Heavenly Homemade Food Gifts

chocolate gift cake in gold box
Photo: Carson Downing

Cakes, snack mixes, food gifts in a jar, cinnamon pretzels, fudge, candy and more—the season's best recipes are the ones that double as gifts, especially when you pair them with clever packaging ideas.

01 of 28

Caramel Candies

caramel candies in little treat bags
Carson Downing

Soft, chewy homemade caramels are the bee's knees. For a twist on the classic, try Sarah Kieffer's orange, espresso and salted variations. Extra credit if you package them in our darling crepe paper treat bags!

02 of 28

Chocolate Gift Cakes

chocolate gift cake in gold box
Carson Downing

These 6-inch chocolate cakes are topped with a swoop of silky frosting. The recipe (which makes three cakes) comes from Minneapolis blogger Sarah Kieffer's cookbook, Baking for the Holidays.

03 of 28

Snowflake Mix

Snowflake Mix

Salty meets sweet as cereal, pretzels and peanuts get a coating of melted white baking pieces. Package this gift from the kitchen in boxes that resemble takeout containers.

04 of 28

Vanilla Bean Sables

vanilla bean sables in oval boxes
Carson Downing

Simple. Elegant. Buttery. These vanilla bean cookies are the perfect slice-and-bake treat, and you can make them four ways.

05 of 28

Triple Chocolate Peppermint Bark

triple chocolate peppermint bark
Carson Downing

Trust us: This festive and easy peppermint bark recipe is so much better than store-bought versions. Break it into bite-size pieces or cut it into six larger "candy bars" and wrap them up for gifting.

06 of 28

Slow Cooker Dulce de Leche

Slow Cooker Dulce de Leche

Dulce de leche is lusciously thick Latin American caramel that's traditionally made by boiling an unopened can of sweetened condensed milk. Our slow-cooker method allows you to monitor the caramel's color, plus the end result is an instant gift.

07 of 28

Gift in a Jar: Chocolate-Nut Cookies

Gift in a jar: Chocolate-Nut Cookies

Layers of flour, brown sugar, coconut, chocolate pieces and peanuts appeal to the baker who receives this gift in a jar. Include a cookie scoop for an added touch. Tap above to see recipe and also get printable recipe labels and instructions

08 of 28

Modern Fruit Cakes

modern fruit cakes in decorated boxes
Carson Downing

Even if you're not a fan of fruit cake, Sarah Kieffer's modern take may convert you. These super-moist cakes are encassed in chocolate and star elegant flavors like tarte cherries, orange zest, candied citruis peel, colorful chopped and dried fruit. Package them up in our DIY modern fruit cake boxes before gifting.

09 of 28

Toffee Blondies in a Jar

Toffee Blondies in a Jar

This easy-to-assemble holiday gift tastes so good that you'll want to keep some extra for yourself. Layer dry ingredients in a glass or clear plastic container, tie on a holiday ribbon, and give along with a pretty kitchen towel.

10 of 28

Candied Citrus Peels

Candied Citrus Peels
Carson Downing

Here's a clever use for peels from the fruit you've juiced: make candied citrus peels. Sarah Kieffer's trick is to boil and re-boil the peels several times in fresh water to remove their bitterness.

11 of 28

Candy Cane Snack Mix

Candy Cane Snack Mix

What's better than sweet and salty? Sweet, salty and pepperminty! This easy-as-could-be snack mix is fantastic for holiday gifts.

12 of 28

Cinnamon pretzels

Cinnamon Pretzels

Sugary cinnamon meets salty pretzels in this super-easy, gift-worthy snack mix. Package them in a pretty, airtight container.

13 of 28

Chocolate bark

Chocolate bark candy

Short on time? Make chocolate bark for gifts—or for your family. After melting and spreading the chocolate, it's just top, top and away!

14 of 28

Sweet greeting

Sweet greeting

When you want to give more than a card, but less than a gift, slip a cookie or two in a plastic treat bag (available at crafts stores) with a solid-color piece of scrapbooking paper. Fold contrasting paper over the opening, punch two holes, then tie with ribbon.

15 of 28

Christmas Mice

Christmas Mice

These adorable treats will be an especially popular gift for families with kids. Give in a small box nestled in holiday-colored chocolate candies. See recipe at link or tap to see our how-to Christmas mice video.

