries completely. 

Therefore, stick with treats like orange cranberry biscotti, chewy peanut butter cookies, and brown butter chocolate chip cookies.

*I’ve included a list of my favorite cookies for shipping at the end of the article.

How to ship cookies

Here’s what you’ll need to ship cookies to keep them from breaking and crumbling. I’ve also included links to some of my favorite products on Amazon for shipping cookies throughout each step:

  • Metal tins
  • Bubble wrap 
  • Plastic wrap (optional but recommended)
  • Parchment paper (for cushioning, you can also just stick with bubble wrap)
  • Ribbon (optional)
  1. Bake cookies and cool

    Obviously the first step is to bake your cookies of choice. But here’s the most important part  — NEVER package your cookies while they are still warm. This will make them soggy and cause condensation in your cookie tin. Wait until they are completed cooled to package them.
  2. Prepare your cookie tin

    What’s going to keep your cookies from breaking apart is durable, sturdy packaging. Start by cutting 2 sheets of bubble wrap to fit into your cookie tin. The sheets should be big enough to line the bottom AND the sides of your tin. 

    Here’s a few of my favorite cookie tin options on Amazon:

    Plain white tin
    Rectangular Christmas cookie tins
    Round Christmas cookie tins

    Round purple and gold tins
    5-piece auburn rectangular tins
  3. Wrap and package your cookies

    I highly recommend wrapping 2-3 of the same flavor cookie together with plastic wrap and then placing each bundle close together in your tin. Another way to do this is to place the bottoms of 2 cookies together and wrap them in plastic this way. The two flat sides together fit evenly and help keep them from breaking. 

    While wrapping in plastic wrap may not look as aesthetically pleasing as displaying neatly lined-up cookies, this will really keep them from moving around and breaking. However, if you want to skip this step, I highly recommend an extra layer of bubble wrap on the bottom, sides, and top of your tin.

    Then, place the cookies in your tin, being sure to fill in any gaps and leaving as little empty space as possible to prevent the cookies from jostling around too much in transit. Depending on the shape and size of your cookies or box, the amount of space between cookies will vary. You can use small pieces of bubble wrap or parchment paper to fill in gaps.

    Once your cookies are packaged, cut another piece of bubble wrap to the size of your tin and place it on top. Put on the lid.
  4. Wrap your cookie tin

    I love using a piece of ribbon to tie a bow around my cookie tins, but this step is entirely optional. (Here’s a great YouTube video that shows you how to tie a bow with ribbon around a circle or square box like a pro!).

    Add a holiday card and wrap your cookie tin with brown packaging paper. Your cookies are ready for shipment!

    Need some ribbon or holiday cards? Check out my favorite options on Amazon:

    Red ribbon
    12-rolls of ribbon, various colors (I love having these on hand for all occasions!)

    Mini-holiday cards – perfect for all of the winter holidays
Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies

Tips for shipping cookies

  • Use sturdy cookies without decorations or frostings. No matter how well you package your cookies, they are going to move around and be jostled a bit in transit. Therefore, avoid cookies with decorations which may fall off or frostings which can smear and make a mess. 
  • Avoid sandwich cookies with gooey fillings. The filling can seep out and make the cookies soggy.
  • Package similar flavors together. If mailing more than one flavor of cookie, I recommend packaging similar flavors together. That way, if some of your cookies break or crumble, it won’t mix with other flavors. 
  • Avoid dusting with powdered sugar. If your cookie recipe calls for dusting with powdered sugar, like Mexican wedding cookies, I recommend skipping this step because not only will the powdered sugar become messy, but it can absorb into the cookies and make them soggy.
  • Wrap cookies in plastic wrap. I said it earlier, and I’ll say it again: wrapping a few cookies together in plastic wrap will really help them from breaking. If you can, don’t skip this step (See Step 3)!
Funfetti Cookies

The best cookies for shipping

Here are some of my favorite cookies to ship during the holidays. They hold up well and have a long enough shelf life that they’ll be just as delicious when they arrive as they were the day you made them:

Soft and chewy red velvet chocolate chip cookies. Use dark or white chocolate, both taste amazing!

More Holiday Baking Recipes

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