These easy gift ideas with store-bought desserts make great last-minute gifts for friends and family during the holiday season and beyond.
Create DIY gifts with tasty cookies, brownies, cinnamon rolls and more without having to turn on your oven! They’re delicious and something anyone would love to receive.
*This post is sponsored by Rich’s Products as part of the Bakery Because “Give the gift of deliciousness” campaign.
This post was originally published on February 5, 2014 and has now been updated with more easy gift ideas for your loved ones.
While I share a lot of easy dessert recipes on the blog, I don’t consider myself a skilled baker or even like baking all that much. My Boozy Cupcakes would make a great treat, but when I need a quicker gift, store-bought desserts are the way to go!
Why Use Store-Bought Desserts
You don’t need to spend days baking special treats to show someone how much you appreciate or love them. Store-bought treats are there for you, ready to use.
While they might be a little plain for my liking, all it takes is a moment to jazz them up and create an easy DIY gift idea.
They taste just as good as anything that I could make but saves me time! You can gift them all to one person or break them up and go on a gift-giving spree.
They are also inexpensive making them perfect to gift for even the smallest reason. For teacher appreciation day or even as a neighborly gift around the holidays, these easy gift ideas won’t break the bank!
When entertaining at home, I always sprinkle in some store-bought desserts. So why wouldn’t you start gifting with them too?
Related: Be sure to see how I used all store-bought cookies for a fun (and stress free Cookie Exchange Party!)
And want to give a delicious gift to someone who doesn’t live nearby? Cupcakes in a jar make a fun gift idea!
How to Get Started
Your local grocery store’s bakery section is an untapped resource. For real. You may know what your bakery stocks, but if you don’t you should brose next time you are there.
From baked goods, decorated cakes, cookies (decorated and undecorated), and even accessories (the coolest candles and sprinkles!) there are so many options to choose from.
Amazon even has tons of ready-to-go baked desserts to order which means you may not even need to leave your house to put these DIY gift ideas together.
And, don’t forget, at the holidays the stores will have Panettone. It’s an Italian Christmas cake that is SO tasty! Most people don’t buy them for themselves and are surprised to find how delicious they are.
And once you decide what you want to tasty thing you want to gift, you just need to come up with a fun way to package it up.
Easy Gift Ideas
1. DIY Cookie Decorating Kits
Around major holidays, my store sells undecorated cookies that your family can decorate at home. Why not repackage them and make a cute little DIY cookie decorating kit using store-bought cookies?
These little cookie pouches were really quick to make. All you have to do is take a piece of cardstock, cut it to fit the size of the width of the cookie, then fold in half and tape on the sides to create a cookie envelope.
I found these cute little glass vials which are perfect for the sprinkles.
A cute paper bag and some scrapbook paper is the perfect way to wrap up the store-bought cookies into a pretty little package.
2. Berry Bruschetta
Take things one step further by creating a recipe using one of the store-bought desserts! I created this super simple dessert bruschetta idea using store-bought sugar cookies as the base.
It’s a delicious treat that is easy to make. This doesn’t hold up well so you may want to gift all the ingredients and provide the recipe so they can put them together themselves.
This is a fun gift idea for a family since they can build this dessert themselves. It’s dessert and an activity!
3. Dessert Charcuterie Board
If you haven’t put together a dessert charcuterie board yet, you need to! The recipient would be so excited to receive one of these drool-worthy gift ideas. This is an especially great idea near the holidays.
It is a gift she can enjoy but will take some stress off of her as well. She can serve this to friends and family without having to put it all together.
Between the in-store bakery and candy aisles, you can gather all your supplies easily. Create one like my Hot Chocolate Charcuterie Board or another type of themed board.
4. Pie Time
I rarely make pies. But sometimes totally crave them! You can grab a fresh-baked pie from the bakery and pair it with a hand towel, and decorative serving pieces to create a fun gift idea.
If your store doesn’t have utensils, you can easily pick up a pie serving set on Amazon. I just bought this set and it’s GORGEOUS and comes in a really nice box.
5. Gift a Cinnamon Roll
If you aren’t into cookies (what are you, some kind of alien?) you can also pick up store-bought cinnamon rolls.
Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day so I think getting a delicious surprise breakfast treat would be super cool and totally unexpected.
Serve it in a cute container like a reusable berry basket. Don’t forget the napkin and fork so they can dig right in!
Or make it even more of a gift by putting the cinnamon roll into a coffee mug. There is nothing better than a warm cinnamon roll. With this, all they have to do is pop it in the microwave and then eat.
This would be a perfect last-minute gift idea for anyone, right?
6. Brownie Cake
Sometimes you can take a dessert and serve it in a different way. It makes it feel extra special and shows you took some time to put this together for your friend.
Grab a few containers of store-bought brownies and make a Brownie Cake! This feels super celebratory and is easier to transport than a big cake.
While I used boxed brownie mix, can easily stack pre-cut brownies to resemble the shape of a tiered cake.
7. Donut Tree
Donut Holes are so much fun no matter how you slice it. Create a faux croquembouche or donut tree by adding some decorative sparkles and adding them to a styrofoam form with toothpicks.
This works as a dessert idea as well as a fun way to serve breakfast on a special occasion. Who wouldn’t want to wake up to one of these on their birthday?
You can customize the colors of the sprinkles and even add a “cake topper” to the top of the form to make it perfect to gift.
8. Edible Cake Topper
My store has really leveled up with the store-bought desserts and you can now find pretty macarons.
9. A Treat Tower
What’s fun about using store-bought desserts is that you can keep it super easy by gifting them on their own or pair them with a few other items to create a show-stopping gift idea.
Gather some baked goods or store-bought cookies and a few other small items and turn them into a gift tower. You know your friends better than anyone so gathering some of their favorite things is a great quick birthday or holiday gift.
10. A Semi-Homeade Treat
Aside from using store-bought desserts for easy gift ideas, you can use them in recipes.
This list from Epicurious has 12 quick and easy recipes using ingredients you can find at the store (including some store-bought cakes, etc).
These tasty semi-homemade treats are something anyone would want to devour. Nothing delights me more than when someone brings me something delicious to eat!
It’s the DIY touches that really make these store-bought desserts perfect for gift giving but ultimately you can let the gifts speak for themselves!
You can see more creative packaging ideas on the Bakery Because Pinterest Page.
Gifting store-bought desserts let’s your friends and family know you care and are quick, easy and inexpensive!