How to Package Brownies for Shipping

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Originally published September 1, 2016 and updated August 1, 2020. The original post was sponsored by Collective Bias, Inc. and Pillsbury. All opinions are always my own.

I just sent two of my “babies” off to college last week. I’m so proud of them both and so excited for them, but I’m sad for little ol’ me left at home. I miss both of them so much (and, no, it’s not any easier sending baby number two off to her first year of college). I enjoy making college care packages to send to my children (and I’m kind known for my college care packages). Making care packages is my way of showing how much I love and miss them in a concrete way (and it helps distract me and keep me busy). Homemade baked goods are always a staple in my care packages. Wondering how to mail brownies so they stay fresh and whole? Finding a way to to package baked goods to survive the mail had been a challenge, but these tips for how to package brownies for shipping work for me every time. 

brownies in clear bags and container next to mailing box

I’ve found that brownies and bar cookies ship well  through the mail. They hold up better than other baked goods and they’re easy to make. They’re also easy to make in in double or triple batches so that they can share with roommates and friends.  In my care package shipping experience, these tips for how to package brownies for the mail ensure that the baked goods arrive intact and fresh every single time. 

How to Package Brownies for Shipping

Make sure the perishable goods are full cooled and at room temperature before packing them.

glass baking pan with brownies but into squares and white knife

Cut smaller-sized brownies. The smaller size holds up better in shipping with less breakage and crumbling. Use a plastic knife for the cleanest cuts. I don’t know what magical property a plastic knife has, but I can guarantee that it’s the best tool I’ve found to cut brownies cleanly and neatly. 

brownies in clear bags decorated with green washi tape and pair of blue scissors

Package each brownie individually. Individual packaging gives each brownie an extra layer of protection during shipping. Use only food-safe packaging, such as plastic wrap, tin foil or treat bags designed for use with food. Seal each individual brownie well to preserve freshness and to keep out pests during shipment.

Place brownies into a container. I use repurposed food-safe plastic containers that can be recycled to hold brownies for shipping. If you use an airtight plastic jar like the popcorn container below, you don’t have to wrap the brownies individually. But if you use one of the berry containers, be sure to wrap each brownie individually since the berry containers are not air tight.

3 clear repurposed containers

I like to use repurposed recyclable containers because it’s earth-friendly and easy for my baby to simply recycle the container once she’s eaten all the brownies. Most colleges have recycling bins in the dorms and many even have recycling bins in each dorm room. My daughter doesn’t have to hold onto an empty container (in her much too small dorm room) to bring home on her next visit and I don’t have to feel guilty about her throwing away a perfectly good container. Using a repurposed recyclable food-safe container makes us both happy.

brownies in clear decorated bags in front of red and blue shipping box

Place containers in a shipping box. Simply slip your repurposed containers full of homemade treats into a shipping box and secure the containers well with recycled paper or shipping materials. Pack the containers in the box so that they don’t shake or rattle around.

3 different containers of brownies on white wood table

Include a list of ingredients. I often include a label with the name of the treat and a list of ingredients. This makes it easy for my daughter to share treats with her friends and address any food allergies with a clear answer. if you use a boxed mix, you can simply cut out the front of the box and the ingredients list from each box. If you use the list of ingredients from the box, be sure to write in any ingredients you added to the mix, like eggs and oil. 

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overhead view of brownies packed in clear containers with shipping box nearby

I always include enough baked treats so that my daughter can enjoy them herself and still have plenty to share with roommates, hall mates and friends. 

Pro Tips for Packing Brownies

Wrap each brownie individually. You can use plastic wrap, a plastic bag, parchment paper, wax paper or aluminum foil. This keeps each individual brownie sealed for freshness.

Place the individually wrapped brownies in a sturdy container. The key is to use an airtight container to maintain freshness. I like to use a recycled food grade plastic container so that the recipient can recycle it without guilt.

Pack the airtight container tightly in a sturdy shipping box. The best way to ensure the perishable items arrive in good condition is to place a layer of bubble wrap in the bottom of the box and then pack the loose space around your food container with packing material so it will reduce breakage and crumbling. You want the food gift to arrive in near perfect condition.

Frequently Asked Questions about Shipping Brownies

Can you freeze brownies before shipping?

The experts are divided on the answer to this question. Some advise against freezing brownies because they may get soggy as they defrost. Others do recommend freezing brownies since they will be kept fresher longer. I do freeze the brownies but time it so that they are fully defrosted within an hour of when I take them to the post office.

Can I send brownies in the mail?

