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
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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Pizzelles stacked on a cooling rack.
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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Thumbprint 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.
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Peppermint cookies on a gray plate.
Lebkuchen
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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Glazed Lebkuchen on a cutting board.
Cranberry Bliss Bars
This Starbucks copycat recipe combines everything you love about a blondie recipe with cream cheese frosting. White chocolate and dried cranberries elevate these bar cookies to irresistible territory.
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Cranberry bliss bars on a white platter.
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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Congo bars on a cooling rack.

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.
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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A stack of Christmas crack on a plate.
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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Rolo pretzel candies on a tray with Christmas sprinkles.
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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A plate of cut no-bake peanut butter bars.

Snacks

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.
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Puppy chow on a beige platter.
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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Candied Pecans on a gray plate.

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.
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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A plate of homemade fajita seasoning.
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.
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Taco seasoning in a glass jar with a blue napkin around it.
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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Everything bagel seasoning in a white bowl with a teaspoon.

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 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.
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3 jars of homemade orange marmalade.
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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A mason jar with mustard and a red spoon in it.

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
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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Buttermilk biscuits on a baking 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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A basket of homemade crescent rolls.
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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Blueberry muffins on a cooling rack.
Executive Chef and CEO at | Website | + posts

Meggan Hill is the Executive Chef and CEO of Culinary Hill, a popular digital publication in the food space. She loves to combine her Midwestern food memories with her culinary school education to create her own delicious take on modern family fare. Millions of readers visit Culinary Hill each month for meticulously-tested recipes as well as skills and tricks for ingredient prep, cooking ahead, menu planning, and entertaining. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the iCUE Culinary Arts program at College of the Canyons.

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Comments

  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!