Whether it's a crispy cookie or a perfectly frosted cupcake, baked goods are one of life's greatest pleasures. And thanks to the miracles of modern shipping, you can have them sent directly to someone's door.
Named the "Best Cookie in America" by Time Out, these 8-inch-wide behemoths are embedded with chocolate chips, caramel chunks, and glittery flakes of sea salt. They're crafted in Minneapolis by baker Tina Rexing, who has spent 20 years getting the recipe just right. The package contains five cookies, and each half-pound treat supposedly serves three. (But we won't judge if the giftee eats it all by themselves.)
Find It: Goldbely
Chocolate is fine and all, but what about booze? This rural bakery in Virginia has been named one of the best small-town bakeries in America, and their mail-order moonshine cakes frequently receive accolades. The 8-inch ring cake is "made with real Virginny corn whiskey hooch from our pals in the next county," according to the folks at Red Truck. Add plenty of lemon zest, dried blueberries, and a sugar glaze, and you've got a refreshing (if potent) dessert.
Find It: Goldbely
3. ANCHOR BAKERY DOUGHNUT OF THE MONTH CLUB SUBSCRIPTION; $25 PER MONTH
These mini-donuts from Anaheim's Anchor Bakery are free of additives and preservatives, so the post-doughnut glow can linger a little longer. The subscription includes a dozen of their monthly featured flavors, and comes in three-month, six-month, and 12-month subscriptions—for people who love doughnuts, but not commitment.
Find It: Anchor Bakery
4. SWEETIE PIES BAKERY PUMPKIN PIE; $40
There’s nothing quite like digging into the creamy custard of a pumpkin pie encircled by a perfectly flaky crust, and Sweetie Pie delivers (literally). In fact, Food & Wine says this is the best mail-order pumpkin pie in America. Plus, it’s topped pretty with pastry leaves for a rustic-looking decorative flourish.
Find It: FoodyDirect
5. MILK BAR B'DAY TRUFFLES; $25
These little truffles from the inventive Milk Bar bakery pack in all the joy you felt eating birthday cake as a kid—they're moist vanilla rainbow cake mixed with vanilla-infused milk, coated with white chocolate and rolled in rainbow cake crumbs. And the lack of candles means there's no need to pretend it's anyone's birthday.
Find It: Goldbely
This Oprah-approved South Florida bakery has been shipping cupcakes around the country since before it was cool. Their eight large cupcakes arrive topped with both cream cheese frosting and a delicate buttercream flower and pearl, packaged in a custom cake box that’s nestled in a dry ice cooler to keep things fresh. If red velvet isn't your thing, they also have chocolate, coconut, and golden butter options (or get an assortment to try all three).
Find It: We Take the Cake
For those unfamiliar with babka, imagine a chocolate croissant married with brioche cake, only better and more Eastern European. Named "Best of NY chocolate babka" by New York Magazine, this creation presents babka in the shape of a pie, for a holiday delight that is sure to wow the recipient.
Find It: Foodydirect
8. KILLER BROWNIES THE ORIGINAL; $5
For some people, nothing less than a brownie will do for the ultimate treat. Send them these pecan-studded goodies filled with gooey caramel, and watch them die of happiness.
Find It: Shopdldm.com
Berry pie aficionados will love this fragrant dessert. Created by former White House pastry chef Bill Yosses, the "It's Pie Day" Huckleberry and Blueberry Pie features Northwest Passage huckleberries and Maine blueberries in a buttery crust. The pie arrives in a handcrafted birchwood presentation box to make it feel even more special.
Find It: Perfect Pie
What can make your favorite person's morning coffee a bit better? These cinnamon biscuits baked in Charleston, South Carolina. Send them to someone living in a biscuit desert and watch the thank-you notes roll in.
Find It: Callie's Biscuits
11. ZINGERMAN'S BREAD CLUB; PRICES VARY
Zingerman’s Deli in Ann Arbor is known for its hearth-baked breads, and they have an exclusive club for carb-lovers: Zingerman's Bread Club. You can choose from three-month and six-month options, with one or two loaves arriving each month. Many of the options are savory—think sourdough and rustic peasant breads—but there's also cinnamon-raisin and chocolate varieties sprinkled throughout, for those who like their mail-order surprises with a bit of sugar.
Find It: Zingerman’s