15 Baked Goods Our Editors Are Gifting This Holiday Season

Because the best gifts are edible ones.
December 09, 2020

If you're looking to send something special to your loved ones this season, baked goods can really go the distance. Lucky for us, some of our favorite pastry chefs and bakeries have fantastic homemade goods available to send nationwide. We rounded up several of our favorite options, from stollen and panettone to rum cakes and challah bread. Read on for all the goodies to sent this season.

Gucci Osteria da Massimo Bottura Panettone

There’s truly nothing I love more about the holidays more than a fluffy loaf of panettone, and this limited edition offering from Gucci Osteria da Massimo Bottura is absolutely breathtaking. It arrives in a luxurious satchel tucked inside a pink tin with the iconic Gucci eye logo emblazoned on the front (which I’ll be using as a chic storage bin for years to come), and the gianduia chocolate and orange combination is sweet, fluffy, and gooey –– basically, everything I want out of a holiday breakfast. It goes without saying that this panettone is better dressed than I ever will be, and despite the steep price tag, she’s worth every penny. ($150; place orders via emailing gucciosteria.bh@gucci.com) –– Associate Restaurant Editor Oset Babür

Mediterra Bakehouse Stollen

stollen
Credit: Mediterra

As a Bavarian whose mother and grandmother baked stollen every Christmas, I have eaten a crap-ton of the stuff in my time. Yes, I know stollen is technically from Dresden in eastern Germany and not Bavaria, but it’s been a mainstay on our festive table since I was a wee thing. Naturally, that means I have opinions. Firstly, I’m well in the marzipan camp; truly what is Christmas if you’re not eating your body weight in almond-ey marzipan? I also prefer a stollen that does not resemble a dense brick full of nuts and fruit. This is not a British Christmas cake, after all. Luckily the stollen from Mediterra Bakehouse ticks both these boxes. Their version resembles a true bread with nice air and height to it, and it has a rich marzipan center. They use rum-soaked golden raisins, candied citrus peel, and almonds in their stollen and I am here for it. Put slices of this sweet bread on your cookie platter or do as we do—slather in butter for breakfast! Ships nationwide. ($20; mediterrabakehouse.com) — Deputy Editor Melanie Hansche   

Resy Cookie Box 

resy cookie box
Credit: Ovenly

This extra-special box of cookies was made possible by a partnership between the restaurant reservation platform Resy, NYC bakery Ovenly, and 12 star chefs from across the country. The box features 12 inventive cookies, like a Chocolate Coconut Pecan Cookie with Curry Salt from Nina Compton, a Cardamom Brown Butter Shortbread Cookie from Alice Waters, and a Criollo Oatmeal Cookie from Enrique Olvera. Plus, a portion of proceeds from each box sold will go to Jose Andres’ nonprofit, World Central Kitchen. ($56; store.oven.ly) –– Associate Features Editor Nina Friend

Valerie Confections Extravagant Winter Gift Set 

valerie confections gift box
Credit: Valerie Confections

One of my favorite markers of winter is the arrival of peppermint bark. Bracing-but-sweet mint, layered with bitter dark and divinely sweet white chocolates, it’s indulgent and refreshing all at once. Valerie Confections’ version comes in beautiful, sleek bars, perfect for snapping off little bites throughout the holidays (they also make classic shards of bark, but I’m partial to the bars). Their Extravagant Winter Gift Set contains a bar of that precious pepperminty treat, alongside a season’s worth of sweets: boozy bourbon ganache-filled Eggnog Petit Fours, minty Evergreen Truffles decorated with a delicate tree motif, a Baby Grand box (a collection of their classic truffles, toffees, and caramels), and a tin of their decadent hot chocolate for cold winter nights. It is the perfect extravagant gift for yourself, the sweet tooth on your list, or, you could easily break it up and spread the good cheer (each selection is individually wrapped). ($160; valerieconfections.com— Associate Food Editor Kelsey Youngman

Manresa Cookie Tin

manresa cookie tin
Credit: Manresa

There are cookie tins and then there’s the Manresa cookie tin. It’s the most elegant way to send cookies to your loved ones — especially if you don’t feel like breaking out the baking sheets, flour, and powdered sugar. The tin, which contains 20 cookies in total, has five different cookie varieties made from five different freshly milled flours. Think tender corn vanilla lemon sables, nutty whole wheat chocolate chunk walnut cookies made with rye, and spicy oat ginger molasses chew cookies. The cookies arrive in a charming tin directly from California. ($55, manresabread.com) –– Restaurant Editor Khushbu Shah

Dandelion Chocolate Gâteau Basque

Dandelion Chocolate's Gâteau Basque
Credit: Courtesy of Dandelion Chocolate

I’m known to start whipping up batches of Dandelion Chocolate’s delicious hot chocolate as soon as the temperature in NYC drops below 40 degrees, but this special gateau is a real highlight of the season. Filled with 70% Camino Verde chocolate, it’s a slightly bitter cake with a perfectly crispy shell, meant to delight both chocoholics and “not dessert people” (whoever you are) alike. ($50; dandelionchocolate.com) –– OB

