A delicious box of cookies can be a sweet treat for anyone during the holidays. Whether you own a bakery or want to send some homemade treats to your loved ones, it can be a challenge getting your precious cargo to someone’s doorstep. Not packaging your cookies the right way can literally make or break your shipment. 

Before preparing your cookies, it’s important to know which type is best to ship. Just like normal shipments, the most durable product can withstand the shipping process best. Choose baked goods that are moist, firm, and hard—not brittle. If your cookies fall apart in your hand, there’s a big chance they won’t make it to the recipient in pristine condition. There can also be the issue of your cookies sticking together if they have gooey centers, like caramel. However, this shouldn’t discourage you from sending a holiday treat to someone. The important part of sending out your cookies is how you package them. 

plate of cookies

How to package cookies to ship? 

Cookies are delicate treats that need to be properly secured when shipping. Unlike shipping apparel, cookies require an overpack method. And I know what you’re asking now: what is overpack shipping? Essentially, overpack shipping is used for additional protection when shipping sensitive materials. Using additional boxes to create layers of protection helps sensitive materials make it to the receiver in one piece. For cookies, it’s important to have additional boxes on hand to help create that layer before shipping your product out. 

Which packaging style works best? 

Plus, there are different methods to package your cookies within your boxes that can ensure safe travels. Grandma might have had it right when it came to packaging cookies in a metal tin. With a metal tin, you have a little extra security that your cookies won’t be smashed during the shipping process. However, tins have their limitations when it comes to how many cookies you can fit. If you are shipping a larger quantity, you might consider consolidating your cookies into multiple containers or placing your cookies into individual baggies.

The Grandma Method

If you decide to ship your cookies in containers like a metal tin, you need to consider adding paper to keep your cookies from sticking together. Wax paper is a great way to layer inside your box to keep your cookies separate while also adding a little bit of cushion. Before arranging your cookies into your container, it’s important to put a layer of paper, or any other protective paper you might use, on the bottom. By doing so, your cookies have a layer of protection — preventing many kinds of breakage that can happen during travel.

cookies in metal tin

After you wrap each cookie with your wax paper, it’s time to place another layer on top to make the package secure. This method is best for cookies that are all similar flavors and are firm. And if you have any extra space at the top, add some wadded-up paper as extra cushioning to prevent your tasty treats from jostling during their trip. 

The Baggy Method

If you decide to individually wrap your cookies in a baggy, you will need to have a container to hold the shipment together when in transit. The best way is to get a box that is deep or long enough for you to stack your cookies at an angle. Similar to the above method, you will need to think of protective material to ensure the cookies do not move on the inside of the box. In most cases, you can bunch up packing paper to fill up the extra space in your box. Individually wrapping your cookies is a great method for assorted cookies — this method keeps the flavors from combining together. For example, you wouldn’t want your lemon cookies to have a slight taste of chocolate chip — or vice versa! 

wrapped cookies

Shipping Your Cookies 

Once you’ve figured out which method works best for you, now it’s time to get your box ready for shipment. This step is very similar to any other shipment — package and send! 

Place the container of cookies into your shipment box. Be sure to pick a box sturdy enough to withstand the shipping process. In doing so, you have another layer of protection for your shipment. But you aren’t finished yet! Just before you tape it up and send your package out, you need to add one final layer of protection: infill. Infill, like packing peanuts, packing paper, and cardboard pieces, can fill the space between your container of cookies and your shipping box. By doing this, you have the ability to reduce the amount of movement within the box while in transit. 

Lastly, you can consider adding indicators to the outside of your box like “this way up” and “perishable. This way, the carrier you choose knows that it needs to be handled a specific way. Also, consider marking it “fragile” as well. That way carriers know it needs to be handled with the care Grandma would give it. 

Pick Your Carriers

Now that you have your goodies boxed up and ready to ship, you need to think of who to ship through. It’s important to do your research and also pick the right shipping plan. For UPS, they suggest express shipping options to get your cookies to your loved one, friend, or even customer quickly. FedEx has a detailed diagram on how to ship perishables and will walk you through the process of labeling and packaging your frozen items — if freezing your cookies is an option for you. Each carrier’s website includes estimated shipping deadlines based on the shipping plan you pick — if you want the recipient to receive their cookies before December 25th. 

marketing and fulfillment services

If you’re thinking about shipping other items during the holidays, check out our “How to Ship” series to learn more. To get started, here are a few options: