Prior to sending my oldest off to college, I’m not sure I ever mailed one of my kids a care package. But since her freshman year, I’ve found popping an occasional little something in the mail to be a sweet way to stay connected. And while my packages aren’t always about food, I do think baked goods from the home front can’t be beat. With that in mind, I’ve curated 12 recipes that range from mega healthy to mildly decadent and work well when boxed up and sent in the mail. I’ve also learned a few things in the care package process that might come in handy.

Care Package Tips

  • Send your baked goods as soon after baking as you can swing it for maximum freshness. Best is to send earlier in the week, so your package doesn’t get held up at the post office over the weekend.
  • Wrap everything well! A layer of plastic wrap plus a resealable bag work for most baked goods. Provide some padding around the goodies so they don’t get jostled on their journey. Crumbled newspaper or tissue paper will do the trick.
  • I’ve found the US Postal service flat-rate priority service to be the most affordable way to mail things in a speedy fashion. If you go with their small flat rate box, it costs $7.20 and will arrive in 1 to 3 days. Consider picking up the box in advance so you can pack it at home once your treats are baked and cooled.
  • Consider including a little something extra to go with the treats, such as a favorite tea or hot cocoa mix.
  • Don’t forget a love note! That may be the best gift of all.

12 Care Package Recipes

1. Cowboy Cookies


slow cooker pumpkin bread

2. Slow Cooker Pumpkin Bread (works in the oven, too)

Flourless peanut butter cookies

3. Four-Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies

(Tip: be sure to pad well around these cookies, since they can be delicate if battered around too much)

Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

4. Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins or Bread

Coconut Granola Bark

5. Coconut Granola Bark

healthier blondies

6. Whole Lotta Love Bars

Make your own trail mix

7. Homemade Trail Mix

gluten-free bread made without yeast or xantham gum

8. Adventure BreadPumpkin spice blueberry muffins

9. Pumpkin Spice Blueberry Muffins

homemade granola bars

10. Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

11. Ginger Molasses Rye Cookies

Chocolate Hemp Bars

12. Chocolate Hemp Amaze Bars

(Tip: these will travel best if you don’t cut them before you send  AND advise your college student to refrigerate when they arrive, since they hold up together better in the fridge).