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How To Package and Ship Cookies

How To Package and Ship Cookies

If you're like us, you love creating beautiful sugar cookies decorated with royal icing. But have you ever wondered how to pack and ship them safely to friends and family? Don't worry, we've got you covered! Follow these simple steps to ensure your cookies arrive in perfect condition.

shipping cookies

Step 1: Wait for the Icing to Dry

Before you package your cookies, make sure the royal icing has fully dried. This will prevent the icing from smudging or sticking to the packaging material. Depending on the humidity and temperature in your area, it may take anywhere from 6 to 24 hours for the icing to dry completely.

How long does it take for royal icing to dry on sugar cookies?

The drying time for royal icing on sugar cookies can vary depending on the humidity and temperature of the environment. Generally, it takes about 6-8 hours for royal icing to dry completely on a sugar cookie. However, if the weather is humid or the cookies are stored in a damp area, it may take longer for the icing to dry. To speed up the drying process, you can use a fan to circulate air around the cookies. This can help to evaporate the moisture from the icing and make it dry faster. Another tip is to use a dehumidifier in the room where you're drying your cookies. This can help to reduce the humidity and speed up the drying process. It's important to make sure the icing is completely dry before packaging your cookies, otherwise the icing may stick to the packaging material and get damaged during shipping. You can test if the icing is dry by gently touching it with your finger. If it feels firm and doesn't leave a dent, it's dry and ready for packaging. If it's still soft or tacky, give it more time to dry. In addition to drying time, the thickness of the icing layer can also affect how long it takes to dry. Thicker layers of icing will take longer to dry than thin layers. If you're in a hurry, you can use a thinner layer of icing to speed up the drying time. Just make sure the icing is still thick enough to provide good coverage and create a beautiful design on your cookies.

Step 2: Bag Cookies Individually

Bag your cookies in individual clear bags as normal. Whether using lip and tape bags or opting to heat-seal, individually bagging the cookies will ensure they stay as fresh as possible in transit. 

Step 3: Wrap Your Cookies

Once your cookies are bagged for freshness, it's time to wrap them for safety. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Place two bagged cookies back-to-back to protect their front designs. Wrap the cookies in a length of bubble wrap, creating a small bundle, and secure with a piece of tape.
  • If the cookies have a fragile shape (a dinosaur with a long neck, for example), consider placing a sturdy piece of cardboard between the two cookies for extra support. Wrap with bubble wrap like normal.

Step 4: What's in the Box(es)?

Once your cookies are bubble-wrapped, it's time to break out the boxes--and yes, I do mean boxes, plural.

  • Place your wrapped and bundled cookies in a sturdy shipping box, standing up on their edge, instead of laying them flat.  This is one of the most important things you can do to ensure your cookies make it to their destination intact! Laying cookies flat can cause the ones on top to crush their friends underneath--not good! Standing the cookies upright will help protect all your hard decorating work.
  • Do not squeeze too many bundles into the box; if you are having to squish and compress some bundles to squeeze others tightly into place, the box is too small. You want everything to fit in snugly and well, without having to do damage to your cookies to even just get them in the box. Get a slightly bigger box, and continue.
  • Once all the cookie bundles are packed into the box, fill any open space with wadded newsprint, more bubble wrap, air pillows, etc. Close the box and shake it. Did you feel any movement in the box at all? If so, add more padding.  You should be able to shake the box vigorously and not feel even the tiniest bit of movement of the contents.  This will keep your cookies from moving around inside the box as they take their trip to their destination. No movement=no damage.
  • Once fully secured, tape up the box. Done, right? Ready to slap on a label? Nope! Here comes the second most important step…
  • Place your taped-up box inside ANOTHER (slightly larger) shipping box. Fill any space between the two boxes with paper, bubble wrap, etc. so that, again, you can shake everything without feeling any movement. The theory here is that if, for example, someone were to accidentally kick your box, they would actually only be kicking the outer box, and your inner cookie box would still be undamaged.
  • Tape up the outer box, slap on a label that says Fragile (it's Italian), and hand to your favorite delivery service.

Step 5: Mailing Your Package

Now that your cookies are packed up and ready to go, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • If you're mailing your cookies during the summer months or to a warm climate, consider shipping them overnight to prevent melting--ESPECIALLY if there's anything chocolate inside.
  • Choose a shipping option that provides tracking and insurance. This will give you peace of mind and ensure that your cookies arrive safely.
  • If possible, try to avoid mailing your cookies on a Friday or Saturday, as they may be sitting in a postal facility for an extended period of time. UPS and FedEx, in particular, do not consider weekends to be “business days,” so handing them a box on Friday almost guarantees your cookies will be sitting for at least two full days with no movement.
  • If you are a cottage baker and are allowed to ship, consider adding a clause in your contract that addresses cookies that might be damaged in transit. Once you ship the package, they are quite literally out of your hands, so make sure to include terms that address damage done en route, and what compensation might be required from you to your customer, if any.

By following these simple steps, you can package and mail your beautiful sugar cookies decorated with royal icing with confidence. Happy baking and happy mailing!

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Chaya - May 23, 2024

Has anyone ever brought a box of decorated cookies on an airplane, through TSA? Did security give you any problems?

The Cookie Countess replied:
We have brought cookies on planes numerous times with no issues! Safe travels!

Marie Swinton - December 29, 2023

The his was extremely helpful! Thank you so much.

Kathy - November 20, 2023

Thank you, I was about to ship my first order – incorrectly. You saved the day!
The Cookie Countess replied:
Yay! We love hearing that! Let us know how it goes!❤

Alea - November 20, 2023

Thank you so much for your advice!! I’ve had many requests to ship cookies, but I’ve always been so nervous they would break. This is very helpful!
The Cookie Countess replied:
You got this! Let us know how they make it to their destination!

Malinda - August 1, 2023

This was very helpful. Thanks

Bobi - July 24, 2023

This was very helpful. I am nervous to ship and now I feel more confident.

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