80 Best Homemade Food Gifts for the Holidays

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There is no better way to show you care than with Homemade Food Gifts this holiday season. From cookies and candy to spreads and spices, choose from 80+ DIY ideas with something for everybody on your list!

A jar of orange marmalade with a stack of biscuits, both wrapped as Christmas gift.


Homemade gifts in general, and homemade food gifts in particular, can be a lovely way to spread joy in the holiday season without emptying your bank account. And if your list continues to grow to include teachers, delivery drivers, and the gal who cuts your hair, it can get expensive.

Here are my best ideas for food gifts that can travel well, whether it’s next door, in your car, or in a box. But consider your own favorite cookies, candies, snacks, and spreads and whether they might be a gift for someone you know. It’s all about the inspiration!

Cookies and Bars

People love to receive the cookies you love enough to bake yourself; it’s like getting a mix-tape from the oven! Choose your favorite or do a variety pack, then package them in cookie tins, cardboard boxes, or wrapped on a pretty Christmas plate.

A plate for cookies for Christmas.
Pizzelle cookies being dusted with powdered sugar.



An easy Pizzelle recipe for the classic Italian cookie, lightly sweetened and flavored with vanilla or anise. All you need are 6 ingredients and 1 pizzelle maker!
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Thumbprint cookies on a gray plate.


Thumbprint Cookies

Buttery and tender-crisp, these Thumbprint Cookies shine like gems on your Christmas cookie plate. Fill them with any jam you love and watch them disappear.
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Peppermint cookies on a gray plate.


Peppermint Cookies

A gorgeous plate of red velvet, cream cheese-frosted Peppermint Cookies is exactly what Santa’s hoping for. Leave some of his favorite Christmas cookies out this year, and maybe, just maybe, there will be a little something special under the tree.
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Glazed Lebkuchen on a cutting board.



Try a traditional German Christmas cookie this holiday season (or any time of year!). Lebkuchen spice cookies are cozy and comforting, and pair perfectly with a cup of cold milk or hot coffee.
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Cranberry bliss bars on a white platter.


Cranberry Bliss Bar Recipe

This Starbucks copycat Cranberry Bliss Bar Recipe combines everything you love about blondie bars with cream cheese frosting. White chocolate and dried cranberries elevate these bar cookies to irresistible territory. As good as the store-bought ones are, the homemade version is even better!
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Congo bars on a cooling rack.


Congo Bars

Loaded with chocolate, nuts, and coconut, Congo Bars hit all the right notes. Some say nothing else even comes close to how good they are. No mixer is required and, like other bar cookies, they travel well! 
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Candy and Chocolate

Homemade candy is a sure sign of love because it takes more effort than baking cookies. Be sure to make extra candy on Baking Day so you’ll have extra to give away.

Candied pecans, peanut brittle, and peppermint bark wrapped for Christmas.
A stack of Christmas crack on a plate.


Christmas Crack

You'll love this salty, sweet, crunchy, chewy saltine cracker candy, sometimes known as Christmas Crack, and you can make it in 15 minutes with just 5 ingredients!
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Rolo pretzel candies on a tray with Christmas sprinkles.


Rolo Pretzel Candies

Not all homemade candy recipes require a thermometer or tricky techniques! My 3-ingredient Rolo Pretzel Candies are the perfect quick and easy dessert recipe.
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A plate of cut no-bake peanut butter bars.


No Bake Peanut Butter Bars

People go wild for these No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars! They only take 5 ingredients and 10 minutes (plus chilling time) to make, and they take just seconds to disappear.
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These crunchy snacks double as edible stocking stuffers and are especially great for kids. But make enough for the adults too; you’ll be passing out bags of pure nostalgia!

3 small containers of puppy chow wrapped for Christmas.
Puppy chow on a beige platter.



Puppychow, also known as muddy buddies, this classic Midwestern dessert is my go-to no-bake treat for bake sales, parties, and food gifts. If you like peanut butter cups, you'll love this easy dessert recipe.
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Candied Pecans on a gray plate.


Candied Pecans

Candied Pecans are deliciously crunchy and decadent thanks to brown sugar, cinnamon, and a few other holiday spices. This recipe is lightning fast, kid-friendly, and a snap to make for a last-minute gifts or bake sales.
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Spice Blends

Homemade spice blends are a great way to encourage home cooking after the holidays. Do a big batch of your preferred blend or mix-and-match a four-pack of your favorites. Consider attaching a recipe card that puts the blend to use (such as a recipe for turkey tacos for the taco seasoning).

Small bottles of homemade spice blends tied with Christmas twine for gift-giving.
A plate of homemade fajita seasoning.


Fajita Seasoning

Skip the store-bought packets and make your own homemade Fajita Seasoning! It's incredibly simple and can be mixed together in minutes (and you can reduce or omit the salt and the sugar if you want to).
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Taco seasoning in a glass jar with a blue napkin around it.


Homemade Taco Seasoning

Make this easy Homemade Taco Seasoning recipe in minutes with just a handful of common pantry spices. It's cheaper and tastier than store-bought taco seasoning, and you can easily customize it any way you want to.
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Everything bagel seasoning in a white bowl with a teaspoon.


Everything Bagel Seasoning

This Everything Bagel Seasoning is a combination of savory and salty flavors that can be adjusted to suit your needs. As it mimics the toppings found on those classic everything bagels, you get crunch, salt, pungent flavors, and nutty bites.
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Spreads and Sauces

Jams, jellies, and spreads make excellent Christmas gifts that can be stored away for a future day. Bundle with a pretty spreader or spoon, cinnamon ornament, and maybe even a loaf of homemade bread.

Jars of orange marmalade and apple butter wrapped for Christmas.
3 jars of homemade orange marmalade.


Orange Marmalade

This Orange Marmalade recipe is made with ordinary oranges and lemons, and it’s as unfussy as it is delicious. It follows the "old fashioned" technique of sitting in a pot overnight, and every spoonful will make your morning toast sparkle.
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A mason jar with mustard and a red spoon in it.


How to Make Mustard

Master how to make mustard in just 15 minutes! To use in salad dressings, marinades, or as a sandwich spread, my homemade yellow mustard and homemade whole grain mustard recipes are so simple and affordable to DIY.
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Breads and Muffins

While somewhat perishable, a loaf of freshly-baked bread is peak thoughtfulness, especially when paired with a spread from above. For quick breads and loaf cakes, consider using tiny loaf pans and giving an assortment of flavors.

A jar of orange marmalade with a stack of biscuits, both wrapped as Christmas gift.
Buttermilk biscuits on a baking rack.


Buttermilk Biscuits

Tall and fluffy, light and airy, these Buttermilk Biscuits are peak brunch fare. Serve with with sausage gravy, with scrambled eggs and cheese, or with a slather of jam. There's no wrong way to biscuit here.
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Crescent rolls on a cooling rack.


Homemade Crescent Rolls

Pillowy soft with a sweet, buttery taste, these Homemade Crescent Rolls are perfect for all the holidays or a weekend baking project.
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Blueberry muffins on a cooling rack.


Blueberry Muffins

My bakery-style Blueberry Muffins come topped with a buttery brown sugar streusel that takes their flavor over the top. Skip the coffee shop version; these homemade Blueberry Muffins can be yours in just 45 minutes.
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Meggan Hill is a classically-trained chef and professional writer. Her meticulously-tested recipes and detailed tutorials bring confidence and success to home cooks everywhere. Meggan has been featured on NPR, HuffPost, FoxNews, LA Times, and more.

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  1. This is wonderful!! Thank you so much for all of the ideas and recipes to go along with them. Appreciate all of your hard work.

  2. What a fantastic list of versatile, mainstay recipes. Thanks for always providing recipes that I trust to turn out right!