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How to ship cookies without breaking

Now that you’ve done the baking, it’s time to send those homemade cookies to friends and family. I’m going to show you how to ship cookies so they don’t break apart in the mail and how to pack them so they stay fresh for the lucky recipient. From choosing the best cookies to ship, to the best way to ship cookies, I have tons of tips to help your treats arrive intact.

Preparing cookies to send in the mail. There are various types of cookies with a cookie tin and ribbon on a white background.

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Best cookies to send in the mail

First, we need to choose the best cookies for shipping. Those would be sturdy cookies, like a chocolate chip or oatmeal. Bar cookies, brownies and blondies are also great options.

As you are baking, or choosing what to bake, select the sturdier cookies for mailing to friends and family. This is your best chance to make sure the cookies arrive intact. Treats like biscotti are perfect homemade treats to send in the mail, because they hold up really well.

At the bottom of the post, I’ll give you a long list of our favorite cookies to send in the mail. This includes cookies I’ve actually mailed to my family as a test to make sure they would arrive in one piece, and not in crumbles.

Sending delicate cookies like pizzelles can be very difficult, but we’ll discuss that below.

Plain cut out sugar cookies on cooling rack.

How to ship cookies without breaking

There are a few tips and tricks to sending cookies in the mail. From guarding against breakage to avoiding stale cookies, we’re going to cover exactly how to ship cookies in the mail and keep them fresh.

To mail cookies, you’ll need the following:

  • Sturdy boxes to ship cookies – These are perfectly sized bakery boxes to ship cookies. They are 12 x 12 x 6, which gives you enough room for packing material to secure your baked goods.
  • Metal cookie tins – Cute metal tins with see through lids. I like these because they come in a 3 pack and they will fit perfectly inside the shipping boxes. These are great cookie tins for shipping.
  • Brown bakery boxes – I have these exact boxes. They are quick to assemble and work well for cookies, brownies or Christmas candy.
  • Packing material, like honeycomb packing paper, peanuts, or bubble wrap – I use both.
  • Parchment paper – This is the parchment paper I use every single day in my kitchen.
How to ship cookies in the mail so they don't break. Christmas cookies in a red and white cookie tin with parchment paper.

I’m the queen of reusing boxes. I have a collection of them, but when I’m sending cookies, something delicate or perishable, I make sure that I use either a new box, or one that is like new. The last thing you want is to pack your cookies in a flimsy box.

A metal cookie tin will protect your baked goods during transit. Choose one that is appropriately sized so the treats don’t jostle around. Use small pieces of parchment or packing paper to fill in the gaps and to cushion your baked goods.

Showing the best way to ship cookies so they don't break. There are cookie tins, ribbon and parchment paper with various Christmas cookies on a white background.

Too much space is a bad thing in this case. The best way to ship cookies is to pack them snugly in the smallest container that comfortably holds them. The less they move, the lower the chance for breakage.

How to pack cookies for mailing

  1. Cool your cookies completely, before packing. Warm cookies will release steam as they are cooling and will turn your freshly baked goods into a soggy situation. You may want to consider freezing some of your homemade treats to send. Mini loaves of pound cake, or thick and chewy cookies are great options for this.
  2. Make sure the packaging is food safe. Colored tissue paper is lovely, but it contains dye. Avoid anything that isn’t food safe for packing your homemade cookies.
  3. Pack cookies in small bundles or pairs. Combine like flavors together, keep strong flavored items (like peppermint or gingerbread) away from items with subtler flavors.
  4. Wrap cookies in plastic wrap, parchment paper, or stack them in cellophane bags. Treats like biscotti, or crunchy treats are best in parchment.
  5. Place heavier cookies on the bottom of the tin. This may seem like common sense, but when you are in a packing frenzy, it’s easy to forget. Ask me how I know.
  6. Fill shipping box with packing material like bubble wrap or crumpled paper to cushion cookie tin.
Assorted Christmas cookies on white background, and ginger cookies inside a red Christmas cookie tin.

How to keep cookies fresh

The best way to ensure that your cookies don’t arrive stale is to bake them as close to mailing as possible and to wrap them tightly. It’s a lot of work to bake dozens of Christmas cookies, as is taking the time to wrap them and ship them off to loved ones.

As cookies have cooled completely, begin stacking and wrapping your bundles. Then pack them into their cookie tins and boxes with any packing material you need. Plan to send them off as soon as possible.

