My Favorite Homemade Gift: How to Make Your Own Baking Mix

Do you enjoy giving homemade presents to your family and friends?

Do you sometimes spend a lot of time figuring out how to wrap and decorate the goodies you’ve made?

Gift Idea: Homemade Baking Mix in a Jar | Foodal.com

Read on to find out how you can jazz up your handmade edible gifts for the perfect surprise.

Just imagine all the possibilities:

• Make a baking mix for your friend’s favorite cake
• Create an individualized cereal to enjoy
• Prepare a personalized spice mix that makes a great base for risotto

All you need is a basic recipe for anything from cookies, cakes and tarts to pasta or rice dishes.

All you need to do is collect all of the dry ingredients that are used in the recipe, and layer them one after another in a nice transparent bottle or jar (Take a look at my “Dos” and “Don’ts“ below for tips on how to do this) .

Homemade Cookie Mix in a Jar | Foodal.com

By the way, this is also a great idea for a gift if the person you’re giving the present to has any allergies or food intolerances.

Simply cater your mix to their needs, and be careful not to cross-contaminate with any other mixtures you’re making that might contain no-no ingredients.

So, if you’re in need of a last-minute gift, whether for Christmas or a birthday, this should be your number one choice.

What to put in there

You can fill up your personal mixture with:

– Flour
All kinds of nuts (whole/chopped/sliced/ground)
– Dried fruits (cranberries, raisins, apples, apricots, dates…)
– Chocolate chunks/sprinkles/candy
– Sugar (white/brown/powdered…)
– Spices (cinnamon, aniseed, vanilla, salt, pepper, cardamom…)
– Seeds, grains and other ingredients like: poppy seeds, rolled oats, desiccated coconut, coffee beans, milk powder, cocoa powder, etc.
Dried/freeze-dried vegetables and spices (onions, tomatoes, leeks, peas, thyme, rosemary, oregano, chili flakes…)
– Uncooked rice/pasta

Tip: The amounts of individual ingredients that you add to the jar or other container should match what’s called for in the recipe you have chosen.

What to leave out

All the wet and fresh ingredients a recipe could require, like:

  • Any type of milk, juice or other liquids
  • Butter or margarine
  • Oils
  • Eggs
  • Fresh fruits or vegetables

Final decorations

You’re not done yet! Finish up your gift with something decorative:

Write out your recipe, being sure to include a list of remaining ingredients that need to be added and the instructions (or a few baking tips and tricks for good measure). Stick it to the jar or bottle with a nice ribbon or cord.

Get some fancy stamps or colorful tags that say “homemade” or “made with love,” and add a loving note to give your gift that personal touch.

Homemade Cranberry Muffin Mix in a Jar | Foodal.com

Decorate sweet mixtures with cinnamon sticks or vanilla pods, and use dried chili peppers or herb sprigs for savory dishes.

Use a jar or a transparent bottle with a swing stopper for a rustic look. A rinsed and dried milk bottle makes a nice container, too.

Keep in mind: It’s best to prepare the mixture as late as possible so the ingredients don’t spend too much time in the bottle. You can add a little note with an expiration date, too.

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About Nina-Kristin Isensee

Nina lives in Iserlohn, Germany and holds an MA in Art History (Medieval and Renaissance Studies). She is currently working as a freelance writer in various fields. She enjoys travel, photography, cooking, and baking. Nina tries to cook from scratch every day when she has the time and enjoys trying out new spices and ingredients, as well as surprising her family with new cake creations.

20 thoughts on “My Favorite Homemade Gift: How to Make Your Own Baking Mix”

  1. Love this idea! I have some really picky in-laws and am constantly on the lookout for good ideas for them.
    Since they seem to like my baking, this could be a fabulous alternative to either spending hours browsing around the mall or buying gift cards. I’ve already got some recipes in mind!

    Thanks so much for the inspiration!

    • Happy that you like the idea. Indeed, especially for people who are sensitive when it comes to eating (due to flavors they don’t like or intolerances they have), this is a nice git. But, of course, I’m sure it’s something everyone will take much pleasure in. And – good point you give – it saves you lots of time looking for the right present. I hope you enjoy making these treats at home and give them away!

  2. This is a very good idea especially to give to someone who loves to cook. I think is a much better present then baking cookies. It is a lot more thoughtful and allows the person to try a recipe they may have otherwise never made before. I will definitely buy glass jars and do this next year.

  3. This looks awesome. I never tried it with cake mixes and the like but I made a hot cocoa one for my friend once. Can we put in any kind of flour? I know certain ones like whole wheat mess up the consistency of certain desserts and light pastries. Should I be using white bleached flour or is it optional? Also If I use nut flour should I leave out the next layer of nuts? I think it might overpower the flavor of whatever I’m trying to make if I use almond flour and then make a layer of almonds. If it’s a cake mixture should I add the baking powder and salt to the flour or add that later?

    • You can use any kind of flour, it’s optional. I’d say that whole wheat flour is indeed difficult to use for desserts and things like that. Maybe you have a recipe that you can take as a basis for your choice?
      I think you might be right about the nuts/nut flour combination. Regular flour and a layer of nuts would be a good choice as the nuts provide a nice look. But it depends on the recipe and what is required. Ground, whole or chopped nuts? It’s best to put the things inside in that way they are asked for in your recipe.

