Sharing homemade baked goods warms the hearts of the baker and those they share their goodies with. Shipping them to loved ones who can’t be with us, let’s them know they are missed and very much loved.
One family tradition I keep, is to send my Dad a Christmas care package just to let him know he is thought of, loved and missed. It’s one way to share something together as a family at Christmas time, though we live in different countries.
*** Be Aware *** My international Christmas baked goods experience extends only from us in Canada to family members in the United States. To ship to other countries, I suggest you contact Canada Post or your courier company of choice.
Now let’s get the business part of the shipment out of the way, so we can get to the fun stuff.
Shipping Homemade Baked Goods and Customs Regulations
There are certain Customs Regulations that need to be followed to get your goodies across the border and onto the cookie plates of your loved ones.
- Everything going across the Border requires a dollar value for Customs purposes. In this case it refers to the ingredients used, not your time for making them. Use an estimate that is close to what you have spent, but it doesn’t need to be exact.
- The Value of the baked goods and packaging cannot exceed a $60.00 value. Any amount over this limit will be subject to duties and taxes.
- The tariff code to use for gifts and baked goods is 9816.00.00 (as of the time of writing). You can check the updated tariff codes on the Canadian Border Services website.
- An itemized list of the baked goods must be available upon request to either the Post Office or your chosen courier.
- The Customs documents must clearly state “ Gift” and include a statement such as ‘Homemade – for personal consumption’ or ‘ Homemade – unsolicited gift’.
- If you are including store bought treats along with your baked goods, they need to be declared as a separate line item eg ‘ Candy Canes – for personal consumption’ along with the purchased value.
- At the time of writing, 5 copies of your Customs documents need to be attached in a zippered bag. The Post Office and most couriers have carbon-style forms that will make all 5 at once, if you press hard enough while printing.
If you are filling out forms on-line print the copies out and ask for the zippered bag when you drop off your package.
- Each package must have a greeting or gift card clearly addressed to the receiver from the sender. This is to further show it is being sent as a gift and specifically to whom.
These Customs requirements do change from time to time. It is always a good idea to check the Canadian Border Services, Canada Post, your chosen Courier websites for any updates. I have included a blank Generic template of a Commercial Invoice below. For Personal Use Only. You can find a Sample Commercial Invoice here.
How to Pack Your Goodies
With all the effort and love you put into your Christmas Goodie package, you don’t want it to arrive a broken, crumby mess! Here are some tips to securely package your goodies to get them to the other end whole and ready-to-eat.
Use an inner and an outer container – The inner container is the one that will hold your baked goods. The outer container is the one used for shipping the inner container, gets the Customs Documents and address labels attached to it and take the bumps and lumps shipping long distance will dish out.
Wrap Your items individually – Cookies can be wrapped by twos with the flat bottoms facing each other. Wrap them in plastic wrap or tin foil to keep them from moving against each other.
Loafs, Cakes and bars ship best in their baking pan – Use disposable pans for things like bars, fudge, quick bread loafs and dense cakes. Wrap the entire pan in plastic wrap and then put it into a zippered storage bag.
Make sure there is no ‘head room’ in your inner container –The goal is to ensure there is no movement in the inner box. It is the movement of the goodies which allows them to bang against one another and causes the breaking and crumbly.
Fill any empty spaces with crumbled wax or parchment paper. You can use bubble wrap as well if your goodies are safely tucked into zipper type storage bags.
6 Tips for Your Shipping Box
Just as important as having no head space in your inner box, you should eliminate it in your outer shipping box too:
- Layer the bottom with crumpled paper or bubble wrap to absorb the shock of being bounced. I like to use newspaper secured in a plastic shopping bag. That way my baked goods get the protection they need and Dad doesn’t have a big mess to clean on his end.
- Add your baked goods container on top of that and add crumpled paper, bubble wrap or the Styrofoam peanuts between the inner container and the sides of the shipping container.
- If you are adding another box of baked goods into the same shipping box, ensure your heaviest goodie box is on the bottom and add a layer of the packaging material between the two.
- Give your boxes a bit of a shake to pack everything down and fill in any head space that remains.
- Add a layer of paper to the top and tape up your shipping box.
- Mark the outside of your shipping box “Fragile – Perishable Goods”. This will (sometimes) encourage gentler handling in transit, and alert your loved ones to open the package right away.
Recommended Homemade Baked Goods for Shipping
The best way to ensure your loved ones receive your special treats intact is to carefully choose the baked goods you are shipping in the first place.
Here is just a handful of recipes of yummy treats that are good for shipping:
Shortbread Cookie Bites:
I use a lot of recipes by Jen, at Cincyshopper.com for my own family, and have done for years. These scrumptious bite-sized morsels have already been taste tested by my family and not only are they delicious, but they will hold up to shipping.
My Dad is English and loves his tea. These are best packed back to back and tightly wrapped in plastic wrap.
Shelly, at Cookies and Cups, truly has a recipe for the Perfect Snickerdoodle. I tried these cinnamon-y (my own word) beauties this past spring and the recipe now sits in our family recipe box.
Foolproof Dark Chocolate Fudge Recipe
When it comes to chocolate, the folks at Hershey’s know what they are talking about. This 5 ingredient recipe from the Hershey’s web site is a quick, simple decadent that will ship well because it uses chocolate chips.
Festive Christmas Cake
Christmas cake is not a favourite in our household but I do know they ship well. When I asked a co-worker, who is an avid baker, for her go to recipe she shared this one from Canadian Budget Binder. As a regular reader of Mr. CBB, I trust the source, and I trust my co-worker too!
Honey and Almond Blondies
I have been a reader of Becca’s, from Amuse Your Bouche, for about 4 years now. If you eat a mainly vegetarian diet, or are looking for Meatless Monday ideas, she’s your girl! Her Blondies are to die for! They ship best in a pan.
Don’t let the border be a deterrent from sending your family and friends some “Lovin’ from the Oven”. The two main things to remember are:
- eliminate the movement in your shipping box.
- properly fill out your Customs paperwork.
Surprise your loved ones with Holiday Goodies this year.
Know someone who want’s to send Holiday treats to loved ones but is not sure how? Please share this with them.
*** A Quick Note *** I would like to give a huge Thank You to each of the bloggers who’s recipes I have shared and encourage you to visit each of their sites to find more holidays treats, tips and just plain all around good reads. The photos that accompany each recipe belong to their respective sites as do the copyrights.