Who wouldn't love to receive baked goods in the mail--they're a delicious treat! But, if you are planning to mail baked goods, you need to know how to use the proper protective packaging so that the treats will maintain freshness. Here are some hints to ensure your baked goods will arrive in tasty, attractive condition.
Choose Your Baked Goods Wisely
All baked goods are delicious, but some travel better than others. If you are sending cookies, firm varieties hold up in shipping better than crunchy ones (which tend to crumble) or buttery ones (which tend to fall apart). If you plan to mail soft cookies, consider packing a piece of bread with the cookies. This will help the cookies maintain their moisture.
Quick breads (such as banana, cinnamon, and zucchini) and pound cake or fruitcake generally fare well in the mail. One consideration with quick breads is that they do tend to be heavy, and therefore they are often more expensive to ship.
Perishable items or fragile items, such as layer cakes, are unsuitable for shipping. Attempting to ship a layer cake or a lemon meringue pie is not a good idea!
Before you mail baked goods of any type, be sure to let the product cool completely before packaging.
Package Your Baked Goods Well
Pack your baked goods neatly and securely. Wrap cookies in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. For best appearance, consider wrapping each cookie separately. If you are sending a variety of cookies, pack similar cookies together. Cookies will travel better if you then put them into a rigid, non-crushable container of some sort (for instance, a tin).
Quick breads and pound/fruit cakes travel well when baked and left in reusable aluminum pans and then wrapped in plastic wrap or foil. Tape or otherwise secure the wrapping over your baked goods to help them maintain freshness.
Use an Inner and Outer Box
The biggest secret to mailing baked goods successfully is to use two packages to ship: an inner and an outer one. For cookies, you might first package the cookies in a tin. For cakes or muffins, you might choose a box. The key either way is to choose a container just slightly larger than the baked goods to reduce jostling when shipping. Fasten the inner package securely.
Then, choose a larger box to put the inner box into. The outer box should be enough larger than the inner box to allow at least an inch of space on each side. Fill this space with packing peanuts, crumpled newspaper or bubble wrap. This protective layer is vital to protecting your baked goods as they travel.
Get Ready to Ship
Tape your outer box securely and be sure your shipping and return addresses are clear and accurate. Label your package FRAGILE and PERISHABLE on each side, and mark THIS SIDE UP on the proper side.
Also consider the mail class you want to use. Priority mail usually arrives within two days.
Your recipient is sure to enjoy your carefully packaged baked goods!
Susan Braun is a freelance writer living with her husband, three daughters, 2 rabbits, 2 gerbils and hedgehog in Indiana. She writes at girlsinwhitedresses.wordpress.com and Associated Content.