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How to Package Cookies to Send in the Mail

If you want to send cookies in the mail for Christmas, follow these instructions and they’ll arrive fresh and in-tact!

How to Package Cookies to Send in the Mail

If you’re wanting to send a sweet treat to someone this Christmas, let me show you how to package cookies to send in the mail – this is a tried and true method I’ve been using for YEARS, including when my husband was in Afghanistan in 2009-2010. 

I sent an obscene amount of care packages (baking therapy!) while he was overseas, and even though several packages took up to a month to arrive, he said everything, especially the cookies, always arrived in-tact and tasting fresh! 

How to Package Cookies to Send in the Mail

I decided to give my same “cooking mailing method” a try with frosted sugar cookies – my buttercream frosting for sugar cookies recipe always gets a ton of readers each year during the holidays + a lot of questions from people wanting to make it, and one of the questions I’ve been asked a few times is – does the icing harden well enough to send frosted sugar cookies in the mail? 

Well, I was getting the question often enough that I decided to give it a go!

How to decorate sugar cookies without fancy equipment

I asked my BFF, who lives about 225 miles away from me, to be my guinea pig to test out whether or not frosted sugar cookies would arrive fresh, in-tact, and without a bunch of buttercream frosting mess everywhere. My icing does harden up pretty well, but sending it through the mail would be a whole ‘nother test!

Naturally, she happily obliged (we’ve been dear friends since college, which is when my baking obsession really started to take off, so she’s very used to being my baked good guinea pig!), so I packaged everything up, sent it off via USPS, and a few days later, a box of Christmas goodies, including these cookies, arrived on her doorstep. 

And so now you’re wondering – how did they turn out after going through the mail?!

Well, I wouldn’t be writing this right now if it wasn’t worth writing, which means I got a thumbs up that they were delicious, fresh, and weren’t a mess at all!

How to decorate sugar cookies without fancy equipment

So, now I’m going to show you exactly what I did so you can do the same thing!

I’ll show you how to package them up, but then be sure to read the tips at the end about how to make sure your recipient gets delicious, whole cookies in their special delivery – I go into a lot more detail!

How to Package Cookies to Send in the Mail

How to send frosted sugar cookies in the mail

Other than your cookies, you only need a couple other items – some kind of container with a lid, and a roll of plastic wrap. 

For the container, you’ll want to make sure to use one that will give your cookies a snug fit. You don’t want to use anything too large where the cookies will have a lot of space to move around. When you close the lid on the cookies, they should hardly shift at all inside. (I’ll show you an extra trick for how to prevent this, too!)

How to send frosted sugar cookies in the mail

You’ll wrap each cookie individually in plastic wrap, with the bulk of the wrap on the bottom of the cookie.

When you wrap the cookie, you’ll put the frosted side face down on the piece of plastic wrap, and then tuck the wrap into the back of the cookie. Does that make sense? I should’ve thought to snap a picture of that, but I think you’ll know what I mean.

How to send frosted sugar cookies in the mail

You’ll just keep going until you’ve wrapped all of your cookies and the container is full. As you stack the cookies on top of each other, try to keep them as level as possible – if you have a bunch in there tilted, they’re going to be more likely to break during transport.

Just try your best – some are going to be slightly uneven as they’re stacked, but do what you can to keep them level. 

How to Package Cookies to Send in the Mail

Then, use some extra clumps of plastic wrap to stick in the gaps of the container between the cookies so they don’t shift around. You shouldn’t need much – these clumps of plastic wrap are pretty loosely placed in the container. 

How to Package Cookies to Send in the Mail

Then, put the lid on, fix up the rest of your package, and you should be good to go!

How to Package Cookies to Send in the Mail

All that being said, let’s get into some of the details of how to make sure your package arrives with delicious cookies inside!

 

Tips for packing and sending these frosted sugar cookies:

Make sure everything is a snug fit. Just like I mentioned, you’ll want to make sure the cookies can’t slide around inside the container, and then if you’re putting the container in a box, you’ll want to put something to cushion the box to prevent the container from sliding around. You don’t have to be really meticulous about this, you just want to prevent as much friction as you can. 

Let the frosting harden up before you package it. You can get more details on the buttercream frosting that hardens, but yes, you’ll want to make sure you’ve let your frosted cookies sit out for a little bit to give the frosting a chance to stiffen up before you package them.

You can mail them directly in the container. In case you didn’t know, instead of putting the container of cookies in a box, if you’re only sending cookies and aren’t sending anything else, you can just wrap the plastic container in brown kraft paper, secure it with packing tape, and write the recipient/return addresses on the paper. 

Stick with frosted cookies + sprinkles rather than finely decorated cookies. I absolutely love to decorate sugar cookies with lots of detail, but, because this buttercream isn’t royal icing, while it WILL still harden compared to other buttercream, it’s not going to harden so much that cookies with a bunch of raised edges won’t get nicked in the mail. You can certainly try it, but to play it safe, I’d stick with giving these a layer of the buttercream and then adding sprinkles on top to spruce them up a bit. 

What to expect when you mail these frosted sugar cookies:

Here’s what my friend told me about these cookies when they arrived to her:

  • The cookies with the green frosting (I sent her cookies with a light mint green frosting and and with a medium green frosting) arrived perfectly – they were even in color and smoothness. The ones with the red icing had some darker areas and lighter areas. I’m assuming this is the case because I had to use more red food coloring in order to get it really red, so perhaps the red separated a bit from the frosting? However, she said…
  • “Both tasted delicious!!!!” <– straight from her text to me!  
  • All the cookies were in-tact. Nothing broke.

And then a couple of other notes:

  • Your cookies may have a slight imprint from the plastic wrap on the frosting. Taste won’t be affected at all, and if you’re only sending cookies with frosting + sprinkles and not sending ones with a bunch of detail, this isn’t a big deal!
  • I sent them on a Thursday (made them and frosted them the day before), and they arrived to her on a Monday, so they maintained freshness/flavor for at least 5 days, which is a big win! 

How to decorate sugar cookies without fancy equipment

Have fun putting together a sweet care package for loved ones! They’ll be so thrilled with your fun delivery!

Let me know if you have any other questions about packing up and sending these cookies! 

 

 

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