      If you make a recipe up by yourself, feel free to write an instruction for the people who get the gifts. You can adjust some things the way you like and tell them what to do with the ingredients. So if a cake-mix needs baking powder and salt, you can already mix it into the jar. If not, add a note for that so the person knows it is still missing.
      I hope I could answer all your questions. Enjoy making it! 🙂

  4. What wonderful gift ideas Nina-Kristin! I especially love the first one in the article. It is indeed the perfect gift for my baking loving friends. I also like the idea of making the gift out of spices. I could also be a great gift to be given before Thanksgiving and the gift given to be a spices jar for the Thanksgiving Turkey. Thanks again Nina, you always give the best recipes and have the coolest ideas!

    • Thank you very much, Michelle, for your nice feedback, I appreciate that ! 🙂 It’s a great idea you have with the mixed spices for a turkey. That is a nice choice to adjust this idea to different occasions or holidays. I really hope you can make your friends and family happy with your homemade and personally composed baking or cooking mixes. Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

  5. I have been watching the Steve Harvey show for some time now. I have developed great love for the show especially in this festive season that he is showcasing some of his family’s best homemade gifts. I think they should be included in this forum too.

  6. This is adorable! I love this idea for a relatively cheap Christmas present because I’d already have most of the ingredients you’d need! The best thing about this is how you can really tailor it to the person receiving the gift and I can’t help thinking of all the cute treats you could make… gingerbread men (could attach a cutter), chocolate peppermint cookies, cinnamon sugar cookies! How have I never had this idea before? It would also be good to do this with hot chocolates. You could also do it as part of a larger gift too – you could add some cute baking items like a nice spatula or whisk? Or a mug if you did a hot chocolate one or make it part of a pamper kit. Just missed out on this for 2015 but I’m thinking next year I’ll propose a DIY Secret Santa as an excuse to make these!

    • You’ve listed some fantastic ideas here! I especially like the gingerbread man-mix with a cutter and the idea of adding some specific items like a whisk. You can make such a personal gift with this idea. Plus, you already pointed out, you often have most of the ingredients at home – or they aren’t too expensive. Right now, you can collect some fabolous ideas over the year and finally have less to think about when it comes to preparing the Christmas gifts next year 😉 Have fun!

  7. This certainly looks like an inexpensive, yet beautiful and meaningful gift. It’s definitely better than scented candles, that’s for sure.

    I wasn’t able to prepare these in time for Christmas this year, but it’s something I fully intend to do next Christmas!

  8. I used to receive these from my grandmother from time to time. i never really thought about doing it myself for somebody. It is a nice idea though.

  9. I’m an avid baker and this could definitely come in handy the next time one of my friends might want to try a new creation I made (but too lazy to find all the ingredients for it xD) I could probably just make them this and add a recipe along with it so they can try to make it themselves ^^ Seems like a simple enough gift for someone like me who doesn’t want to waste too much money on presents xD

    Also, I like the expiration date tip, that sounds like a good idea! So people make the recipe before all the ingredients expire 🙂

    • Indeed, that is one great way to have your friends try your creation.
      Whenever I give away one homemade mix together with a written recipe, it is very well received! And, like you say, it’s kind of a money saver, too, but still a nice and personal gift 🙂
      I hope you friends will like it!

  10. Ohhh… This is a nice idea! (Why haven’t I thought about it? XP guess I’m not creative enough XD) I’ve seen bottles/mason jars filled with different spices but just for display. I’ve also seen sweets being put in a mason jar. But this is the first time that I’ve seen a mason jar filled with the ingredients of the sweets rather than the sweet themselves. This makes it even more fun for the receiver because they would be able to make the recipe with (supposedly) the right amount of ingredients, no waste of ingredients (which is usually my problem -I seldom make sweets and when I make one, there’s some unused portion of the ingredients that won’t be used until I make another batch/another recipe -which I seldom do…). Thanks for the idea! ^_^

    • Those are indeed great advantages of this gift you’re talking about. It is such a fun idea with so many possibilities, that can be used at holidays or different occasions.
      I hope you enjoy preparing some jars for your family or friends and surprise them with their personal mixture.

  11. That’s such a cute idea and something I’d love to receive. Just one thing though – I’d definitely need some type of basic instructions to go with it otherwise I’d just end up dumping the load in a bowl and hoping for the best.

    • Sure, actually you can take any recipe you like (either in cookbooks, or here on Foodal 😉 )
      Let’s say you decide for a baking-mix. You get through the recipe and search for all the “dry” ingredients (you can find the list above in the article). You can start with the largest amount (often flour), measure, and give it into the bowl/jar/bottle. Then you measure and add the other additions gently on top (e.g. sugar, cocoa powder, ground nuts).
      You can make a label and write down the extra ingredients that are needed (e.g. eggs, milk, butter). Stick it to the jar and you’re ready to go 🙂
      For the specific amounts, you just need to refer to the recipe you’ve chosen.

  12. Oh my god, this is such a good, practical, cheap and of course, delicious idea for a present! I would love anyone who showed up on my birthday with a present like this, it’s so original!
    But, I wonder if using sugar on it would be a good idea… I mean, I see chocolate chips and dry fruits as some kind of snack, but I don’t think that sugar would be a good snack idea, lol. I would love to replace it with crunched granola bars or something like that, colorful and delicious.

    • Thank you, it’s indeed a cute and easy idea for so many occasions.
      Well, using sugar depends on the recipe. It’s not that I recommend sugar as a snack, but if you make a “baking mix” for a cake or for cookies, you can already add it to the jar. If you like to make a “snacking jar” or a mix for homemade muesli, sure, granola bars or something similar is a better choice 🙂

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