You can ship brownies through the mail. They are one of the best baked goods to mail. Treats that are sturdy, like sense baked goods, will hold up to shipping. Items that do not have frosting are your best bet. Best options for delicious treats that will hold up to mailing are:

  • Dense brownies
  • Cookies, chocolate chips are always a good choice.
  • Quick bread, these are particularly popular in the fall.
  • Almost any kinds of cookies; crisp cookies and soft cookies do well, just don’t send one with icing or a glaze topping.
  • Pound cakes
  • Coffee cakes without glaze or icing
  • Loaf cakes
    • Pro tip – slice the loaf before wrapping the slices together in the loaf shape. This keeps the slices from drying out while making it easier for the recipient.
  • Bundt cakes, but use the same tip above about slicing and shipping.

How do you keep brownies fresh when shipping?

You can mail cut brownies in an aluminum baking pan or using the packing and shipping tips above. The key is to place the brownies in an airtight bag or container to keep them fresh and to pack them securely so they don’t get crushed or crumble during shipping.

Can you ship baked goods USPS?

Yes, you can ship baked goods through the mail via USPS. Shipping through USPS can be the least expensive, but I recommend you use flat rate Priority Mail so the package generally should arrive in 2 – 3 days.

I’m off to the post office now to send a college care package filled with love and homemade treats to each of my two babies.  Thanks to these tips for how to package brownies for shipping, I know that the treats will arrive whole, fresh and ready for my babies to enjoy (and share)

You can find all our best care package ideas in the table below. You can scroll though the table and look for ideas or search for specific ideas with the magnifying glass in the upper right-hand corner (on desktop). Click on the topic and then click through the specific article.

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  1. Dear Susan – I really like your idea of how to send the brownies. I have 2 grandsons in the US Navy, and they love my brownies. I also make spiced pretzels for them. Do you know of a way to send them so they don’t end up in pieces? They are the small pretzels. I would like to send them with the brownies. Thanks so much!

    1. Thank you, Amy. As a veteran myself, I know how much homemade treats are. How about if you packaged each pretzel separately and then pack them in a shoe box with rice? Or if you use small pretzels, package a layer of pretzels in an airtight bag, lay the bag flat in a shoe box and then add a layer of rice, another layer of packaged pretzels, layer of rice and so on. Stay tuned, I plan on sharing my tips on packaging cookies for shipping soon.

    2. Thank you, Susan, for your service! Thank you, Amy for the service of your family! Quick tip for Amy. It is best not to send crispy and soft cookies/bars in the same care package, because the crisp cookies (great travelers) tend to get soft. If you do, be sure to double wrap with plastic (even if the cookies are in a plastic storage box) to create a moisture barrier. Your grandsons are sure to be delighted.

  2. I love how you decorated the individual bags! How fun and cheerful! This is a care package bound to create smiles. πŸ™‚ Another good alternative for sending brownies (and the magic plastic knife) is to send the brownies uncut in a disposable pan wrapped in both foil then plastic wrap. Less exposed edges keeps the entire tray of brownies fresh longer and they travel very well that way. I always tape a magic plastic knife to the top of the wrapped bundle. πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks, Wendy. I honestly never thought of sending the brownies in the pan and letting my “baby” cut them when they arrive. Great idea! And glad you appreciate the magic plastic knife πŸ™‚

  3. Wish I would have had these tips when our son was in Afghanistan. Thank you for the tips. They will come in handy anyway.

    1. Thank you so much for your son’s and your family’s service, Rina. I hope the tips help for your shipment of future care packages. (There’s many service members that would appreciate a care package listed on AnySoldier.com ) πŸ™‚

  4. I was told this by an older friend who did this to deployed military family. Put cookies in zip lock bag & then into air popped popcorn. They have 2 snacks from home.

  5. When my son was deployed I always included his favorite homemade peanut butter cookie. I used Pringles potato chip cans to pack them in. Be sure to make the cookies small enough to fit. After they are completely cool, wrap four cookies in several layers of saran wrap and push them down into the can. Repeat until can is full. I would send several cans. They always got there perfectly.

  6. This is such a smart idea! I bet your children and their friends were so excited to get the brownies – especially brownies that were not crushed!

  7. I have been wanting to send my mom a care package and wondered how to package brownies. I love the way you’ve done it here – this will be perfect for what I’m planning!

  8. I’m so grateful you shared these tips for how to package brownies for care packages! My hubby is in the military and the very first batch I sent to him (brownies are his all-time favorite treat) arrived dry and crumbled. Tried your tips in my son’s college care pack and they worked perfectly!

  9. I know this might by off topic a little, but have you ever sent cold stuff? my daughter loves my homemade salsa and i would love to send it to her. any ideas?

    1. I haven’t sent anything that requires refrigeration, but I know that some medications are sent out with ice packs in Styrofoam packing. That might work for you. I know your daughter would be absolutely thrilled if you can make it work and send her your salsa! πŸ™‚

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