Remember that UPS and USPS will get busier as the holidays approach, so plan to ship sooner rather than later to ensure that your cookies arrive fresh and looking beautiful.

How to wrap cookies individually

I prefer to wrap them in plastic wrap or in parchment paper, in pairs. Put the bottoms of the cookies together and wrap tightly in plastic wrap.

To wrap cookies tightly in plastic – place paired up cookies in the center of a square of plastic wrap. Lift the bottom piece up to cover the cookies, then fold the top piece down. Tuck the sides underneath to secure it.

You want the plastic wrap to be fairly tight, to keep the air out. This will also help to keep the moisture in, so your cookies don’t dry out during transit.

Showing how to wrap cookies individually for send in the mail. Cookies are packed in a red and white striped cookie box.

It is imperative that cookies are completely cooled before packing. Factor in cooling time as well before packing up your treats for the mail.

If you prefer not to use plastic wrap, you could use parchment paper, however, the cookies will eventually dry out. Parchment will help protect your baked goods, but it will not keep them as fresh.

How to ship cookies in the mail Q&A

How to ship sugar cookies with breaking?

Drop style or roll out sugar cookies are fairly study. I prefer to send sugar cookies plain, or with very little decoration. Wrap them tightly in plastic and cushion with packing paper in a metal tin. Place the tin inside of a shipping box packed with bubble wrap and seal it up.

What is the best way to ship delicate cookies?

Thin, delicate cookies like pizzelles can be very difficult to send in the mail. My best advice would be to pack them in individual layers with foam sheets between each wrapped cookie to cushion them.
Line a metal tin with foam sheets or bubble wrap. Place one cookie in the center of the tin, top with a foam sheet and continue until you reach the top of the tin, ending with a foam sheet. Put the lid on the tin and tape it shut. Then pack in shipping box with packing materials, and cross your fingers.

How long will most cookies stay fresh?

Most cookies will stay fresh anywhere from 3 – 14 days, depending on the cookie. Take that into consideration when shipping. Biscotti is your best bet because they will taste fresh up to a week after they’ve arrived. Drop cookies, spritz cookies and shortbread also last a little over a week.

What is the best way to pack biscotti for sending in the mail?

Moisture is not good for biscotti. I wrap them with a piece of paper towel in the tin to absorb any moisture and keep them crisp.

The best cookies for shipping in red and white tin.

The BEST cookies for mailing

Now that you know to ship homemade cookies, here is a list of the best cookies to ship. As you are packing your cookies, consider labeling them for your recipient. This helps them know what kind of cookies you sent, but also avoids anyone with allergies or sensitivities eating something they should avoid.

Thick and chewy cookies

  • Chocolate crinkles – A Christmas cookie staple. Make sure you pack them in something that will contain the powdered sugar, so it doesn’t get on your other cookies.
  • Drop style Christmas sugar cookies – The sugar cookies from your childhood. They hold up like a champ in the mail.
  • Christmas funfetti cookies – Festive green and red sprinkles in the cookie dough.
  • Ginger molasses cookies – Soft, chewy, and so good.
  • Classic sugar cookies – Send with minimal decorations, or plain (with decorations included) for best results.
  • Homemade dog treats – Is there a pup in the house? A few homemade treats for the dogs are always a nice surprise.
Chocolate crinkles on black plate with wooden cranberry beans on the side of the plate.

Crunchy cookies

Cranberry pistachio biscotti on white plate. There is a platter of biscotti in the background.

No bake treats

Red velvet sandwich cookies on white platter.

Sandwich cookies

Rum balls in a clear gift bag tied with bright pink ribbon in front of a cookie tin packed with homemade treats to ship in the mail.

Quick tips and tricks for shipping baked goods

  • Choose sturdy cookies. Avoid delicate cookies that break easily.
  • Bake cookies as close to sending as possible – this also helps ensure freshness.
  • Wrap them in plastic wrap or in small plastic gift bags – this helps to keep them fresh and also to contain any sprinkles, sanding sugar, etc.
  • Use parchment paper to line your cookie tin if not wrapping cookies individually, use small pieces of parchment to pack in the gaps.
  • Fill shipping box with crumpled newspaper or packing peanuts to cushion cookie tin.

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How to ship cookies in the mail image for Pinterest.

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  1. Oh, wow, these instructions are so helpful! And thank you for including my maple popcorn squares as a possibility (if people are willing to give them away!) xo

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