La Bodega Rum Cakes

rum cake
Credit: La Bodega

The best thing to receive in the mail is an entire cake. Give someone that joy by mailing them a rum cake made by pastry chef Paola Velez at her team at La Bodega in DC. There are two options available: a chocolate version that is made with an Appleton Estate butter rum soak and a Dominican chocolate cake and a golden version made with a buttery vanilla pound cake based and a Nephew Rum soak. Both arrive decorated with flakey sea salt and fresh flower petals and are sure to make anyone’s holiday boozy and bright. ($45; eatlabodega.com) –– KS

Clementine’s Naughty and Nice Creamery Ice Creams

clementine creamery
Credit: Clementine Creamery

This St. Louis-based small-batch ice cream shop makes all of their mix-ins by hand. For Hanukkah, they’re releasing three flavors that sum up the Festival of Lights—minus the potato latkes. Sink your teeth into Sufganiyot, made with swirls of raspberry jam and pieces of spongy doughnuts, Rugelach, AKA cream cheese ice cream with lots of cinnamon and actual bits of house-made rugelach, and Challah Bread Pudding, a mix of salted caramel, Saint Brendan’s Irish Cream Liqueur, and chunks of bread pudding made with local baker Companion Baking’s challah. (From $15; clementinescreamery.com) –– NF

Masa Madre Cinnamon Churro Babka 

Babka
Credit: Masa Madre

Friends and bakers Tamar and Elena combined their Mexico City upbringing with their Jewish heritages to form Masa Madre, an online bakery based in Chicago. The menu results are true crowd-pleasers, including this cinnamon churro babka that has all the fun of the beloved dessert, but none of the deep-frying. The babka is crispy on the outside like a good churro and is ribboned with cinnamon sugar filling that makes it impossible to not go back for second helpings. ($20, hellomasamadre.com) –– KS

Lady M Marron Mille Crepes 

lady m
Credit: Lady M

There are few things as visually pleasing to look at than a slice of crepe cake. This winter holiday-only flavor from Lady M features a pleasing stack of tender and lacy golden crepes layered with rich chestnut pastry cream. The cake arrives dusted with powdered sugar and a crown of shiny glazed chestnuts — which are incredibly easy to eat and don’t require being roasted on an open fire. ($105; ladym.com) –– KS

Tatte Bakery Cookie Box

tatte
Credit: Tatte Bakery

Every holiday season, I purchase a Tatte cookie box to bring home to my parents in Istanbul. While I’m not able to spend time with them this year, this box is bringing all of the comfort and nostalgia I’m craving in the form of little buttery squares that pair perfectly with tea time. ($16, tattebakery.com) –– OB

Red Bread Seasonal Pastry Box  

red bread pastries
Credit: Red Bread

Red Bread is a beloved local bakery in Los Angeles, my hometown, and their breads and sweets are infused with the particular passion of owner and fermenter, Rose Wilde. She uses stoneground, whole grain flours in all of her sourdough-based baked goods, sourced from local farmers committed to organic and sustainable practices, and creatively cooks and bakes to run a nearly zero waste kitchen. The care she puts into her business shines through in her food. Her December Seasonal Pastry Box (available in small and large sizes) includes Almond Amoretti Cookies, “Coal” Cream Puffs (filled with “darkest chocolate mousse”), a slice of her moist and decadent Coconut Dream Layer cake, and several holiday surprises: perhaps some small-batch preserves, some of her tangy, chewy breads, and sweets from the pastry case (or the back kitchen- these boxes often include treats not sold anywhere else). 5% of each sale goes to the local organizations working to end hunger. (From $20; eatredbread.com) –– KY

Maman’s Holiday Cookie Box 

maman cookies
Credit: Maman

I’ll come right out and say it: caramel chocolate hazelnut is the way to go with this cookie box. Sure, you could go for a variety pack and add in the peppermint chocolate as well as the brown butter cranberry oatmeal cookies (you can’t actually make a bad decision), but I guarantee you the hazelnut cookies are the ones everyone will be fighting after. You’ve been warned. ($65, mamannyc.com) –– OB

Big.Fat.Cookie Holiday Packs

These cookies from Chicago-based company Big.Fat.Cookie live up to their name: they’re big, they’re fat, and their holiday flavors are full of festive cheer. The Eight Crazy Nights Hanukkah Pack has hand-gilded gelt, lots of Hanukkah sprinkles, and a Sufganiyot flavor that’s basically a jelly doughnut turned into a cookie. The Twelve Days of Christmas Pack pack is red and green with peppermint all over—there’s a golden Oreo, pink peppermint park, and enough Nutella to last you through New Years. (From $27; eatmebigfatcookie.com) Full disclosure: this is my mom’s cookie company. Read more about it here! –– NF

Manresa Bread Triple Chocolate Orange Panettone 

manresa panettone
Credit: Manresa

We all deserve more luxurious carbs this year. One of the best? This triple chocolate orange panettone from Manresa Bread. It’s made with organic wheat flour and loaded with candied orange bits and plenty of chocolate. Yet, it remains impossibly light and airy. And best of all when you’re done enjoying slices straight from the loaf, it’s incredible when battered and transformed into an elegant riff on French toast. ($45; manresabread.com) –– KS