16 of 28

Chili Pecans

Chili Pecans

A coating of spicy and sweet turns toasted pecans into a holiday food that makes a great food gift or party snack. Make these ahead of time to give out at the holidays-just store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks or freeze for up to 1 month.

17 of 28

Scandinavian treats

Scandinavian treats

Make a Scandinavian brownie with a Scandinavian straw ornament for an easy food gift or cookie exchange treat!

Purchase inexpensive straw ornaments from sources such as Minneapolis-based Ingebretsen's. Bake brownies in an 8-inch pan and cut into 9 squares. Wrap each square like a present in cellophane wrapping paper (we bought ours at Walmart). Attach strips of red ribbon using glue dots, then add ornaments using glue dots.

18 of 28

Gift in a Jar: Spicy Three-Bean Soup

Assemble it: Spicy Three-Bean Soup

Our Spicy Three-Bean Soup makes dinner in a jar, the perfect present for busy people. Give along with a bag of corn chips or tortilla chips.

Get our recipe above and download a PDF of printable recipe labels and instructions here.

19 of 28

Fruit and Nut Granola

Fruit and Nut Granola

Abilene's Victorian Inn in Kansas created this granola for guests. Eat it with milk or layered in a parfait with yogurt and fruit. This makes a great food gift at the holidays; it can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 5 days, or placed in freezer bags and frozen for up to 2 months.

20 of 28

White Chocolate Christmas Fudge

ite Chocolate Christmas Fudge

Fudge in any flavor makes a classic holiday gift, but our white fudge dotted with dried cranberries and pistachios looks especially festive.

21 of 28

Winter Orange Pomegranate Iced Tea

Winter Pomegranate Tea

Make a gift-giving splash with this quick and easy tea, which takes just 10 minutes to prepare. Tie a ribbon around a keepsake bottle with the recipe attached.

22 of 28

Gift in a Jar: Fudgy Snack Cake

Assemble it: Fudgy Snack Cake

This easy cake-in-a-jar is both quick to assemble and easy to bake. Candy pieces and chopped nuts add a tasty topping to this moist, easy cake-no frosting necessary! Get the recipe at our link above and download a PDF of printable recipe labels and instructions.

23 of 28

Roasted Nut Snack

Roasted Nut Snack

Give party nuts a holiday twist by roasting them with one of four flavors: Cocoa-Sugared Mix, Curry-Spiced Mix, Barbecue-Seasoned Mix and Asian Five-Spiced Mix. Find frosted-plastic boxes at crafts or scrapbooking stores to make the nuts easy to give away in single servings.

24 of 28

Gift in a Jar: Cranberry-Bran Muffins

Assemble it: Cranberry-Bran Muffins

This gift in a jar has stripes of flour, whole bran cereal, apple pie spice, almonds, brown sugar and cranberries. Seal the streusel topping in a small sturdy plastic bag and enclose at the top of the jar. The jars/gifts keep at room temperature for up to a month. Get the recipe above and download a free PDF of printable recipe labels and instructions.

25 of 28

Santa's Delight Peppermint Bark

Santa's Delight Peppermint Bark

This super-easy Christmas treat uses just two ingredients: candy coating and either crushed candy canes or crushed round peppermint candies.

26 of 28

Sweet Bread Loaves

Food Gifts miniature sweet bread loaves
Quentin Bacon

Gifts of homemade holiday treats, including fresh-baked quickbreads, look striking in pretty packaging. Fold colorful cardstock to create easy containers. Accent with ribbons and tie on a meaningful message. To make mini-loaf bread packaging as shown, download a free package template.

27 of 28

Gift in a Jar: Fruit and Nuts Oatmeal

Assemble it: Fruit and Nuts Oatmeal

Toasting the oatmeal before layering is worth the effort for added nutty flavor. Give with a small jar of honey.

Click the link above for the recipe and find a PDF here of printable recipe labels and instructions.

28 of 28

Gift in a Jar: Blueberry-Ginger Hotcakes

Assemble it: Blueberry-Ginger Hotcakes

Add a bottle of real maple syrup when you give this layered pancake mix in a jar. The hotcakes are more flavor-packed than traditional pancakes.

Click above for the recipe and click or tap here to download a free PDF of printable recipe labels and instructions.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles