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.
Table of Contents
  1. Cookies
  2. Candy
  3. Snacks
  4. Spices
  5. Spreads
  6. Bread


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.
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!
Pizzelles stacked on a cooling rack.

Christmas Sugar Cookies

These frosted Christmas Sugar Cookies are my grandma’s best recipe, so buttery and sweet! A family favorite. No Christmas is complete without them. These Christmas Sugar Cookies are legendary in my family. My grandma makes…

2 hours 19 minutes
Thumbprint Cookies
Tender-crisp and buttery, these Thumbprint Cookies can be filled with any jam you love. A class at Christmas, they shine like gems on your cookie plate!
Thumbprint cookies on a cooling rack.

Gingerbread Cookies

No Christmas cookie spread is complete without classic Gingerbread Cookies! Dress up these homemade Gingerbread Cookies with royal icing features and outfits. Rather than those hard and crumbly store-bought gingerbread desserts, I like Gingerbread Cookies…

2 hours 50 minutes
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.
Peppermint cookies on a white platter.

Molasses Cookies

Soft and chewy Molasses Cookies just like grandma used to make! These are sweet and spicy with a light sugar coating and plenty of molasses in the dough. The best molasses cookies are soft and…

1 hour 30 minutes
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.
Glazed Lebkuchen on a cutting board.


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.
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!
A stack of Christmas crack on a plate.

Peppermint Bark

Homemade Peppermint Bark makes a special gift or a lovely addition to any dessert table. This famous recipe for two-toned chocolate bark studded with crushed peppermint candy is easy to make and will become a…

5 hours 15 minutes
Oreo Cookie Balls
The ultimate Oreo Cookie Balls recipe is right here, waiting to be rolled into your family’s holiday cookie line-up.
The ultimate Oreo Cookie Balls recipe is right here, waiting to be rolled into your family’s holiday cookie line-up. These no-bake beauties get drizzled with a homemade Salted Caramel Sauce, but you can change them up in a million different delicious, chocolatey ways.

Pecan Pralines

Pecan Pralines are a traditional Southern with crunchy pecans and a soft, buttery-sweet base. And they’re only 5 ingredients! Pecan Pralines have a similar texture to fudge, but studded with crunchy pecans. The result is…

1 hour 10 minutes
No Bake Peanut Butter Bars
People go wild for my grandma's 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.
No bake peanut butter bars on a white platter with a knife.


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
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.
Puppy chow on a beige platter.

Caramel Corn

Transform air-popped popcorn into a sweet and addictive treat with just a few baking staples. This easy homemade Caramel Corn makes an excellent food gift or favor as well as a stellar game-day or party…

1 hour 5 minutes
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.
Candied Pecans on a gray plate.


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.
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).
A plate of homemade fajita seasoning.

Cajun Seasoning

This homemade Cajun Seasoning blend is a tasty, versatile mix of common spices you probably already have on hand. Great on meats, pasta, veggies, and more!

1 minute
Homemade Taco Seasoning
Make your own Taco Seasoning at home in minutes with a few common pantry spices. It's cheaper and tastier than store-bought, and you can easily customize it if you want to.
Taco seasoning in a glass jar with a blue napkin around it.

Homemade Chili Seasoning

The best secret ingredient for chili is Homemade Chili Seasoning, a blend of herbs and spices that take ordinary ground beef and beans to the next level. Skip the packet and the expensive little jar…

3 minutes
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.
Everything bagel seasoning in a white bowl with a teaspoon.

Homemade Ranch Dressing Mix

Skip the store-bought packets and know EXACTLY what you’re getting with this easy Homemade Ranch Dressing Mix! Makes the equivalent of one packet.

2 minutes
How to Make Vanilla Extract
Skip the synthetic versions and avoid the high prices at the market: Learn how to make vanilla extract from scratch. Use it for baked goods, drinks, and all your favorite vanilla bean recipes. This homemade vanilla extract recipe takes just two ingredients and a pretty bottle! 
A bottle of homemade vanilla extract.


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

Jars of orange marmalade and apple butter wrapped for Christmas.
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.
3 jars of homemade orange marmalade.
Almond Butter
Here’s how to make Almond Butter that’s so luscious, you’ll want to eat it out of the jar with a spoon. When you’re not doing that, you’ll be dreaming about all the delicious ways to snack on this easy nut butter.
Almond butter in a clear jar.
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.
A mason jar with mustard and a red spoon in it.


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.
3-Ingredient Homemade Biscuits
Trusted for the last 40 years, this easy homemade biscuit recipe requires just 3 ingredients. Whip up a batch of homemade biscuits for a dinner side dish, shortcake-starter, or as the base of a breakfast entree.
A basket of homemade biscuits.

Soft Yeast Dinner Rolls

When nothing but homemade bread will do, try these easy Soft Yeast Dinner Rolls. They are perfect at your holiday table, piled with any kind of meat, or on the side of Sunday Supper.

2 hours 20 minutes
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.
A basket of homemade crescent rolls.

Monkey Bread

Once you start eating Monkey Bread, it’s really hard to stop! This pull-apart bread is soaked in cinnamon, sugar, and butter and couldn’t be easier to make. It is a simple pull-apart bread is OOZING…

1 hour
Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
This easy chocolate chip Banana Bread recipe is oven-ready after just 5 minutes of prep time! Or swap out the chocolate chips for toasted nuts, dried fruit, or frozen fruit.
A loaf of banana bread with three pieces sliced on a cooling rack.
Culinary School Secrets
Pro-level tricks to transform your cooking!

Meggan Hill

I’m the Executive Chef and head of the Culinary Hill Test Kitchen. Every recipe is developed, tested, and approved just for you.

You May Also Like

Questions and Comments

Thank you for your comments! Please allow 1-2 business days for a reply. Our business hours are Monday through Friday, 9:00 am PST to 5:00 pm PST, excluding holidays. Comments are moderated to prevent spam and profanity.

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


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