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Homemade Food Gifts

17+ Tasty Gifts to Make Yourself


These recipes for homemade gifts are a fun (and delicious) departure from standard cookies and candy. Pack them in pretty jars, bottles, or tins with homemade labels for truly personal and unique gifts.

Granted, a few of them require advanced planning if you want to give them at Christmas – but you can always plan ahead for next year!

1. Candied Lemon Peel

Candied Lemon Peel
Photo © Molly Watson

When packed into simple glass jars, Candied Lemon Peel makes a beautiful and delicious gift.

2. Cranberry Chutney

Photo © Molly Watson
Whether you like it spicy or plain, cranberry chutney is perfect when you want to give a gift that can be easily incorporated into the holiday feast. Use it as you would cranberry sauce, or dollop it on goat cheese-smeared crackers for a quick appetizer.


3. Cranberry Cordial

Cranberry Liqueur
Photo © Molly Watson
This Cranberry Cordial makes a beautiful gift when poured into a pretty bottle and wrapped with a festive ribbon. The brilliant jewel red color doesn't hurt, and neither does the sweet, floral flavor – delicious simply chilled on its own, but also a great twist on the classic kir royale when used in place of the traditional crème de cassis.

4. Coffee Liqueur (Kahlua)

Homemade Coffee Liqueur (Kahlua)
Photo © Molly Watson

This easy homemade coffee liqueur is just like Kahlua, only more delicious. (Note: you need to start this one a few weeks before giving it.)

5. Cucumber Vodka

Photo © Molly Watson

One of my favorite homemade gifts to make and to give is infused vodka. The necessary investment? Some fresh produce, some decent but not super-fancy Vodka (I've used Skyy and Square One both to great effect), a pretty bottle into which you can decant the final product, a lovely bow or gift bag, and time. So many flavored vodkas are now available for purchase, I've had to stay a step ahead and create flavors for which the market may be smaller.

A bit of cool summer flavor can be most welcome in the dead of winter. This fresh bit of not-sweet infusion is also easy-peasy to make.

6. Ginger Syrup

Homemade Cucumber Mint Soda
Photo © Molly Watson
Flavored simple syrup can be used in cocktails, over ice cream, or to make homemade soda. Ginger not your thing? Try lemon syrup or mint syrup. Be sure to pack it in decorative bottles for maximum effect.

7. Harissa

Photo © Molly Watson

Harissa is a hot sauce – more of a paste really – from North Africa. Homemade Harissa is easy to make and looks quite pretty packed into jars. There are as many harissa recipes as there are cooks from the countries that use it, so feel free to experiment with types of chiles and amount of aromatics to find the mix you like best.

Note that fresh, homemade harissa needs to be refrigerated, so wrap and give it at the last minute – this is a homemade food gift that shouldn't sit under the tree!

8. Horseradish-Infused Vodka

Photo © Molly Watson

Sounds strange, doesn't it? It is, I guess. But it is also a bracing drink for winter nights when served well chilled, goes beautifully with oysters, and takes a Bloody Mary to a whole new level of fabulousness. This Horseradish-Infused Vodka is also a great digestif served ice cold on a winter's night. Small bottles make ample gifts!

9. Infused Olive Oil

Olive Oil With Olives
Photo © Brian Hagiwara, used with permission from Getty Images
This Lemon-Infused Olive Oil is delicious in salads and lovely on the shelf (as well as under the tree).

10. Lemon Sugar / Orange Sugar

Photo © Molly Watson

Storing sugar and lemon and/or orange zest together creates a delightful lemon-scented sugar  or orange sugar perfect for sprinkling on treats and sweetening drinks. Packing it into pretty jars with a handcrafted labels makes a lovely gift.

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